The Alexis Show
The Alexis Show is a Keclian/American animated sitcom created by Theresa Kaine for Network Seven. The show first premiered on July 10, 2006 with the episode "Life of Alexis", which led to a series of half-hour episodes. Although visually similar to Kaine's previous animated series Kammie's World, The Alexis Show was designed for mature audiences and features cartoon violence, adult humor, running gags and pop culture references. The series is mainly known for its profanity and dark, surreal humor that satirizes a wide range of topics towards a mature audience age 14 and up. The show is set in the fictional city of Elizabethtown and parodies Keclian culture and society.
The series was pitched to Network Seven in 1999. Seven greenlit the series for production in early 2000 after the pilot was completed. The series was originally supposed to air in late 2001, but the show was held back until mid-2006 due to behind-the-scenes issues with Network Seven. The series is based on Kaine's own childhood, and its animation is largely influenced by Keclian comic strips.
Kaine had began working on The Alexis Show in 2002. As the title of the show was changed from Alexis, Caleb, Mimi, & Anya to The Alexis Show, the show first appeared on the demo that Kaine pitched to Seven on September 15, 2004. That year, Kammie submitted an email to the producers at Seven subsidiary, MTM Enterprises, that they were working on a full version of the show.
The series was originally set to premiere in March of 2004 with the pilot they showed to Seven in 2000, Pilot Pitch, but the episode was declined to be used by Seven (until it was finally preserved on the season 1 DVD in 2008). The producers of the show then decided to "go ahead" and air another first episode, "Life of Alexis" on July 10, 2006.
The series is rated TV-14-DLSV for mild violence, some blood, a few character deaths, use of profanity and sexual elements while the uncensored version is rated TV-MA.
The development of The Alexis Show began in 2002, when Theresa Kaine announced to make an adult animated series for the Seven network. Kaine wanted to recapture the adult audience with an animated situation comedy.
The show imitated The Simpsons, although the early voice characterization for Alexis was that of Lisa Simpson. Randy Miller admitted that "At that time, The Simpsons was the most popular show on the air, and for my bill, it was the funniest show on the air. The characters, I thought, were terrific. Now, that influenced greatly what we did with The Alexis Show ... The Simpsons was there, and we used that as a kind of basis for the concept." However, Theresa Kaine disavowed these claims in a separate interview, stating that, "I don't remember mentioning The Simpsons when I sold the show. But if people want to compare The Alexis Show to The Simpsons, then great. It's a total compliment. The Simpsons was one of the greatest animated shows ever written." Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, considered suing KMF Studios, but decided that he did not want to be known as "the guy who yanked Alexis Chaton off the air".
When the series went into production, the working title Alexis, Caleb, Mimi, & Anya was changed. After spending a brief period in development as Alexis, Seven settled upon The Alexis Show.
Despite the animation and fantasy setting, the series was initially aimed at adult audiences, which was reflected in the comedy writing, which, as noted, resembled the average animated sitcoms of the era.
The Alexis Show premiered on July 10, 2006, at 8:30 pm, and quickly became a hit.
Catherine Seipp of National Review Online described it as a "nasty but extremely funny" cartoon. Caryn James of The New York Times called it a show with an "outrageously satirical house" that "includes plenty of comic possibilities and parodies". The Sydney Morning Herald named The Alexis Show the "Show of the Week" on April 21, 2009, hailing it a "pop culture-heavy masterpiece". Frazier Moore from The Seattle Times called it an "endless craving for humor about bodily emissions". He thought it was "breathtakingly smart" and said a "blend of the ingenious with the raw helps account for its much broader appeal". He summarized it as "rude, crude and deliciously wrong". The New Yorker's Nancy Franklin said that The Alexis Show is becoming one of the best animated shows; she commented on its ribaldry and popularity. The show has become a hit on Hulu; it is the second-highest viewed show after Saturday Night Live. Empire praised the show and its writers for creating really hilarious moments with unlikely material. They commented that one of the reasons they love the show is because nothing is sacred—it makes jokes and gags of almost everything. Robin Pierson of The TV Critic praised the series as "a different kind of animated comedy which clearly sets out to do jokes which other cartoons can't do." The Alexis Show has proven popular in the United Kingdom, regularly obtaining between 700,000 and 1 million viewers for re-runs on Fox.
The series has attracted many celebrities. Robert Downey Jr. telephoned the show production staff and asked if he could produce or assist in an episode's creation, as his son is a fan of the show; the producers subsequently created a character for Downey. Actor Dwayne Johnson stated that he was a "big fan" of The Alexis Show. Johnson befriended Theresa Kaine after she had a minor role in Johnson's 2010 film Tooth Fairy. R&B singer Rihanna has admitted to being a fan of The Alexis Show, as has pop singer Britney Spears. Spears, who was mocked for her personal problems in the South Park episode "Britney's New Look" in 2008, offered to appear in a cameo to hit back at the similar animated show, but Theresa Kaine declined, stating that she did not want to start a feud with the series.