Fox forges new unit for Saturday night animation

6 Flares 6 Flares ×
Fox Animation Studios

Fox Ani­ma­tion Studios

Build­ing on its more than 20 years of ani­ma­tion dom­i­na­tion, Fox Broad­cast­ing Com­pany has cre­ated a new unit to over­see the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of alter­na­tive ani­mated series, shorts and user-adapted mate­r­ial for a brand new late-night ani­mated pro­gram­ming block and new dig­i­tal multi-platform net­work, FOX pres­i­dent of enter­tain­ment Kevin Reilly announced Sunday.

To run this new unit, FOX has inked an exclu­sive deal with Nick Wei­den­feld, for­mer head of pro­gram devel­op­ment for Adult Swim and exec­u­tive pro­ducer of acclaimed series Children’s Hos­pi­tal and The Boon­docks. The net­work has also tapped pro­ducer Hend Bagh­dady (War­ren The Ape, The Andy Milon­akis Show) as the exec­u­tive in charge of pro­duc­tion for the new division.

Under their lead­er­ship, the unit will develop and pro­duce an ambi­tious slate of orig­i­nal ani­mated shorts and series to run both on-air and online. The late-night pro­gram­ming block will air Sat­ur­days (11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET/PT) on FOX and will fea­ture four new ani­mated series per sea­son, start­ing in Jan­u­ary 2013.

The dig­i­tal chan­nel will extend across plat­forms such as Web, mobile apps, game con­soles and Video on Demand. It kicks off this year and will fea­ture 50 orig­i­nal short-form pieces per year, online win­dows of FOX ani­mated shows, and user-adapted content.

It will cre­ate a unique oppor­tu­nity for fans and up-and-coming tal­ent to engage with pro­fes­sional FOX-curated con­tent, which they could pos­si­bly plat­form into their own series. FOX will also use its exper­tise and cross-promotional power to nur­ture these new assets through this pipeline.

This may be the first time a net­work is build­ing a clear bridge for tal­ent to develop and grow ideas in the digital/alternative arena and organ­i­cally move them into the main­stream,” said Reilly. “These new late-night series will be assets in their own right — but the clear pos­si­bil­ity exists for a break­out dig­i­tal suc­cess to grad­u­ate to primetime.

Nick had an incred­i­ble track record at Adult Swim and is a dynamic guy with the instincts to cul­ti­vate and pro­duce inven­tive and irrev­er­ent series that ani­ma­tion fans love. Together with Hend, they are the per­fect part­ners for us in this excit­ing new ven­ture,” Reilly continued.

Prior to team­ing with FOX under his Friends Night pro­duc­tion com­pany ban­ner, Wei­den­feld served as the head of pro­gram devel­op­ment for Adult Swim. Over the last eight years, Wei­den­feld helped grow the late-night block of pro­gram­ming on Car­toon Net­work — fea­tur­ing break­out hits such as Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force — into the No. 1 cable enter­tain­ment chan­nel among young men. He executive-produced a vari­ety of ani­mated and live-action shows, includ­ing the Peabody Award-winning The Boon­docks, Children’s Hos­pi­tal, NTSF:SD:SUV::, Met­alo­ca­lypse, Super­jail! and China, IL.

In 2009, Wei­den­feld co-created and co-wrote the ani­mated hour-long car­toon Freaknik: The Musi­cal, star­ring Grammy Award-winning singer T-Pain as well as Cee Lo, Lil Wayne, Andy Sam­berg and Bill Hader. The musi­cal is cur­rently being adapted for the stage. Most recently, he adapted the fea­ture film Black Dyna­mite into an ani­mated series and built a sketch show around the rap group and Inter­net sen­sa­tion Odd Future.

Bagh­dady began her career in New York work­ing on the first sea­son of Crank Yankers with Jack­hole Indus­tries. Since then, she has devel­oped, pro­duced and cre­ated pro­duc­tion for­mats and tem­plates for live-action and ani­mated com­edy series for MTV, Com­edy Cen­tral and Adult Swim. Her most recent cred­its include the Com­mu­nity stop-motion Christ­mas spe­cial “Abed’s Uncon­trol­lable Christ­mas”; the first strip ani­mated show, DJ & The Fro; The Andy Milon­akis Show; War­ren The Ape; and Kanye West’s pilot Alli­ga­tor Boots.

Related Posts:

About Mr. Clevland

MrClevland has been a cartoon fan since, well, infancy. He has been writing nearly that long. Opinionated, yes, but backed with a wealth of personal knowledge on the subject. You can give r. C a piece of your mind here.

News, ,

Leave a Reply