WaltDisney Television Animation Special Projects and cable sports outlet ESPN haveannounced that the popular syndicated comic strip In The Bleacherswill make the transition to animation this month. 15-second animated shorts willrun within select ESPN Original Entertainment programming. The shorts, based onthe sports strip created by Steve Moore, will debut within "Around theHorn" which premieres November 4 at 5 PM/ET (2 PM/PT) on ESPN. They markthe network's initial foray into animation.
Here's thedescription of the shorts from the press release:
"InThe Bleachers provides a hysterical time out from the big -- and oftentoo serious -- business of sports. With titles such as 'TV Remote,' 'Bullpen'and 'Hoop Dreams,' the cartoons feature a witty, ever-changing cast ofcharacters in hilarious situations centered around athletics. Staying true tothe artistic style created by Moore, the shorts are loosely animated with AprilWinchell (Recess), Kevin Michael Richardson (Lilo and Stitch)and Jeff Bennett (Return To Never Land) providing thevoices."
"We'rethrilled to be creating our first-ever project for ESPN," said BarryBlumberg, executive vice president, Walt Disney Television Animation."We're always looking for ways to reach a wider audience and thispartnership is a perfect example of how animation can crossover into newarenas."
"Inthe Bleachers is a terrific property with great comic potential andbroad appeal," added Jay Fukuto, vice president, creative affairs, WaltDisney Television Animation. "Our Special Projects team has captured thetrue offbeat spirit of the characters and working with ESPN and Steve Moore hasbeen a wonderful collaboration."
Moore, whoserves as executive producer, created the comic strip in 1985 while working asan editor at The Maui News in Hawaii. Today In the Bleachers issyndicated by Universal Press Syndicate and runs daily in approximately 200newspapers across the country. John Carls also serves as executive producer.
In theBleachers is produced and directed by Ed Wexler and Gary Katona, theaward-winning Walt Disney TV Animation Special Projects team that created theacclaimed educational, interstitial series, Great Minds Think forThemselves and Find Out Why. Antran Manoogian and BenBardens serve as producer and technical director, respectively.