King Features, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most beloved entertainment characters and comic strips including Popeye, Olive Oyl, Cuphead, Zits, Mutts and Blondie, and The Jim Henson Company, a world renowned leader in family entertainment known as the creators of the Muppets and producers of series like Earth to Ned, Fraggle Rock and Sid the Science Kid, today announced they are partnering to produce a new animated family sitcom series inspired by the popular comic strip Hägar the Horrible.
The new series will follow the hardworking Viking family led by a larger than life hero, Hägar, who can’t quite understand how the society he once understood is changing around him. Eric Ziobrowski, producer and writer for the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and writer for comedy series including American Dad! and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, is on board to write the new Hägar series. Lisa Henson, CEO and President of The Jim Henson Company, and Halle Stanford, President of Television for The Jim Henson Company, will executive produce, along with C.J. Kettler, President of King Features.
The series will be brought to life using the Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary animation technology that allows Henson’s exceptional puppeteers to manipulate animated characters in real time, allowing for an organic, spontaneous performance.
“As a burly Viking with a tough exterior, Hägar is an enormously sympathetic character who is out of step with the evolving world around him. His village’s cultural zeitgeist is changing, and he is trying to keep up,” said Kettler. “The Jim Henson Company is known for their amazing storytelling and incredible digital puppetry, and we can’t wait to reimagine Hägar with them and introduce him to next generation audiences together.”
“Hägar is long overdue for his own series, and this new animated family sitcom, set in the rich and hilarious world of Vikings, will continue the tradition of what we do best at The Jim Henson Company,” said Henson. “Hägar is such a well-established, evergreen character and audiences immediately know and love him. Dik Browne’s comic will be a delightful and irreverent playground for our digital puppetry studio.”
Hägar was created in 1973 by Dik Browne and quickly became a mainstay on the funny pages, breaking records as the fastest growing comic strip ever. Today, the strip features daily original content created by Browne’s sons Chris and Chance Browne, which is distributed by King Features to content publishers around the world, reaching more than 80 million people in over 50 countries.
Hägar the Horrible is one of several properties King Features is currently developing for television and film as it looks to both adapt its iconic comic strip properties for today’s culture and build out its portfolio of properties it represents outside of the core comic strip arena. Up next for King Features is the highly anticipated adaptation of global video game phenomenon Cuphead, which will make its streaming debut next year on Netflix as The Cuphead Show!