During the animated series’ panel at ATX Television Festival on Wednesday, co-creator Loren Bouchard touted a lineup of guest stars including Yvette Nicole Brown, Billy Porter, Don Lemon, Patti Lupone, Jennifer Lewis, Ellie Kemper, Dan Stevens and Javier Munoz.
He also revealed that Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, Rufus Wainright, Michael Bublé, and Shaggy will be among the guest songwriters bringing their talents for season two.
In Season 2 of Central Park, which will debut on June 25, the Tillerman family continues to navigate living in and caring for the world’s most famous park. Molly experiences the trials and tribulations of adolescence; Cole is challenged by a truly embarrassing moment at school; Paige continues to chase down the Mayor’s corruption story; and Owen juggles managing the park, his staff, and his family all with a smile on his face. Meanwhile, Bitsy inches ever closer to her sinister goal of claiming Central Park as her own; with Helen by her side, eternally wondering whether she’s made it into Bitsy’s will. Every step of the way, we are guided along by our friendly, fumbling, fiddler narrator Birdie.
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Stars Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess and consulting producer Kelvin Yu and Steven Davis joined Bouchard for the panel, where they discussed the rewards of creating an animated series.
“I dare say there’s a timelessness to animation,” Yu said.
Both Yu and Davis took pride in the fact that viewers, Davis’ mother included, can wholly invest themselves in the stories they write, even if they are for an animated title. For Odom, Central Park allowed him to take on the representative storytelling he would have liked to see growing up.
The Oscar-nominated Last Night In Miami actor brought up Emmy Raver-Lapman’s replacement of Kristen Bell as Molly Tillerman, a mixed-race character. The recasting, which came amid a racial and social reckoning for a number of entertainment titles, marked a “new consciousness” for the series, Odom said.
“The world came into a new consciousness and you started asking yourselves new questions,” he said to the series’ creators and producers. “You’ve found a way to honor the truth of somebody’s experience on this planet a little more authentically.”