Veteran TV/film/voice actor Patrick Warburton has been tapped as host of the 41st Annie Awards set for February 1 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. Warburton, who became known for playing Elaine’s on-and-off boyfriend on Seinfeld, has been the voice behind the characters on numerous animated series including Family Guy, Hercules, and Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command. His film credits include The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little, The Wild, Bee Movie, and Ted. The Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in 30 categories ranging from best feature, production design, character animation and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music, editing and voice acting.
CBS just made what are expected to be the final comedy pilot pickups this season, greenlighting three projects. Two of them are multi-camera – one from Friends alum Greg Malins toplined by Rules Of Engagement star Patrick Warburton, which will likely get Rules fans alarmed; and one from former Scrubs executive producer Tad Quill originally developed three seasons ago. The third order went to a single-camera adaptation of an Israeli format by Smash co-executive producers Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky. Overall, CBS has ordered 12 comedy pilots this season – six multi-camera and six single-camera.
Malins’ script, titled Jacked Up, clinched the pickup after Warburton recently signed on to play the lead and the project, originally developed by Sony TV, became a co-production with CBS TV Studios. Rules co-producer Happy Madison also has come on board. Warburton’s casting is certain to raise questions about the future of Rules Of Engagement, which has managed to make it to seven seasons after spending most of its run on the bubble. An ultimate utility player, Rules delivered another solid showing in its seventh season premiere on Monday. But, even if CBS is willing to bring the veteran back for another cycle, I hear the cast deals are up this season, making extending the series difficult for producer Sony TV. However, as Rules …
Laura Vandervoort, who plays Supergirl on Smallville and who also stars on ABC’s V, has been added to the cast of Seth MacFarlane’s Ted, the Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital comedy that stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi and Patrick Warburton. Vandervoort will play Tayna, a gorgeous salesgirl and coworker of John (Wahlberg) at the rental car service who is clueless to the gaggle of men who drool over her all day. She’s repped by Levine/Okwu/Erickson and Norbert Abrams.
Patrick Warburton has landed a role in Ted, the Seth MacFarlane-directed Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital comedy that stars Mark Wahlberg as a man who wishes his teddy bear to life and then uses the talking slacker toy to get in the way of committing to his long-suffering girlfriend (played by Mila Kunis). Warburton will play Guy, the sexually confused co-worker of John (Wahlberg) at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car front office. But the fix was in on this one. I have read the script, and when Guy is first introduced, the character is described as “a burly Patrick Warburton type.” So it’s possible that MacFarlane knew all along he’d be casting Warburton, who has long been part of the Family Guy voice cast along with MacFarlane and Kunis. Giovanni Ribisi and Joel McHale are also in the film, and MacFarlane portrays the walking, talking teddy bear. Warburton, who stars on the CBS sitcom Rules of Engagement, is also part of the upcoming Weinstein Co. film Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil. He’s repped by ICM and Gallant Management.