‘Animals’ Creators Phil Matarese & Mike Luciano Ink 20th Century Fox TV Deal

Animals creators Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano have signed a two-script deal with 20th Century Fox TV to create two animated series for the studio. Under the pact, the duo will write one script and will supervise another writer on the second. Both series will be shopped to various platforms.

Matarese and Luciano’s animated comedy series Animals had a three-season run on HBO. Produced by Duplass Brothers, the series focused on the downtrodden creatures native New York City, including rats, pigeons, and bedbugs. Matarese and Luciano wrote and directed all episodes; they also voice many of the characters. The series  drewn a high-profile list of guests stars throughout its three seasons, including Jessica Chastain, Jonah Hill, Whoopi Goldberg, Wanda Sykes, Marlon Wayans and Emilia Clarke.

Matarese and Luciano met while working together at a New York City advertising production company, where they discovered a pair of pigeons across from their office and began speaking from their point of view. Matarese, an illustrator in his free time, proposed animating a scene based off their pigeon-riffing to screen at Luciano’s live variety show. That led to a series of Animals animated shorts, which made the festival circuit, got the attention of the Duplass Brothers and led to the Animals TV series, which made its debut at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by HBO.

This is the latest move by 20th Century Fox TV in the hot adult animation genre. As part of the studio’s push in the space, it has landed four series orders for new animated series, Bless the Harts, from writer Emily Spivey, at Fox; Hoops, from Phil Lord and Chris Miller, at Netflix; Central Park, from from Bob’s Burgers creator/executive producer Loren Bouchard and Josh Gad, which has a two-season, straight-to-series order at Apple; and Solar Opposites, from Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, which has a two-season pickup at Hulu.

Matarese and Luciano are repped by Mosaic and ICM Partners.

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