11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Apple Lands Star-Studded Animated Musical Comedy From 'Bob's Burgers' Creator With 2-Season Order
Apple has picked up its first animated comedy series.
The tech giant has handed out a straight-to-series, two-season order for Central Park, an animated musical comedy from Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, the show's Emmy winner Nora Smith and Josh Gad (Frozen).
The series tells the story of how a family of caretakers, who live and work in Central Park, end up saving the park — and basically the world. The project features a star-studded voice cast that includes Gad, Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Titus Burgess (Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Kristen Bell (The Good Place), Stanley Tucci (Feud), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Snowpiercer) and Kathryn Hahn (Amazon's I Love Dick). The order is for 13 episodes per season (26 total).
Bouchard and Gad will pen the script and executive produce; Smith will serve as a consultant. Kevin Larsen, who was instrumental in putting the project together, will produce. Brillstein Entertainment Partners will also exec produce. The series hails from 20th Century Fox Television, which produces animated hits Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad, among others. The Apple show is a key sale for the studio, which is on the verge of being sold to Disney as part of the latter's $52 billion deal.
Central Park becomes the latest animated series to score a sizable order as the genre, sources say, is poised to see an explosion in the coming months as streaming outlets like Netflix, Amazon and more build up their content in the space. Amazon recently handed out a straight-to-series order for its first animated series, Undone, from the team behind Netflix's BoJack Horseman, who also have received a Netflix straight-to-series order for Tuca and Bertie, with Tiffany Haddish voicing one of the leads. For Netflix, Tuca joins a roster of adult-themed animated comedies that also includes a two-season, 20-episode order for Disenchantment from Simpsons mastermind Matt Groening, BoJack Horseman, F Is for Family and more.
For its part, Bob's Burgers has become a cornerstone of Fox's Sunday animated lineup. The comedy, currently in its eighth season, won the Emmy last year for best animated series. An animated feature film, also from Bouchard, is in the works for a July 2020 debut.
For Apple, Central Park becomes the tech giant's latest scripted foray. It joins a slate that also includes an untitled thriller from M. Night Shyamalan; Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon's morning news drama; a mystery series from La La Land's Damien Chazelle; Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories anthology (which is looking for a new showrunner after Bryan Fuller's exit); Octavia Spencer's Are You Sleeping (in development); a comedy starring Kristin Wiig; a space drama from Battlestar Galactica's Ron Moore; Steven Knight's world-building See; and unscripted docuseries Home. Still to be determined is just how Apple will unspool these shows.
Gad is repped by WME, Lighthouse Management and Ziffren Brittenham.