There’s soon to be a new entry in the world of adult animation, as Praise Petey comes to Freeform on July 21. Created by four-time Emmy nominee Anna Drezen, Praise Petey is the network’s first original animated series. The show centers on Petey, a former New York City “it girl” who finds herself reinventing a small-town cult. It’s the first out of three animated projects that the network has in the works.
Drezen worked alongside comedy legends Mike Judge (Beavis and Butt-Head) and Greg Daniels (The Office) to bring Petey’s world to life. Which begs the question, whose voices will be leading the way? Here’s a guide to the star-studded cast:
Annie Murphy leads the Praise Petey voice cast as the show’s titular character, Petey, a city girl who once had it all. But rather than dwell, a mysterious gift from her father encourages her to use her skills in another field, and she leans into modernizing his former cult. Murphy is most known for her work on Schitt’s Creek as Alexis Rose, a role that garnered critical acclaim and earned her an Emmy and SAG award, alongside numerous other nominations. She’s also appeared in shows such as The Plateaus, Kevin Can F**k Himself, and Russian Doll, and can currently be seen in the new season of Black Mirror.
Welcome to the year of John Cho, who voices the role of Bandit, Petey’s potential love interest. He’s been a cult member since childhood, due to his mother acting as a high-ranking member. Cho is best known for his role as Harold Lee in the Harold & Kumar films, a series of successful stoner buddy comedies. He’s also made a name for himself in the indie film sphere, starring in projects such as Columbus and Searching, which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
On the TV side, Cho starred as Spike Spiegel in the 2021 live action remake of Cowboy Bebop. He’s also made appearances across sitcoms like New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, and 30 Rock, to name a few. This year, Cho joins the star-studded ensemble cast of The Afterparty Season 2 as Ulysses, a fun uncle who returns for his niece’s wedding and becomes a suspect in the murder of the groom.
Oddly enough, there are some interesting parallels between two of Stephen Root’s most recent characters. First, there’s Barry’s Fuches, who emerges from prison as a ruthless gang leader called The Raven in Season 4. On Praise Petey, Root plays Petey’s father, whose name has not yet been announced yet. He’s a charming yet stone-cold leader with ideas about meditation, space, and how his bloodline is necessary for the salvation of mankind. While not completely the same, the two characters are connected by their lust for power and ability to lead a crowd (a skill Fuches found late in life).
Outside of Barry — which earned him an Emmy nomination in 2019 — Root has jumped around a variety of HBO shows, including Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Perry Mason, and Succession. But Root has an even more impressive body of voicework, lending his talents to everything from King of the Hill to Adventure Time and The Legend of Vox Machina, to name a few.
Eliza is Petey’s best friend, and a reluctant new bartender for the cult. She’s voiced by Kiersey Clemons, who started her career in various Disney Channel shows like Shake It Up, Good Luck Charlie, and Austin & Ally. This year, Clemons co-starred as Cassidy in Prime Video’s Somebody I Used To Know, Iris West in DCEU’s The Flash, and Rashida in Donald Glover’s Swarm. Her upcoming projects include The Young Wife, which premiered at South by Southwest on March 12, and an Apple TV+ monster series titled Godzilla and the Titans.
Mae Mae is Bandit’s mother, the right-hand woman of a cult leader and dripping with Southern hospitality. She’s voiced by Amy Hill, whose many credits include Lourdes Chan on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Mama P on Just Add Magic, and Kumu on Magnum P.I. Hill has also had recurring roles on That’s So Raven, Lilo & Stitch, and American Dad!.
Rounding out the cast is 15-time Emmy nominee Christine Baranski, who won the award in 1995 for her role as Maryann Thorpe in the sitcom Cybill. She received further critical acclaim for her performances in The Good Wife (as well as the spinoff series The Good Fight) and The Big Bang Theory. Her film credits include musicals like Chicago, Into the Woods, and both Mamma Mia movies.
Off the screen, Baranski is a theater legend, having won two Tony Awards for the original Broadway productions of The Real Thing and Rumors. In Praise Petey, Baranski voices Petey’s mother, White. She’s a terrifying magazine editor who has never encountered ketchup in her life.
Praise Petey premieres July 21 on Freeform. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.
Dianna Shen is a TV Writer at Primetimer based in New York. Her work has been featured in Paste Magazine and Decider, among other outlets.