Syfy’s TZGZ weekly late-night animation block continues to expand its slate, with a six-episode series order to holiday comedy The Pole. The series, starring Bobby Moynihan and Jillian Bell, hails from Future Man writers Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman, and Yeti Farm Creative (Hotel Transylvania Season 2, Pete the Cat Season 2). Cast also includes series regular Nicole Byer, and recurring cast members SungWon Cho, Colin Jost, Tim Simons and Sasheer Zamata. It’s expected to debut on TZGZ in 2021.
In The Pole, after a scandal involving “Saint” Nick (Moynihan) rocks the holly jolly foundations of the North Pole, all hell breaks loose as the future of Christmas turns into a twisted power struggle for the Red Suit. As Nick, the 20th to wear the Suit, struggles with the age-old question of naughty vs. nice, his wife Mrs. Claus, aka Gretchen (Bell), works to keep the political machine that is toy production afloat. It isn’t easy as they juggle the factory elves, including Nick’s head elf Matilda (Byer) and the political activist Helenor (Zamata), as well as parenting two sons – Nick’s mini-me Harry (Cho) and the crown prince, Jack (Simons), who’s not only next in line for the Suit, but also looking to rebrand it. Reporting on all the drama in The Pole? Cocoa (Jost), host of the North Pole News Network Program, “Morning Cocoa.”
The quarter-hour series is created and executive produced by Bass (Future Man) and Bressman (Future Man, Jungleland), who also serve as showrunners. Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy, Ray Donovan) also executive produces, as well as Frank Saperstein (Counterfeit Cat, Ren & Stimpy) and Jay Surridge from Yeti Farm Creative.
Airing on Syfy every Saturday at midnight-ish, TZGZ is a 90-minute block of adult comedic, animated, genre-based programming of varying lengths. Since its November 2019 debut, TZGZ has shown year-to-year growth in the 18-49 demo and continues to bring younger viewers to the network.
TZGZ started off as a block of acquired animated series anchored by Futurama repeats. Encouraged by the solid performance of the soft launch in attracting new young male audiences, Syfy in January took the next step, adding originals to the mix with the first series and pilot orders. Within eight months, TZGZ has picked up a total of five new animated series: Magical Girl Friendship, Hell Den, Wild Life, Devil May Care and The Summoner.