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Eva Longoria aims to inject 'female energy' into animated series

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TORONTO - Eva Longoria says she's hoping to inject a little female energy into the world of animated television.

The former "Desperate Housewives" star says it's one of the reasons she's now doing the animated series, "Mother Up!" for City.

"I've never done a full animated series before. I've done some voiceover work and I thought, 'Oh my God, this would be so much fun to do,'" Longoria said last spring during a stop in Toronto to promote the largely Canadian-made comedy.

"They approached me with the idea of having a female-oriented show, which is non-existent in animation. You know, you have the 'Family Guy,' you have 'American Dad,' you have 'The Simpsons,' and so there was like a void of female energy within the space."

In "Mother Up!," Longoria provides the voice of lead character Rudi, a high-powered Manhattan music executive who is forced to leave her job when a public relations scandal erupts.

She decides to flee to "Willowdale, Canada" until the heat dies down, and dedicates herself to becoming a full-time suburban mom to her two kids.

Needless to say, the transition is not smooth. Although the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed Rudi is a shark when it comes to juggling needy celebrities and aggressive media reporters, she's a disaster among little ones.

"She thinks her business skills should transfer over to the parenting skills and she doesn't know why it's not working. She really isn't cut from the mom cloth," said Longoria, who also serves as an executive producer.

The cast includes Jesse Camacho of "Less Than Kind" and Rebecca Husain as Rudi's children Dick and Apple, while Gabrielle Miller of "Corner Gas" and Cle Bennett of "Flashpoint" provide the voices of Rudi's pals.

The show was developed by Rogers Media and co-produced by Canadian companies Breakthrough Entertainment and Bardel Entertainment, in association with U.S.-based Mass Animation. The series is available in the United States through the digital streaming service Hulu.

Longoria said working in animation allows for stories with "more of an edge."

"You can do more in animation than you can in live action," said the petite brunette, whose beleaguered character Gaby on the sudsy "Desperate Housewives" weathered her share of outrageous trials.

"All the themes and content that we deal with has been heightened because it's an animated show. So we're kind of allowed to do that, which is a lot of fun to be able to do, push the envelope in an animated form."

"Mother Up!" premieres Thursday on City.

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