×

G4 wild about ‘Monkeys’

Animated show to debut this spring

Cabler G4 has greenlit production on an animated laffer from scribe-helmer Adam de la Pena (“I’m With Busey”), who’s also developing another project for Fox Broadcasting.

At the first TV Critics Assn. press tour session since Ted Harbert assumed his new role as head of the Comcast Entertainment Group, G4 today will announce a 14-episode order for de la Pena’s “Code Monkeys.” Animated skein, which will bow this spring, revolves around an oddball group of 1980s game designers.

Skein will “literally look like a videogame,” said de la Pena, who’s utilizing a visual style similar to that seen in early-generation Super Nintendo games. G4 picked up a pilot for “Code Monkeys” last fall.

“They live in a surreal world where anything can happen,” he said, adding that there will be visual allusions to a host of ’80s videogames.

An animated Ronald Reagan will be a recurring character, though most of the action focuses on two very different best friends named Dave and Jerry.

In addition to writing episodes of “Code Monkeys,” de la Pena voices the show’s lead character and directs all episodes. He’s producing via his Monkey Wrangler Prods. banner.

Meanwhile, de la Pena is in the early stages of development on the tentatively titled “Think Tank,” an animated half-hour he’s writing and exec producing for Fox Broadcasting via 20th Century Fox TV.

Laffer — which de la Pena is penning with Andy Sipes and Matt Mariska — revolves around a mysterious organization established in the 1950s by a wealthy businessman de la Pena calls “a cross between Bill Cosby and Albert Einstein.”

Turns out the staffers at the think tank “are responsible for everything that’s happened in pop culture during the last 50 years,” said de la Pena. “George Lucas didn’t write ‘Star Wars,’ it was this guy at the think tank.”

Skein will be a workplace comedy of sorts, with much of the action revolving around a new staffer who’s resented by the more established employees.

“It’s like a fantasy show rooted in office politics,” de la Pena said.

In addition to co-starring and creating Comedy Central’s “Busey,” de la Pena created the Adult Swim skein “Minoriteam,” which debuted in Blighty last month. He’s also been a writer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Crank Yankers” and “The Man Show.”

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content