The Fox network has its eye on the Robert C. O’Brien’s Rats of NIMH book series as it plans to expand its animated series options to be more adult-oriented. Deadline reports that there has already been a script commitment to the series that comes from Fox Entertainment and MGM’s Orion Television. Fox Entertainment president, Michael Thorn, stated that NIMH is to be an event series. The network is also currently looking for a writer. Fox’s series will not in any way be related to Don Bluth’s 1982 adaptation, The Secrets of NIMH.
O’Brien’s Rats of NIMH trilogy debuted in 1971 with the first installment, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Subsequent sequels, Rasco and the Rats of NIMH, and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH were published in 1986 and 1990 by O’Brien’s daughter, Jane Leslie Conly– officially concluding the trilogy. This children’s series follows the adventure of mouse protagonist Mrs. Frisby, who in order to save her family, must travel through an unfamiliar underground world. She encounters a colony of intelligent lab rats who help her in relocating her home before plows and exterminators take it all away.
NIMH will arrive in time for the second phase of Fox’s animation expansion plan, according to Deadline. The network also aims to expand by ownership of such titles with a statement by Thorn saying that they’re “ramping up” their own content by “making deals with creators to own our own animation.”
The animation expansion plan also entails the inclusion of more mysteries, romantic comedies, adventure series, and workplace comedies. Thorn added that while Fox loves their family shows, they’re “looking to go beyond family and start to explore things that are more dramatic.” Thorn also mentioned that its popular animation titles, such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob’s Burgers, all of which have received season renewals, are still “at the top of their game.”