Dan Harmon, the creator of NBC’s brilliant meta-sitcom Community and co-creator of Adult Swim’s acclaimed sci-fi comedy Rick and Morty, has signed a deal with Fox Entertainment to create a brand new animated series for the network. Here’s what we know about the Dan Harmon animated series deal so far.
Deadline reports that Fox Entertainment (which is Fox Television’s production branch) has signed Harmon to a “a broadcast network-only exclusive direct animation deal” which has a built-in series commitment. Under the deal, Harmon is going to create and develop a new animated comedy series which is aiming to premiere sometime in the spring of 2022.
This will be the first animated series that Fox Entertainment owns outright; they’re producing the show, and the Fox-owned company Bento Box (Bob’s Burgers, Duncanville, Netflix’s Paradise PD, AppleTV+’s Central Park) will be tackling the animation.
If you aren’t familiar with Harmon’s work, we’ve failed you as a pop culture website. He’s one of those geniuses who’s been known to be difficult to work with. You know the type. Here’s a brief recap of his career thus far: he co-created the 1999 pilot for a Fox series called Heat Vision and Jack, which starred Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Ron Silver that garnered cult success in the comedy scene despite never being picked up to series. His mainstream breakout moment came when he wrote the screenplay for the family-friendly animated film Monster House, and he quickly earned notoriety as the co-creator and head writer of the not-nearly-as-family-friendly Comedy Central series The Sarah Silverman Program. Soon after Silverman fired him (that whole “hard to work with” thing rearing its ugly head), he created Community, which launched his career to another level. A few years after that, Rick and Morty became a juggernaut of its own. Now he’s one of the premiere names in comedy, and from what I understand, he’s mellowed out slightly behind the scenes (or, if not mellowed out, at least become more self-aware about his own shortcomings).
Harmon has always bristled under authority and fought to preserve his personal vision for his work, sometimes pissing off the wrong people along the way. He was famously fired from his own show after butting heads with executives, and later rehired after it became clear that the season he didn’t oversee was a pale imitation of its former self. So I have to imagine that he’s thrilled to have a deal like this, which guarantees a series commitment for whatever crazy idea he comes up with next.
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