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CBS All Access ‘Tooning Out,’ Launches Political Animated Show

Fern Siegel

CBS All Access, the network’s streaming service, is joining the animation world. The streamer is launching a weekly series with guests who will discuss and dis the daily news, reports The Hill.

“Tooning Out the News” will debut on March 16 in the U.S. and Canada. Initially, it will stream five-to-seven minute segments daily, then a weekly episode each Friday. The host is an anchor called James Smartwood.

A network release quoted Smartwood as saying: “After a successful negotiation between my forthright representation and a frankly insulting CBS business affairs department, I’m pleased to report that I am now the lead anchor and chief senior managing director of news and miscellaneous serious stuff at America’s #1 source for news and ‘Star Trek’: CBS All Access. Now that I’m on the air, I have a stark warning to every power player in Washington: I will suck up to you for access — that’s a promise.”

The animated series is executive produced by Stephen Colbert and Chris Licht, both from “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,”and R.J. Fried and Tim Luecke. The four also work on Showtime’s animated satire “Our Cartoon President.”

Sardonic segments will include “Virtue Signal” and “Hot Take.”

Guests from both sides of the political aisle will appear, including Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Texas), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), New York Times Op-Ed columnist Thomas Friedman, Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz and conservative columnist Bill Kristol.

Also on the animation front, Disney+ has commissioned Squeeze to create five episodes of “What If…?,” the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, Netflix has been upping its animation efforts, signing a deal with Oscar-winning writer Taika Waititi to write, direct and executive produce two original animated series based on Roald Dahl’s books.

Separately, CBS All Access has greenlit “Guilty Party,” a new half-hour dark comedy series, starring Isla Fisher (“Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “Wedding Crashers”) as a journalist trying to save her career.

‘Tooning Out the News’ Preview Segment