Fox’s ‘Son of Zorn’: Viewers should ‘toon in
The live action-animation hybrid gets a sneak peek behind NFL
September 7, 2016
One in a series of Media Life previews of the new shows debuting this fall. You can find past previews here.
Fox’s “Son of Zorn”
Sundays at 8:30 p.m., with a special preview this Sunday at 8 p.m.
In a show that meshes cartoon with live action, Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) is an animated barbarian from an island in the Pacific Ocean who finds that real people are much harder to deal with than his native two-dimensional ones.
Zorn comes to California in hopes of wooing back his ex-wife (Cheryl Hines) and son. But she’s already moved on to another man, forcing Zorn to make a long-term home in CA, where he’s more misfit than superhero.
Zorn’s devastated to discover that not only can his kid not handle a sword, but he’s a vegetarian. The horror.
The show’s producers include “The Last Man on Earth’s” Seth Cohen and Phil Lord.
The show has a cute concept and several things going for it.
It airs during Fox’s well-established animation domination block. While ratings for “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy,” the two anchors of the block, have fallen in recent years, they still do well with young audiences, especially men.
“Zorn” gets an excellent launching pad, too. Fox will preview the show this Sunday, following its first NFL doubleheader of the season, meaning the comedy’s lead-in will be at least 20 million viewers.
That should prompt a great deal of sampling for the show.
In two weeks, “Zorn” will move to its usual 8:30 p.m. slot behind “Simpsons,” and there it should still benefit from strong NFL lead-ins every two weeks (Fox and CBS trade the doubleheader each week).
Still, there’s always some skepticism about launching new comedies on Fox, because it’s struggled with them for the past few years.
“Earth” bowed well but sank sharply in season two last year. And the network’s last animated effort, “Bordertown,” flopped, so not just any cartoon can make it on Sundays.
What media people say
Buyers think the show should fit in well on Sundays, though several mentioned they had yet to screen the full pilot.
Plus, Sudeikis and Hines are veteran comic actors who can make just about any material succeed.
“It should find a nice spot with ‘Simpsons,’ ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Bob’s Burgers’ on Sundays,” one buyer predicts.
What our readers say
Readers are divided on the show’s prospects.
In a recent Media Life poll inviting readers to weigh in on the new season, they voted “Zorn” the second-most promising new show on Fox this fall, though they also voted it the second-least-promising as well.
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