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The Mighty B!

The Mighty B! = Logo

Genre
Comedy
Animation
Created by
Starring
Country of origin
Network(s)
United States
Nickelodeon
Date Started:
April 26, 2008
June 12, 2011
present
No. of episodes
seasons
Executive producer(s)
Amy Poehler

Cynthia True

Erik Wiese
Production company(s)
Running time
22-24 mintues
Most episodes: 11-12 minutes


The Mighty B! is an American animated television series co-created by Amy Poehler, Cynthia True, and Erik Wiese for [1] that is rated TV-Y7. The series centers on Bessie Higgenbottom, an ambitious Honeybee girl scout who dreams that, by collecting every Honeybee badge in existence, she will become a superhero known as the "Mighty Bee". Bessie lives in San Francisco with her dog Happy, her 6 year old brother, Ben and her mom, Hilary.

The series premiered on April 26, 2008 which was the morning after Poehler's film Baby Mama had premiered. She had said prior to the premiere, "I'm going to go to bed and stay in my pajamas until 10:30 a.m. and watch Mighty B". Since its debut, the show has attracted an average 3.1 million viewers.

It was announced on September 2010 that the show was renewed for a second season with 20 episodes, which premiered on September 21, 2009. The third season will presumably be the last, since The Mighty B! was not featured in Nickelodeon's list of renewed shows for the 2013–2014 TV season.

The series has been nominated for six Annie Awards and four Daytime Emmy Awards, and winning one Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation. It has garnered one Artios Award nomination and one Golden Reel Award nomination.

Production

Development

Several years before The Mighty B! premiered, co-creator Amy Poehler and a number of people at Nickelodeon met together and thought about making a "female-driven" animated television series. Poehler stated that the series would be pitched as: "where this girl is at that great age [...] where you're not boy-crazy and you're not mean to other girls". She found that enthusiasm "fascinating" and wanted to "bottle it and take it like a pill".

The Mighty B! was picked up for a pilot in early 2006 under the name of Super Scout. It was co-created by Poehler, Cynthia True, and Erik Wiese. Brown Johnson, president of animation at Nickelodeon Studios, was "absolutely thrilled to have a comedy team of the caliber of Amy, Erik and Cynthia create this iconic character for a new generation". Poehler said that she was "thrilled that the world will finally meet the funny and sweet girl-tornado that is Bessie Higgenbottom [...] Erik, Cynthia and I are so pleased to be working with the wonderful people at Nickelodeon In the words of Bessie, it's been awesome!"

Bessie is loosely based on a character Poehler had played during her time at improvisational comedy troupes Second City and Upright Citizens Brigade, in addition to drawing inspiration from girls she looked up to when she was younger, to whom she called "the leaders". She described Bessie as a "feisty, plucky, bossy, Honey Bee scout" and called her "our hero [...] who goes on all these adventures in hopes of collecting all these badges". Poehler referred to the show as "double the action, triple the adventures and quadruple the awesomeness". During an interview with TV Guide, when asked if Poehler was trying to appeal adults with the show, she wrote: {C}"Yeah. What I love about SpongeBob SquarePants is that it's very watchable for an adult. But kids like it because they don't feel like they're being pandered to. That was what we were looking to do with The Mighty B! [...] We wanted to do a show that had a strong female character who didn't have too many rainbows and unicorns."

Voice cast

Amy Poehler voices Bessie Higgenbottom, a 9-year-old Honeybee scout. Poehler describes her as "superoptimistic and a super spaz" and "a bit bossy, but with good intentions". In addition to the main character, Poehler also voiced Sissy Sullivan, a Honeybee scout from Boston whose voice is similiar to Bessie's, but with a Boston accent. Dee Bradley Baker voices Happy Higgenbottom, Bessie's dog which she finds at the city harbor in the very first episode. Andy Richter voices Ben Higgenbottom, Bessie's younger brother. Richter is also the voice of Mort on the Nick show The Penguins of Madagascar. Richter talked about The Mighty B!, quoting: "[...] another dream come true, to be able to do cartoon voices! And, also, to get to do cartoon voices for [Ben and Mort] two really funny, cool cartoons that my kids love and that I'm proud to have them love. It’s pretty great." Dannah Feinglass voices Penny Lefcowitz, Bessie's best friend. Feinglass is also a writer for the show. Grey DeLisle voices Portia Gibbons, a Honeybee scout, Megan Cavanagh voices Hilary Higgenbottom, the single mother of Bessie and Ben, and Jessica DiCicco voices Gwen Wu, Portia's friend.

In addition to the main cast, Sarah Thyre, Kenan Thompson, Matt Besser, Keone Young, Jessica Chaffin and Kevin Michael Richardson voice supporting characters. Guest stars that have appeared on the show include Jill Talley, Jackée Harry, Rob Corddry, John Ross Bowie, Brian Posehn, Zachary Gordon, Paul Butcher, Niecy Nash, Dan Schneider and Audrey Wasilewski.

Characters

Main article: List of Characters

Episodes

Main article: Episodes

TV broadcast

The initial broadcast of the show spanned from April 26, 2008 It airs on Nickelodeon. Reruns are currently being broadcast on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons.

Critical reception

The series received generally positive reviews from television sources and critics. One review from Brian Lowry of Variety explained it contains a "kind of crazed energy and inventiveness that isn't associated often enough with girl-oriented children's fare [...] [and] opts for a more elevated approach – like that aforementioned roller-coaster jaunt, taking a free-spirited jump off the tracks and trusting its audience to hang on for the ride." David Hinckley of Daily News gave the show four stars, while writing that The Mighty B! "has a decent shot at becoming a pre-tween fave." Aaron H. Bynum of Animation Insider called the series a "good, brainless cartoon [...] [Because] viewers shouldn't ever be bored with Bessie," but criticized part of its humor for not "try[ing] to do too much, which may ultimately work against it when the story calls for the characters to do too little. Denver Post contributor Joanne Ostrow declared the protagonist of the series a "female answer to SpongeBob SquarePants". Among the favorable reception was a mixed review from Common Sense Media's Emily Ashby. She said while it "maintains a chaotic pace, and there are no real attempts to teach strong positive lessons [...] Young tweens will likely enjoy Bessie's outlandish, fantasy-fueled adventures – which are fast-paced and, on the surface, entertaining." Ed Liu of Toon Zone called The Mighty B! a show that he admires more than what he "truly love[s]", stating: "There is prodigious talent behind it and its wonderfully energetic, boisterous comedy. It's clearly trying very, very hard to be entertaining and largely succeeds [...] I almost feel bad for not liking The Mighty B! more than I do, and I'm still not sure why I don't enjoy it more". He noted it was worth pointing out that more recent episodes of the show seem "more assured and funnier" than the eight episodes on the We Got the Bee DVD.

Fanon

Although, there are some who don't The Mighty B! for an amount of reasons, It still managed to find it's own fanbase. Many of which would visit TV.com or The Mighty B! Fanon Wiki to share fan-made episodes, characters and art similar to other shows in the past.

Ratings

The Mighty B! premiered at 10:30 AM on April 26, 2008, and scored "above average for Nickelodeon programming" in the Nielsen ratings. It ranked in the top ten of all programming for combined broadcast and basic cable shows, with 1.92 million viewers in the 2–11 demographic and a rating of 5.2/23. The Mighty B! had double the viewership as Bakugan. In September 2008, the show had an average of 3.1 million viewers, and in the second quarter of 2008, the show ranked among the top five animated programs on television. During the third quarter of 2009, it averaged 2.6 million viewers, and was number-one in its timeslot in the children's 2-11 and children's 6-11 demographics.

Awards

Main article: List of awards won by The Mighty B!

Home video

Main article: The Mighty B! videography

Gallery

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