Ack! Bill the Cat, Opus and the rest of Berkeley Breathed’s “Bloom County” universe are heading to Fox. The comic strip, created and written by Berkeley Breathed, is being developed as an animated series at Fox, through its animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment, as well as Miramax, Spyglass Media Group and Project X Entertainment.
Just like the strip, the TV version of “Bloom County” will center “on a collapsed lawyer, a lobotomized cat and a penguin in briefs and fruit headwear living in the world’s last boarding house in the world’s most forgotten place deep in the dandelion wilds of FlyWayWayOver country. To wit, today’s America at a glance.”
“Bloom County” will be co-written and executive produced by Breathed. Bento Box will serve as the animation studio on the project. Miramax, Spyglass and Project X will also executive-produce.
“I was introduced to the brilliance of Berkeley Breathed and ‘Bloom County’ as a teenager,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn. “His signature blend of satire, politics and sentiment hooked me. Plus, I love Opus. Today, Berkeley’s smart and hilarious take on American culture is more relevant than ever. And, together with Bento Box, we’re thrilled to bring his unique ensemble of characters and social commentary to broadcast television.”
In its original form, “Bloom County” began as “The Academia Waltz,” which appeared in Breathed’s student newspaper at the University of Texas, The Daily Texan. Soon after, The Washington Post recruited Breathed to do a nationally syndicated strip, which led to the birth of “Bloom County.” The satirical comic debuted in 1980, appearing in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide and selling millions of compilation books, until Breathed ended it in 1989.
Breathed followed up “Bloom County” with the Sunday strips “Outland” and “Opus,” which both featured “Bloom County” characters. In 2015, Breathed started posting new “Bloom County” strips via Facebook on an almost daily basis.
“At the end of ‘Alien,’ we watched cuddly Sigourney Weaver go down for a long peaceful snooze in cryogenic hyper-sleep after getting chased around by a saliva-spewing maniac, only to be wakened decades later into a world stuffed with far worse,” Breathed said in a statement. “Fox and I have done the identical thing to Opus and the rest of the Bloom County gang, may they forgive us.”
Breathed is a cartoonist, children’s book author, screenwriter, production designer and film producer. His most recent project is the film production of his own story, “HITPIG!,” from Aniventure, due this year.
“Bloom County,” earned him the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1987. He has produced ten children’s picture books, including two that were made into animated films, and another that led to the 2011 motion-capture film “Mars Needs Moms.”