After some nine years of cel-animated commercials and promos, Burbank-based Renegade Animation is making its first move on a TV series, with a pilot called Captain Sturdy. If the Captain sounds somewhat less than invincible, well, he is. In point of fact, he's a 62-year-old retired crime fighter who's forced back into action when the Federated Union of Superheroes' pension fund collapses. Assisted by his trusty sidekick Ultra Boy (now 51), Sturdy is on a mission to entertain adults as well as kids in what may be a Cartoon Network prime time slot, if things go sturdily enough for Renegade. The seven-minute pilot debuted in June and played again the weekend of August 25th (just as Creativity went to press) in what's known as the Cartoon Network's Cartoon Pick event - viewers vote via phone and internet for their favorite among a slate of series prospects.
Can Sturdy, with its more adult-oriented, anti-politically correct bent and an aging star, really appeal to enough 'toon viewers to get the green light? Maybe, says executive producer Ashley Postlewaite, who heads Renegade with animation director Darrell Van Citters. "Getting any show on the air is a longshot," she admits, but the Cartoon Network "has a pretty big adult audience and they're looking to build it even bigger." The show, written by Bill Waldner, a CD/writer with Dailey & Associates in L.A. and a longtime Renegade collaborator, "is not for kids but it's OK for kids," she adds. "There's nothing that registers on the gross-out meter - it's just sophisticated, intelligent humor."