Simpsons showrunner Josh Weinstein developing UK comedy
American television writer and producer Josh Weinstein is developing an adult, animated comedy series for British television audiences, it has been revealed.
Weinstein has already acted as showrunner, heading the writing team, for new CBBC comedy Strange Hill High, and is now working with the same production team to develop an original series for mature audiences.
Strange Hill High is a childrens' sitcom that uses a unique and groundbreaking mix of traditional puppetry, CGI and stop-motion animation known as Hypervynorama. Its first series debuted on CBBC this week and a second is already in production for broadcast in 2014.
Strange Hill High is produced by Altrincham-based Factory Transmedia, with whom Weinstein is now developing the new adult-orientated format.
Speaking at an event to mark the BBC's move of many services to Manchester, Phil Chalk, producer and managing directo of Factory Transmedia, described a British animated comedy series for adults as his "holy grail", but would not be drawn on the "top secret" new Weinstein project, according to trade publication BroadcastNow.
Animated comedy has somewhat of a mixed history in Britain, with Aardman's family-friendly stop-motion adventures featuring characters such as Wallace & Gromit the only notable successes.
In November, Channel 4 launched adult cartoon series Full English, produced by Los Angeles studio Rough Draft, whose other credits include The Simpsons Movie and Futurama, to almost universally negative reception.
In association with Baby Cow Productions, the channel has also experimented with cartoons based on various Viz comic strips, but none are yet believed to have progressed beyond short, online-only episodes.
It was also Channel 4 who broadcast the previous notable animated series, Bromwell High, an adult sitcom set - like Strange Hill High - in a secondary school somewhere in London. A co-production between Hat Trick Productions and Canada's Teletoon channel, 13 episodes were produced by only seven ever broadcast in Britain.
The BBC has had more mixed fortunes. It broadcast two largely well-received series of Stressed Eric between 1998 and 2000 on BBC Two, but cancelled the airing of BBC Three's Popetown in 2004 before a single episode had been transmitted, due to protests from Roman Catholic pressure groups. That series has since been released on DVD.
No further detail on the new Weinstein project is publicly known, but ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC are all known to be looking for new adult comedy hits.
Here is a trailer for the current series of Strange Hill High:
In the following clip, Blue Peter's Helen Skelton looks at how the Strange Hill High puppets work.
Filming is underway on The Further Adventures Of Professor Branestawm, a second episode of the show in which Harry Hill plays the famous inventor character.
Jocelyn Jee Esien is working on a new sketch show project for BBC Radio 4. It's Jocelyn will see her portray various characters.
Elis James and Katy Wix are to star in Ankle Tag, a new sitcom pilot for BBC Radio 2.
Robert Webb and Terry Mynott will star in The King's Men, a new Radio 2 sitcom pilot written by Mynott and Arthur Mathews.
Radio 2 is making The Peterford Golf Club, a new sitcom written by and featuring Horrible Histories star Simon Farnaby.
Classic BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em could return to screens for new episodes in 2016.
Artists are being invited to produce a piece of art inspired by the new novel by Dawn French. The prize includes £1500. Read
TV channel Gold is once again running its competition to find the best modern Christmas cracker jokes. Read
Jonny Sweet talks about his BBC Three sitcom, Together. Is any of the story based on real life experiences? Read
Michaela Coel is the writer and star of E4's Chewing Gum. In this interview she introduces her new show. Read
A podcast series in which Jamie Morton reads out chapters from an erotic book his 60 year-old dad has written. Listen
Read about how Danny Wallace got started in the world of writing, and what he'd do if he was starting now. Read
10 years since his death, we remember Ronnie Barker and his route to comedy stardom. Read
Billy Connolly is to perform a series of gigs at London's Eventim Apollo in January 2016. Tickets are now on sale. Read
We spoke to The Job Lot star Sarah Hadland - who plays Trish in the job centre sitcom - about Series 3: Read
Details on the finalists for Birmingham Comedy Festival's 2015 Breaking Talent Award competition. Read
Pompidou, the charming visual comedy series starring Matt Lucas, is coming out on DVD. Win a copy here: Enter
The four adult stars of new sitcom The Kennedys talk about the series and their characters. Read
The envelope-pushing Irishman explains his new show, heckler-ejecting, addiction, family-friendly theatre, & more. Read