Altitude and Brouhaha Entertainment have teamed up on the animated series adaptation of Bill Bryson’s best-selling popular science book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

The project will be led by Josh Weinstein, the multiple Emmy Award-winning writer and showrunner (The Simpsons, Futurama, Disenchantment And CBBC’s Strange Hill High) and Jason Hazeley, the BAFTA winning writer (Cunk On Earth, Death To 2020, The Paddington Movies and The Ladybird Books For Grown-Ups), and narrated by BAFTA Award-winning actor and comedian Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, The Mandalorian, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace). It will be produced in conjunction with Framestore.

A Short History of Nearly Everything will tell the story of “everything we know” through the stories of the “unsung and often little-known heroes and heroines of science”.

“In a way that only animation can, it will span centuries and continents, time and space, the abstract and the real, the crazy and the obvious — and explore the triumphs of imagination, the leaps of faith, the hours of grind and the happy accidents encountered by these brilliant and often delightfully eccentric thinkers and doers.”

Bryson’s book has sold over 15,000,000 copies worldwide, been translated into over 50 languages.

The series concept was devised by Hazeley and Paul Sowerbutts; Executive Producers are Weinstein, Hazeley, Sowerbutts and Will Clarke for Altitude, Troy Lum and Andrew Mason for Brouhaha. 

Author Bill Bryson commented; “I feel very lucky to have such a gifted and distinguished group of creative talents turning my words into screen magic.”

Will Clarke, Chairman and Co-CEO of Altitude commented; “Bill’s brilliant mind expands beyond the hugely impressive number of books he’s sold and is arguably a global brand in its own right.  We know from broadcasters and streamers that audiences are hungry to explore and learn more about our universe whilst being entertained and our series – which we envisage as a long-running entertainment franchise – is the perfect way to deliver that.“

Co-showrunner and writer Josh Weinstein commented, “Should aliens ever land on Earth, Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything is the only guide they’ll need to understand humans, our foibles and our knowledge of our planet… and to make fun of us.  And if they can’t read any of the 50 languages it’s been translated to, they’re invited to watch the mind-blowingly funny animated series we’ve based on it.”

Co-showrunner and writer Jason Hazeley commented; “Bill’s writing is so clear, so clever and so funny that adapting it for the screen is a sky-scraping joyous undertaking. And a chance for me to have a 135th go at understanding quantum theory.”

Troy Lum of Brouhaha commented, “Bill Bryson’s writing and humour is beloved all over the world.  None more so than A Short History of Nearly Everything which is a rites-of -passage for anyone remotely curious about the universe.  It’s a privilege to bring this to the screen.”

Jon Creamer

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