Streaming service HBO Max and Cartoon Network have ordered an animated series, an animated special, and a live-action pilot based on books by bestselling children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems, according to Deadline.
The new projects include Unlimited Squirrels!, an animated show based on Willems’ series for early readers that began with 2018’s I Lost My Tooth!; Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Special, an animated work inspired by the 2009 picture book and its 2018 musical stage production; and a pilot for the challengingly titled Cat the Cat’s Show the Show Show with YOU the YOU!, a live-action show based on the author’s series for early readers, whose first entry was 2010’s Cat the Cat, Who Is That?
Willems will serve as an executive producer and co-writer for all the shows, which are part of his exclusive, two-year deal with HBO Max, announced in February. He won six Daytime Emmys as a writer for Sesame Street in the 1990s and early 2000s, and also created the Cartoon Network show Sheep in the Big City, which lasted for two seasons, from 2000 to 2002.
The author’s first children’s book was the enormously popular Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! in 2003, which inspired many sequels and multiple TV specials; the most recent book, last year’s The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!, received a Kirkus Star. Willems has also written numerous Elephant and Piggie books for early readers, as well as three Knuffle Bunny books.
David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.