FOX Entertainment, along with Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Denis Leary, will debut two football-oriented animated shorts based on the Icebox animated series Poker Night, inspired by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s iconic 1900s art series, “Dogs Playing Poker.” The first Dogs Playing Poker short will air Saturday January 9 during FOX’s NFL Pregame Coverage. The announcement was made by Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment, FOX Entertainment.
Dogs Playing Poker centers on five dog friends – Brownie (Leary), Daphne (Elaine Hendrix, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), Ditka (Roy Wood, Jr., The Daily Show), Froyo (Bobby Kelly, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) and Stan (Adam Ferrara, Rescue Me) – as they banter about football and other timely sports topics.
Leary co-wrote, executive-produced and voiced the lead character in each short. Dogs Playing Poker is part of Leary’s recent broadcast-direct deal with FOX to create, develop and produce comedy, drama, and animated content for the network.
“If only FOX thought of spawning a new animated series from vignettes like this 30+ years ago… imagine the possibilities!” joked Thorn. “By pairing Dogs Playing Poker and FOX NFL, we have a unique opportunity to incubate content from top-tier talent in Denis, Jim, Jack, Rob, and Howard, and introduce new characters of what might become the next building block of our iconic animation brand in a smart and strategic way.”
“At long last FOX lets America find out what we dogs think about football,” added Leary. “Spoiler alert: we’re very upset there isn’t a single NFL team named after a canine. Cats, horses, birds – even dolphins – all have their own teams. Not one dog! Throw us a bone, guys. Literally and figuratively.”
The show is created by, co-written and executive-produced by Emmy-winning writer-producer Jim Margolis (Veep, The Daily Show) and produced by FOX’s animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment. Jack Leary (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), Rob Greenberg (The Moodys, Frasier) and Howard Gordon (24, Homeland) will also executive produce.
The first Dogs Playing Poker short will air Saturday, January 9, during FOX NFL PREGAME, a special edition of FOX NFL SUNDAY, beginning at 4:00 PM ET. Coverage of the NFC Wild Card matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks kicks off at 4:30 PM ET. The second short will debut on Sunday, January 17, when FOX NFL playoff coverage continues.
After their linear telecast during FOX NFL, longer versions of each Dogs Playing Poker short will be available on FOX-owned-and-operated digital platforms, as well as on select social platforms.