The popular children’s picture book series Pete the Cat is heading to TV. Alcon Entertainment has acquired the rights to the books from illustrator James Dean to develop them as an animated TV series.
The project was brought to Alcon by Appian Way. Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, co-creator and executive producer of the hit Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb, has been tapped as showrunner.
He will executive produce alongside Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, recently appointed Alcon Television President Laura Lancaster, as well as Appian Way Partner Jennifer Davisson. Alcon’s Ben Roberts will produce and James Dean will serve as a Consulting Producer. At Appian Way, the project was shepherded by Nathaniel Posey.
“Pete the Cat is such an approachable and well loved series, and as our first animated series the perfect match for our companies,” said Kosove and Johnson.
The Pete the Cat character was created by James Dean in 1999. His first book, Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes, featuring text and music by Eric Litwin, was self published in 2008 and published by Harper Collins in 2010. The series, which now counts over 22 picture books, storybooks and songbooks, has reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list for Picture Books.
A Pete the Cat musical is in the works, helmed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges.
Alcon’s first TV series, space drama The Expanse, was recently renewed for a second season by Syfy. Alcon also financed and produced Alex Gibney’s Emmy-nominated four-hour miniseries documentary Frank Sinatra: All Or Nothing for HBO.