Netflix has greenlit Frederator’s new adventure comedy Bee & Puppycat: Lazy in Space for a spring 2022 launch.
The animated series revolves around the unusual adventures of a young woman named Bee and a mysterious dog/cat hybrid. Created by Natasha Allegri (Adventure Time), with animation from Japanese studio OLM (Pokémon), the episode count for the 30-minute series isn’t set yet, says Michael Hirsch, CEO of Frederator’s parent company, WOW! Unlimited Media.
The Bee and Puppycat IP began as a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, and has since spawned a series of shorts on YouTube, a collection of which are also available on Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover channel, where they’ve racked up more than six million views. Now that the brand has built a fanbase, Hirsch says it’s time to build out the franchise, starting with this new series for Netflix and eventually expanding into consumer products.
The studio will maintain control and ownership of Bee & Puppycat: Lazy in Space, which features a highly stylized and colorful look that sets it apart from Frederator’s other shows, says Hirsch. It goes after a much wider audience than is typical for any of the studio’s other content, and that is part of WOW!’s efforts to redefine itself following the August departure of chief creative officer Fred Seibert, adds Hirsch.
WOW! hopes to broaden the brand beyond its current three to 18 demo—primarily to reach a co-viewing audience—and it looked to work with a platform like Netflix to achieve this goal.
“Netflix can expand animation beyond kids,” says Hirsch. “There’s a demand for more content featuring these characters, and I feel like this can be a long-living brand in the teen girl category. This is something fresh and different, with a depth to the characters and their relationship, and few brands can boast all of that.”