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SYFY's animated programming is about to get a lot merrier. Two new comedy series — The Pole and The Summoner — will officially premiere back-to-back on Wednesday, March 17, at 11:15 p.m. EST. The robust slate of SYFY's animated content already includes such shows as Wild Life, Hell Den, Devil May Care, Dallas & Robo, and Magical Girl Friendship Squad.
Set in (where else?) the North Pole, The Pole kicks off with St. Nick (voiced by SNL vet Bobby Moynihan) at the center of a scandal that leads to a holly jolly power struggle for the iconic "Red Suit." Keeping the politically charged toy production on schedule is Nick's wife, Gretchen (Jillian Bell), who butts heads with head elf Matilda (Nicole Byer) and political activist Helenor (Sasheer Zamata).
At the same time, Nick and Gretchen are raising two sons: Harry (SungWon Cho) and Jack (Tim Simons). Regular "Weekend Update" anchor Colin Jost rounds out the central voice cast as Cocoa, the gossipy host of a North Pole news program entitled Morning Cocoa.
Watch Santa get into some rowdy hijinks in the first-look clip below:
The six-episode, 15-minute comedy was created by Future Man writers Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman. Yeti Farm Creative (Hotel Transylvania: The Series Season 2) handled the animation.
Meanwhile, The Summoner (based on a short film by New Yorker illustrator Charlie Hankin) presents an Odd Couple-esque premise in which twentysomething Rory (voiced by Hankin) moves in with the titular Summoner: a magical alien who can summon any object in existence. The alien's tenuous grasp on the English language leads to some pretty hilarious situations.
Stoopid Buddy Studios (a company founded by Robot Chicken creators Matthew Senreich and Seth Green) is producing the 10-episode, five-minute-long sitcom, whose voice cast includes Cree Summer (Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Codename: Kids Next Door).
"The Summoner is a perfect example of how we’re experimenting with content ... by continuing to add smart stories from unique voices, but also playing with different formats and new animation styles, like Charlie’s distinctive hand-drawn look," Jon Cotton, VP, Short-Form Animation & Alternative Formats for SYFY, said last summer when the show was first announced. “Working with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios on this project was a no-brainer, given their track record for creating some of the buzziest adult animation out there.”
"We’ve been a fan of Charlie’s work for The New Yorker for quite some time," added Senreich. "We love the offbeat, observational humor of his comics, and can’t wait to bring his singular voice and design sensibilities into the world of animation as part of the [SYFY] lineup."
Hankin, Green, Senreich, John Harvatine IV, Eric Towner, and Chris Waters serve as executive producers.