Internet-famous Li’l Bub, the lovable, forever young “perma kitten,” will star in her own Animal Planet kitty komedy, “Li’l Bub’s Special Special,” airing Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8-8:30 p.m. CST.
Optimus produced the show — its first-ever for TV. It was created by One at Optimus director Mark Pallman and Li’l Bub’s owner/manager Mike Bridavsky, a Bloomington, Ind. musician and recording studio owner.
Comedian Amy Sedaris and musician/party guy Andrew W.K also star. “Amy was fantastic, giving us more than we asked for,” Pallman says.
“We shot three days in New York, with a New York crew before the Christmas holidays. We finished post here and shipped the deliverables Monday, Feb. 2,” relates Optimus’ executive producer Lisa Masseur on the show.
“I’m a cat person and I can tell you, Li’l Bub is the most adorable cat ever,” purrs Masseur, a pretty cool cat herself and “adorable-ness” being the key to Li’l Bub’s viral stardom.
Here’s how the Animal Planet describes the show: “Bub’s owner, Mike, hires Amy Sedaris as a special ‘Bubbysitter’ to watch the cat cutie while he’s away for the night. Li’l Bub plans to watch Andrew W.K.’s new clip show at a slumber party with her wild assortment of feline friends.
“Amy is the cat’s meow when it comes to Bubbysitting, yet she can’t stop Li’l Bub and her friends’ highjinks. To top off the night, Li’l Bub unveils a purrfect surprise: her special brand of space magic that leaves everyone open-jawed with tongues out!”
Li’l Bub’s web series an “aww-some” hit
As a “perma kitten,” who will ever look a day older, Li’l Bub is a rare feline species.
She is a dwarf, with a long slender body, and a polydactyl: she has 18 toes, four on her front paws and five on her hind paws. She has a bone disease and her tongue hangs out because she’s toothless.
After Bridavsky bought the kitten from a shelter in mid-2011, he and Pallman began making home videos of her antics for YouTube. Revision 3, a quality content producer for YouTube, loved the videos and wanted to upgrade the show to more produced content.
They came up with the idea of Li’l Bub as a talk show host interviewing (via subtitles) guests celebrities from a wish list Pallman and Bridavsky provided.
So starting last June, “Li’l Bub’s Big Show,” became an “awww-some” hit on Discovery’s Animalist digital channel, not to mention its 620,000 Facebook likes.
Revision 3 proposed the upcoming network special after it had been acquired by Animal Planet.
Working on a network TV show was, to Pallman, “a very interesting experience, different than the commercial world I work in. It’s been a long month, going back and forth with the network. It was like working with an agency client — very much a collaborative effort.”
Their hope is, if the show develops into a series, Optimus will produce it in Chicago.
EPs on the special were Bridavsky and Optimus’ Craig Leffel and Pallman. Mike Berg edited; Katie Smith was the post producer and Mark Butchko was the senior graphics designer.