Tonight marks the debut of NBC’s CG-animated comedy, Father of the Pride, a star-studded look into the secret lives of animals employed in Siegfried and Roy’s Las Vegas act. The series, sporting an estimated price tag of $2 million per episode, is produced by DreamWorks Animation and created by studio principle Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Promoted as an adult comedy, Father of the Pride promises to be a bit edgier than the studio’s Shrek franchise. In the premiere episode, the title character, a lion named Larry (voiced by John Goodman), learns that his wife, Kate (Cheryl Hines from HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) is in heat and runs home, only to find that his Kate’s girlfriend, a panda named Foo-Lin, has showed up in need of moral support. Foo-Lin is voiced by guest star Lisa Kudrow (Friends) and Andy Richter (Quintuplets) plays her potential mate.
The regular cast also includes Carl Reiner (Ocean’s Eleven) as Kate’s father, Sarmoti, Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids trilogy) as Larry’s and Kate’s son, Hunter, Danielle Andrea Harris (The Wild Thornberrys) as their daughter, Sierra, and Orlando Jones (Drumline) as a gopher named Snack. Siegfried is voiced by Julian Holloway and Dave Herm provides the voice of Roy.
The series is developed by Jonathan Groff and produced by Ron Weiner, Mary Sandell and Ken Tsumura. Katzenberg’s fellow exec producers are Jon Pollack, Jonathan Groff, Jon Pollack and Peter Mehlman. Siegfried and Roy serve as co-exec producers, along with Joe M. Aguilar, Cheryl Holliday, Mike Barker, Matt Weitzman and Bernie Yuman. Directing duties go to Mark Risley with The Simpsons alum Klay Hall serving as supervising director.
Last year, the fate of Father of the Pride was looking uncertain after Roy Horn was mauled by one of his own with tigers during a performance in Las Vegas. DreamWorks and NBC are banking on the show’s 3D animation, celebrity voice cast and comedic writing to overshadow memories of the high-profile incident.