HBO Max has given a two-season, 24-episode order to a reimagening of the animated series The Boondocks, from creator Aaron McGruder and Sony Pictures Animation. The new Boondocks will launch in fall 2020 with a 50-minute special. All 55 episodes of the original The Boondocks series will also be available on WarnerMedia direct-to-consumer platform at launch.
The Boondocks revival was taken out to the marketplace in late spring and was confirmed by Sony Pictures Animation at the Annecy festival in June. HBO Max immediately emerged as the most likely home for the new series because of WarnerMedia’s history with the franchise. The original Boondocks animated series, based on the comic strip created by McGruder, aired on the company’s Adult Swim, a large part of whose programming will be available on HBO Max. The series earned McGruder a Peabody Award.
“The Boondocks was a revolutionary series that sparked conversations on hot button issues and brought dark subjects into the light with episodes like ‘The Trial of Robert Kelly’, ‘The Fundraiser’ and ‘The Story of Gangstalicious’,” said Kevin Reilly, Chief Content Officer, HBO Max and President, TBS, TNT and truTV. “Aaron is a gifted visionary whose unique style of storytelling is a welcome voice and we are elated The Freemans are making their thugnificent comeback on HBO Max.”
The new Boondocks follows the adventures of self-proclaimed “Civil Rights Legend” Robert “Granddad” Freeman, and his two rambunctious grandsons Huey and Riley. The family has recently moved to an idyllic community in suburban Maryland only to see it taken over by the tyrannical Uncle Ruckus and his bizarre neo-fascist regime. Life under Ruckus turns out to be an everyday struggle to survive.
“There’s a unique opportunity to revisit the world of The Boondocks and do it over again for today,” said McGruder, “It’s crazy how different the times we live in are now – both politically and culturally – more than a decade past the original series and two decades past the original newspaper comic. There’s a lot to say and it should be fun.”
McGruder returns as showrunner and will serve as executive producer along with Norm Aladjem for Mainstay Entertainment as well as Seung Kim and Meghann Collins Robertson. Sony Pictures Animation will produce the series in partnership with Sony Pictures Television.
On HBO Max’s original programming slate, The Boondocks joins another upcoming series with IP pedigree, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, a prequel to the Gremlins movies.
Sony TV has been very active mining its library for revivals/reboots. It has One Day at a Time on Pop (formerly on Netflix), the Live In Front of a Studio Audience franchise at ABC based on Norman Lear titles, and the upcoming Mad About You limited series revival on Spectrum Originals, among others.