EXCLUSIVE: Nick Weidenfeld, who created Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) block, is back with another animation venture, setting up Work Friends in partnership with Snowpiercer producer Tomorrow Studios.
The ITV-backed company and Weidenfeld, who produced series including The Boondocks, Robot Chicken and Rick and Morty during his time as head of development for Adult Swim, have launched the company as a joint venture.
It comes after Weidenfeld, Tomorrow Studios and The Life and Times of Tim creator Steve Dildarian scored animated series 10-Year-Old Tom at HBO Max.
Weidenfeld, who was most recently president of programming for Viceland, will produce primetime adult TV animation for broadcasters and streaming platforms.
It is the latest string to Tomorrow Studios’ bow, the company makes Snowpiercer for TNT and Rose Byrne’s Physical for Apple and is working on two live-action remakes of anime projects for Netflix – One Piece and Cowboy Bebop.
The deal was negotiated by Jared Levine at Morris York Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman and Greg Cavic at UTA for Work Friends and Tom Lane, EVP Business and Legal Affairs at ITV Studios America and Lindsay Conner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips for Tomorrow Studios.
ITV Studios will distribute content resulting from the joint venture internationally.
Tomorrow Studios co-founder Marty Adelstein said, “Launching an animation company is a natural progression following our success in global sales of Japanese anime. I see TV animation as a unique opportunity to grow Tomorrow Studios’ business exponentially worldwide, especially under Nick’s leadership, one of the most respected executives and producers of primetime animation on television, with an eye for series that resonate globally. We’re excited to launch with the series order of 10-Year-Old Tom and a great development slate to take to market immediately.”
“This is a particularly exciting time to be making cartoons. I couldn’t think of better partners to be doing it with – between the creative support of Marty, Becky and everyone at Tomorrow Studios; the robust studio business operation with Philippe Maigret and his team at ITV Studios America; and the international support from the ITV Studios team,” said Weidenfeld.
Maigret added: “We are thrilled to come on board Marty’s partnership with Nick to build a new primetime TV animation company. Marty and Becky’s established success at Tomorrow Studios, together with Nick’s proven track record and wealth of experience across all facets of animation, give the new venture a great deal of creative and commercial potential. The launch of Work Friends marks another step forward in driving the growth of Tomorrow Studios and expanding ITV Studios’ U.S. scripted television studio operations and creative footprint.”