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.”

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