Bolstered by the success of The Muppets (a hybrid sitcom with muppets and actors), ABC is giving the greenlight to another hybrid sitcom, this time involving actors and animated characters.
Deadline recently reported that ABC has won a competitive bid to place a pilot order for Imaginary Friend, a live-action/CG-hybrid comedy from Disney animator and rising star Patrick Osbourne (Feast), The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg, and executive producer David Guarascio.
Hailing from Happy Madison Productions and Sony Pictures TV, the pilot was written by Goldberg and Guarascio, who will executive produce along with Osbourne, who will serve as co-creator on the show. Imaginary Friend centers on a “thirty-something bachelor whose life is turned upside-down when he finally meets the love of his life — a divorced working mom with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend he created as an only child suddenly reappears in his life to help him navigate the transition from single guy to family man.”
This will be Patrick Osbourne’s first foray into TV. As of recent, the long-time Disney animator has seen his profile rise exponentially since his short film Feast earned him an Oscar and an Annie Award. He will be directing an adaptation of the popular webcomic Nimona for 20th Century Fox Animation and an adaptation of Paul Pope’s graphic novel Battling Boy for Paramount Pictures.
The project (should it happen) will be a tricky one to execute. The last time a TV show tackled a premise of this type was Cartoon Network’s Out of Jimmy’s Head, which originated from the 2006 TV movie Re-Animated and lasted only one season (20 episodes from 2007-2008). On film, the live-action/CG-hybrid genre has a rocky track record, with few genuine critical hits (Paddington being the latest). Fortunately, they have an advantage of involving someone who actually has experience with animation. The comedy aspect could go either way, but The Goldbergs (now in its third season) appears to have clicked with audiences. Should both elements be harnessed correctly, than ABC might stand to have another breakout hit to pair with The Muppets.
What do you think? Any thoughts on this news? Are you interested in a concept like Imaginary Friend on TV?
Edited by: Kelly Conley