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Fox is developing a beloved 1980s comic into a primetime animated series: A TV series version of Bloom County is officially in the works with its Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist creator Berkeley Breathed on board.
Fox is looking to bring to life Steve Dallas, Bill the Cat, Opus the Penguin and other characters from Breathed’s strip, which originally ran from 1980 to 1989 and spawned several best-selling books. With a tone that was smart, whimsical and occasionally downright silly, Bloom County examined events in politics and culture from the viewpoint of an idyllic small town in Middle America.
The typically reclusive Breathed will co-write and executive produce the project, which is being produced by Fox Entertainment, Bento Box Entertainment, Miramax, Spyglass Media Group and Project X Entertainment.
Breathed said in a statement: “At the end of Alien, we watched cuddly Sigourney Weaver go down for a long peaceful snooze in cryogenic hyper-sleep after getting chased around by a saliva-spewing maniac, only to be wakened decades later into a world STUFFED with far worse. Fox and I have done the identical thing to Opus and the rest of the Bloom County gang, may they forgive us.”
The project’s official description: “Bloom County centers on a collapsed lawyer, a lobotomized cat and a penguin in briefs and fruit headwear living in the world’s last boarding house in the world’s most forgotten place deep in the dandelion wilds of FlyWayWayOver country. To wit, today’s America at a glance.”
“I was introduced to the brilliance of Berkeley Breathed and Bloom County as a teenager,” said Michael Thorn, president of Fox Entertainment. “His signature blend of satire, politics and sentiment hooked me. Plus, I love Opus. Today, Berkeley’s smart and hilarious take on American culture is more relevant than ever. And, together with Bento Box, we’re thrilled to bring his unique ensemble of characters and social commentary to broadcast television.”
If the project is greenlit, Bloom County would presumably join the likes of Family Guy and The Simpsons in Fox’s Sunday animated lineup.
Breathed started his comic career in the late 1970s while a student at the University of Texas at Austin, penning a strip called The Academia Waltz for The Daily Texan student newspaper. His work was noticed by The Washington Post, which recruited him for a syndicated daily cartoon strip, which debuted in 1980. Nine years later, Breathed shocked fans by deciding to end the strip. The comic later resulted in spinoffs Outland and Opus.
In 2015, Breathed started posting new Bloom County strips on Facebook, a move that was at least somewhat inspired by the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, who Breathed regularly mocked in the strip during its original run. “He is the reverse canary in America’s gilded gold mine: When Donald Trump gets up from the dead and starts singing, you know you’ve reached toxic air,” Breathed said at Comic-Con in 2016. “He signifies something that I didn’t want to be left out of.”
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