Focusing on the behind-the-scenes lives of the white lions belonging to famed Vegas magicians Siegfried & Roy, Father of the Pride was an ambitious and expensive gamble.
After fellow DreamWorks production Shrek raked it in at the box office, NBC was willing to fork over big bucks to fund the computer animation and voice-work required to bring the show to life—costing the network between $2 million and $2.5 million an episode to produce. ”It's a big roll of the dice,” DreamWorks founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told The New York Times. "There's no question that when you do something like this, there's a big risk.” Unfortunately for everyone involved, there wasn't any reward.
Unlike Shrek, Father of the Pride failed to capture the hearts and minds of those who watched it. It did, however, capture plenty of unwanted attention. The Parents Television Council flooded the Federal Communications Commission with allegations that Father of the Pride was indecent. Making matters worse, the show came in hot on the heels of Roy's famous near-death mauling—a first in more than 5,000 shows—from his 7-year-old tiger who horrifically (but perhaps deservedly) dragged the magician off the stage by his neck.
Viewership was kept to a minimum, and it didn't take long for NBC to cancel Father of the Pride—adding yet another failure to the list of DreamWorks' bad bets.