Nick Picks Up Eisner’s Glenn Martin

Michael Eisner, former CEO of the Walt Disney Co., has sold a stop-motion animated series to Nickelodeon’s Nick at Nite. The network has ordered 20 episodes of Glenn Martin DDS and plans to launch the show next summer. Celebrity Deathmatch creator Eric Fogel is helping to design the family-oriented production for Tornante Animation, a new division of Esiner’s Tornante Co.

In the series, the titular dentist and his family set out on a cross-country road trip in their toothbrush-topped dental mobile ‘dental mobile.’ The concept is reportedly inspired in part by In Search of America, a 1971 ABC made-for-TV movie that starred Jeff Bridges as a college dropout who drove around the country with his family in a bus.

‘Nickelodeon is a global brand synonymous with innovative and creative content for kids and families,’ Eisner remarks. ‘This network is a great fit for Glenn Martin, DDS and I look forward to helping Nick at Nite grow their primetime line up.’

‘Michael Eisner has been the creative architect of some of the most successful sitcoms in television history, and we’re very excited that the first new series from his new company will be on Nick at Nite,’ adds Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. ‘Glenn Martin, DDS is an innovative take on the modern American family and has the potential to be a definitional program in Nick at Nite’s lineup of family comedies like George Lopez and Home Improvement.”

Eisner put up his own money to make the animated pilot. A team of 10 writers has been hired and animation will be handled in Toronto. An obscure comedy troupe will provide the voices with a bit of improvisation involved. Nick plans to heavily promote the series debut in conjunction with its September kickoff of the popular sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Eisner decided to bring his show to Nickelodeon rather than Disney because he appreciated cable channels’ strategy to make bets on a small number of shows and nurture them. ‘And Nickelodeon liked it, they bought it. It felt comfortable to me, period,’ he said.