Leading independent animation production house Film Roman, Inc. announced on Tuesday, May 15, 2001, that one of its Web short, HAIRBALLS, has been picked up by MTV for development into a TV series. HAIRBALLS is an animated dark comedy with a satirical twist on the classic "cat and mouse" cartoon story. The Web toon was created by Doug Lawrence (REN AND STIMPY) and developed by Eric Radomski, creative head of animation and executive producer for Film Roman's Website, LEVEL13.NET. The short won an Honorable Mention at the 2000 Playboy Animation Contest and an Annie Award nomination in 2000. Abby Terkuhle, president of MTV Animation, commented, "HAIRBALLS combines a classic cartoon approach with an edgy sensibility that makes it relevant to our audience." According to Peter Schankowitz, president of television programming and development for Film Roman, "Now that we are creating and developing our own projects, we have been able to move in new directions that have opened the doors to new network relationships like MTV. HAIRBALLS reflects the true creative sensibility that can be found at Film Roman and is an excellent example of what can result when animators are given the creative freedom to push the envelope." Radomski pointed out that MTV's commitment to HAIRBALLS validates our use of LEVEL13.NET to develop and create new projects. It's definitely more eccentric and satirical than the prime time and Saturday morning series for which we're known." Lawrence began his career as an animator for John K. on the REN AND STIMPY SHOW. Since then he's written, directed and done voices for such shows as ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. Prior to joining Film Roman, three-time Emmy winner Radomski was supervising producer/director for Todd McFarlane's SPAWN and Ralph Bakshi's SPICY CITY for HBO Late Night. Radomski also directed Steven Spielberg's Emmy Award-winning FREAKAZOID for Warner Bros. Television, as well as the Emmy Award-winning BATMAN: THE SERIES and animated feature MASK OF THE PHANTASM for Warner Bros. Animation.