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FOX Entertainment Greenlights Berkeley Breathed’s ‘Bloom Country’

The Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist will co-write and executive produce the new series along with Miramax, Spyglass and Project X, with animation produced by Bento Box.

FOX Entertainment has announced the adaptation and development of Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, screenwriter, producer, and children’s book author Berkeley Breathed’s acclaimed comic strip “Bloom County,” into an animated series.

Bloom County, co-written and executive produced by Breathed, centers on a collapsed lawyer, a lobotomized cat, and a penguin in briefs and fruit headwear living in the world’s last boarding house in the world’s most forgotten place deep in the dandelion wilds of FlyWayWayOver country.  To wit, today’s America at a glance.  Bento Box will serve as the animation studio on the project. Miramax, Spyglass, and Project X will executive produce.

Bloom County originated from Breathed’s first published comic strip, “The Academia Waltz,” which appeared in the student newspaper, The Daily Texan. The comic strip soon got the attention of editors at The Washington Post, who recruited the cartoonist to do a nationally syndicated strip. “Bloom County” made its debut in 1980, appearing in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide, until its end in 1989. Shortly after, Breathed started strips “Outland” and “Opus,” which both featured “Bloom County” characters. In 2015, Breathed started posting new “Bloom County” strips via Facebook on an almost daily basis.

“At the end of Alien, we watched cuddly Sigourney Weaver go down for a long peaceful snooze in cryogenic hyper-sleep after getting chased around by a saliva-spewing maniac, only to be wakened decades later into a world STUFFED with far worse,” noted Breathed.  “FOX and I have done the identical thing to Opus and the rest of the Bloom County gang, may they forgive us.”

“I was introduced to the brilliance of Berkeley Breathed and ‘Bloom County’ as a teenager,” added FOX Entertainment president Michael Thorn. “His signature blend of satire, politics and sentiment hooked me. Plus, I love Opus. Today, Berkeley’s smart and hilarious take on American culture is more relevant than ever. And, together with Bento Box, we’re thrilled to bring his unique ensemble of characters and social commentary to broadcast television.”

Breathed is a cartoonist and children's book author, best known for his comic strips “Bloom County,” “Outland” and “Opus.” He’s also a screenwriter, production designer and producer on films going back 30 years. His most recent project is the film production of his own story, HITPIG! from Aniventure, due this year.

Starting his career drawing editorial cartoons for the Austin American-Statesman, while a student at the University of Texas, Breathed self-published his first comic strip, ultimately leading to the creation of “Bloom County,” which earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1987. Breathed continued to produce 10 children's picture books. Two were made into animated films, and another was made into the 2011 motion-capture film Mars Needs Moms.

Source: FOX Entertainment

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.