UPDATED: Ahead of Adult Swim‘s upfront next Wednesday, which will feature a performance by Kanye West, the network has set a slate of new animated and live-action series, pilots and specials. It includes previously announced new half-hour animated comedy series Rick And Morty, from Community creator Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, which is set to premiere in primetime later this year; a Mike Tyson quarter-hour animated series featuring the former boxer as a mystery solver; and off-network acquisition Bob’s Burgers, which launches this summer. 2013 marks Adult Swim’s most-watched year to date among adults and males 18-24, 18-34, and 18-49. Here are details about the network’s new original series, specials and pilots:
EXCLUSIVE: Adult Swim has closed a deal with Twentieth Television for exclusive off-network cable rights to 20th Century Fox TV’s animated comedy series Bob’s Burgers, now in its third season on Fox and renewed for a fourth. The deal includes Seasons 1-3 of Bob’s Burgers, which will begin airing on Adult Swim this summer. I hear the license fee is just shy of $500,000 an episode, in line with what TBS and Adult Swim paid for Twentieth TV’s animated comedy The Cleveland Show in 2010. In addition to Cleveland, Bob’s Burgers will join two other current/former Fox animated comedies on Adult Swim, Family Guy and King Of The Hill.
While not a breakout for Fox, Bob’s Burgers has been an OK ratings performer and quickly has achieved cult status. It also has been well received by critics and landed an Emmy nomination for best animated program last year. The timing of the show’s rollout on Adult Swim, ahead of the broadcast fall launch, could give it a boost on Fox as many series experience a ratings resurgence as a result of additional exposure on cable.
This is the second licensing deal the entertainment giant has cut with Netflix over the last week. In the latest one, beginning on March 30 the streaming service lands all past seasons of Cartoon Network‘s Adventure Time, Ben 10, Regular Show, and Johnny Bravo, as well as Warner Bros Animation’s Green Lantern. It also will have Adult Swim shows Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sony Pictures Television’s The Boondocks and Warner Bros Television’s Studio 2.0′s Childrens Hospital. Subscribers have to wait a year, to January 2014, before Netflix begins its exclusive streaming run of the first two seasons of TNT’s Dallas. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.
The addition of children’s shows to Time Warner‘s deal with Netflix may revive the debate over whether the streaming service is cutting into ratings for ad-supported kids shows on TV. That was a big concern last year when ratings dropped at Nickelodeon after many of its shows appeared on Netflix.
Here’s today’s release:
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Adult Swim has picked up a 10-episode second season of animated series Black Dynamite for a debut in late 2013 or early 2014. Based on the 2009 feature, Black Dynamite further chronicles the exploits of the central character — 1970s ex-CIA agent and full-time ladies man Black Dynamite — and his crew. Spearheaded by Carl Jones (The Boondocks), the series features the voices of Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley and Byron Minns, all of whom starred in the feature. Black Dynamite is animated by Titmouse and produced by Ars Nova Entertainment. Jones, Jon Steingart and Jillian Apfelbaum executive produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Adult Swim has given straight-to-series order to Newsreaders, a spinoff of the network’s hit comedy series Childrens Hospital. Based on the “Newsreaders” episodes of Childrens Hospital that aired during seasons two and three, Newsreaders is a satire of …
Ahead of its upfront party tomorrow, Adult Swim has unveiled its development slate, which includes seven greenlighted animated and live-action pilots and an animated series based on the Harold & Kumar movies in development. The animated Harold & Kumar project was taken to the marketplace in November by Lionsgate, which produces the movie franchise. Original writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are on board to write and produce and stars John Cho and Kal Penn will voice the lead characters and also produce. Adult Swim’s greenlighted pilots include an animated project from Community creator Dan Harmon. Here is the slate:
Untitled Animated Harold & Kumar Project (In Development) – An animated version of the eponymous blockbuster stoner comedy series. Produced by Lionsgate.
Rick & Morty – A genius inventor grandfather and his less than genius grandson, and the journeys in life they share. From Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland. (30-minute animated)
It may not sound like much at first, but Cablevision and Time Warner took an important step today to help make TV Everywhere a reality. The companies announced that Cablevision customers now can watch shows from TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and truTV on broadband-enabled devices outside the home — not just inside. The arrangement also provides for live streaming of news from CNN and HLN. Over the next year or so you can expect to hear a lot of announcements like this from pay TV distributors and programmers. Comcast, Dish Network, and Verizon are already a step ahead of Cablevision in offering out-of-home service. But this deal for a package called Turner TV Everywhere is the first time Cablevision has offered such popular entertainment and news programming so broadly to digital devices.
The Parents Television Council fired another volley today at one of its favorite targets: adult-themed cartoons that also attract kids. The activist group called for “sweeping reform” of the TV content rating system as a study it released points to what it says are “shocking levels” of sex and drug references in primetime on animation channels that are popular with kids between 12 and 17. “Adult content isn’t just creeping into the cartoons that kids today are watching the most; it has overtaken much of that animated programming,” PTC president Tim Winter says. “Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.” PTC is especially upset with programming on Turner’s Cartoon Network and Adult Swim: The report, titled Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter, gave each an “F” grade for their handling of adult-themed animation. Disney Channel and Nick At Nite each received an “A”.
New original series:
THE HEART, SHE HOLLER
The Heart, She Holler is a new live-action soap opera about folk who ain’t never used soap or seen an opera. It’s a satire on the emotional Hee-Hawification of America, set in a town so inbred, the folks have become almost supernaturally wrong. The series is produced by PFFR, and stars Patton Oswalt and Heather Lawless. The Heart, She Holler premieres this fall on Adult Swim.