The Watchman: Disney XD Invertebrate Hardly Spineless, Starz Align for O’Malley, Bell’s Best Olympics Memory
Ryan Quincy put in 14 years at South Park, Comedy Central’s famously potty-mouthed animated iconoclast. But he wanted to work on a show that he could actually watch with his children, now 9 and 11. “People would say, what does your dad do? They’d say, he works in cartoons, in animation,” says Quincy, who also created the short-lived, aptly titled animated series Out There on IFC. “But they were never able to see any of it”—unless dad hit the mute button.
That changes August 1, when Quincy’s Future-Worm debuts on Disney XD. It’s about a geeky kid named Danny (his T-shirt says, simply, ‘Science’), a time-travel lunch box, and a visitor from the future who’s a gravelly voiced worm with titanium abs. “It’s like Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder, only he’s a tough guy,” says Quincy, who adds that his worm creation is part Hulk Hogan, part Mr. T and part Chuck Norris.
Dads and kids watching TV together. Our true national pastime— perhaps even more than baseball. Mike O’Malley, creator of Survivor’s Remorse on Starz, used to watch his beloved Red Sox at Sunny McLean’s Irish Pub in Santa Monica. But with three small kids, he now watches the Sawx from home. “We celebrate together when they win, and commiserate when they lose,” he says.
The new season of Survivor’s Remorse, now on Sundays with the premium cable big boys, is “more in-depth, with a lot more character histories,” says O’Malley. “And the show’s title becomes a lot more apparent with the first episode.” (Hint: Someone dies.)
It was actually the Red Sox, in a sense, that hooked up O’Malley with Survivor’s exec producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter. The matchmaker was Tom Werner, TV producer and Red Sox chairman, whose Fenway Sports Group partners with the James-Carter marketing outfit LRMR.
And here’s something families can watch together that, unlike the conventions, won’t give the kiddos nightmares. The Olympics Opening Ceremony goes down August 5, followed by a couple weeks of swimming, sprinting and other summer fun. NBC’s point man in Rio is executive producer Jim Bell, whose professional Olympics experience goes back to Barcelona 1992.
Years before that, Bell, a teenager at the time, was watching the Opening Ceremony of the Los Angeles Games in his Connecticut living room. A family friend from China was visiting, and when the Chinese athletes strolled onto the floor—it was China’s first-ever Summer Games—the house guest burst out in tears.
“It was just this powerful moment,” Bell told The Watchman. “To see the power of what it meant for him and his country really made an impression on me.”
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below.
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.