News Column

TV Tidbits: It may be awhile before we see 6th season of 'Venture Bros.'

July 21, 2013

YellowBrix

July 21--The fifth season of "The Venture Bros.," a racy, lavish, animated spoof of adventure cartoons, comes to an end at midnight Sunday on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim," and it may be a while before we see the characters again.

"We are writing that (sixth) season now, and will start production on it in September," said Jackson Publick, one of the show's two creators.

So when will it be on?

"2014, maybe?" he said. "We might be stuck doing an early 2015."

The reason for that is that "Venture Bros." is largely a two-man show, with Publick and his partner, Doc Hammer, as writers, directors and voiceover artists for many of the characters. And, since animation usually takes a long time even with a large production staff, the result is a lot of time between seasons.

That's why the show is only in its fifth season despite having debuted in 2003. It was two and a half years between the current season and the end of the fourth, with only a music video pardoy and one Halloween special to keep fans happy.

But being perfectionists has its advantages. The show has a cult following thanks to its absurd but intricately woven storylines about the sons of a bumbling but arrogant scientist and the circle of mad scientists, magicians, supervillains and adventurers who surround them.

Publick came up with the idea for the show in the 1990s, initially for a comic book, but then decided animation was where it belonged. Over time it has expanded beyond the initial idea of spoofing the classic cartoon "Jonny Quest" to be a more over-arching show about neurotic heroes and villains.

Compared with the early days of the show, Publick said of the current season, "I think it's deeper, it's warmer, it's got a lot more possibilities and it's a lot more character-driven.... I don't think we'd be here if we hadn't grown and stretched it and what it could be."

Publick and Hammer are attending San Diego ComicCon promoting the show and meeting fans, some of whom dress as the characters.

"It feels awesome," Publick said of fan costumes. "It's surreal and it's joyful, and it's now become a game of who will dress as the most obscure character possible."

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Mary-Louise Parker, an alumnus of UNC School of the Arts, is about to start filming a new "Hallmark Hall of Fame" TV-movie in the Wilmington area.

The film, "Christmas in Conway," is scheduled to start production on Aug. 5. She will play an ill woman whose husband tries to create a Ferris wheel as an elaborate Christmas present for her in their back yard. This is Parker's fourth Hallmark Hall of Fame production. She is also in two new movies, "RED 2" and "R.I.P.D."

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Another UNCSA alum, Matt Lauria, will reportedly be returning for more episodes of the NBC drama "Parenthood." According to TVGuide.com, he will appear in about half of the episodes of the show's fifth season. His character, Ryan -- a young Army veteran who befriends Zeek (Craig T. Nelson) and then dates Zeek's granddaughter Amber (Mae Whitman) -- was introduced last season on the show.

tclodfelter@wsjournal.com

(336) 727-7371

Twitter: @tclodfelterwsj

Facebook: /tclodfelterwsj

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(c)2013 Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.)

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