What do you get when comedy and communism collide on this network? Animal Farm, a show about collectivism that's guaranteed to turn you red... with laughter!
In this animated spectacular produced by Filmation (Star Trek, Scooby-Doo) and based on a book by George Orwell (1984), the despotic Corn Czar (voice of Don Knotts) has been run off the farm for his stingy ways, and the pig Snowball (voice of Hank Azaria) has stepped in to bring equality to his brothers-in-sties, stalls, and coops. He soon has his trotters full encouragaing collectivist zeal, especially when the sheep decide they want to set up a knit-while-you-wait Peruvian sweater kiosk and donate all the proceeds to the Shining Path instead of the winter feed fund.
Fortunately, Snowball has his fellow pig Buttercup (voice of Kathy Kinney) to share the burden, and the two rally their comrades to meet madcap challenges like beating Pinchfield Manor at the county fair barrel race, housebreaking the police dogs, and preventing the folk at Red Lion farm from trying to take the Manor Farm Minister of Fertilizer to the glue factory! Through each of the challenges, the lovable pigs, their friend Boxer the horse (voice of Tim Conway), and a veritable menagerie of left-leaning livestock share the laughter and the hard work -- and any chicken who doubts their place on the farm is reassured that they're an equal.
"Animal rights are such a political issue in America," explained master programming diplomat Warren Littlefield, "that we wanted to create a political allegory for the issues around eating meat, wearing fur, and putting mascara on bunnies. And pretending that animals are capable of humor and moral insight is a totally original idea, you know?"
All animals are equal. Some are just funnier than others!
What would Wild Animal Wednesdays be without a little "Animal House?" And when these frathouse animals are on the loose, you'll be laughing like a hyena!
Rick Norman (Ted McGinley) is a marketing executive whose company is swallowed by a corporate behemoth. With pink slips on the way, Rick learns that the new bosses disapprove of his B.A. in physical education and voluteers to go back to school.
As a 34-year old freshman returning to the campus of his alma-matter, Upstate U., Rick heads back to the fraternity he once ruled over as president, Beta Gamma Gamma. But how things have changed since the good ol' days of beer bongs, date rape pills and homoerotic initiation ceremonies!
Now the frat house is off campus, so they have to do all those things a few blocks to the south! And Gamma's new next-door neighbors? A lesbian sorority headed humorless sociology major Kendra McCaw (Lisa Loeb). When a prank by Rick and his frat brothers Boo-Boo (Joaquin Phoenix), Percy (David Faustino) and Fatty (Andrew Shue) goes hillarious awry, Kendra vows to make hay against the boys with Dean Claymore (Robert Young).
"It was very difficult for us to attract an actor the stature of Bob Young to the role of the stick-in-the-mood dean," said programming chief Warren Littlefield. "Indeed, for the longest time, it was difficult to even get Bob on the phone. But through his representatives, we were able to bring him and 'Back to Gamma' to Wild Animal Wednesdays. And we're sure you'll be wild about the results."
The classic BBC series All Creatures Great and Small comes to america as a new family adventure... with a '90s attitude! Struck by a case of wanderlust, dedicated veterinarian Jimmy Herriot (Billy Conolly) trades his idyllic lifestyle in the British countryside for a position as staff veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo in the urban jungle of New York City! He's a classic fish-out-of-water, who has to adjust to the fast-paced city life while treating a whole menagerie of four-legged companions.
At first, this rural Scotsman is appalled when he learns that in addition to of delivering rare baby animals, he's also forced to deal with the Zoo's troublesome rat population. But with the help of streetwise Zoo administrator Stewy (Gilbert Gottfried), the charming vet soon sees the simple pleasure of worming an irritable hippopotamus.
Helping the good doctor and Stewy on their rounds are three angels of mercy -- Heather (Heather Paige Kent), Amber (Kylie Travis) and Tawny (Tiffani Amber Thiessen). These nubile animal trainers know a thing or two about soothing the savage beast, and they're the perfect antidote to Dr. Herriot's homesickness to boot!
"'Both All Creatures Great and Small and Zoo! tell timeless tales for the entire family," said producer Martha Williamson (Touched By An Angel), who is developing this show with Aaron Spelling. "Every creature, no matter how furry or adorable is valuable in God's eyes."
"The girls were my idea," Spelling added.
Each week, Jimmy, Stewy and those three bodacious beauties balance their duties at the Zoo with providing homespun wisdom and low-cost veterinary care to the people who live in the poor neighborhood surrounding the Zoo--mending mongrel dogs and patching up pigeons. In the process, they learn a little something about life... and themselves, too.
"It's a heartwarming adventure with cuddly animals and comical foreign accents," Spelling said. "And the girls... I can't emphasize the girls enough."
Dylan Walsh (Brooklyn South) reprises his role from the blockbuster motion picture "Congo" as primatologist Peter Elliot, a man devoted to teaching apes sign language, in this offbeat intra-species comedy from the mind of Michael Crichton and the money of Steven Speilberg.
After returning from the Congo sans his beloved silverback ape, Amy (Kevin Peter Hall), Peter throws himself into his newest project -- teaching chimpanzees how to read and write. What he doesn't count on is unleashing the pint-sized primates' genius: it turns out his cadre of half a dozen chimpanzees are bona fide geniuses, able to form complex sentences and even balance a checkbook!
After the chimps finish writing Gray's latest textbook, If I Could Write to the Animals, sinister corporate overlord R.B. Travis (Joe Don Baker) realizes what Peter's done, and sets out to capture the chimps and use them to add to his ill-gotten gains.
With the help of his wife, Karen (Maria Pitillo), a tart-tongued immunologist, Peter hits the road with his team of Super Chimps. The primates' quick thinking, adorable antics, and convenient computer-hacking skills keep the team one step ahead of Traviscom employees, as this motley band of monkeys solves crimes and wins hearts.
"Not since 'Mr. Smith' has a monkey-themed show come along to tug at America's heartstrings the way 'Monkey Business' will," said programming chief Warren Littlefield. "And believe you me, I'm not just monkeying with you!"