The heroes of Lakewood Plaza are getting a television series. Cartoon Network has announced it is moving forward with a new animated show called "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes."
Created by former "Steven Universe" supervising director and co-executive producer Ian Jones-Quartey, "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes" follows young K.O. and his friends as they battle Lord Boxman's constant efforts to destroy Lakewood Plaza, a mall for heroes.
The world is very much video game-inspired, so it makes sense that unlike other Cartoon Network shows, "OK K.O.!" initially debuted as a mobile game.
Launched in 2016 for Android and iOS, "OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo" was one of Cartoon Network's first original mobile titles. Based on a short created by Jones-Quartey for the network's artist program, "Lakewood Plaza Turbo" served as a sort of pilot for the series, explained Rob Sorcher, Cartoon Network's chief content officer.
"We wanted to move on a project with Ian," Sorcher said. "His particular point of view and his desire to make a really interesting kids program — we wanted to back that. So the move we made was to actually produce a pilot of a different kind, which was a mobile game."
After seeing "Lakewood Plaza Turbo" expressed as a game, Cartoon Network saw expanded potential for the "OK K.O.!" universe, Sorcher said. He added that the years-long development process was a different approach for Cartoon Network and was nurtured through collaboration.
"That notion of a single creator holding onto control, and a company holding onto the control and setting up the guidelines of the property and all of that, that's what we've turned inside out here," Sorcher said. "It required both [Cartoon Network] and Ian to go on this journey of letting go and putting it in the hands of other people, collaborating with other people, and seeing what that would bring and add to ['OK K.O.!']."
The "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes" TV series will be followed by the release of an integrated console game jointly developed by Cartoon Network and independent video game studio Capybara Games. Described as an action brawler with role-playing game elements, the game is expected to be released in the fall and will be previewed at PAX East in Boston on Friday.
"OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes" is slated for a summer premiere, with a sneak preview of the show scheduled at SXSW on Monday.