Fox Television, the proud home of The Simpsons and Family Guy, is looking for another cartoon franchise to add to its roster. But rather than searching in Hollywood, it is crowdsourcing cartoon ideas on the Web. In a contest hosted on animation site Aniboom, professional and amateur animators alike will be able to submit a two- to four-minute animated video online for a chance at cash prizes and a shot at producing a full-length pilot for TV.
The contest starts on May 27. Fox is looking for holiday-themed ideas (anything from Halloween to Christmas). Fox executives will pick four finalists, and the Aniboom audience will pick a fifth. A Fox development deal is not guaranteed, but Fox hopes to find new talent it can showcase on TV.
Aniboom is becoming a strong community for animators. If the contest produces something which ends up on TV, you can expect to see more like this one in the future. But instead of just using Aniboom for what amounts to nothing more than online auditions, Fox should start thinking about how to make its next cartoon franchise truly live online as well as on the Web. I am not sure what that means, but Fox is not even asking for animators to submit videos or concepts with online components. Maybe Fox should launch the series online first before it takes it to TV. That seems to be a popular emerging TV development model these days (see Blah Girls).
If you were developing the next Simpsons for both the Web and TV, what would look like?