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Sammy Keyes is an American animated mystery teen dramedy detective web series based on the Sammy Keyes series of youth detective novels by Wendelin van Draanen. The series is developed by van Draanen herself. It began streaming on August 16, 2019 on The CC (Cartoon Comedy) streaming service/app The CC APP. In the process, it became the first full-length series to broadcast on the app, which usually distributed short-form content hitherto.

On May 11, 2019, the show was renewed for a second season of 22 episodes, as part of the ongoing 2018-19 TV season's TV show renewals and cancellations. Said second season will adapt books 7-12, and would premiere its four episodes on September 25, 2020, with the next four episodes planned to stream on November 27, 2020.

On November 20, 2020, The CC's Investors' Day, the series was renewed for a third and last season of 22 episodes that will adapt the remaining 6 books.

Plot

Sammy [Keyes] is an unofficial teenage detective who solves mysteries while also dealing with her personal friend life, family life, and relationship life.
~ From the book series' Wikipedia page.


Voice cast

Main characters

  • Samantha "Sammy" Keyes (Emma Rayne Lyle) - The eponymous main character of the series, she is a self-professed "sleuth" who is spunky, witty, and always on a case. She lives with her grandmother "Grams" at the Senior Highrise retirement home while her estranged mother pursues an acting career in Hollywood.
    • Emma Rayne Lyle will also voice the character Holly Janquell, first introduced in the 4-part episode titled "The Sisters of Mercy".
  • Rita "Grams" Keyes (Amy Hill) - Sammy's worrisome, wry grandmother whom she temporarily resides with at Senior Highrise.
  • "Lady" Lana Keyes (Wendi McLendon-Covey) - Sammy's reckless, uncaring mother who abandons Sammy before the events of the series to become an actress in Hollywood.
  • Marissa McKenze (Elsie Fisher) - Sammy's rich best friend with an affluential livelihood who performs the "Mackenzie Dance", in which she shifts from left to right uncontrollably, whenever she becomes racked with nerves or anxious.
  • Brandon McKenze (Sean Giambrone) - Marissa's cousin who's a good swimmer and Sammy's crush (who she's always uncomfortable with) until she begins to develop feelings for Casey instead.
  • Margaret "Dot" DeVries (Brenna Yde) - Sammy's other friend whose nickname is derived from a beauty mark on her cheek that resembles a dot. She comes from a very large household.
  • Hudson Graham (Michael Bell) - Sammy's 73-year old friend and her voice of reason whenever she needs help solving a mystery or a personal issue (usually involving her arch-nemesis, Heather Acosta).
  • Heather Acosta (Zoe Colletti) - Sammy's sworn enemy and the antagonist in many episodes, who always attempts to get back at her with the aid of her ditzy and airheaded friends, Tenille and Monet, with whom she engages in illicit behavior like drinking alcohol and smoking. Although she tries to smear Sammy's name in some occasions, Sammy always comes out triumphant.
  • Casey Acosta (Noah Schnapp) - Heather's brother who is the complete polar opposite of Heather with his sympathetic and compassionate nature.

Secondary characters

  • Officer Gil Borsch (Fred Tatasciore) - A pragmatic, hard-headed police officer who despises Sammy, as she is a "criminal" in his eyes, and oftentimes chases after her in the name of "justice" to catch her in the act
  • Candi Acosta (Maria Bamford) - Heather's divorced mother who first appears in "The Skeleton Man" alongside her ex-husband and is characterized as washed-out and neurotic.
  • Warren Acosta (Chris Parnell) - Heather's divorced father who, alongside his former wife, first appears in "The Skeleton Man".
  • Billy Pratt (Max Charles) - One of Sammy's classmates who loves to crack jokes and is considered the Class Clown.

Production

The series was first announced on November 30, 2018, by the author herself, Wendelin van Draanen, on her official Facebook page, as well as her role as developer for the series. She agreed for it to be shopped to The CC (Cartoon Comedy) as it would mean a chance for developing the story "wondrously" without any "restrictions", such as the books' adult innuendos and references to alcohol. A complete season of 22 episodes, 5 4-parters (each lasting 22 minutes) and 2 hour-long episodes, were ordered to air sometime in late 2019. Voice cast and filming schedule for the series were left out of the announcement and were therefore unknown. The release date was officially announced as August 16, 2019. The series was renewed for a second season of 22 episodes in the wake of the various TV show renewals and cancellations for the 2018-19 TV season by television networks. It is rated TV-14 due to some drug/alcohol use or references and inappropriate language.

Casting

On December 31, 2018, after the series finale broadcast of RoboCop titled "Scarlett Night", a commercial aired that featured child actresses Emma Rayne Lyle and Zoe Colletti discussing the Sammy Keyes book series with author Wendelin van Draanen. The last shot of the commercial listed the actresses as the voice roles of Sammy Keyes and Heather Acosta, respectively, along with the remaining cast. The voice cast for the secondary characters would be announced on April 29, 2019.

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 22 August 16, 2019 May 22, 2020
2 22 September 25, 2020 TBA
3 22 TBA

Season 1 (2019-20)

The first season adapts the first six books of the book series: Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief, Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf, Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Moustache Mary, and Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy.

No. Title Written by Directed by Original airdate
1-4 "The Hotel Thief" Azad Duchamp Beth Brotz August 16, 2019
While sightseeing with binoculars at her legal guardian/grandmother Grams' Senior Highrise senior apartment residence, where she illegally resides, blossoming middle-schooler Sammy Keyes witnesses a burglary at the hotel across from Senior Highrise, and she stupidly decides to wave at the robber, who spots her. After a policeman, Officer Borsch, falsely accuses her of committing the crime, she must clear her while also dealing with a mean girl she meets on her first day of middle school, Heather Acosta.
5-8 "The Skeleton Man" Arete Reyer Leyla Steffen October 25, 2019
On Halloween night, Sammy and her friends decide to play a ding-dong ditch prank on a notorious and frightening house and get more than what they bargained for when they encounter a tied-up, badly-injured man donning a skeleton mask, whose mystery gets weirder the more they unravel it. Meanwhile, Heather has been gossiping some incendiary gossip about Sammy, so she devises a plan to expose Heather with the aid of her friends.
9-12 "The Sisters of Mercy" Tommy Zapatero Koby Berger January 4, 2020
Following an infraction for cracking the case from the previous episode, Sammy has to involuntarily help out at the soup kitchen at St. Mary's Church, where she gets wrapped up in another case involving Father Mayhew's beloved ivory cross. Although she does eventually gets cleared of the crime, she immediately discovers the misplacement of this sacred instrument's only the beginning of the religious drama bubbling at St.. Mary's, some it having to do with the eponymous gospel all-girl band Sisters of Mercy. Also at the same time, she must search for her catcher's mitt, the only relic of her absentee father's, as her softball team makes it to the semifinals, and befriends a homeless girl who frequents the soup kitchen, Holly Janquell.
13-16 "The Runaway Elf" Alexandra MacNevin Leyla Steffen February 28, 2020
A Christmas parade that Sammy attends with family and friends is ambushed by pranksters, resulting in the abduction of a prized Pomeranian from the parade's dog calendar float. She reluctantly scours for it after blackmailing from the Pomeranian's owner, so she won't have to pay the ransom.
17-20[1] "The Curse of Moustache Mary" TBA TBA May 22, 2020[1]
21-22 "The Hollywood Mummy" TBA TBA May 22, 2020[1]

Season 2 (2020-)

The second season will adapt books seven through twelve of the book series: Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes, Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception, Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen, Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway, Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things, and Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash.

<white>No. in
series</white>
<white>No. in
season</white>
<white>Title</white> <white>Written by</white> <white>Directed by</white> <white>Original airdate</white>
23-26 1-4 "The Search for Snake Eyes" Azad Duchamp Beth Brotz September 25, 2020
27-30 5-8 "The Art of Deception" Azad Duchamp Beth Brotz November 27, 2020

Season 3 (TBA)

A third and last season comprising 22 episodes was announced on November 20, 2020, The CC's Investors' Day. It will adapt books thirteen through eighteen of the original Sammy Keyes book series: Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher, Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls, Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack, Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City, Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise, and Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye.

Reception

The web series adaptation receive strong critical reception from online publications such as The A.V. Club and IGN for remaining "confidently faithful" to its original source and its casual references to otherwise adult subject matter such as underage drinking and tobacco usage that never lean towards borderline inappropriate. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series currently holds an approval rating of 95% based on 5 reviews, and an average rating of 8.295/10.

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