The Spoils Before Dying is Will Ferrell, Funny or Die and IFC’s follow-up to The Spoils of Babylon, the spoof of a very specific genre of melodramatic TV miniseries prevalent in the 70s and 80s. Though this purposefully dated specificity made the spoof’s humor somewhat inaccessible, the original series’ startlingly A-list cast drew audiences — who otherwise may not have turned to the show — in. The major players in this follow-up hadn’t been announced until today (barring Will Ferrell’s role as the novelist Eric Jonrosh and Michael Kenneth Williams’ staring role as jazz pianist Rock Banyon), though there was reasonable media anticipation, given the impressive precedent set by the first series’ cast.
The announcement of the new cast additions certainly doesn’t disappoint: Kristen Wiig (who was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in Babylon), Maya Rudolph, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, Val Kilmer, Kate McKinnon and Chris Parnell are all on board for The Spoils Before Dying. A press release describes the upcoming series, which will air this summer on IFC:
Set in 1962 during the height of the Los Angeles jazz scene, The Spoils Before Dying follows Rock (Michael Kenneth Williams) as he becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of singer and his occasional lover Fresno Foxglove (Maya Rudolph) who is found dead in a car with another man. Panicked, Rock splits town for Mexico where he reunites with his one-time big band singer Delores O’Dell (Kristen Wiig). Determined to prove his innocence and avoid the electric chair, Rock and Delores head back to the U.S. on a dangerous journey for the elusive truth. All the while, Rock’s hard charging manager Alistair St. Barnaby (Haley Joel Osment) obliviously pressures Rock to record a mainstream jazz album.