Maybe TV animation ain’t dead after all: The WB has ordered a second season of the underdog toon laffer “Baby Blues.”
The Frog today will announce a 13-episode renewal for the Warner Bros. Television skein, which labored through a five-year delivery process before finally bouncing onto the net’s lineup in late July. A six-week run of episodes produced respectable ratings by WB standards, but more importantly, delivered a consistent and demographically balanced aud in a tough Friday timeslot.
“Baby” also generated perhaps the best-ever reviews for a Frog comedy. The WB is also launching several comedies this season, providing established slots for “Baby” to fill in case any of the new laffers don’t work out.
With five episodes from the show’s first season in the can, the WB will have 18 segs available for the 2000-01 season. In addition, the renewal serves as a form of program insurance against the potential for labor strife next summer.
“I’m so excited about ‘Baby Blues.’ I truly am,” WB Entertainment prexy Susanne Daniels told Daily Variety, noting that she began working on developing the show before she was pregnant with her first daughter.
“I’ve been working on it for a very long time, so at the end of the day, I’m really thrilled it worked. It has tremendous potential,” she said.
Net will likely order five more scripts, Daniels said, allowing the potential for a full season of new episodes. While the threat of strikes helped make the decision to renew “Blues” easier, “We would have done this anyway,” Daniels said.
Warner Bros. Television topper Peter Roth said the sister studio was “delighted” by the renewal.
“We’re looking forward, given the show’s enormous potential, to long and successful run,” he said.
The “Baby” renewal comes just a few weeks after Fox ordered a third season of its animated comedy “Family Guy,” a show most insiders had considered dead. Almost all other recent primetime toon forays by the Big Six have failed; there’s very little new in the animation pipeline as a result.
“Baby” is exec produced by Jeff Martin and Pete Ocko and is based on the comic strip of the same name. Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott are co-exec producers.
Skein features the voices of Mike O’Malley, Julia Sweeney and Nicole Sullivan.