Fox cooking up ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Animated half-hour series from Loren Bouchard, Jim Dauterive

Fox is cooking up 13 episodes of “Bob’s Burgers,” an animated half-hour from Loren Bouchard (“Dr. Katz”) and Jim Dauterive (“King of the Hill”).

Production has begun on the series, which could be ready to air — given the lengthy lead time necessary for animation — in early 2011.

“Bob’s Burgers” centers on a man who runs a struggling restaurant along with his tightly wound wife and three underachieving kids. 20th Century Fox TV is producing, while Bouchard and Dauterive will exec produce and serve as co-showrunners.

Fox has been aggressively looking for its next wave of animation hits, and “Bob’s Burgers” has been on the fast path since summer, when Fox Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly cited it as one of his favorite animation presentations in the works.

Bouchard said “Bob’s Burgers” came out of the fact that Fox’s animation brand centers mostly on family — but that he also wanted to dabble in workplace comedy. Besides the focus on the family and its restaurant, “Bob’s Burgers” will also tell stories about the town that surrounds it.

“It’s a little more urban than other shows going on,” he said. ” ‘Bob’s Burgers’ has an outer-borough, Jersey feel to it.”

20th is still working out deals with the show’s voice cast. For the presentation, “Bob’s Burgers” starred H. Jon Benjamin (“Archer”) as Bob; John Roberts as Linda; Kristen Schaal (“Flight of the Conchords”) as Louise; Eugene Mirman (“Delocated”) as Gene; and Dan Mintz (“Important Things with Demetri Martin”) as Tina.

Fox’s animation stable recently expanded to include the new “Cleveland Show,” which is off to a strong start. But “King of the Hill” recently left the airwaves after 13 seasons, and another new entry, “Sit Down Shut Up,” didn’t last (although continues to repeat on Saturdays at midnight).

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