Rebooting The Looney Tunes Show
The highly-anticipated re-imagining of The Looney Tunes Show as a Seinfeld/Odd Couple-style sitcom from Warner Bros. Animation finally bows tonight on Cartoon Network at 8:00 pm, and we have a roundtable discussion with producers Tony Cervone and Spike Brandt, designer Jessica Borutski, story editor Hugh Davidson and writer Rachel Ramras. In tonight's opener, Bugs and Daffy are introduced as mismatched roommates and Bugs discovers just how little Daffy knows about him when they appear on the Besties game show. However, Elmer Fudd steals the show in his Barry White-inspired performance of "Grilled Cheese" in the Merrie Melodies' music video segment.
Bill Desowitz: How did the show come about?
Hugh Davidson: At first, we didn't know what the plan was and if there was even going to be a show. We basically had a creative day to talk about what options there might be to update it. We watched a bunch of the classic shorts and weren't sure we even wanted to it, but at the end of the day, what we pitched was a variety or sketch show.
Rachel Ramras: We come from a sketch background -- the Groundlings here in Los Angeles -- so we were thinking along the lines of The Muppet Show…
HD: Where you could see Bugs put on a hat and be a reporter. That was basically the idea. We had a ton of material and sketches and that's what the show was going to be for a while.
RR: But then while we were doing it, the characters seemed so rich with who they are, so why have them be out of character? It seemed like a disservice to the characters and not capturing what's so wonderful about them.
HD: So it evolved from the writing into the sitcom that we now have. It's more about the friendship between Bugs, Daffy and Porky -- more than anything else. It's not that much about suburbia but their relationships and putting them together in that persistent world. In the half-hour format, there's room for their characters and you needed that grounded world to really have the same anarchic spirit that they used to have in the shorts. And then they can be just as crazy now in a grocery store.