Hollywood's 5 Most Powerful Animated TV Showrunners of 2018

6:00 AM 10/17/2018

by THR Staff

Top cartoon creators are generating buzzy shows that are definitely not for kids, including a talking horse and a drinking princess, but that does not mean they are lacking in power. These executive producers are nabbing some of the biggest deals in TV (including, yes, a 70-episode pickup).

'The Simpsons' and 'Family Guy' crossover episode
'The Simpsons' and 'Family Guy' crossover episode
Courtesy of FOX

  • Raphael Bob-Waskberg

    Bojack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie (NETFLIX); Undone (AMAZON)

    'Bojack Horseman'
    'Bojack Horseman'
    Courtesy of Netflix

    Hollywood took notice when Bob-Waksberg came out of nowhere with his talking horse in 2014. Bojack, still a critical darling after five seasons, scored a rare syndication deal on Comedy Central and has prompted two series sales for its 34-year-old creator in the past year.

  • Loren Bouchard

    Bob’s Burgers (FOX); Central Park (APPLE)

    'Bob's Burgers'
    'Bob's Burgers'
    Courtesy of FOX

    Inking a massive renewal deal with 20th TV, thanks in part to Bob’s Burgers (said to be highly consumed on Hulu and with a feature on the way), Bouchard is behind Apple’s first big animated swing — musical comedy Central Park, whose cast includes Leslie Odom Jr., Tituss Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci and Josh Gad.

  • Matt Groening

    Disenchantment (NETFLIX); The Simpsons (FOX)

    'Disenchantment'
    'Disenchantment'
    Courtesy of Netflix

    Animation’s elder statesman, the 64-year-old Simpsons creator launched his first new series in 20 years with Netflix’s Disenchantment — a two-season order that Nielsen suggests got a strong initial sampling with 4 million viewers over opening weekend. The Simpsons remains a stalwart, New Fox or Old Fox.

  • Seth MacFarlane

    Family Guy (FOX); American Dad (TBS)

    'American Dad'
    'American Dad'
    FOX

    WWSMD: What will Seth MacFarlane do? That’s the big question as the longtime 20th TV golden boy weighs a future with or without Disney as his current deal expires. His interests may be with dramedy The Orville, but his thrall still resides in the ability to create, sell and voice four-quadrant cartoons.

  • Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon

    Rick and Morty (ADULT SWIM); Solar Opposites (HULU)

    'Rick and Morty'
    'Rick and Morty'
    Courtesy of Adult Swim

    Ignoring the Murphys and Berlantis, there are few bigger deals in 2018 than this duo’s 70-episode pickup for Rick and Morty. Adult Swim’s megahit, which often tops Big Bang Theory in the key demo, also brought Roiland a two-season order for Solar Opposites at Hulu.

    This story first appeared in the Oct. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.