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On the surface, not many similarities are readily available when thinking about horror icon Jamie Lee Curtis and professional drunkard Sterling Archer, yet audiences will get to enjoy that completely unexpected pair-up for FXX's Archer when Season 11 premieres in September. Archer writer and executive producer Casey Willis dropped the big reveal that Curtis joined the new season not just for a mere one-off episode, but rather as a recurring guest star. And we all have Halloween to thank for it, though Michael Myers isn't earning any of our appreciation.
Archer was one of many TV series that took part in the rather subdued [email protected] event, but was somehow one of relatively few shows to actually unveil the kinds of surprises that Comic-Con attendees are used to getting in traditional outings. Joined by cast members Judy Greer, Aisha Tyler, Lucky Yates and Chris Parnell, Archer EP Casey Willis waited until the middle of the panel to make a pair of awesome announcements. First, he revealed that comedy genius Simon Pegg will show up in Season 11, and then said this:
The other person that I want to talk about is a guest star – a recurring guest star, I might add. It came to us via Miss Judy Greer. I’m excited to announce it’s Jamie Lee Curtis, and I don’t want to say anything about her character or anything.
As awesome as it will be to get Star Trek and Shaun of the Dead vet Simon Pegg into the Archer-verse for an episode, it will be that much better to have Jamie Lee Curtis around for multiple episodes. I'm going to blindly assume that True Lies callbacks are definitely going to be used, though it wasn't James Cameron's action flick that connected the actress to Archer, but rather David Gordon Green's 2018 Halloween revamping. As Casey Willis implied, Judy Greer was almost entirely responsible for Curtis getting involved for Season 11, though it helps that the latter was already a huge Archer fan. In Greer's words:
When we first showed up to do rehearsals and stuff in Charleston where we shot [2018's Halloween], I introduced myself to her, and she just like went right in for Archer. Archer, Archer, Archer, Archer. So much so – I never actually asked her this – but I do think that’s maybe why I got the job. Because she’s an executive producer on the movie, and I swear I think it’s one of the reasons. Like maybe my name was brought up with a lot of other names, but she was like, ‘Ooh!’ She and her son really bond over Archer; they watch it all time time and it’s his favorite show. She loves it, it’s one of her favorite shows, and I’m pretty convinced that it’s because of [Archer] that I even got in Halloween. Anyway, I said, ‘Jamie, you know 100% I could get you on the show. I don’t have to do it, but…’ And she’s like, ‘Oh really? Do you…’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah.’
In the first place, how awesome is it that Jamie Lee Curtis and her son Thomas can use Archer as a bonding mechanism? (No, not as a bond-age mechanism, Pam.) Not that it's much of a surprise that Curtis would be a fan, considering she balances her horror cred with plenty of solid comedic roles, and is married to mockumentary maestro Christopher Guest. Enjoying a TV show doesn't automatically mean wanting to turn that fandom into a job, but it sounds like Curtis was quick to take Judy Greer up on the guest-star offer.
Considering the lack of info Casey Willis and Judy Greer shared about any new characters, it's hard to know what to expect from Jamie Lee Curtis when her animated counterpart shows up on Archer. However, we can guess with nearly 100% confidence that Curtis will be voicing a realistic human being in a modern-day setting, since Season 11 marks the first time in several years that Archer will return its characters to the real world following the titular spy's three-season coma. No more Dreamland nostalgia, Danger Island adventures or space-related wackiness for the crew, with audiences finally learning what actually happened after the Season 7 finale.
While I can dream of Jamie Lee Curtis being brought in as a co-boss with Jessica Walter's Mallory Archer, it would make more sense for Curtis' mystery character to have a connection with Judy Greer's naive and constantly evolving Cheryl Tunt. Could this be the season when we finally meet Cheryl's mom, who has only been mentioned in passing in previous seasons? That might be a little too on-the-nose, considering the pair's mother-daughter relationship on Halloween. But if it ain't broke, and it ain't a seemingly immortal monster in a mask, then why change anything?
Having had its original May premiere date postponed due to TV production lockdowns, Archer Season 11 will now make its long-awaited debut on FXX on Wednesday, September 16, at 10:00 p.m. ET, with two back-to-back episodes kicking the new non-coma season off. (Remember when it was supposed to end after Season 10?) While waiting for all the phrasing mishaps, be sure and keep current with our Fall 2020 TV Premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows will be debuting soon.