Half-hour series “Pocket.watch Presents Skoogle” will feature Thompson as the voice of an Alexa-like digital assistant for kids who has been created to help kids with their daily problems. The show will include a cast of kids, with sketches satirizing everything from apps to streaming services and social media.
Thompson launched his career as a child star on Nickelodeon kids’ sketch show “All That,” and went on to star in spinoff series “Kenan and Kel” and feature film “Good Burger.” With “Skoogle,” he’s reuniting with Albie Hecht, Pocket.watch’s chief content officer and the former Nickelodeon president who was the original development executive behind “All That.”
“I’m excited to once again team up with Albie Hecht and work alongside his great new team at Pocket.watch to bring ‘Skoogle’ to life,” Thompson said in a statement. “Having been a part of sketch-comedy shows throughout my career, I’m thrilled to be able to introduce the show format that I love to an entirely new generation of kids.”
Pocket.watch was formed earlier this year by CEO Chris M. Williams, former chief audience officer at Maker Studios and GM of Disney Online Originals, with the mission of creating a digital-first children’s entertainment brand from scratch. The company’s investors include Allen DeBevoise’s Third Wave Digital, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, film producer Jon Landau, UTA, and Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures.
“Skoogle” is the first major series production for the startup, comprising 10-13 episodes. The company plans to shop the show, aimed at kids 6-11, to streaming services and cable and broadcast TV networks, according to Hecht. Casting for “Skoogle” will take place over the next several months, with production slated for this fall.
The show will be shot live in front of a studio audience (most likely in L.A.) with some prerecorded bits. In additional multiple-length sketches, “Skoogle” will include cameo appearances and musical guests. “We want that vibrancy and energy of a live audience that Kenan knows so well,” Hecht said.
With its ensemble cast, the sketch show will give Pocket.watch a chance to identify up-and-coming talent to build out its development slate, said Hecht. He noted that Amanda Bynes, Josh Peck, and Nick Cannon each got their start on Nick’s “All That.”
“Skoogle” is created and executive produced by Thompson and Hecht along with co-producers Josh Server (“All That”) and Mason Gordon (“Slamball”). Server and Gordon also serve as co-writers on the series with Thompson.
Thompson is represented by UTA (which is an investor in Pocket.watch); Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano (the entertainment law firm where Jon Moonves is a partner); and Michael Goldman.