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SYFY Grows New Adult Animation Block, TZGZ

SYFY has made some exciting developments this year. In January 2019, the popular cable channel decided to pilot a late-night animation block, TZGZ. Roughly akin to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, TZGZ is geared toward an adult audience, focuses on comedy, and integrates fantastical plots with everyday humor to create a novel viewing experience. As of September 2020, TZGZ has added six original series to its slate.

Its latest releases include Magical Girl Friendship Squad and Wild Life, both of which made their debut on September 26th. Created by Kelsey Stephanides, Magical Girl Friendship Squad follows two young women, Alex and Daisy, who acquire powers after crossing paths with a mystical panda. Using their newfound abilities, Alex and Daisy must fight an endless procession of villains and intergalactic threats that threaten to destroy the Earth. Magical Girl Friendship Squad employs a mostly female cast and lightly parodies the magical girl subgenre of anime.

Wild Life, by contrast, has a considerably different focus. Created by Adam Davies, who co-produced the show with Dylan Dawson and Alex Plapinger, the series follows a group of zoo animals after the apocalypse. With no humans to watch them, friends Glenn, Marny, Hudson, Darby, Debbie, and Viv must brave their new and open world, finding clever ways to entertain themselves and stave off boredom. Wild Life and Magical Girl Friendship Squad were previously covered on the AFA podcast.
Other new additions to the TZGZ slate include Hell Den, Devil May Care, The Pole, and The Summoner. Set for its second season this fall, Hell Den tells the story of Andrew, a young, 12-year-old boy who is the last human on Earth; he is also the owner of the last TV and VCR player. Drawn to this rare form of entertainment, a few post-apocalyptic creatures befriend Andrew, and together the group watches old movies to pass the time. Created by Douglas Goldstein (known for his work on the popular Adult Swim comedy, Robot Chicken), Devil May Care follows dead millennial Beans as he descends into Hell and is employed as the Devil’s social media manager, while Matthew Bass and Theodore Bressman’s The Pole offers an icier premise, examining the politics of Santa’s workshop when the Jolly Old Elf is hit with scandal.

Rounding out TZGZ’s original lineup is The Summoner, a short-form series by cartoonist Charlie Hankin that follows young man Rory and his alien friend, the eponymous Summoner, who can make objects appear at will but rarely in a way that pleases his human friend. At the time of this writing, Devil May Care, The Pole, and The Summoner do not have an exact release date, but TZGZ continues to offer updates.

 In addition to its original series, TZGZ has acquired several pre-existing titles. Those shows, in no particular order, include Alien’s Guide to Earth, Brogan: Master of Castles, Cyanide and Happiness, Dallas and Robo, Don’t Feed the Humans, Dr. Havoc’s Diary, Gary and His Demons, Hell Den (Season 1), Purgatony, Science!, and Magical Girl Friendship Squad: Origins. TZGZ is also developing original pilots The Black Hole, Chronicles of Frank, Plutonians, and Psycho Psalms. TZGZ can be viewed every Saturday on the SYFY channel at 12:00am ET.