EXCLUSIVE: Primetime television animation studio Bento Box Entertainment, which provides animation for such series as Fox’s Bob Burgers and Comedy Central’s Brickleberry, is expanding its business into developing and producing original animated content. The company, founded in 2009 by Mark McJimsey, Joel Kuwahara and Scott Greenberg, has formed Creative Development and Original Programing Division, which will be headed by veteran comedy executive Mike Clements.
“At this point in time, we were looking to find somebody who can help elevate us in the marketplace, and Mike has great relationships with creative talent,” Greenberg said. “The company’s expansion shows the industry that we’re serious about our commitment to grow and be an independent studio while still working closely with partners to make their shows.”
Bento plans to partner with creative talent to develop wide range of animated programming — including traditional hand-drawn 2D, digitally hand-drawn 2D, CG and 3D animation, puppets, stop motion and live-action animation hybrids — for broadcast and cable networks as well as digital and emerging technology platforms. “Mark, Joel and Scott are true forward-thinkers who in a short time have built Bento Box into a great studio,” Clements said. “I am very excited to join them in this new chapter as we strive to create some animated hits.”
Bento Box, which has studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta, is the animation production house for Fox’s upcoming series Murder Police, IFC’s Out There, Hulu’s The Awesomes and YouTube’s Glove & Boots. Bento Box Interactive was recently spun off as a separate company producing interactive storytelling experiences for mobile and other personal media devices, with projects with Alicia Keys and others. Clements has 14 years of experience as a network comedy executive at Fox and the WB Network, working on such animated series as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, The PJs and The Oblongs. For the past eight years, he ran development for Tom Werner’s Warner Bros. TV-based company, serving as executive producer on animated comedies The Life & Times of Tim and Good Vibes. Werner recently departed WBTV at the end of his deal.