After spending nearly 50 years in the TV business, Marty Krofft has show-making down to a science. Together with his older brother Sid, Krofft is behind such kids fare as ’70s cult classic H.R. Pufnstuf, current Nickelodeon hit Mutt & Stuff, and an Amazon Original remake of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Since 2015, Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures has churned out three series and five pilots, the latter of which includes Mayim’s WonderLab, a brand-new, original, science-themed series starring The Big Bang Theory‘s Mayim Bialik. And that collaboration, according to the younger Krofft, began with a single spark.
“Bialik’s manager, Tiffany Kuzon, came to our Mutt & Stuff set with her kids and loved the show,” Krofft recalls. “Our head writer, Bradley Zweig, and I then met with Kuzon because Mayim has wanted to do a kids science show for a long time. So then we created a pilot for her—and we pulled it all off in four weeks.”
The half-hour, live-action pilot of Mayim’s WonderLab features Bialik as she operates a lab and conducts science-based lessons with kids. There are robots, drones and a “villain” named Mr. Everything who always tries to mess things up.
“Science is Mayim’s whole thing. She went to UCLA and earned a Doctorate in Neuroscience, plus she sings and plays eight instruments,” Krofft says. Bialik serves as an executive producer on Mayim’s WonderLab, and shares the credits with Zweig and Krofft.
It’s still early days in terms of securing a broadcaster and official release date, but Krofft isn’t deterred by initial logistics. “No matter what happens with the actual pilot, I’ve already talked around town and have only received positive reactions,” he says. “These things take time, but those who know me are well aware that I never give up.”
It’s this persistence and creative prowess that have led the Krofft brothers to receive an upcoming Lifetime Achievement Award at April’s Daytime Emmy Awards. “After all this time, we’ve survived,” Krofft says. “Our competitors have sold out, died or gone bankrupt. But our library is very alive. There are so many production outlets today, and we are right there in the action.”
And speaking of action, Krofft is gearing up to take the Mutt & Stuff real canine cast on the road in a 2018 live tour. Led by S2BN Entertainment founder (and former Live Nation chairman) Michael Cohl, the stage tour will kick off this fall in the US. Two hour-long Mutt & Stuff specials are also in production.
Kidscreen Summit attendees, meanwhile, caught Marty and Sigumund and the Sea Monsters star David Arquette at their keynote Q&A—”In Conversation with Marty Krofft: Kids Entertainment Legend”—at the Intercontinental Miami during last week’s annual event.