'Bob's Burgers' Co-Showrunner Inks Overall Deal With Disney's 20th TV

Nora Smith-Publicity-H 2019
Jon Schroeder

A key member of the Bob's Burgers family is putting down roots with producers 20th Century Fox Television.

Animation producer Nora Smith has signed a multiyear overall deal with the now Disney-owned studio behind the Fox favorite.

Under the pact, Smith has been elevated to co-showrunner and will serve alongside creator Loren Bouchard on Bob's Burgers. She also co-wrote the upcoming Bob's Burgers feature film alongside Bouchard. Smith also co-created Apple's Central Park alongside Bouchard and Josh Gad. The project, which the trio all executive produce, landed at Apple with a two-season, straight-to-series order amid competition from multiple outlets. That effort also hails from 20th TV. 

"Nora is an amazing talent, and we are so excited to build upon our relationship with her," Marci Proietto, executive vp animation at 20th TV, said Thursday in a statement. "She's extremely collaborative and loved by anyone who gets to work with her. I've watched her grow from a staff writer in season one of Bob's into an incredible creative force. But most of all, I'm so proud of all she's accomplished and happy that we will be in business with her for many years to come."

Smith previously worked with Bouchard on his Adult Swim series Lucy: The Daughter of the Devil and has been on Bob's since its start. Her credits include The Ricky Gervais Show. Smith is repped by WME.

Animation has become one of the hottest genres in television — Netflix, Hulu and Fox have been aggressively adding new series. Animation, in success, has the potential to deliver billion-dollar franchises a la Family Guy and The Simpsons. What's more, animated series such as Rick and Morty and Bob's Burgers remain powerhouses on streaming platforms, helping fuel the demand for new content. Netflix has gone so far as to launch its own animation studio so it no longer needs to outsource the costly process of creating the physical animation, while other platforms like CBS TV Studios have launched in-house studios to do the same. On Wednesday, Freeform entered the animation space with a pair of adult-leaning comedies from producers Felicia Day and Emma Roberts.

Bob's Burgers has emerged as the latest Fox animated comedy to turn into what sources describe as a billion-dollar franchise. The series remains among the most watched on Hulu, with its success prompting Bouchard to sign a rich multiyear overall deal of his own. He remains one of the most powerful names in animation.

News of Smith's deal arrives as 20th TV has been aggressively signing producers of all levels to overall pacts in the days since the formerly Fox-owned studio became a Disney asset as part of the Mouse House's $71.3 billion asset buy.