Spitting Image has been ordered for a second season by Britbox less than a week after the first of ten episodes premiered on Saturday, October 3rd for the UK streaming service. The satirical puppet series is set to return with additional episodes Fall 2021. This after Times of London is reporting that NBC nearly had the broadcast rights to the series only to fumble them away to Facebook Watch due to concerns related to the show mocking pop stars and the recent magnifying glass that extreme PC culture is having on anything resembling satire (we heard HBO was wanting to be the American broadcast partner but negotiations were in limbo during the AT&T buy of WarnerMedia).
Clearly with the hour-long premiere of South Park continuing to report record ratings numbers at the 8 pm hour, controversy still creates cash and NBC could have had itself with a bunch of it had they just stayed the course. Granted, Let’s Be Real bombed for FOX, but, for my money, the season premiere of Spitting Image was a much better effort and the proof is in the pudding as the producers note that even Britbox increased their subscription numbers ten-fold in light of the show’s return.
With the world getting smaller and more turbulent, the time couldn’t be more appropriate for an iconic British satirical take on global events. Produced by Avalon (Taskmaster, The Russell Howard Hour, Catastrophe, Breeders, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 puppets have already been developed by socially distanced teams of artists ready for launch, including: Adele, Angela Merkel, Baby Yoda, Barack Obama, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Boris Johnson, Boris Baby, The Johnson Dog, Brad Pitt, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Chrissy Teigen, Covid-19, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dominic Cummings, Dominic Raab, Donald Trump, Dwayne Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Elon Musk, Elton John, Emmanuel Macron, Greta Thunberg, Grimes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harry Styles, Idris Elba, Ivanka Trump, Jacinda Ardern, James Corden, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Jürgen Klopp, Kanye West, Keir Starmer, Kim Kardashian, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Hancock, Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Melania Trump, Michael Gove, Michelle Obama, Narendra Modi, Oprah Winfrey, Piers Morgan, The Pope, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Prince William, Priti Patel, The Queen, Richard Branson, Rishi Sunak, RuPaul, Taylor Swift, Tiger Woods, Tyson Fury, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, all falling under the show’s legendary gaze.
A next generation of satirical writers and voice artists are working with established talent to drive a new wave of ‘public service satire’. Writers on the show include: Al Murray, Bert Tyler-Moore & George Jeffrie (The Windsors), Bill Odenkirk (The Simpsons), Brona C. Titley (The Tracey Ullman Show), David X. Cohen (The Simpsons), Gemma Arrowsmith (The Tracey Ullman Show), Jason Hazeley & Nico Tatarowicz (Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe/Murder in Successville), Karl Minns (Russell Howard’s Good News), Keisha Zollar (Astronomy Club), Laura Major (Famalam), Matt Forde, Patric Verrone (The Simpsons), Phil Wang, Richard Herring, Sophie Duker (Frankie Boyle’s New World Order) and Travis Jay (Dave Chapelle and Friends) with many more joining the growing team. Voice artists include: Billy West (Futurama), Debra Stephenson (The Impressions Show), Debra Wilson (Family Guy), Guz Khan (Man Like Mobeen), Indira Varma (Game of Thrones), Jess Robinson (The Imitation Game), John DiMaggio (Futurama), Lewis MacLeod (Dead Ringers), Lobo Chan (Killing Eve), Luke Kempner (The Imitation Game), Matt Forde (Unspun) and Phil LaMarr (Pulp Fiction), with many more joining as the puppet cast grows.