HBO Max is doubling down on adult animation, ordering three series and setting a bustling development slate.
The streamer has handed a two-season order to Clone High, the reboot of the classic MTV series with Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence, and ordered Scooby-Doo spinoff Velma with Mindy Kaling set as lead voice star and exec producer and Fired on Mars from Pete Davidson.
These projects are the latest to be ordered by HBO Max, which also has Harley Quinn, The Prince, Santa Inc., 10 Year Old Tom and The Boondocks. Last month, it also introduced a new landing page for animation.
Clone High, a reboot of the 2002 series set at a high school for clones of historical figures, comes from MTV Entertainment Studios. Lord and Miller are set as executive producers and writers, Lawrence is executive producer with Erica Rivinoja, who wrote on the original Clone High, named as showrunner.
Lord and Miller began their careers with writing, directing and executive producing Clone High — whose concept the duo first developed while at Dartmouth College in the 1990s — alongside Lawrence in 2002.
Velma tells the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. Voiced and exec produced by Kaling, the series from Warner Bros. Animation has has Charlie Grandy, Howard Klein and Sam Register as executive producers.
Nate Sherman and Nick Vokey, who made Adult Swim’s Wet City, have created Fired on Mars, an existential workplace comedy set on the Martian campus of a modern tech company. Based on their short film, SNL star Davidson voices a character and executive produces with Carson Mell and Dave Sirus.
HBO Max has also handed JG Quintel’s adult-animated comedy Close Enough a two season renewal. The show comes from Cartoon Network Studios.
Elsewhere, the company is producing presentations for a slate of originals in developments.
These include Hello Paul, about a neurotic millennial cat whose intense job and freeloading mouse roommate stress him out, from creator and musician Sean Solomon; Obi, about a 30-year-old man-child chasing his dream to become an artist while navigating adulthood with his friends, from Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, Michael Schreiber for Studio71 and David Devries, based on an Instagram comic and co-created by Obi Arisukwu and Arthur Harris; Uncanny Valley, from creators Brendan Walter and Greg Yagolnitzer and exec producer Ed Helms that tell the story of three awkward domestic helper robots who kill their human owners and try to assume their identities, from Universal Television and Pacific Electric Picture Company; and Cover, an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack DC Comics series, an animated espionage thriller and conspiratorial love letter to the comic book industry, from Rooster Teeth.
“It is a tremendous privilege to build on the 100-year-plus legacy of ‘cartoons’ at this company,” said Suzanna Makkos, EVP Original Comedy and Adult Animation at HBO Max. “We can draw a straight line from our hundreds of childhood hours spent watching Bugs outwit Elmer to the current slate of adult animated projects we are building here at HBO Max, and we think fans will agree. We are proud to introduce this distinctive group of series from a wide range of diverse creators that will form a first stop destination for animation lovers everywhere.”
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