EXCLUSIVE: Fox has picked up Lil Kev, an animated pilot presentation based on the comedy of Kevin Hart, which he will be voicing alongside Wanda Sykes, Keith Robinson, Gerald “Slink” Johnson and Deon Cole.
The 20th Century Fox TV/Lionsgate TV project, written by Michael Price (The Simpsons) and Matt Claybrooks (Everybody Hates Chris), is one of several animated series in the works at Fox, including another pilot presentation for a half-hour comedy from Amy Poehler, The Simpsons‘ veteran Mike Scully and his wife, former Simpsons writer-producer Julie Scully, which was ordered by the network last summer.
They are part of a ramp-up in animated development at Fox spearheaded by the network’s new entertainment president Michael Thorn.
“I really want a new animated series, that’s a huge priority,” Thorn told Deadline. “It’s a such a strong part of our brand. I think what many people think of Fox is they think of our animated shows, and it would be great to add another original animated series to go with the three series we have on right now, The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers. (Primetime animation) is so specific to Fox, we re the only ones who do it in broadcast, and I think we should continue to own that space.”
Written by Price and Claybrooks, Lil Kev is the story of a 12-year-old, pint-sized, optimistic, highly imaginative kid who navigates growing up in the crime filled inner-city of North Philly with the help and sometimes hindrance of his strong, quick-tempered mother, drug addicted father, pessimistic older brother, ex-con uncle and wise-ass talking dog.
“It’s About Kevin Hart’s experiences growing up and how his relationship with his mother and his community led to his optimistic, positive outlook despite some of the challenges and circumstances that he grew up with,” Thorn said.
The last two animated series launched by Fox were the Seth MacFarlane-produced Bordertown and the animated/live-action hybrid Son Of Zorn. Both premiered in 2016 and did not go beyond their original orders. MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and co-creator of American Dad!, which airs on TBS, is busy with them, his Fox space dramedy The Orville, which he writes, executive produces and stars in, and a new season of Cosmos, so he is not currently working on a new animated projects.
The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers all have been success stories, with The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers also winning 10 and 2 best animated program Emmys, respectively.
Lil Kev hails from 20th TV and Lionsgate TV where Hart has a deal. Hart executive produces with Price and Jeff Clanagan; Claybrooks co-executive produces.
Price, whose credits also include Netflix’s F Is for Family, is repped by CAA and Attorney David Matlof. Claybrooks is with WME and MetaMorphic Entertainment. Hart is with UTA, 3 Arts and Schreck Rose Dapello.