DORA — Characters that Tim Hollis created as a child will come to life on a web TV series that will debut next year.
Cordova High School student Ginny Posey has been cast as Muscles Mahogany, hero of "The Weird World of Tim Hollis."
Hollis will host the program, the bulk of which will be filmed in the Hollis Museum in Dora before an audience. He and Posey will be joined by a cast of rotating characters such as an evil Muscles Mahogany, Lulu Legs and Mighty Milkshake.
"We figured out that 2020 is going to be the 50th anniversary of the first characters I ever did. I actually found an old cassette tape from 1970 where I mention the very first character that I ever came up with," Hollis said.
The characters, who hail from the realm of Weird World, first appeared in stories Hollis wrote for his fellow students. From 1977 to 1985, Hollis did a "Weird World" comic strip for The Community News.
In the late 1990s, Hollis revived the characters for a creative writing program he was asked to do for area schools.
"Eventually, I started hiring actresses to go with me to play Muscles Mahogany, who was the female superhero in the story. I think the kids enjoyed meeting her more than meeting me," Hollis said.
In 2015, the characters were part of “The 30-Minute Tim Hollis Hour,” which aired on the Alabama Cable Network.
Hollis wrote 26 episodes but only four aired. He has spent the intervening years looking at ways to revive the series as well as searching for the right person to portray Muscles Mahogany, an icon of female empowerment who draws her strength from granola bars.
Hollis and ACT Models and Talent auditioned actresses from all over the Southeast but found Posey just across the river in Cordova.
"It's an honor to be chosen, especially since it took so many auditions to find the right person. I'm excited because I feel like I fit the character really well considering all the muscles I've built up for cheerleading," Posey said."
Posey is a cheerleader and runs track at CHS. She has already begun making personal appearances on behalf of the program. Her debut was at the Southern Womens Show in September.
"I've done a little bit of acting before, but extracurricular activities take up most of my time. This is perfect because I can film on Sundays, and I get the opportunity to practice in front of cameras for hopefully my future career in broadcasting," Posey said.
The rest of the cast is a mixture of youth and adult actors and actresses. The live audience will similarly be a handful of children and their parents, guardians or older siblings.
"What we found when we did the cable program was it is more appealing to the older kids and the adults than it is the little kids," Hollis said.
The tagline for the show is "The kids' show for grownups."
Each episode will also include a presentation of classic cartoon episodes that have fallen into the public domain. Including these as part of the episode will allow Hollis to show off items from the museum and teach a new generation about the popular characters of yesteryear.
Characters like Muscles Mahogany, meanwhile, will be presented as role models for today's youth.
"There aren't morally good characters for kids to look up to. Muscles Mahogany is like Hannah Montana — good, pure, wholesome," Cariss Dooley, CEO of ACT Models and Talent, which is based in Hueytown.
Filming on the one-hour pilot is expected to begin in January. Episodes will be released on the web twice a month. An official start date has not yet been determined.