Spike TV debuts a topical animated series, THIS JUST IN, created by Steve Marmel, on March 14, 2004 at 10:30 pm. Marmel, who has hosted the Annie Awards for two years running, is a standup comic and producer/head writer of Nickelodeon's hit show, THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS.
The weekly show centers on three guys in their late 20s who hang out at the same watering hole, newspaper journalist Brian Newport (Marmel) and his two buddies, househusband Craig Tindle (Peter MacNichol) and teacher Jimmy Townhouse (Phil Morris). The cast brings their own dysfunctional spin on current events as they happen in the world at large via the rapid production cycle of Flash animation.
This show has a conservative bent on politics and culture, says co-creator Kevin Kay, evp of production and programming for Spike TV. How many comedy programs in the television landscape excluding the Fox News Channel can claim that point of view?
The majority of the show is written during the week leading up to the Sunday telecast. It is written in Los Angeles and animated in New York City. The first episode includes plotlines about the presidential election and voter apathy.
Marmels character is essentially an animated alter ego, reflecting his Republican take on the world who loves to rant; Townhouse is a tactful African American school teacher; and Tindle is a henpecked househusband.
Marmel is exec producer/head writer. A journalism student at the University of Wisconsin Madison and budding comic, Marmel graduated in 1988 and secured a writing position at USA TODAY as an editorial page columnist. By 1991, he was working as a staff writer for THE ARSENIO HALL SHOW, until 1994. Shortly thereafter, an executive from Cartoon Network saw him perform his standup, and offered him a writing position on JOHNNY BRAVO.
He continued with Nicks THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS, as a producer and story editor, earning him two Emmy nominations for his work (along with Guy Moon and the shows creator Butch Hartman) in the Outstanding Music and Lyrics category for the shows original songs, I Wish Everyday Could Be Christmas and My Shiny Teeth and Me.
Additional voices are provided by Rudy Moreno as Henry Cabrerra, Alex Meneses as Sami Ruiz and Gwendoline Yeo as Hu Tindle. Animation directors are Olexa Hewryk and Mark Salisbury.
Spike TV, the first network for men, is available in 87 million homes and is a division of MTV Networks. MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming services MTV: Music Television, MTV2, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, and Spike TV, as well as The Digital Suite from MTV Networks, a package of 13 digital services. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.