Dan Harmon’s upcoming animated comedy “Krapopolis” hasn’t yet broadcast a single frame but, in an unprecedented move, Fox has already renewed the show for a further two seasons, president of scripted programming Michael Thorn revealed on Wednesday.
“Krapopolis,” which features an all-star voice cast including Richard Ayoade (“The IT Crowd”), Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) and Matt Berry (“Toast of London”) is set in Ancient Greece but, despite the olde-worlde get-up, it turns out Ancient Greece has a lot of similarities to the present day.
Ahead of previewing the show at London TV Screenings on Thursday, Thorn sat down with Variety to discuss the show and why Fox is betting on it being a runaway hit.
What was the decision behind the third season renewal when you haven’t even broadcast Season 1 yet?
I think the third season pick-up really speaks to our commitment to the show and frankly the quality of the series. It’s hilarious and Dan Harmon is such a unique voice and so talented. Doing a comedy set in Ancient Greece has been a passion of his for a long time. Animation is a huge priority for us, we have a fantastic legacy and we’re taking on the exciting challenge of continuing that legacy and it really starts with a voice like Dan Harmon. Ancient Greece provides this great framework for Dan to talk about pop culture, celebrity and politics today.
How much have you seen of Season 1?
We’ve seen several colors and many animatics and we have a jumpstart on the scripts already for Season 3, and there’s just something unique about the series in a way that when we get in the colors around the office, there’s an excitement to see the next episode that’s contagious. So when Rob Wade and I were thinking about – along with Scott Greenberg at Bento Box [Entertainment, which co-produces the show] – ‘Are we prepared to jump in for Season 3?’ it was really a no brainer.
Are the team working on the first two seasons simultaneously?
As part of the process in an animation what happens as you’re working on multiple seasons, often there’s an overlap of focus when you’re writing the current season and completing the previous season and so it’s just a natural part of the process.
Is it purely an adult animation?
All of our animated series are adult animation. That said, most of them have multi-quadrant access points and it’s something that we aspire to do – and think we do well – in our animation [and] in “Masked Singer” or “Lego Masters” there’s kind of a broad appeal as well. We’re a broadcast network with a wide reach and so I think “Krapopolis” is a series that has a type of humour that can be enjoyed on many levels no matter where you’re from, what your background and what your sense of humour is. It really is unique in that I think a wide audience is going to really be able to connect with it.
How has it come to be that it has a predominantly British cast?
It seems that whenever there’s a period piece, no matter what country it’s set in, or a fantasy series, that all the characters usually speak with British accents. So when Dan was conceiving of “Krapopolis” it just somehow made sense that the characters that live in Krapopolis, many of them – not all of them – but many of them speak with a British accent. Somehow, there’s just this acceptance that someone in Ancient Greece would likely have a British accent. That obviously has been happening for decades of film and television storytelling and so we just went with it.
Was it easy to persuade the talent to come on board?
Dan, because of “Community” and “Rick and Morty” has a pedigree and a reputation as a brilliant, unique writer that I believe that when you get a phone call to say, “Would you like to participate in Dan’s next series?” if you’re interested in comedy, you’re immediately going to lean in and be curious just because of Dan. And I’d like to think that because of our legacy in animation that helps, but I think it’s really Dan.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. “Krapopolis” Season 1 has not yet set a broadcast date but is likely to go out in Fall.