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Fox to Debut Denis Leary’s ‘Dogs Playing Poker’ Shorts

Denis Leary, Dogs Playing Poker
(Image credit: Fox)

Fox will debut football-related shorts from Denis Leary during its NFL pregame coverage Jan. 9. The two animated shorts are based on the Icebox series Poker Night and inspired by the art series “Dogs Playing Poker.”

Dogs Playing Poker centers on five dog friends: Brownie (Leary), Daphne (Elaine Hendrix), Ditka (Roy Wood, Jr.), Froyo (Bobby Kelly) and Stan (Adam Ferrara) as they banter about football and other timely sports topics.

Leary co-writes, executive produces, and voices the lead character. 

The first short will air in the Rams-Seahawks pregame. The second will air Jan. 17 during playoffs. 

Jim Margolis created the shorts and is co-writer and executive producer. Jack Leary, Rob Greenberg and Howard Gordon also executive produce.

“If only Fox thought of spawning a new animated series from vignettes like this 30+ years ago…imagine the possibilities!” said Michael Thorn, president of entertainment, Fox Entertainment. “By pairing Dogs Playing Poker and Fox NFL, we have a unique opportunity to incubate content from top-tier talent in Denis, Jim, Jack, Rob and Howard, and introduce new characters of what might become the next building block of our iconic animation brand in a smart and strategic way.”

After their linear premiere, longer versions of each short will be available on Fox’s digital platforms. 

“At long last Fox lets America find out what we dogs think about football,” said Leary. “Spoiler alert: we’re very upset there isn’t a single NFL team named after a canine. Cats, horses, birds – even dolphins – all have their own teams.  Not one dog!  Throw us a bone, guys.  Literally and figuratively.”

Dogs Playing Poker is produced by Fox Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment.  

The “Dogs Playing Poker” art series was painted by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.