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North Springs is an American adult animated sitcom[1] created by Don Foster and Rob Farlane for TBS. It is set in the fictional titular town in the state of Washington, and centers on the lives of Tommy Briggs, Philly Lyndon, Cole Makowski, and Ben Sears, four 8-year-old boys. The show has become very popular to due its profanity and its dark, surreal comedy that satirizes numerous serious topics.

The series is animated in-house using two-dimensional computer animation, which has been produced by various companies over the years of the show's production. Since 2009, the series has been animated by North Springs Studio.

The series premiere, "Philly Writes", was originally broadcast on June 2, 1996. It became America's first weekly television program to be rated TV-M, now TV-MA. In 1997, it became the second most-watched television series on pay television in the U.S., reaching first place in 1999. 375 episodes have been aired.

North Springs has been nominated for numerous awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards.

Premise

Setting and characters

See also: List of North Springs characters

North Springs takes place during present time in North Springs, a fictional city in the U.S. state of Washington. According to a map shown in the season 10 episode "Put Your Money Where Your Ass Is", it is located close to the West Coast.

Tommy Briggs, Philly Lyndon, Cole Makowski, and Ben Sears are the protagonists of the show. They all first appeared in the pilot episode. Supporting characters include Michael Wendy, Katie Emery, and Robert Malabrovsky.

Style and themes

Don Foster and Rob Farlane credited The Simpsons and the works of George Moon as inspiration for the style of North Springs. Their idea was to have the show look like a "kiddie" cartoon while retaining its adult themes. As a result, they created the show's simplistic art style, often excluding noses on child characters and females and fingers.

Child characters curse frequently, which Foster said was because he and Farlane know that children use strong language when adults are not present. The duo also included the element of young characters being interested in adult topics (namely topics related sex and alcohol).

Development

Conception

In 1993, Don Foster and Rob Farlane pitched an idea for an adult animated televidion series to the TBS television channel in 1994, who said they would come back to it "in a little bit."

Production

In 1994, work on the show began. The production team given a 5-day production deadline. This was done so that the writers could catch up to recent events.

The first season took about two months to complete. The characters were designed solely by Foster and Farlane. The writers of the season alternated between Foster, Farlane, Josh Kimm, Stephen Kessman, Kay Utolo, Nic Kawl, and Daniel A. Salisbury; after season one, each season had one writer, rotating between Foster and Farlane.

Animation

The series' animation begins with the characters. The art of a scene's characters is put into Toonwash. The art is changed for each frame to mimic movement. When the motion is complete, a background is placed.

The first two seasons were animated by Sequitur Studios. The seasons from 1998 to 1999 were animated by Eye Identity Studios, the seasons from 2000 to 2008 were produced and Paintcup Productions, and the seasons since 2009 have been animated in-house by North Springs Studios.

Episodes

Main article: List of North Springs episodes

375 episodes of North Springs have been distributed. "Philly Writes", the first episode of the entire series, premiered on June 2, 1996.

Reception

Ratings and critical reception

The show, overall, was rated 8/10 by OGN, the online magazine writing, "Spectacular adult animated sitcom manages to keep its high quality to this day." It was also rated 8.2/10 by users on IMDb, and B+ by Tonight TV.

Awards and nominations

Main article: Awards and nominations of North Springs

Controversies

Despite the high ratings received by North Springs, the Parents Television Council criticized the show for its sexual themes, uncensored profanity, bloody violence, drug references, and abuse of alcohol.

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 The show, while remaining an animated sitcom, mixes dark comedy, surreal comedy, satire, and farce.
North Springs
Created by Don Foster and Rob Farlane.
Characters Children Tommy Briggs · Philly Lyndon · Cole Makowski · Ben Sears · Katie Emery · Kyle Falcom · Robert Malabrovsky · Michael Wendy
Adults Chris and Lisa Briggs · Anna and Tyler Lyndon · Mrs. Charleston · Bob Roberts
Lists Families · North Springs Elementary (Students · Staff)
Seasons 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23
Other Awards and nominations · Subject matter
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