Viacom's MTV Networks and Toronto-based Nelvana Ltd. have signed an agreement to co-produce two new television series targeted to young adults. The first, the animated comedy Clone High, imagines a universe where young clones of historical figures and dead celebrities are in attendance at the same high school. The second is a live action sports-oriented sitcom, Varsity Blues, based on the Paramount/MTV feature of the same name.
Production began on Clone High at the beginning of the month; Varsity Blues is scheduled to begin during in the next two months. Both programmes are scheduled to launch in the autumn of 2002.
Clone High executive producers and creators Christopher Miller and Phil Lord both got their start in animation at Walt Disney Animation. Co-executive producer Bill Lawrence is the co-creator of the US sitcom Spin City. John Miller is executive producer for MTV. Jackie French, Jennifer Saltzgiver, and Geoff Suddleson are executives in charge of production for MTV.
Among Varsity Blues producers are the film's screenwriter Peter Iliff and the film's producer, Tova Leiter. Iliff's other screenwriting credits include Patriot Games and Point Break as well as Under Suspicion, while Laiter's credits include The Scarlet Letter and Cop And A Half.
In addition, Nelvana will work in association with MTV on a new live-action Programme, The Sausage Factory, that premiered with high ratings on Canadian television's Comedy Network in the autumn of 2001. Nelvana co-produced the programme with Vancouver-based Peace Arch Entertainment Group. The programme will launch on MTV in the fourth quarter of 2002.