Beginning tomorrow during FOX NFL pregame coverage, FOX Entertainment and Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Denis Leary (The Moodys, Rescue Me) will debut two football-oriented animated shorts based on the Icebox series Poker Night, inspired by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s iconic 1900s art series, “Dogs Playing Poker.” Leary will co-write, executive-produce and voice the lead character in each short, it was announced today by Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment, FOX Entertainment.
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, 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.
The first Dogs Playing Poker short will air tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 9, during FOX NFL Pregame, a special edition of FOX NFL Sunday, beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET. Coverage of the NFC Wild Card matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET. The second short will debut on Sunday, Jan. 17, when FOX NFL playoff coverage continues.
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. Jack Leary (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), Rob Greenberg (The Moodys, Frasier) and Howard Gordon (24, Homeland) will also executive-produce.
“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.”
Leary added, “At long last FOX lets America find out what we dogs think about football. 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.”
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.
Dogs Playing Poker is produced by FOX Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment. Denis Leary and Jack Leary, via their production company, Amoeba, executive-produce, along with Jim Margolis, Rob Greenberg and Howard Gordon.