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Adult Swim Orders ‘Smiling Friends’ and ‘Royal Crackers’

Two all-new adult animated series, from creators Michael Cusack, Zach Hadel, and Jason Ruiz, will premiere later this year and in 2022, respectively.

On the heels of their spin-off animated digital short series reveal earlier today, Adult Swim has just announced two all-new original animated series from creators Jason Ruiz, Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel. Royal Crackers, Ruiz’s (Murder Police) first project with the network, is a half-hour comedy that will introduce fans to the cracker dynasty Hornsby family. Cusack (YOLO: Crystal Fantasy), is partnering again with Adult Swim alongside Hadel (Hellbenders) on Smiling Friends, a whole new take on self-help. 

In Smiling Friends, Smiling Friends Inc. is there to lend a helping hand to any city inhabitant who calls their hotline with their troubling situation. No matter how absurd, the folks at Smiling Friends will send representatives cynical Charlie and star employee Pim to save the day. Smiling Friends is a quarter-hour animated series created, written, and produced by Cusack and Hadel and will premiere on Adult Swim later this year.

The pilot for Smiling Friends originally aired during Adult Swim’s 2019 April Fool’s Day stunt to massive fan reaction.  On Adult Swim digital platforms, the pilot has generated 1.3M views and is the #1 most watched episode on since its release. Cusack’s first show with Adult Swim, YOLO: Crystal Fantasy, regularly won the half-hour across ad-supported cable among all adult demos. Additionally, it beat the key late-night competition by mostly double and triple digits among young adult demos.

Royal Crackers is a half-hour animated series that follows two brothers: Stebe, a family man with a wife and child; and Theo Jr., a single, bass guitar player trying to relive his glory days. Together they live in their comatose father’s house waiting for him to die (he never does) so they can inherit his cracker company empire.  Royal Crackers is created by Ruiz, who also serves as executive producer along with Seth Cohen. The series is produced by Titmouse and will premiere on Adult Swim in 2022.

Ruiz first started creating web animation at 12 years-old and was the first writer to emerge from the Fox/20th Joint Inkubation Program with a completed pilot. He was also listed in The New York Times as one of five rising animators to watch, which also included Rebecca Sugar and Justin Roiland. Ruiz previously created and developed original animated content for Super Deluxe and Fox.

Source: Adult Swim