Steven Quincy Urkel, the geek icon portrayed with nasally glee by actor Jaleel White on Family Matters from 1989 to 1997, has become pivotal part of Cartoon Network and HBO Max’s animation plans for the future. WarnerMedia Kids & Family announced on Wednesday that the character would return this holiday season in the new animated musical, Did I Do That to the Holidays? A Steve Urkel Story. The special, written by comedian Wyatt Cynac, is part of a broader slate of original programming that will include a Batman Christmas movie and a new Looney Tunes feature.
On Sunday Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. EDT, Cartoon Network will launch “ACME Night,” a new programming block aimed at kids and their families named after the Amazon of the Looney Tunes-verse. The block will kick off by airing a slate of fun-for-all-ages Warner movies, including Shazam!, Detective Pikachu, Scoob!, and the superhero reboot in which Superman snaps General Zod’s neck, Man of Steel. Down the road, previously announced shows like a Harry Potter Wizarding World competition event series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, the Aquaman animated miniseries King of Atlantis, and J.J. Abrams and Bruce Timm’s upcoming Batman: Caped Crusader will all debut in the block before making their way to HBO Max at a later date.
Cartoon Network will round out the first wave of ACME Night with three original movies that includes Urkel’s official feature animation debut. The character previously popped up in the crossover-heavy 2020 series Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, in an episode where Urkel helped Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang fight rampaging Urkel-bots. Did I Do That to the Holidays? A Steve Urkel Story finds Urkel reeling after humiliating a shopping mall Santa, and traveling to the North Pole to make things right. Hijinks ensue, and Steve “must find the real Santa to see if together they can help the city rediscover the holiday spirit,” according to a synopsis. The musical special hails from Cenac, Bryan Newton (Rick and Morty), who serves as supervising director, and White, who returns to voice the character and serve as producer.
Also on the docket: Merry Little Batman, described as an animated family action comedy the finds a six-year-old Damian Wayne alone in Wayne Manor, and taking on the mantle of “Little Batman” in order to “defend his home and Gotham City from the crooks and super-villains intent on destroying Christmas.” The Warner Bros. Animation project is directed by Mike Roth (Regular Show) from a screenplay by Morgan Evans (Earth to Ned).
And in the jaw-dropping wake of Space Jam: A New Legacy, the Looney Tunes will return in their truer 2D form for an untitled movie from executive producer Pete Browngardt (Looney Tunes Cartoons), supervising producer Alex Kirwan (Looney Tunes Cartoons), and writer Kevin Costello (Tom and Jerry).
The feature finds Porky and Daffy in sci-fi buddy action comedy mode trying to stop a secret alien mind-control plot being run out of a bubble gum factory. It’s already better than Space Jam: A New Legacy, just on paper.
WarnerMedia Kids & Family did not set dates for any of the specials, but noted that some of the specials would only “be available on HBO Max starting next year.” Urkel fans will have to tune in live to ensure they get their fill this holiday season.