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The Adult Swim Upfront 2012

Last night in New York City, Adult Swim threw a party for all the big entertainment and advertising publications and agencies. Needless to say, we weren’t invited. Bummer.

But, we still got to hear the news of what the Swim has lined up for us in the next year or so. A lot of nice-sounding things are coming– just keep in mind: we may never see some of it. Just think of Tight Bros. Regardless, the upcoming slate is huge and has a lot of intriguing stuff on it. According to the press release, it’s the network’s largest slate of new shows ever. So sit back, relax, and check out the list of what’s new, what’s old but will have some new, and so on and so forth.


  • Childrens Hospital fans will be glad to know there’ll be a spinoff of their favorite medical drama, entitled Newsreaders. Based upon episodes with that name from seasons two and three, the show will “explore the vital issues that actually don’t affect us every day, from hard-hitting investigations to harder-hitting heartwarming profiles.” The Childrens Hospital team is behind it, including Rob Corddry, David Wain, and NTSF:SD:SUV::’s Jonathan Stern.
  • The Eric Andre Show looks hilarious and it’ll also be the first one of the new shows you’ll get to put your eyes all up on since it airs this sunday, May 20th, at 12:30. The live action quarter-hour will be a bizarre take on late-night talk shows, complete with man-on-the-street segments and celebrities– some real, some fake. It’s got some of the China IL and Tim & Eric teams behind it, and it’s being put out by T&E’s Abso Lutely.
  • Black Dynamite. Didn’t forget about that, did you? Written by The Boondocks’ Carl Jones, this is an animated series based on the fantastic faux-blaxploitation film of the same name starring Michael Jai White as the main character, along with Tommy Davidson of In Living Color, Kim Whitley, and Byron Minns. The cast is back to voice their animated counterparts, so if you loved the movie you’ll love this. There was a pilot out a couple months back that showed what we were in for with this– we’re in for some fun. Check it out in July. Animated by Titmouse.
  • Toonami. You already know. May 26th at midnight.
  • Hot Package is a spoof on celebrity gossip shows, and it takes place in Canada. It was created by and stars TV Carnage’s Derrick Beckles, who also starred in and created the pilot The Best of Totally 4 Teens, which was actually quite funny and was also a parody, but of teen PSAs and programming. Check the show out come fall, it should be good.
  • Unititled Hell Project is about a guy named Gary. He’s a demon, working his way up the corporate underworld. This’ll be a live action, Williams Street production, created and directed by Dave Willis and Casper Kelly. I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see this have some of the characters and a bit of the look of the pilot Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell. Should be interesting.
  • Robot Chicken DC Comics Special. Name kind of explains it all. Robot Chicken will work together with DC Comics, a la RC Star Wars, and bring you a special starring the regular cast of creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich, along with special guests Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Tara Strong, and a handful of others. Robot Chicken fans should be pleased.
  • Venture Bros Halloween Special. Also kind of explains it all, but it’s Venture, so get excited. The press release has a nice description: “This October on Adult Swim, the Venture Family fills your Halloween goody bag with fun-sized Truth.” Written by Doc and Jackson, directed by Jackson, and it has the usual team behind it, along with the new animation team, Titmouse, Inc.
  • If you mourned the loss of Moral Orel, and saw the sheer brilliance that was the final season of the show, you should probably get pretty hyped: Beforel Orel is an MO special that shows exactly why Orel is so religious, and will bring us through the birth of his brother, Shapey. Of course, Dino Stamatopoulos is beind this, as he was the original show.

New shows and specials sound good, right? We’ll probably see most of them too! Time for some…


  • Untitled Animated Harold & Kumar Project (In Development) is exactly what it sounds like, an animated version of the Harold & Kumar films, by Lionsgate.
  • Rick & Morty is a pilot by Community’s Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland about a genius inventor grandfather, and his dumb grandson. They have adventures together! Animated.
  • Colonel Wallace (Working Title) by Conan O’Brien, King of the Hill, and TV Funhouse’s Greg Cohen is about a fried chicken entrepreneur and his family. Sort of like Bob’s Burgers, with chicken. Animated.
  • Drawn Together’s Dave Silverstein and Matt Jeser bring us Coffin Dodgers, about a group of old people in a retirement home getting into “fraternity-style trouble.” Animated.
  • Green Bench: The American Daydream is by a sketch comedy group named Green Bench and actually sounds pretty cool. Friends pool in money to buy an office space for a business they don’t actually have yet, so they use it as their little headquarters for whatever they want. Live-action.
  • Freestyle Love Supreme by Black Dynamite’s Ars Nova and stars Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show is about a group of IT guys who practice their freestyle rap at work. Live-action.
  • King Star King is by JJ Villard and Big Bang Theory’s Eric Kaplan. It’s about “a modern day he-man who’s half-warrior, half-idiot.” Animated.
  • Finally, Rolling With Dad is a pilot by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg about a brilliant disabled man and his significantly dumber family. Animated.

Pilots sound good, some hit some miss. But, because you loved Icelandic Ultra Blue (I know I loved it), here’s some…


  • NTSF:SD:SUV::Home Security System is a fake infomercial tying into the NTSF universe. You can never be too safe at home, and NTSF:SD:SUV::HSS is here to ensure that you are just about too safe. Electrified motes, attack-big-cats, turrets, and more are hocked to you, the viewer, with only your safety from terrorism in mind. You’ll never be scared again.
  • You’re Whole stars Michael Ian Black helping you improve your life as best you can.
  • Swords, Knives, Very Sharp Objects and Cutlery (Working Title) is a knife call-in show starring Rob Heubel as Dragon Shumway. His show goes horribly wrong and is attacked, so he has to go all out by using the same items he was trying to sell to ward off the villains coming at him.

Now, some names you know and love. Kind of.


  • Aqua Something You Know Whatever is the newest name of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force/Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 franchise. This year, they go to Argentina and find a baby which Shake tries to kill– but one look into its eyes plants Shake firmly in love with the new child, Pepe the Pepper, who becomes the Aqua Teen– sorry, Aqua Somethings’ newest family member. “The only nipples these guys will be touching are gonna have a bottle on the other end.”
  • The Boondocks will be returning, surprisingly. One may have seen the trailer prior to season 3’s airdate that stated “THE FINAL SEASON”. But it’s back with new episodes, so everyone should be pretty happy about that. No date has been set just yet.
  • Childrens Hospital will also return, somewhat less surprisingly. Everyone’s favorite medical drama is back for another season, and the press release outlines some of what we can expect: “an airborne virus threatens to destroy the hospital and perhaps society, a search for the mysterious PA announcer Sal Viscuso reveals an undercurrent of evil powering the hospital, the origins of Chief’s handicaps are revealed, a beloved regular character dies a couple of times, and Sy gets a dog!” We will also get a peek at the “British version” of the show, complete with subtitles. “Finally, 30% more story and character development! For free!” No date yet for this, either.
  • China, IL returns with half hour episodes! The Brad Neely show turned out to be pretty popular after premiering last year. The NYCC panel was packed. In season two, in the half hours, we’ll get to see everyone at the worst school in America once more, with some new stories and some returning characters. Baby Cakes will set out on a hunt for real witches and wizards, Ronald Reagan will return and team up with Frank to find Thomas Jefferson’s Crystal Castle, and a god will descend down upon China, IL and convert it into a surfer town. Looking forward to this. No date.
  • Also surprising, The Heart She Holler will return. The PFFR soap opera with Patton Oswalt, Kristen Schaal, and Heather Lawless will return for a batch of new episodes.
  • Odd Future’s sketch show Loiter Squad will return for a second season as well. The first season is still underway Sundays at 11:30.
  • NTSF:SD:SUV:: will return for more. The press release touts “even more civilian casualties than last season”, so you know it’ll be good. “There will be Time Traveling, Robot Murders, Food Stealing Swedes, Talking Dogs, a Killer Santa Claus and a wedding. Terrorists – you’ve been warned – again!”
  • Robot Chicken will return for more episodes and will have the same cast behind it. I mean, of course it will. Duh.
  • Squidbillies will return for another season in Dougal County. The Cuyler family will be back to provide more squid-redneck-combination laughs than you can shake Granny’s walker at. This season: “Rusty tackles fatherhood, Early defends his reputation as the town’s biggest badass, Granny helps the Sheriff solve a series of butt thefts, Lil embraces the boring life of sobriety, and the Sheriff finds love east of the Iron Curtain. Come watch the Cuylers chase the southern dream of a rewarding job in the food service industry, all while using violence and alcohol to tackle life’s toughest problems.” Squidbillies is almost always a great show, and it doesn’t get old no matter how hard it tries. The new season looks to be just as good as the last. No date yet, though, unfortunately.
  • And, finally, Superjail! returns. Titmouse will continue to animate the Christy Karacas and Stephen Warbrick show about the world’s largest, most violent maximum security prison that one prisoner keeps escaping from. Jailbot, Warden, and the whole lot will be back this fall. More violence!

The RETURNING ACQUISITIONS are Seth MacFarlane’s shows, American Dad, Family Guy, and coming in 2013, The Cleveland Show, as well as King of the Hill, and the anime titles Bleach and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

So, the largest slate of shows Adult Swim has ever announced around Upfront time. Plenty of cool-sounding things, plenty of good shows being renewed, plenty of pilots we’ll most likely never see. Toonami starts in a couple weeks, and hopefully we’ll see some new anime. Some new co-produced anime series should be on the horizon too. Eric Andre starts Sunday, so get set for that.

An Upfront come and gone, and AS Central wasn’t there again. Hopefully next year! We totally missed out on a rad TI concert. Hope we can check one out next Upfront season.

Set sail for new shows!


The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Geek with a voracious appetite for movies, technology, social media and digital marketing.

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