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Pendleton Ward Brings Animated ‘Midnight Gospel’ to Netflix, ‘Klaus’ Scores Serious Numbers

Fern Siegel

Emmy-winner Pendleton Ward (“Adventure Time”) and comedian Duncan Trussell (“Big Mouth”) are creating/producing an eight-episode adult animated series for Netflix.

“The Midnight Gospel,” which premieres next year, centers on Clancy, a spacecaster with a malfunctioning multiverse simulator, who leaves home to interview beings living in dying worlds, per Netflix. The fantasy series utilizes clips from Trussell’s podcast “Duncan Trussell Family Hour.”

Trussell’s animated show “Big Mouth” also airs on Netflix. Titmouse, which is behind “Big Mouth,” will also be the animation studio for “Midnight Gospel.”

A veteran comedy writer, Trussell’s work includes “Funny or Die Presents…” and “Pretend Time.”

Ward, who created the 10-season hit “Adventure Time” for Cartoon Network, will see the cult show rebooted on HBO Max in 2020 with four new one-hour specials. Cartoon Network Studios is producing the series, titled “Adventure Time: Distant Lands.” The specials will follow Finn and Jake, best friends who travel the mystical Land of Ooo.

On the adventure/fantasy front, Netflix and Mattel Television are also producing the rebooted fantasy superhero series “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” for a new generation.

Separately, Netflix’s animated holiday movie “Klaus” has scored serious numbers in its first month, among the streamer’s most-watched original movies, according to company data provided to Reuters.

Nearly 30 million households globally have viewed it since its Nov. 15 debut. (Netflix rarely releases viewership figures; it counts a view when a user’s account streams at least 70% of a movie. The numbers are not independently verified.)

“Klaus” is an offbeat tale of a selfish postman and a reclusive toymaker who become unlikely friends. It was written-directed by Spanish animator and “Despicable Me” creator Sergio Pablos. J.K. Simmons and Jason Schwartzman voice the leads.