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Snowpiercer and Hanna producer Tomorrow Studios is getting into the animation business.
The studio, a partnership between producer Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios, is launching animation label Work Friends. The unit is a joint venture with animation veteran Nick Weidenfeld, a veteran of Adult Swim, Fox’s Animation Domination Hi-Def and Viceland.
The announcement comes on the heels of HBO Max ordering animated series 10-Year-Old Tom from Tomorrow Studios. Steve Dildarian (HBO’s The Life and Times of Tim) created the show and is executive producing with Weidenfeld.
“Launching an animation company is a natural progression following our success in global sales of Japanese anime,” said Adelstein. “I see TV animation as a unique opportunity to grow Tomorrow Studios’ business exponentially worldwide, especially under Nick’s leadership, one of the most respected executives and producers of primetime animation on television, with an eye for series that resonate globally. We’re excited to launch with the series order of 10-Year-Old-Tom and a great development slate to take to market immediately.”
Added Weidenfeld, “This is a particularly exciting time to be making cartoons. And I couldn’t think of better partners to be doing it with — between the creative support of Marty, Becky [Clements] and everyone at Tomorrow Studios; the robust studio business operation with Philippe Maigret and his team at ITV Studios America; and the international support from the ITV Studios team. And I am ecstatic to get to launch Work Friends with a series order for 10-Year-Old Tom with Steve producing and writing the series.”
Weidenfeld is a former head of development at Adult Swim, helping shepherd shows including The Boondocks, Robot Chicken and Rick and Morty during his time there. He also ran Fox’s ADHD brand and most recently was Viceland’s president of programming.
Animation has been enjoying a boom in the past couple of years, as animated series are big draws for streaming platforms. Tomorrow Studios joins the likes of Netflix and CBS Television Studios in launching an animation unit, while Fox recently acquired Bob’s Burgers studio Bento Box Entertainment. Animated series have also been able to continue production remotely during the coronavirus pandemic while most live-action series shut down.
Tomorrow Studios is also behind live-action adaptations of anime favorites Cowboy Bebop and One Piece that are in the works at Netflix.
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