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Comedy Central Teases 1980s Crime Show Parody ‘Moonbeam City’


Scheduled to debut in 2015, Comedy Central’s Moonbeam City is described as an absurdist take on the sex-drenched crime dramas of the 1980s. Set in the fictional Moonbeam City, “America’s most fluorescent metropolis,” the show follows the handsome undercover detective Dazzle Novak (voiced by Rob Lowe), who “commits more crimes than most criminals,” as he tries to win back the attention of police chief Pizzaz Miller (Elizabeth Banks) from hotshot rookie Rad Cunningham (Will Forte).

Created by comedy writer Scott Gairdner (Funny or Die), the show has a striking visual style that consciously references the iconic early-Eighties illustrator Patrick Nagel and an electronic soundtrack by synthpop duo Night Club. Olive Bridge Entertainment produces in association with Titmouse Studios.

Since being announced at Comic-Con last week, the show has drawn comparisons to Archer for its inept agent premise. But we’ll have to wait until it premieres in 2015 to see how far the similarities go.

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  • Joseph Patrick

    Limited animation, but definitely a lot of style. I guess it would come down to the writing, which does seem similar to “Archer.”

  • Greg Bowman

    Sort of looks like the demented love child of Archer, Motorcity, Tron and Jojo bizzare adventure

    • James VanDam

      Add two ounces of cheezy 90’s cop movies, shake well and serve over ice. Looks like it will be something to check out in the future.

  • starss

    I’m happy for Titmouse, but I see them in the credits of literally every United States-animated TV show now. Are the pickins THIS slim!?

    • AmidAmidi

      When your studio doesn’t pay its artists a living wage, entertainment conglomerates love to work with you. Last month, I had an Adult Swim exec literally yell in my face that $400 was a great weekly wage for an artist working in TV animation.

      • James VanDam

        I’ve worked on an oil refinery for the last two summers and I got payed $490 per week just doing manual labor. You deserve to be payed a lot more for your talents good sir.

      • chav

        Yeah I hear you, the real outrage is that there’s still animation studios that are actually doing production animation/cleanup in the US. Didn’t our community agree long ago to ship all those jobs overseas? Why give a 22-year-old American art school grad their first job doing cleanup, when you could easily ship that job to a country with absurdly low wages, weak labor laws and nonexistent benefits? These indie studios trying to do cleanup in the US are stealing jobs from Southeast Asia!

        Also, I think Adult Swim should just cancel all the low-rated late night original programming they offer, Family Guy reruns always beat their originals in the ratings anyways, so they could just rerun that and Futurama all night. If the show is too low-rated to afford to have storyboard artists making $2300 a week and the animation isn’t shipped to Korea, then the global Cartoon Brew community should organize against it and shut it down!

      • Alyx Jolivet

        $400 a week? Aren’t you a journalist? Aren’t you suppose to be equipped with citations before you make these kind of claims?

    • Karl Hungus

      This is the SAME issue as the wage fixing scheme by the major studios. The reason they were all in on that is because it allowed their CEOs to hide their incompetence. The measure of a company’s leader is his ability to manage risk – his ability to gauge what the public wants. When those CEOs keep their worker’s wages low, the company makes animation more affordable, and bolsters their ability to absorb big failures at the box office.
      Titmouse is a success story because it does the same as a small studio. It pays next to nothing for its talent(most being single 20 somethings right out of college) and allows hollywood celebrities to dip their toe in the animation water without shelling out for what animation really costs. Its why Rob Lowe went to Titmouse for his series. Its why Tom Hanks went to SixPoint harness for his “Electric City” show.
      -These Hollywood heavyweights are astute for finding a nice price for good talent.
      -Titmouse is morally reprehensible for exploiting artists and driving down the living wage.
      -And young artists are STUPID for working endless hours for very little money at these small studios.

      • Harsh truth.

      • starss

        If these young artists were to all realize that what they are doing is stupid, there won’t be any more cartoons produced here.

        So be it then. It was a GREAT day for me! >:

      • Beamish Kinowerks

        Not stupid, just naive. People new to the industry think they’ll advance quickly up the pay scale, but in reality, they’re going to be exploited until they get fed up and quit, at which point the cycle begins all over again.

      • James VanDam

        That is really heartbreaking to hear. I am graduate and as of now I am working towards improving my animation skills in order to become an character animator. Is there some sort of petition people are signing so we can end this oppression?

      • chav

        Bro you nailed it, no “single 20 somethings right out of college” should be able to get a job in the field of their choosing, they should just stay on their parents health-care plan till they’re 26, live in the basement and collect public assistance while interning or “freelancing”. Us older artists can’t handle the competition, and we’d rather see the low-level grunt work shipped overseas than have some talented young whippersnapper that got promoted from animation competing with us for the next union storyboard job.

        Screw all these new low-budget adult/experimental animated shows that couldn’t afford to be produced at above 839 scale, they should all be cancelled and the “single 20 somethings right out of college” should get out of the industry, I’d liked this industry a lot better when it was just me and a few of my buddies doing boards for 22 minute toy commercials.


    • Might be that they have an Amazing Talent Pool of Artists who range in abilities beyond the spectrum of other Companies. Sometimes its nice to work with a company full of Talented people who love to make cool shit and have a great time doing it.

      • Karl Hungus

        If you knew the total amount the studio was being paid to make the show, and percentage that actually goes into the production, versus the percentage the studio heads keep for themselves, you would have a different take on ‘the integrity of working with talented coworkers’. Skills demand fair compensation. Its fun when you are young, but you are going to rue the day when you are further along in your career and all of the wages are suppressed from artists who “love to make cool shit” for close to nothing.

        • chav

          If you’re trying to suggest that indie studios that have work farmed out to them by the majors are taking huge fees for themselves, you either have no idea what you’re talking about or you’ve had the misfortune of working for a super shady studio that got away with it for a short time.

          The fees are small, that’s why indie studios (live action, post, vfx & animation) come and go so often, it’s not a particularly profitable type of business to run, and the bean-counters from the majors are always breathing down their necks, so there isn’t much room to cheat even if they wanted to.

          And guess what, animation is a pretty desirable line of work to be in, and the competition does affect wages. The same thing is happening in pretty much every other creative profession right now, so I wouldn’t get too bitter about it.

    • Guam

      LITERALLY, starss?

  • OdysseyTag

    Can’t view the video from my country but from the visuals it seems quite interesting.

  • Karl Hungus

    Nagel should sue.

    • I believe he died but it is Patrick Nagel’s art style.

    • marti386

      Nagel died back in 1984. I’m sure he doesn’t care.

  • This show does seem like a more blatantly 80’s Archer, which is funny because Comedy Central is getting the off network rights to air Archer in the next year or so. Not that I’m complaining, the aesthetics for this show look great.

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    Looks intriguing, but I really wish that primetime and late-night televised animation in North America would veer away from comedy sometimes.

  • Roberto del Corazõn

    Even the Tyson video moves better than that. And so talkative…

  • Doz Hewson

    2015: The 15th anniversary of MTV’s SPY GROOVE, something I initially became a fan of, but ultimately tired of because there was something lacking, even then. MOONBEAM CITY knocks SPY GROOVE on its ass.
    I’ll be looking for “MC”.

  • Inkan1969

    “sex drenched crime dramas of the 1980’s”. I’m having a hard time remembering examples. I do remember “Miami Vice” now, though I think that had a lot more drugs than sex. I can’t think of anything else, though.

    • j12345690

      there was Remington Steele and moonlighting

  • Alyx Jolivet

    Where on earth are you people getting your numbers?

  • chav

    I’m not defending the multi-nationals at all, I just find your ill-informed rant against small American indie studios a little curious… I take it that your rage against low budget shows produced by young American artists doesn’t extend to the well-established practice of multi-nationals shipping all their animation production overseas. Are you that bitter that a few indie studios are giving American college grads a foot in the door doing cleanup?

    • Karl Hungus

      Your comments prove that you are intellectually bankrupt. Adult animation isn’t profitable?!?

      Thats not even worth dignifying with a response. If you work in the industry like I have for almost 2 decades, I’m embarrassed by our industry. How can you be so ignorant of the reality of the work we do. Animation is profitable MORE THAN ANY OTHER MEDIUM because there are so little residuals. Mike Judge funded his entire career with one adult animated show. So did Seth McFarlane. And Matt Groening. Animation by itself isn’t profitable?? Family Guy must have made money on all of those toys they have out right?

      Please stop posting. You are digging a hole to lie down in.

      • chav

        You just named the three most popular animated prime time shows in history, all of which get better ratings in reruns than just about any adult swim originals. Step out of Animation Domination and there’s a reason you still see relatively little adult animation, most which is low budget and doesn’t last for more than a season or two.
        By the way, did you support the Simpsons starting the practice of outsourcing their animation department rather than offering lower-paid starting positions for Americans as some of the (morally reprehensible) indie studios do? Notice you don’t want to discuss that issue… I take it you agree with the multi-nationals there ;) If it’s not a highly paid creative position then ship it!

  • chav

    Animation by itself isn’t that profitable, that’s why adult animation generally has such cut-rate production values and lower budgets/artist rates compared to kids toy commercials. That’s why kids shows get cancelled when the toys aren’t selling, regardless of the ratings. Now if Adult Swim shows sold a lot of toys, then you’d have a case.
    I probably shouldn’t have to explain this to anyone that’s actually worked in the industry, but no need to thank me :)

  • Karl Hungus

    Please stop pretending you work in the industry. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  • syrupneko

    Teddy, did you miss the Cartoon Brew article about major Animation and Game studios being under heavy investigation by the Federal Gov’t for monopolization of the job market? Several top companies, Disney being the biggest under fire here (in addition to Apple and others), had secretly agreed to keep wages low in order to boost profits (in to the millions+) while keeping job competition low. You should look up “EA Game widows” and “animation widows” sometime. Due to the corporate greed here, animators and programmers have been put on salary pay of $40K-$60K a year, but make less than $2 an hour due to demands put on them, which often amounts to 60, 70, 80+ hour work weeks.

    OK, so let’s say $400 a week is decent pay. Which it could be actually, especially if you’re living in an area where the cost of living is low, and you’re given reasonable hours not exceeding a normal 40 hours – $10 an hour starting is not that bad, even though most professional pay starts at $12-$20 an hour. But, if you’re living in a major US city and you’re expected to work past 40+ hours a week without overtime pay, then that pay is way too low.

    And assuming he’d be working in Atlanta, where Adult Swims’ main studios are, his $1600 would just be paying the rent ($1074 avg)/utlitiles($187avg)/gas and maybe a round or two of groceries (stats taken from Numbeo and Forbes). No room for savings, nuffin’ else; he’ll never pay off those student loans, buy a new car, take a date out on the town, or save a penny in the bank. He’ll be another one of the working class poor, despite how great $1600 (pre-tax min) a month sounds to you because the studios are artificially making huge profits off of the animator’s backs and limiting any chance that some other animation studio will pay him a decent living wage due to their closed-door deals with one another.