The Proud Family EPs Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar are expanding their relationship with Disney, signing a wide-ranging, multiyear overall deal to produce animated and live-action series and movies for Disney Branded Television. It is the first deal to be officially announced under the new division established as part of the recent restructuring, headed by Gary Marsh.
Under the deal, Smith and Farquhar will work closely with Meredith Roberts, senior vice president/general manager, Television Animation, Disney Channels, and Ayo Davis, executive vice president, Creative Development and Strategy, Disney Branded Television. The agreement provides separate funding for Farquhar and Smith to find and develop emerging talent and bring unique projects and voices to Disney.
Created by Smith and executive produced by Smith and Farquhar, The Proud Family aired on Disney Channel from 2001-2005 and was one of very few animated series at the time to center around an African American family. Eighteen years later the series is still beloved for its characters, stories, multilayered humor and messages about inclusion and cultural diversity. All episodes are currently available on Disney+, home to the upcoming revival series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, which picks up the story of central character Penny Proud and her family.
“With virtually every studio and platform reaching out to them, it speaks volumes that talented storytellers Ralph and Bruce have chosen Disney as the home for their boundless creativity and inspired social commentary, not to mention their commitment to identifying emerging talent. We are proud to have them as members of our family,” said Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television
In a joint statement, Smith and Farquhar said, “We are very happy to be continuing our relationship with Disney and look forward to creating even more truly authentic and diverse stories and characters for audiences worldwide. We are also excited to have the opportunity to bring along a new wave of talented voices that will deepen the connection to Disney storytelling for years to come.”
In addition to creating and executive producing The Proud Family, Smith served as one of three directors of the Academy Award-winning short Hair Love. A Walt Disney Animation Studios alumnus, Smith supervised animation on feature films including The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan and The Emperor’s New Groove, and worked on visual development for Frozen and Wreck-It-Ralph.
Known for creating and executive producing the popular sitcom Moesha, Farquhar also created and executive produced South Central and The Parkers and executive produced Real Husbands of Hollywood. His work also includes writing the cult classic, hip-hop feature film Krush Groove, supervising producer on Married… with Children, and writing for the ABC series Happy Days.
Smith is repped by Nancy Newhouse of Newhouse Porter Hubbard. Farquhar is repped by James Kellem of JKA Talent Agency and Gordon M. Bobb of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.
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