As their new adult animation comedy “Koala Man” premieres today on Hulu, showrunners Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit have expanded their relationship with Disney. The duo have reupped with 20th Television Animation, where they’ve sealed a new multi-year deal that now also now includes developing live-action projects with ABC Signature.
Under the deal, Hernandez and Samit will create new animated and live-action series under their shingle Hermit House for all platforms.
“Dan and Benji are wildly talented writers with a truly unique sensibility and a hilarious voice,” 20th TV Animation exec VP Marci Proietto and ABC Signature president Jonnie Davis said in a joint statement. “We have been obsessed with their work for years and are very excited to continue our relationship in animation with them, and are thrilled to expand their development into live-action within our studio.”
‘Koala Man’ is the first series to come out of Hernandez’s and Samit’s deal with the studios. Hernandez and Samit developed the series and exec produce with Michael Cusack and Justin Roiland. The duo serve as showrunners on the animated series, which stars Cusack, Sarah Snook, Demi Lardner and Hugh Jackman.
“Koala Man” centers on “middle-aged dad Kevin and his titular not-so-secret identity, whose only superpower is a burning passion for following rules and snuffing out petty crime in the town of Dapto. Though it may seem like any other Australian suburb, forces of evil both cosmic and man-made lie in wait to pounce on unsuspecting Daptonians.”
Hernandez and Samit are also behind “Talk Nerdy to Me,” a workplace comedy in development at CBS through ABC Signature. And they created and executive produced “Ultra Violet & Black Scorpion” for Disney Branded Television.
“We’re so excited to expand our creative partnership with 20th Television Animation and ABC Signature,” Hernandez and Samit said in a statement. “Working with Marci Proietto and Chris Cikowski as well as Jonnie Davis and Tracy Underwood has been a dream come true. We hope we can be together forever, or at least until the kids go to college.”
Hernandez and Samit wrote the feature “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” as well as the recent “Addams Family 2.” Their TV credits include working on “Central Park,” “Super Fun Night,” “1600 Penn” and the revivals of “One Day at a Time” and “The Tick.”
The duo is next set to write Disney’s upcoming film featuring the character Figment (the mascot of Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion in Orlando) from from Seth Rogen’s Point Grey. And they have other projects in the works with Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Pictures.
Hernandez and Samit were named one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2019. They’re repped by 3 Arts, UTA and Jackoway.