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Norman Lear’s Animated ‘Good Times’ Greenlit at Netflix

‘Black Dynamite’s Carl Jones will serve as creator, executive producer and showrunner on new series; other executive producers include Seth MacFarlane and Stephen Curry.

In a new spin on one of TV icon Norman Lear’s classic sitcoms, Netflix has just greenlit a 10-episode season of an animated Good Times series. Lear and Brent Miller will executive produce for their Act III Productions company; NBA star Stephen Curry, Erick Peyton and Jeron Smith will executive produce for Unanimous Media, with Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins executive producing for Fuzzy Door. The show is being produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Carl Jones, known for producing animated shows like Black Dynamite, The Boondocks, the recently announced Young Love (created by Oscar-winner Mathew A. Cherry) and Sugar and Toys, with Brian Ash, which launches its second season September 20 on Fuse, will serve as the series creator, showrunner and executive producer.

According to Netflix, the show follows “the Evans family as they navigate today’s world and contemporary social issues. Just as the original did years ago, Good Times strives to remind us that with the love of our family, we can keep our heads above water.”

According to Jones, “It’s a dream come true to be working with the legendary talents of Norman Lear, Seth MacFarlane and Stephen Curry.  We are excited to carry on the original legacy of Good Times, but now animated and a little edgier.  Let’s just say the struggle has just gotten strugglier.” 

In a joint statement, Lear and Miller said, “We can’t think of anything better, at this time in our culture, than a reimagining of Good Times animated. In a year filled with darkness, this is one bright light we won’t soon forget. Thank you, Sony.  Thank you, Netflix. Bless us all.”

“We are so excited about this project!” Curry and Peyton said, also in a joint statement. “Unanimous is all about authentic partnerships and this team felt genuine from the beginning.  Good Times strives to remind us that with the love of our family we can overcome any obstacle. We think, now more than ever, the world needs to see a show with hope and positivity.”

In yet another joint statement, MacFarlane and Huggins added, “It’s a thrill to be partnering with Norman Lear and to help bring new life to his groundbreaking show Good Times, through the talent and personal stories of Carl Jones and the team at Unanimous.  Animation is the ideal medium with which to reimagine the original show, and through the lens of Carl’s sharp, biting humor, audiences will grow to love these classic characters all over again.” 

Esther Rolle and John Amos played Florida and James Evans, heads of a family living in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green public housing project, in the original 1974-1979 series, a spinoff from Lear’s hit series, Maude, itself a spinoff of Lear and Bud Yorkin’s iconic All in the Family. Good Times also starred Ja’Net Dubois, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker and Bern Nadette Stan.

The new Good Times marks Lear’s first stint as executive producer on an animated series. He has previously served as a consultant on South Park.  

Netflix head of adult animation, Mike Moon, said, “Good Times is an iconic series that has transcended generations. We are delighted to partner with this incredible and inspiring creative team in Norman Lear, Carl Jones, Stephen Curry, and Seth MacFarlane to bring this timely reimagining to life.”

Source: Netflix

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.