Continuing to plant their flag when it comes to original scripted programming, Apple has secured the rights to the animated musical comedy Central Park, from 20th Century Fox TV. Originated by Bob's Burger creator/executive producer Loren Bouchard, who co-wrote the project with Bob's Burgers' executive producer Nora Smith and actor-writer Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast), Apple won what was described as a "very competitive situation" against two rival streaming services with a two-season, 26-episode straight-to-season order.
Central Park tells the story of a family of caretakers living and working in Central Park who find themselves having to save the park…and the world. Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs and Kathryn Hahn make-up the series' voice cast.
Originally set up at 20th Century Fox TV — home of animated series as The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob Burgers and American Dad — Central Park was meant for Fox's programming slate. Though the network continues looking to projects like Kevin Hart's Lil Kev pilot to boost their animated slate, Fox eventually passed on the project. 20th Century Fox TV offered the project out, creating a bidding war between Apple, Hulu and Netflix.
Central Park has some Apple "high honors" to brag about: it's the computer giant's first animated series; and stands as one of only two series to receive a two-season order, with the Untitled Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon being the first. For 20th Century Fox TV, the series marks the company's first animated foray into streaming services; with the majority of the studio's shows produced for sister broadcast network Fox.
Bouchard and Gad are set to executive produce Central Park alongside Brillstein Entertainment Partners, with Smith serving as a consulting producer. Having played a direct role in the development of the project, Kevin Larsen is set to produce.