Stephen Colbert has two big projects coming up, both back at his original home on Comedy Central. Before he was the host of The Late Show, Colbert played a parody of a far-right talk show host on The Colbert Report, and now he's going back to that network as an executive producer. Instead of being on screen himself, Colbert is working on an animated sitcom and an animated feature film.
Colbert is one of the EPs on Fairview, a new half-hour animated comedy coming to Comedy Central, a well as an animated movie called Washingtonia. Both deal with political topics that much of Colbert's work has been preoccupied with, and both come from the animation teams Colbert has already been working with in recent years. Deadline broke the news of these two productions back in September, but the network elaborated on them much more at New York Comic Con this month.
'Washingtonia' has been announced for Comedy Central.— Cartoon Crave (@thecartooncrave) September 21, 2021
The series is created RJ Fried and is an animated feature about a rising political star and his deeply incompetent staff navigating the way deeper incompetence of Washington.
Source: https://t.co/OkhCUVjMGv pic.twitter.com/HPN2HTIgy6
"I am so excited to participate in this press release, but I should mention that my deal for Fairview and Washingtonia is not yet closed," Colbert said when asked for comment. "The main sticking point is money. I want more and they don't want me to have more. I look forward to airing these projects as soon as this issue is resolved."
Both projects come from the team behind Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News and Showtime's Our Cartoon President. The former was nominated for Outstanding Short Form Comedy, Drama Or Variety Series at the Emmys this year, so it's no wonder the network is steering into that success. Both are produced by CBS Studios.
At NYCC, Comedy Central announced that Fairview will star Aparna Nancherla, Atsuko Okatsuka, Blair Socci, Carl Foreman Jr., Graham Techler, Jack Bensinger, James Austin Johnson, Jeremy Levick, Joey Romaine, Lisa Gilroy, Marina Cockenberg and Otter Lee. Meanwhile, the long cast for Washingtonia includes Colbert himself, Roy Wood Jr., James Adomian, James Austin Johnson, Jason Kravits and Andy Daly, to name a few.
Fairview will reportedly center mainly on the titular town's mayor, Kelly Sampson. Kelly is a former party girl who stumbled into the leadership role at least partially by mistake. The show will reportedly be full of "Natty Light-chugging, grocery store parking lot-fighting and public urination," while examining how national politics can lead to small-town drama.
Meanwhile, Washingtonia is about a rising star in the world of national politics trying to climb through the ranks with a "deeply incompetent" staff behind him. However, that staff will uncover "way deeper incompetence" in the rest of Washington, perhaps giving them a fighting chance. It will depict real-life figures including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Barack Obama, Rachel Maddow, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Pete Buttigieg, Tucker Carlson, Jeff Bezos, Chuck Todd, Ted Cruz, Sean Hannity, Bernie Sanders, Elon Musk and Chuck Schumer.
Both productions are created and executive produced by RJ Fried — a writer who has worked with Colbert often and with credits on many political comedies of the last decade or so. These announcements come on the heels of some big investments in animation over at Comedy Central and ViacomCBS, including a historic order for more seasons of South Park, a Beavis and Butt-head revival and two Star Trek cartoons on Paramount+.
So far, there is no word on when Washingtonia will air, though Fairview is slated for "early 2022." Production details on the series have not been made public. Colbert's talk show, his current animated projects and more are streaming now on Paramount+.