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The Chucky TV series: What we know about the return of the killer doll on Syfy
Chucky fans, rejoice! After five theatrical films, two straight-to-video features, and a mostly unnecessary reboot, your favorite killer doll is back for more carnage. A Chucky TV series is coming to Syfy and the USA network this October (or on Hulu + Live TV and other streaming services for the cord cutters out there).
With a ton of backstory and a cast of characters spanning decades, there’s a lot to keep straight about the Chucky TV series.
Covering everything from casting to release details to franchise continuity to queer representation, read on for what we know about Chucky.
What is the Chucky TV series about?
The series, titled simply Chucky, is picking up where Cult of Chucky left off in 2017. This will be the first television entry in the franchise that launched in 1988 with Child’s Play. It’s not a reboot or a reimagining but a direct continuation of the seven films in the main franchise.
The Chucky TV series revisits the past of the film franchise, but it seems focused on a new story. When a teen gets his hands on the infamous, possessed Chucky doll, he has to defeat the vicious killer in a race against a rising body count.
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“An idyllic American town is thrown into chaos after a vintage ‘Good Guy’ doll turns up at a suburban yard sale,” reads the official Syfy series description. “Soon, everyone must grapple with a series of horrifying murders that begin to expose the town’s deep hypocrisies and hidden secrets. Meanwhile, friends and foes from Chucky’s past creep back into his world and threaten to expose the truth behind his mysterious origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster.”
While Chucky is centred on Jake, still processing the death of his mother, we know from various announcements that familiar characters will be back too. Andy, Kyle, Tiffany, and Nica will likely be the friends and foes from his past who help fill in the blanks of Chucky’s history.
When and where can you watch it?
Chucky will fittingly arrive in time for Halloween.
The series premiere is set for October 12. It’s a cable series, airing at 10PM ET on Syfy and the USA Network. The 10-episode first season will air weekly on Tuesdays from there.
If you aren’t a cable subscriber, though, you can still catch Chucky streaming online.
If you want to watch Chucky for free, you’re mostly out of luck. Hulu Live TV, FuboTV, and YouTube TV all do offer one-week free trials, so you may be able to time your viewing accordingly.
Syfy hasn’t ordered a second season of Chucky yet, but creator Don Mancini has stated that he hopes to make more seasons and films to continue expanding the Chucky universe.
The evolution of Chucky
Chucky has been through a lot since making his first appearance in 1988’s Child’s Play. The original film saw serial killer Charles Lee Ray becoming the killer doll we now know as Chucky. Cornered by police in a toy store, Ray performed a Voodoo ritual to transfer his consciousness into one of the popular Good Guys dolls nearby (think Cabbage Patch Kids but creepier.)
Throughout Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, and Child’s Play 3, Chucky haunts Andy, the young boy gifted the doll. He spends the three films attempting to take over his body and live again. The longer he stays in the doll body, the closer Chucky gets to being stuck there forever.
In Bride of Chucky, the series veered towards comedy, a tone it maintained into Seed of Chucky, both of which see Chucky as part of an odd family of dolls who we slowly begin to root for. Then in Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky, the series veered back to its more straightforward horror roots, with Andy back in the picture as an adult hunting his childhood nightmare.
Chucky will pick up where Cult of Chucky left off.
There was also an attempt at a franchise reboot in 2019. While that loose remake of Child’s Play wasn’t bad, it lacked most of the quirky charm of Mancini’s work. The Chucky TV series will be the first return to the original Chucky canon since the 2019 film.
Who’s involved in the Chucky TV series?
The four young leads in the Chucky TV series are played by Zackary Arthur, Teo Briones, Bjorgvin Arnarson, and Alyvia Alyn Lind. All four are new to the Chucky franchise.
Also new to the series is Devon Sawa, who plays a character named Logan Wheeler. While Sawa is new to Chucky, he’s no stranger to horror, having appeared in Final Destination, Idle Hands, and the at least horror-adjacent Casper.
Returning actors include the following:
- Brad Dourif, who has voiced Chucky in the seven previous films and played Charles Lee Ray, the criminal who possesses the original Good Guys doll.
- Jennifer Tilly, who played both herself and Chucky’s wife Tiffany starting with Bride of Chucky in 1998.
- Alex Vincent, who has played Andy, Chucky’s first owner, since the original Child’s Play in 1988, returning for Child’s Play 2, Curse of Chucky, and Cult of Chucky.
- Christine Elise, who played Andy’s foster Kyle sister in Child’s Play 2.
- Fiona Dourif, who played Nica in Curse of Chucky and Cult of Chucky, and was last seen possessed by Chucky himself.
Behind the camera, Child’s Play creator Don Mancini is executive producing and serving as writer and showrunner. He directed the first two episodes. David Kirschner, Nick Antosca, Harley Peyton, and Alex Hedlund also serve as executive producers.
Is the Chucky TV series queer?
Chucky has always been a queer franchise, and the new series is no different, with creator Don Mancini confirming that the protagonist, Jake Wheeler, is a gay teen exploring his sexuality in his conservative small town.
This is a logical extension of how the film series has handled queer identities so far, not to mention the reality that Mancini, the mind behind all of this, is himself gay.
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“Starting with Bride of Chucky, I started to deliberately inject some LGBTQ elements into the franchise,” Mancini has said. Chucky and his bride Tiffany go on to have a child who develops two genders and goes by both Glen and Glenda in the follow-up Seed of Chucky.
Seed of Chucky in particular has become a fan favorite in queer fan circles for its compassionate and thoughtful depiction of a character outside the gender binary as early as 2004. But the franchise as a whole has been broadly embraced as queer for both subtext and explicitly queer characters across several films.
Syfy actually hosted a “Pride of Chucky” marathon featuring six of the seven Chucky films in celebration of Pride Month last June. The marathon was meant to “call attention to the well-loved horror series’ LGBTQ+ elements and serve up some summer scares at the same time,” according to an accompanying piece on Syfy Wire.
What else can we expect from the Chucky TV series?
Chucky could go in so many directions. We know that we’re getting a new protagonist, returning the franchise to its original childhood focus.
Adding Charles Lee Ray’s origin story to the mix will offer more depth to the character while sticking to the child-in-peril formula (one has to assume something horrible happened to the young Charles to make him into a monster).
A big question mark pertains to the return of legacy characters. How much will Tiffany factor into Chucky’s new life? And will the army of Chuckies seen in Cult of Chucky resurface, or are we dealing with a lone Chucky once again?
The presence of Fiona Dourif suggests the Chucky TV series will revisit at least some of that storyline — we last saw her character playing human host to Chucky at the end of Cult of Chucky in what was a pretty shocking cliffhanger ending.
Beyond that, we’ll just have to wait until spooky season to learn more when Chucky premieres on Syfy October 12.