Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh & Dan Povenmire: Duo’s ‘Phineas and Ferb’ telepic tops cable

Comedy Impact Report 2011: Tube Titans

Not long ago, Disney execs told “Phineas and Ferb” co-creators Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire they had set a July 26, 2013, release date for the first theatrical film to spin off from the duo’s popular Disney Channel animated series. “It’s a date that makes us panic a little,” Marsh says. “We went through that with the TV movie, too, when they told us we had a year and a half. We did the math and went, ‘Oh my god. What? No!’?”

If you go by how well that particular effort, “Phineas and Ferb: The Movie — Across the 2nd Dimension,” did critically and commercially, it would seem the pair work best under pressure. The telepic attracted 7.6 million viewers when it aired in August, making it the year’s most-watched cable movie.

Disney recently picked up the series for a fourth season — not bad for a show that Marsh and Povenmire pitched for 13 years without success.

“Everyone told us it was too complex, that it sounded like we had three shows in one,” Povenmire says. “But we always believed that kids are smart and can follow multiple stories. When we were kids, that’s how we thought of ourselves.”