Neurotic Pets Explore Their Personal Issues In Animated Comedy ‘Housebroken’

Cats and dogs communing and helping each other out? In real life it rarely happens, but on TV it most certainly can.

Now add that those animals are in a therapy group and you’ve got Housebroken, an animated comedy that follows a gaggle of neighborhood pets as they analyze with their issues inside and outside the therapy sessions.

Voice talent contributing to the series includes Lisa Kudrow, Clea DuVall, Sharon Horgan, Tony Hale, Will Forte, Sam Richardson, and Nat Faxon. 

Kudrow is Honey, a standard poodle who opens her living room to a group of local animals and stray animals to come and support each other through the misery, mayhem, and majesty that comes with being a pet.  

Duvall is also an Executive Producer on the series, having helped developed the concept. She explains how this came about, saying, “I have a cat who I have a very complicated relationship with, who just seems like permanently dissatisfied, and I wanted more than anything to be able to go to a counselor together so she could tell me what needs so I could finally make her happy. Then I started thinking that that would be such a great idea for a show.”

She then took the idea to fellow EPs Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden. Allan says that, “Clea came to us and she was talking about going to therapy with her cat. And then the three of us got together and brainstormed and we thought, ‘Let’s have a whole bunch of animals in therapy together.’ We love therapy, we love animals, and we also just thought it would be a great way to look at human issues through these really cute, fun pets.” 

Michael Thorn, President of FOX Entertainment, says that his team got excited about the idea because, “We love our pets and we all put so much on our pets. [During] the pitch I remember ended up [with] us just alternating stories about whose pets were funnier.” 

Duvall loves the animation aspect to the series saying, “There’s just so much freedom in [doing it this way.] I feel like it really opened up my imagination as a writer, just, like, thinking bigger and just allowing yourself to not be limited by the practicality what it takes to make something.”

New to working in animation, Kudrow says of doing it, “it’s hard for me not to see the person that I’m talking to. I have to say that was really hard.”

But, she says that the medium offers some distinct advantages over live action, explaining, “They get to rewrite jokes and hone in on stories, unlike [on] a live action sitcom where they have like ten minutes after the scene to make it perfect. It’s really fun to see how much funnier it gets and how much more focused it gets,”

She says that team has also been, “very patient with me finding my character and figuring out what I’m doing.” 

Kudrow laughs as she says that she does feel that her character represents her well, saying that Honey is, like herself, “elegant, really smart, caring, [gives] great advice ‑‑ actually, overly analytical, controlling, and [always] trying to be fun.”

Hoping people will cuddle up with their furry best friends and take in Housebroken, Thorn says, “We’re really hopeful that everyone is just going to laugh with us because you’ll see yourselves and your pets in the show.”

‘Housebroken’ airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.