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July 18, 2016

Cracking a Comic Code

Crackle's SuperMansion has its roots in Robot Chicken.

Paula Hendrickson
  • Crackle

The DNA of Crackle's animated series SuperMansion - about an aging superhero named Titanium Rex (voiced by Bryan Cranston) and his league of misfit crime fighters — traces directly to the writers' room of Cartoon Network's Robot Chicken.

"It's something Matt Senreich and Zeb Wells [SuperMansion co-creators and executive producers] had been developing for a while," says fellow SuperMansion exec producer Seth Green, who also supplies voices as neede.

"We all have a background in comic books and love superheroes, and a lot of our jokes and ideas for Robot Chicken are based on parodies of superhero universes, or imagined scenarios that logically would happen within them. So, the genesis of the show was creating our own superhero universe and then having a lot of fun within it."

Not only did they score six-time Emmy winner Cranston as the lead, but he signed on as an executive producer, too. "His value as a performer is immeasurable, but his thoughtfulness about the character and the overall show is more than we ever  anticipated," Green says.

After Cartoon Network passed on the project, they shopped it around. Sony's streaming service, Crackle, was at the top of the list.

"Sony Digital underwrote the original episodes of Robot Chicken back when it was webisodes," Green explains. "Crackle felt like Adult Swim [Cartoon Network's late-night block] did when we first started there — young and a little punk rock. They promised us a lot of advertising support and production support and have come through at every turn."

Another plus? Crackle's demographic matched their core audience. "It's this new generation of viewers who don't differentiate between the way they view their content," Green says. "A new generation of cord-cutters."

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