3:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Felicia Day, Emma Roberts to Produce Pair of Animated Comedies for Freeform
Freeform on Wednesday announced plans to enter the animated space, unveiled an edgy new brand campaign and touted its upcoming slate during its second annual Summit in Los Angeles.
"At Freeform, our programming is meant to inspire, empower and celebrate the possibility of youth culture — we are in service to an audience that is paving the way and fighting for a more inclusive tomorrow and we are so honored to be representing them on and off screen,” said president Tom Ascheim.
The Disney-owned, younger-skewing cable network has put a pair of animated comedies — Betches from executive producer Emma Roberts (American Horror Story) and Woman World from executive producer Felicia Day — into development.
Betches is an irreverent series that follows three best friends and roommates as they navigate early adulthood in New York. Based on the multimedia brand of the same name, Rachel Koller will pen the script and exec produce alongside Betches Media co-founders Samantha Fishbein, Jordana Abraham and Aleen Kuperman. The potential series hails from Bunim-Murray Productions (The Real World) and exec producers Gil Goldschein, Carli Haney and Kesila Childers.
Woman World, meanwhile, is based on Aminder Dhaliwal's graphic novel of the same name. It playfully answers the question of what the world would look like if men became extinct and follows a community of women who lean on one another for survival as they search for love and identity in the ladies-only world. DIY queen Day (The Guild) will exec produce the pilot, which is written by Dhaliwal (Pinky Malinky).
Freeform's entry into the animation space comes as the genre has been on fire of late with Netflix, Hulu and Fox all 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 including Rick and Morty and Bob's Burgers remain powerhouses on streaming platforms. 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.
Amid panels focused on authentic storytelling, inclusion and representation with talent from the network including Kenya Barris, Katie Stevens and I. Marlene King, Freeform also unspooled a new brand narrative campaign called "A Little Forward," in which it explained that it was "breaking up" with society. The spot is designed to illustrate how much its young adult audience has pushed society to re-examine cultural norms. (Watch that, below.)
Elsewhere, Freeform also announced return dates for Grown-ish (June 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT), Good Trouble (June 18 at 8 p.m.), Siren (July 11 at 8 p.m.) and the series finale for Shadowhunters, which will run two-and-a-half hours (May 6 at 8 p.m.). The cabler also unveiled the opening title sequence for its witch-themed drama series Motherland: Fort Salem. (Watch that, below.)