Fox eyeing Bob and Doug

Global has already ordered 15 episodes of the adult animated series based on the classic SCTV 'hoser' characters created by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis.

The Fox network is looking at the pilot for Global Television’s The Animated Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie, with an eye to a possible pick-up of the Canadian prime-time series.

Global Television has already ordered 15 episodes of the adult animated series, which is based on the classic SCTV ‘hoser’ characters Bob & Doug McKenzie, who will be voiced by a reunited Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. ‘Making a sale to the US market was always part of our plan,’ says Thomas, whose LA-based Maple Palms Productions is helming the project. ‘We got nice interest from Fox; they liked the script and demo.’

Driven by stereotypes reminiscent of SCTV‘s original ‘Great White North’ skits, Bob & Doug is set in the fictional Canadian town of Maple Lake and parodies a ‘Canadian’ perspective on American pop culture. In their latest incarnation, the McKenzie Brothers will do their best to ‘beat the system,’ avoid work and frolic in a changing Canadian society.

Thomas, who will co-produce with former Nelvana executive Patricia Burns, says no creative concessions will be made for Fox. ‘The only ones who make [Canadian-American] distinctions are the CRTC, people hoping to get money from the government for broadcasting and some nationalistic writers,’ he says of any notion that he and his team will tailor the Canadian series for the American market.

‘With this animated show, you can’t find two more Canadian characters: their love of hockey, beer and overall attitude. The Americans love that, and always have,’ he argues.

Thomas adds that Bob & Doug will, for the first time, include friends and family of the McKenzie brothers, whose live-action characters were previously performed alone and direct-to-camera in SCTV skits and 30-second commercials. The series’ voice cast includes Canadians Colin Mochrie, Patrick McKenna, Derek McGrath, Ron Pardo, Jayne Eastwood and Ho Chow, plus American Dave Coulier (Full House).

The cartoon will be executive produced by Thomas and Moranis, and will be animated by Two Presidents Productions of Toronto, with preproduction design and storyboarding from Toronto’s House of Cool Studios.

Fox picking up the Bob & Doug pilot follows the creative direction of the US networks this development season as they turn to Canadian and other international TV shows, whether formats or original series, to fill their slates.

Also on the comedy side, NBC recently acquired Global Television’s Howie Mandel-starrer Howie Do It, while 20th Century Fox Television picked up the US format rights to the popular CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, with an eye to a US network berth.

While conceding the recent U.S. network pick-ups of Canadian series, Thomas insists the original SCTV sale to NBC illustrates the right Canadian show has always been ripe for American sales. ‘I understand that there may more of that going on now. But it was happening 30 years ago, if you came up with the right show.’

From Playback Daily