3:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Son of Zorn' Showrunner Eli Jorne Exits Fox Comedy
There's a change at the top of Fox's upcoming comedy Son of Zorn.
Co-showrunner Eli Jorne has exited the live action/animated hybrid series from Last Man on Earth duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Insiders attribute Jorne's exit to creative differences. Co-showrunner Sally McKenna will remain on board and oversee the comedy. Production will not be disrupted and the series remains on track for broadcast during the 2016-17 season.
The comedy centers on animated warrior Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) who, upon arriving home on Earth for the first time in 10 years, finds that reconnecting with his live-action son, Alan (Johnny Pemberton, 21 Jump Street), and ex-wife, Edie (Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm), while suffering through a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life is harder than waging war in his distant mystical homeland of Zephyria. The series is from 20th Century Fox Television and is set to debut during the 2016-17 season.
The project, picked up based on a short pilot presentation, marks a reunion for Pemberton, Lord and Miller, who previously teamed on features 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street.
Jorne and frequent collaborator Reed Agnew were set to both serve as showrunners and executive producers with McKenna. Agnew, Seth Cohen, Lord, Miller and Eric Appel exec produce, with the latter directing.
Jorne's credits include Starz's Blunt Talk and FX's Wilfred — both with writing and producing partner Agnew.
Son of Zorn is one of multiple new series to have scored early pickups at the network. It joins dramas Prison Break, Shots Fired, Star and 24: Legacy — all of which hail from 20th TV.
Jorne's departure comes after the 2015-16 broadcast season saw multiple showrunner changes on freshman fare, including The Grinder, Chicago Med, The Catch and Blood & Oil in what one lit agent called a series of "bad marriages." The changes are part of a larger issue as networks realize they need to hook viewers right out of the gate to cut through an increasingly crowded landscape.