Fox is getting into the crypto game.
The broadcaster announced at its upfront presentation on Monday that Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon’s new animated series will have groundbreaking technology involved in its distribution and marketing.
Harmon is making Krapopolis, an animated comedy set in mythical ancient Greece that’s “centered on a flawed family of humans, gods and monsters that tries to run one of the world’s first cities without killing each other.”
Yet Krapopolis is also going to be “the first-ever animated series curated entirely on the Blockchain” and mark the broadcast network’s debut move into the NFT business. Fox says it is also debuting a new NFT company called Blockchain Creative Labs.
“Not to go too far into it today, but as an advertiser-focused, artist-first and animation-obsessed company, Fox is going to take advertisers into the world of blockchain-powered tokens, including NFTs,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier told advertisers during the company’s presentation, which was streamed online. “And Dan’s series, currently entitled Krapopolis, will be the first-ever curated entirely on the blockchain. And just as we’re doing this for our own animation, we will also help your brands connect directly with fans and enthusiasts through NFTs. With and for you, Fox will help art meet brands meet technology.”
Fox will launch a dedicated marketplace for Krapopolis “that will curate and sell digital goods, ranging from NFTs of one-of-a-kind character and background art and GIFs, as well as tokens that provide exclusive social experiences to engage and reward superfans.” The show will be produced by Bento Box Entertainment.
Harmon returning to broadcast with a new comedy is a big deal as well. In 2009, the Emmy-winning writer launched NBC’s Community to considerable fandom and acclaim (and plenty of behind-the-scenes drama). Then he moved to Adult Swim to launch 2013’s Rick and Morty, which became arguably the most successful and influential new animated series in decades (has somebody launched a SquanchCoin yet?).
“Leave it to Dan Harmon to turn the mythos of early Greek civilization into remarkably sharp commentary on today’s politics, celebrity and pop culture,” said Michael Thorn, president of entertainment for Fox Entertainment when the show was first announced as in development.
An NFT (or non-fungible token) is like a digital trading card. It’s an asset that represents art, music, videos and other real-world items. They are typically bought and sold using cryptocurrency and are part of the Ethereum blockchain (Ethereum is a popular form of crypto with a market size second only to Bitcoin). Each NFT is considered one-of-a-kind even though it can be copied (for instance: The “disaster girl” meme has been reproduced countless times online, but the woman who appeared in the photo recently auctioned off an NFT of her meme for $500,000). The appeal for collectors is the owner holds what might be considered a definitive digital “official” version of an item that can perhaps increase in value.
Another project, a comedy called Hold on for Dear Life, has been previously announced as in development from Beacon Pictures and is attempting to become the first show that’s financed using crypto, but it hasn’t found a distributor yet. Starz’s American Gods has also released collectibles using NFTs. But Fox’s effort is aiming to be the first major series player in this space.
Fox also released its fall schedule, which can be found here.