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Ack thppt! Bill the Cat and Opus reuniting for 'Bloom County' animated series at Fox

Children of the '80s, rejoice!

By Adam Pockross
Bloom County Berkley Breathed PRESS

While many a Bloom County fan may have been upset that a Bill the Cat/Opus presidential ticket didn’t quite pan out, perhaps they can find some solace in this long-time-coming good news: Berkeley Breathed’s beloved comic strip may finally be coming to television! Ack thppt!

According to Deadline, Breathed’s definitive ‘80s comic strip is being developed as an animated series at Fox, with the artist himself on board to co-write and executive produce.

For those of you who didn’t have every bestselling book and a wall full of Opus and Bill the Cat plushies, Bloom County ran from 1980-89, and featured not just the talking, underwear-clad, and ever-worried penguin and the never-quite-in-recovery lobotomized cat, but also a bevy of other unique characters – like failed lawyer/womanizer Steve Dallas, 10-year-old serious news reporter Milo Bloom, anxiety-ridden and monster-closet-having Michael Binkley – all pontificating on the politics and pop culture of the day, and often delving into the realm of the fantastical and just plain weird occurrences in FlyWayWayOver country.

The project comes from Fox Entertainment and its animation studio Bento Box Entertainment, as well as Miramax, Spyglass Media Group, and Project X Entertainment.

“At the end of Alien, we watched cuddly Sigourney Weaver go down for a long peaceful snooze in cryogenic hyper-sleep after getting chased around by a saliva-spewing maniac, only to be wakened decades later into a world stuffed with far worse,” said Breathed in a statement. “Fox and I have done the identical thing to Opus and the rest of the Bloom County gang, may they forgive us.”

“I was introduced to the brilliance of Berkeley Breathed and Bloom County as a teenager. His signature blend of satire, politics, and sentiment hooked me. Plus, I love Opus,” said Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment, of Fox Entertainment. “Today, Berkeley’s smart and hilarious take on American culture is more relevant than ever. And, together with Bento Box, we’re thrilled to bring his unique ensemble of characters and social commentary to broadcast television.”

Bloom County spawned from Breathed’s comic The Academia Waltz, which appeared in The University of Texas’ student newspaper, The Daily Texan. It soon became nationally syndicated in The Washington Post, and a staple of the funny pages. Breathed famously decided to end Bloom County’s incredible run in 1989, right at the top of his game, though he did return to some of the characters in spinoffs Outland and Opus. Finally in 2015, out of the apparent blue, he started drawing the strip again and publishing via Facebook.

If the series gets picked up, The Hollywood Reporter notes that it would likely join Family Guy and The Simpsons in Fox’s Sunday animated lineup.

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