The truth is out there. Connecticut-based prodco 41 Entertainment is doubling down in its effort to produce animated series for young adults with its sci-fi IP Roswell Conspiracies. The eight x 44-minute CG-animated series imagines all supernatural creatures (think vampires and werewolves) are aliens from space, and the show revolves around a small team of humans and aliens working together to hunt the dangerous extra-terrestrials who have escaped from Area 51. The new action-adventure series targets boys 12 to 24 and will be completed fall 2021.
Roswell Conspiracies is inspired by the 1999 animated series Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends created by Kaaren Lee Brown. Brown is a producer on 41 Entertainment’s Super Monsters and also serves as the showrunner on this new series. The team was motivated to tell an alien-focused story because of the buzz around the recent social media fad #StormAlien51, which saw platforms blow up with jokes about people going to the US military installation Area 51—long speculated by conspiracy theorists to be a base where the US government hides aliens—this past September.
The trending popularity of UFOs, Area 51 and the continuous attraction kids have to space drove the studio to move forward with the project, the prodco’s VP of acquisitions, development and productions Kiersten Halstead tells Kidscreen exclusively. Going forward, the studio plans to continue looking for trending topics across social media to determine what young adults are interested in before deciding if it could work as a series, she adds.
To expand the series beyond the screen, the team is also building out a social media component to the series, says Halstead. The show’s writers will also be working on content for social media that will dive into the show’s plot and give viewers a chance to engage with its fictional conspiracy.
“All around the world people are fascinated by the what-ifs,” says showrunner Brown. “The audience is there and there are people telling live-action ghost and monster stories that have been resonating with the teen and young adult audience, but with animation we can create monsters that aren’t just good make-up jobs, and which will let audiences suspend their disbelief more.”
Last month the prodco unveiled its move into YA-skewing animation and acquired the rights to Australian author Jaymin Eve’s book series The Supernatural Academy with plans to adapt the fantasy series into an eight x 44-minute show to launch fall 2021. The female-skewing CG-animated series focuses on a 22-year-old girl who is taken to a school full of supernatural creatures to learn to control magical abilities she didn’t know she had.
The studio continues to produce content for younger audiences, and its existing library of preschool animated series includes Tarzan and Jane and Netflix’s Monster Pets and Super Monsters.