October 10, 2007 / 5:50 AM / 11 years ago

Fox reviving failed sitcom as a cartoon

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fox is stocking up on dysfunctional animated families for next season, including a project about the unluckiest family in the world.

If that sounds familiar, it is. The network is developing a cartoon version of “The Pitts,” a sitcom that aired for four weeks in March 2003 before being canceled.

But its creators, “Simpsons” veteran Mike Scully and his wife, Julie Thacker-Scully, never lost faith in the project and kept bringing it back in pitch meetings.

“It will be a new show to America, because so few people saw it outside of our immediate family,” Scully said. “It’s a show we’ve always been very fond of.”

The idea of making “Pitts” a cartoon first came up in the writers’ room of the original series.

“It was so close to a cartoon, so we were talking how much easier it would be to execute it if it were animated,” recalled Scully, who described the 2-D series as “‘The Simpsons’ Halloween episode every week.”

Fox has ordered two scripts, and is casting the project for a table read. If that goes well, “Pitts” will be ordered straight to series, bypassing the lengthy development process.

Scully hopes the “Pitts” resurrection will inspire other TV producers. “Maybe it will set a precedent for canceled live-action series,” he said. “Maybe next year ‘Studio 60’ will come back as a cartoon.”

As for the other projects:

- “Relative Insanity” centers on a twentysomething guy who is trying to establish his life but is constantly sidetracked by the mishaps and adventures of his crazy family. It is executive produced by Jack Black, and written by Justin Roiland.

- “Mothballs” is about the Westings, a family that lives in the nursing home it owns and operates. The show begins with the family’s uptight patriarch and nursing home owner forced to place his vivacious estranged father into his tightly run facility. It comes from Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser.

Last year, Fox stepped up its efforts to find a companion animated series to its Sunday night series “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” “American Dad!” and “King of the Hill.” The network ordered three animated presentations, but none made the cut to series.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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