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When we were hiring for this show we were looking for people who, on a given day might be doing storyboards, and on the next day might be doing drawn animation. To get to air by the new April 7 debut date, the team leaned into the “efficiencies and crazy pipelines” they had already built. Then the coronavirus crisis hit. Tooning Out the News, a delightfully weird and hilarious new animated series that counts Stephen Colbert as one of its producers, ... Fictional cartoon news anchors interview real-life figures. Like so many others, the show was forced to halt production and delay its premiere. And then there is Rudy Giuliani, who has somehow made multiple appearances on the show within its first week on the air. Each under 10 minute segment that airs daily features an anchor named James Smartwood parodying the top news stories of the day and interviewing real-world guests.

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Leucke muses that guest availability is probably a bit easier at the moment because everyone’s at home, and having people Zoom into real cable news shows has allowed them to slide into that ecosystem quite quickly. Got a tip? Al Sharpton/Rep. Luecke reveals there’s an entirely separate pipeline that also runs every day for the cold open, in which they take real news footage from the past 24 hours and inject an animated element into it. “So even in-studio is a struggle. With Colbert as an executive producer, it’s hard not to be reminded of his infamous in-character interviews with politicians, authors and others on The Colbert Report. They continued working closely with the Adobe Character Animator team, shipped out audio equipment to the cast at home and created 24-hour schedules with rotating shifts while relying on a combination of Slack, Zoom and remote computer access. As they got back to work, he was asking himself, “Can this show tackle what’s going on in a way that is still cathartic?” For Fried, this sentiment was best summed up by a scene they created for the first test show back after they had to shut down production. Plus, watch an exclusive clip. However, as the creatives have already learned, having a smaller team actually allows for a more simultaneous process. So they just asked if they could give him a call. “It was so gorgeous and beautiful,” Fried says wistfully. So it’s being done,” Leucke concludes. On Wednesday’s show, they got Giuliani on the phone again, this time with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), to talk about what has since been dubbed “Stain-gate.” Fried said he doesn’t expect that to be the last time they get Giuliani on the phone. He recruited other former cable news producers to work on Tooning Out the News and has tried to replicate the same rhythms for their daily broadcast. Raja Krishnamoorthi), 9/30/20 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE NIGHT 1 (Amna Nawaz), 9/29/20 VIRTUE SIGNAL (Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi), 9/25 WEEK IN REVIEW (Gov. Each under 10 minute segment that airs daily features an … The man behind this surreal new animated news series explains how he convinced Giuliani and members of Congress to get interviewed by cartoons. At the helm is R.J. Fried, a veteran comedy writer and news producer who co-created the similarly absurd Our Cartoon President for Showtime. Before the taping, Fried ended up playing phone tag with the president’s lawyer for a while and since he’s working from home, his 6-year-old son had his iPad and kept ignoring the calls. In creating “Tooning Out the News,” the goal was to respond to current news clips with larger-than-life animation as non-animated figures and pundits guested. The premise is simple enough. In the process, Fried realized they had a “huge strategic advantage.” While most other news anchors are stuck broadcasting from their homes with crappy lighting and bad makeup, the cartoon anchors of the fictional “Big News” and “Inside the Hill” have never looked better. “So on Monday, my 6-year-old hung up on Stephen Colbert, [Late Show producer] Chris Licht, and Rudy Giuliani,” he says with a laugh. Those segments are turned around quickly to be as timely as possible, and then at the end of the week they are compiled into one full weekly episode. In theory, Luecke, executive producer Stephen Colbert and the rest of the team behind the animated satirical political comedy had been “unintentionally” working towards the goal of a series this ambitious since they discovered Adobe Character Animator in beta five years ago. (TV-14 L), How To Stream Tooning Out The News On CBS All Access, BREAKING: Tooning Out The News Launches Tuesday, Apr. When we got the news on the Friday before we were set to premiere that we had to all stay at home for at least two weeks, that became the final obstacle in an already crazy obstacle course that we had run.”. Stephen Colbert’s animated news comedy Tooning Out The News has resumed production and will launch on CBS All Access on April 7.. © Copyright 2020 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. “I cannot tell you how many schedules we’ve been through trying to figure this out in the past month. Fictional cartoon news anchors interview real-life figures. As he tells me during—what else?—a Zoom meeting from his home in Calabasas, California, he was already trying to achieve something “unlike anything that’s ever been done before” with Tooning Out the News before the pandemic made it that much harder. We basically built our team with as many of those jacks-of-all-trades as we could find.”. It’s how they’ve managed to pull it off during a pandemic—and how consistently funny it has been—that is truly remarkable. That includes making sure the cartoon anchors are breaking news just like everybody else. Harry Reid/Rep. New five- to seven-minute segments will be available Tuesday through Friday, culminating in a weekly full episode. of our, 10/9/20 WEEK IN REVIEW (Rep. David Cicilline/Sen.

“It felt like someone said, ‘Go get a Christmas tree in Siberia’ and now we’ve been hauling it back for months and months.”, In order to achieve the vision they had in mind, the team built a state-of-the-art studio with special cameras that would motion-capture actors to allow for same-day animation based on the latest news developments. “Having a team of artists who are all very good at adapting to the needs of the day, and who can all wear a number of different hats has been probably the biggest help to us. If things go according to plan, the story board process happens until 3 a.m., and then the artists come in the next morning to build the final animation. By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms According to Luecke, that timeline is still an impressive two-to-three hours, but upload speed and having to share large files creates a whole new headache that they didn’t have to account for in-studio. Those types of ambitious undertakings will only grow as the series finds its footing, especially when the show does eventually transition back into the studio. This … the absurdity of the Trump presidency in perspective. When they booked former Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi to appear on the show this week, they were aware that she had Giuliani’s personal phone number. He notes it takes roughly 15 animators to pull together the body, with 25 to 30 animators total working on each episode. And the team has just been incredibly patient and adaptable so that we could figure out the best way to make sure that we had as many hands as possible at every moment of the day,” Luecke says, noting there’s no technology that would allow simultaneous animation. “Tooning Out the News,” the animated political satire executive produced by Stephen Colbert, was all set to launch March 16 on CBS All Access … Post-coronavirus pandemic, they were forced to pivot. In total it’s a 24-hour turnaround, with a lot of crossover between the body and cold open teams. “And then the virus decides that we can’t be there anymore.”. 7 On CBS All Access, © 2020 CBS Interactive. Lauren Underwood/Dr. “Tooning Out the News” is an animated short series that runs four times a week on the streamer. Gretchen Whitmer/John Dickerson/Michael Schmidt/Neera Tanden). “That was not something we walked into this week thinking would happen and it has blown up in this big way,” Fried says. And that’s just for the panel portion, aka the body of the show. Giuliani’s initial appearance went so well that it has led to a recurring joke about an alleged stain he left on a chair at the Grand Havana Room, a members-only club in New York City. Launching a satirical cartoon news show during the coronavirus crisis may not seem like the best timing in the world, but just as Our Cartoon President helped put the absurdity of the Trump presidency in perspective, ultimately Tooning Out the News feels oddly fitting for this moment. “Animation is traditionally a very linear process where there are specific handoffs that have to take place; we’re now faced with the challenge of doing everything as simultaneously as possible. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC. And yet the version that started airing this week on CBS All Access feels somehow perfect for these times. For instance, the same day Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race, fictional anchor James Smartwood joked that the news was “shocking Americans into remembering that an election is still happening” and actually got Swalwell to endorse Joe Biden for the first time. “One of the most exciting things about the show is that this is the first time animated characters are really interacting with the real world in real time,” he says, referring to the show’s first week, in which they essentially pranked Rudy Giuliani over the phone about a chair at the Grand Havana Room, a members-only club in New York City. When you’re being interviewed by someone on Zoom, does it really matter if they’re a cartoon? We recreate the motion capture in post as quickly as humanly possible so that we can hit the same turnaround time that we had been doing in the studio where we were getting motion capture directly out of the record.”.

The ultimate goal is to create a live version at some point, something they did on “Late Show” with a cartoon Hillary Clinton back in 2016. So we basically take the edit that comes out of Zoom, and we split it up.

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