Iconic internet phenomenon The Annoying Orange is breaking out of the virtual kitchen as Cartoon Network announced today they’ve acquired the television rights to the most-watched web series of all-time. Inspired by the viral sensation watched by millions on YouTube, a new half-hour television series will premiere in 2012 as part of Cartoon Network’s original programming block.
Created by Dane Boedigheimer and produced by leading entertainment management and production company The Collective, The Annoying Orange features an endearingly annoying and highly entertaining Orange that playfully heckles other fruits, vegetables or nearby objects with puns and jokes. The television series is the latest brand extension for The Annoying Orange, which has already taken the internet by storm. To date, The Annoying Orange Web series has racked up over 850 million total views on its dedicated channel on YouTube as of September 2011, and with new episodes debuting every Friday, it continues to attract millions of views and new fans each week. The Annoying Orange is the ninth-most-subscribed YouTube channel of all time with more than two million subscribers and has over 10 million fans on Facebook and Twitter. The popularity has also translated over to the official web site, www.annoyingorange.com, which generates nearly four million page views each month.
Now YouTube’s favorite fruit is embarking on an all-new high fructose animated adventure on Cartoon Network. The television series follows Orange and his band of buddies as they travel through time in a magical fruit cart. From Prehistoric Era to Colonial Times, Orange and the rest of the Kitchen Crew are dropped into random adventures and forced to squeeze their way out. Joining Orange on his escapades are his fellow popular produce pals from the web series including Pear, Passion Fruit, Apple, Marshmallow and his nemesis Grapefruit.
The continued robust success of The Annoying Orange on the internet will present a truly unique promotional platform for the television series. Cartoon Network will work with The Collective to mobilize and motivate the property’s tremendous fan base through You Tube and AnnoyingOrange.com via the short-form original content that will continue to be produced separate from the television program — and can be used to drive tune-in messaging in an innovative manner.
“The Annoying Orange and Cartoon Network were just meant to be squeezed together,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network.
The television series was developed and will be produced by The Collective, which also financed the pilot before shopping it to broadcasters. Dane Boedigheimer co-created the television series with Tom Sheppard (Emmy Award-winning writer for Pinky and the Brain). Conrad Vernon (director of Madagascar 3 and Monsters vs. Aliens) will serve as executive producer for the series along with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein of The Collective.
“Two years ago when I launched The Annoying Orange, I never imagined that my unhealthy obsession with talking fruit would become such a phenomenon” said creator Dane Boedigheimer. “I’m really excited to bring a new version to Cartoon Network.”
“We want to continue to ensure that The Annoying Orange’s huge and loyal audience can enjoy the fruits of Dane’s creative vision whenever and wherever they want,” said Michael Green, CEO of The Collective. “Our model at The Collective is to partner with creative artists to build global brands across all possible platforms and we could not be more excited to join forces with the Cartoon Network to extend the magic of this property to cable television.”
The television deal comes as the first wave of The Annoying Orange licensed merchandise is being met with strong demand at retail. Leading the way is an ap”peal”ing line of apparel and accessories that began to roll out in October at JC Penney locations nationwide. The highly-anticipated debut toy line from master toy partner The Bridge Direct, Inc. which features a collection of talking plush, clip-ons and collectible figures will hit specialty retailers including Toys “R” Us and RadioShack in time for the holiday gift giving season. Meanwhile, The Annoying Orange: Kitchen Carnage app is now available for iPhone and Android.