Fox has picked up two animated series eyed for next season, Napoleon Dynamite, an adaptation of the hit 2004 movie, and Allen Gregory, co-written and executive produced by Jonah Hill. Both series are produced by 20th Century Fox TV; Allen Gregory is a co-production with studio-based Chernin Entertainment. The order to Napoleon Dynamite is for 6 episodes, while Allen Gregory has been picked up for 7 episodes. Both projects originated as presentations.
The original cast of Napoleon Dynamite led by Jon Heder is back to voice the animated series, which follows the misadventures of an awkward high school teenager and his quirky friends as they struggle to navigate life in rural Idaho. The film’s writers Jared Hess, who also directed it, and Jerusha Hess wrote the adaptation with The Simpsons veteran Mike Scully. All 3 are executive producing.
Allen Gregory‘s title character is the world’s most celebrated seven-year-old who embarks on the greatest challenge of his life: attending elementary school with regular kids. Hill co-wrote the script with Yes Man co-writers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul. The three are executive producing with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope.
The sizes of the orders to Napoleon Dynamite (6 eps) and Allen Gregory (7 eps) are unusual as they represent one regular 13-episode order split in 2. I hear the shows’ producers are not particularly thrilled because animated series with such short orders are more difficult to staff and more expensive to make. Also, in success, the small pickups will lead to a pretty large production gap between the initial and the back orders. Fox has a new animated series on deck for midseason, Bob’s Burgers.