'Bone' Animated Series Based on Comics in the Works at Netflix

The streamer has acquired rights to Jeff Smith's award-winning kids series.
Courtesy of Scholastic

Jeff Smith's critically hailed Bone comic book series is coming to television.

Netflix has acquired rights to the award-winning international comics and is developing an animated series as part of its full-court press into the kids programming space.

The streaming giant's Bone series will follow the iconic Bone cousins on an adventure through a vast, uncharted desert and into a mysterious valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creators. Smith is attached to oversee the TV take.

Bone, which Smith began working on at the age of 10, was first published in 1991 and tallied 55 issues until it ended in 2004. The series remains one of the most celebrated comics, earning an impressive 10 Eisner Awards (the highest prize given to a comic) and 11 Harvey Awards. The series is considered a pioneer in comics publishing for kids and served as the launch title for Scholastic's graphic novel imprint, Graphix Books, when it bowed in 2005.

"I’ve waited a long time for this,” Smith said Wednesday in a statement. “Netflix is the perfect home for Bone. Fans of the books know that the story develops chapter by chapter and book by book. An animated series is exactly the way to do this! The team at Netflix understands Bone and is committed to doing something special — this is good news for kids and cartoon lovers all over the world.”

Bone becomes the latest big swing in the kids space as Netflix continues to invest heavily in the genre after signing Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee, Gravity Falls' Alex Hirsch and several other top producers in the space to overall deals. The streamer's kids lineup includes the animated Green Eggs and Ham, Boss Baby and the live-action Baby-Sitters Club, and Netflix also has secured the rights to Roald Dahl's library in what sources note was a nine-figure deal.

The Bone deal arrives as other streaming offerings are poised to enter the marketplace in the coming months from the likes of Disney (Disney+), WarnerMedia (HBO Max) and Apple (TV+), who are all also investing heavily in the kids programming space with originals from franchises including Peanuts, Sesame Street and Pixar, among others.