Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is starring in and executive producing an animated kids show for Genius Brands International and as part of the deal is becoming a shareholder in Genius Brands.
The series, Shaq’s Garage, will turn O’Neal’s real collection of cars into characters. The series is expected to have its premiere in 2022 on Kartoon Channel!, an ad-supported network that was launched in June.
“Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated by cars,” said O’Neal, now a basketball analyst for TNT.
“I’m so excited to bring this series to life with Genius Brands. We plan to showcase the most amazing, tricked out assortment of vehicles that can only be found in my garage,” said O’Neal. “They will all have larger than life personalities, larger than life missions and of course, larger than life sound systems. One of our cars is a vehicle missing a wheel, but she is as strong, fast, and smart as any other vehicle. This will be a kid’s show which will highlight inclusivity for all.”
Shaq’s Garage will be executive produced by Genius Brands, PRP and ABG Entertainment, a division of Authentic Brands Group.
“We challenged ourselves to come up with the most exciting storylines and vehicle designs inspired by Toy Story, Tony Stark, and 007!, that could only be imagined by ‘Big Diesel,’ himself,” said Genius Brands CEO Andy Heyward. “The lead vehicle is named Big Diesel and will be voiced by Shaq.”
All of the vehicles from Shaq’s Garage will have unique attributes and skills, with some musically inclined and others fluent in a secret language called Shaq-anese.
“Through comedy and adventure, we will showcase strong and diverse characters as positive role models with purposeful storytelling. This is going to be a special show that touches every button--music, adventure, humor, and positive prideful messaging for kids,” said Heyward. “I have known and admired Shaq for many years and am thrilled that we can come together to make this important show for all kids around the world, and Shaq will become a part of the Genius Brands family.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.