Mike McMahan, CBS Studios Mike McMahan, CBS Studios

Writer and producer Mike McMahan, the Rick and Morty veteran and creator of Star Trek: Lower Decks, has signed an exclusive overall deal with CBS Studios as it grows its animation slate.

Here are the details:

  • Under the terms of the two-year deal, CBS Studios has the exclusive rights to produce all television content created and developed by McMahan.
  • McMahan is the creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, which premiered on the streamer CBS All Access in August. He is also the co-creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer of Hulu’s Solar Opposites.
  • Previously, McMahan was head writer and executive producer for Adult Swim’s long-running series Rick and Morty. He won Emmys when the show was named “outstanding animated program” in 2018 and 2020.
  • CBS Studios (formerly CBS Television Studios) entered animation production with 2018’s Our Cartoon President. The studio formed an animation division in 2019, placing svp of comedy development Alec Botnick at its head.
  • The division has grown fast. Its slate now includes Tooning out the News, Harper House, and Star Trek: Lower Decks for CBS All Access, and Star Trek: Prodigy for Nickelodeon. Its live-action series No Activity has also been reimagined as a fully animated production.
  • “We feel so fortunate that Mike chose to partner with us for this next stage of his career,” said Botnick. “He is a true savant whose passion for and knowledge of animation is inspirational. Being able to be a part of his journey and helping him realize the stories he wants to tell, and how he wants to tell them is the reason many of us got into this business.”
  • McMahan added, “I’m so excited to continue my television journey with my friends at CBS. I’ve always wanted to be allies with a corporation whose logo is a giant, unblinking eye. I think we’ll be able to make some truly weird stuff together.”


Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Deputy Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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