Portfolio branches into adult animation with Doomsday Brothers

The post-apocalyptic series, commissioned by Corus, is part of a larger drive to diversify its content offerings in a market hungry for adult-focused animated content, says CEO Lisa Olfman.
Doomsday Brothers pic

Toronto’s Portfolio Entertainment is expanding into adult-focused animation for the first time with its newly-commissioned apocalypse series Doomsday Brothers.

The 18 x 22-minute show, which Portfolio will shop at MIPCOM later this month, was greenlit by Corus Entertainment for a fall 2020 debut in both English and French.

Produced in partnership with Montreal’s N12 Productions, the show is set in a post-apocalyptic world where two survivalist brothers are hired to become protectors of their rural hometown. It is created by N12 president Alain Dagenais, Portfolio’s SVP of content Liliana Reyes and writer/producer Willem Wennekers (Fugget About It, Kiss and Cry), who serves as showrunner.

Co-founder and CEO Lisa Olfman told Playback Daily the new project is part of an ongoing strategy to broaden Portfolio’s content offerings in a kids and animation market that has undergone an SVOD-led transformation in recent years.

Doomsday Brothers dovetailed with Portfolio’s intention to diversify our development slate beyond preschool and the six-to-11 space, and a part of that diversification is moving into primetime and adult animation,” said Olfman, who added that the service work Portfolio did on projects like Bravest Warriors (YTV) and Hot Streets (Adult Swim) served as gateways into proprietary projects.

While demand for adult animated content has historically been confined to North America, Olfman noted that the SVOD revolution has created a new demand for this type of content in international markets.

Other Canadian companies such as Blue Ant Media  which launched Look Mom! Productions two years ago  have also been expanding their slates to include adult animation titles such as Gary and His Demons.

Adult-targeted animation isn’t the only new line of business Portfolio is looking to explore. Like many other kids-content producers in Canada, Portfolio is looking to branch into a YA space that has become red-hot in recent years. Olfman said Portfolio is in advanced stages of development on a number of YA series, as well as live-action properties, that it will begin pitching soon.

“With a broadcast landscape that has changed so dramatically in the last few years, it really behooved us to take our creative development chops and expand into other genres,” said Olfman, adding that the launch of its Toronto animation studio in 2015 has allowed the company to do a greater proportion of its creative development in-house.

Doomsday Brothers joins a MIPCOM slate that also includes So You Want To Be? (13 x 22 minutes, produced by Texas-based Champion Entertainment), season two of Addison (produced by Six Eleven Media for CBC) and season 12 of Cyberchase (produced by WNET for PBS Kids).