The Souzas

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The Souzas
The Souzas.png
Series logo
Also known as Deanna & Brandi
Created by
Developed by
Written by see article
Directed by see article
Creative director(s) see article
Narrated by see article
Theme music composer
  • Mike Post
Opening theme
Ending theme
  • Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) instrumental
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 68 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Ava Zinn
  • Donna Doogan
  • Alexandra Moffitt
Editor(s) Marco Berger (entire run)
  • Aeverine Zinn Digital Media Group Studios -Fort Wayne, Indiana
Camera setup
Running time
  • 44 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Aeverine Zinn Digital Media Group
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Original channel
  • First-run syndication
  • United Broadcasting (2019-present)
Picture format
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
First shown in United States
Original run September 12, 2020 (2020-09-12) – August 20235 (20235-20)

The Souzas is an American animated sitcom created by Ava Zinn, Alexandra Moffitt, and Karly Jameson for NoSirGifts as a spin-off of Queen of the Willis. The series centered on two dysfunctional families consisting of parents Deanna Willis and Brandi Souza and their children Lina Willis, Tessanne Willis, Maggie Willis, Alexandra Souza, Chereice Souza and Telissa Souza.

The series was conceived by Zinn in 2017 after developing the three animated series Amanda & Elisa, Queen of the Willis and Hoosier Anchorwoman! for NoSirGifts. Zinn centered the show on Queen of the Willis character Deanna Willis, her wife Brandi Souza, her step-children Alexandra, Chereice and Telissa Souza, and her daughters Lina, Maggie and Tessanne, whom the former, in the show, is depicted as an obese, soft-spoken teen, as opposed to her depiction as a younger, hyperactive child with average body weight on Queen of the Willis.

The series premiered on September 19, 2020 and ended on May 20, 2023.



Ava Zinn initially conceived The Souzas in 2010 while working on her other two animated series, Queen of the Willis and Hoosier Anchorwoman!.[1]

The Souzas first appeared on the development slate at NoSirGifts in early 2017, under Deanna & Brandi, after a report that NoSirGifts had purchased the series from creators. The pilot was named The Souzas in May 2019, when it appeared on the Saturday late night slate for the 2019–20 television season, although it wasn't officially on the schedule.[2] Shortly after a report that Queen of the Willis was moving from WXXC-FTV to WGOM, the show was picked up for a full season after an additional nine episodes of the show were ordered. In May 2020, The Souzas appeared WGOM's Saturday night slate for the 2020–21 television season, for airing on Saturday nights at 9:00 pm[3] On June 15, 2020, it was announced that The Souzas would premiere on September 19, 2020.[4]

Zinn and Passalt pitched a 22-minute pilot to NoSirGifts which aired on September 19, 2020, but had been leaked on the internet in June 2020.[citation needed] Even before the pilot episode premiered, the show had already been renewed for a 22-episode second season. After the first season of the show aired, it was given the green light to start production.

Executive producers[edit]

Ava Zinn and Rachael Passalt served as executive producers on the series since the first season.

Voice cast[edit]

Rachael Passalt voices two of the show's main characters: Deanna Willis and Telissa Souza. The voice of Deanna was developed originally for Queen of the Willis by original portrayer Candis Cayne after doing her impression of Darlene Conner. For the voice of Telissa, Passalt stated that she originally created the voice over twenty years before; she had used it while making prank phone calls.

Kassie DePaiva voices Brandi Souza, the wife of Deanna, stepmother of Lina Willis, and mother of Tessanne Willis, Maggie Willis, Alexandra Souza, Chereice Souza and Telissa Souza. In developing the character, DePaiva said that the producers "wanted her to be educated, but to have some edge."[5] Prior to voicing Brandi, DePaiva had no voice credits. In addition to the show, she also primarily worked as an soap opera actress in such series as Guiding Light, One Life to Live and Days of Our Lives.

Olivia Everman plays Alexandra Souza, the eldest transgendered stepdaughter of Deanna. Everman has stated that she uses her own voice to portray Alexandra, and that she herself gets mistaken for a fifteen-year-old over the phone "all the time."[5] According to Everman, she was approached because producers decided they wanted an actress with a younger-sounding voice, given that the character is a transgendered teenager.[6]

Lorri Fink, a recurring guest voice on Queen of the Willis and Hoosier Anchorwomon!, portrays Lina Willis, as well as Deanna's next door neighbor Chaztity Morris. In portraying Lina, Fink drew inspiration from a character named Patricia that she had played on the ATE Media series Patrice who was mentally impaired and wore a football helmet. For Chaztity, Fink stated in an interview that she had "run into a few rednecks in [her] time," and decided to simply perform a stereotypical redneck impression for the voice of Chaztity.[5]



In early 2015, after the successful first runs of Amanda & Elisa and Queen of the Willis, Ava Zinn decided to create another animated series focusing on Deanna and Brandi taking custody of the Willis sextuplets and moving to a small Ohio town named after Crystal Bowersox.

Television ratings[edit]

Season No. of
Network Originally aired Nielsen ratings
Time slot (ET) Season premiere Season finale Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1st 2020–21 13 (including pilot) First-run syndication

Setting and characters[edit]

Opening sequence[edit]


The Souzas is set in the fictional Ohio town of Detropolis, Ohio (orginally named Bower, named after Crystal Bowersox). In addition to drawing inspiration from Toledo, Ohio, Zinn has described Detropolis as "a city like Dayton".



Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 18 September 19, 2020 (2020-09-19) May 8, 2021 (2021-05-08)
2 19 November 7, 2021 (2021-11-07) May 14, 2022 (2022-05-14)
3 TBA September 10, 2022 (2022-09-10) May 20, 2023 (2023-05-20)


See also[edit]


  1. Announces Fall Premiere Dates for the 2020–2021 Season.
  2. NoSirGifts Announces Saturday Night Slate for 2019–2020 Season
  3. CW 27 Announces Primetime Slate for 2020–2021 Season
  4. Breaking News – FOX Announces Fall Premiere Dates for the 2020–2021 Season. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "The Voices Behind 'Souzas'". Entertainment Weekly. October 2, 2019. 
  6. Morales, Wilson. "Good Hair: An Interview With Olivia Everman". 

Archival sources[edit]

External links[edit]