A.N.T. Farm is an American sitcom which originally aired on Disney Channel from May 6, 2011 to March 21, 2014. It first aired on May 6, 2011, as a special one-episode preview and continued as a regular series starting on June 17, 2011. After airing as the preview of the series, the pilot episode "transplANTed" later re-aired after the series finale of The Suite Life on Deck. The series was created by Dan Signer, a former writer and co-executive producer of The Suite Life on Deck and creator of the YTV series Mr. Young. In mid-November 2010, Disney Channelgreenlighted the series, with production beginning in early 2011. The first promo was released during the premiere of Lemonade Mouth.
A.N.T. Farm revolves around Chyna Parks (China Anne McClain), an 11-year-old musical prodigy, who has just become the newest A.N.T. (Advanced Natural Talents) in the A.N.T. program at Webster High School in San Francisco, California. On her first day, she meets Olive Doyle (Sierra McCormick), an odd girl who has a photographic memory, and Fletcher Quimby (Jake Short), an artistic genius (but otherwise quite dim) who falls deeply in love with her when they first meet. They soon become her best friends at the high school. They proceed to go on multiple adventures, using their talents to their advantage. Before Chyna meets Olive and Fletcher, she meets Gibson (Zach Steel), the counselor, tutor, and therapist of the A.N.T. Farm, who is a strange, goofy guy who isn't the brightest person. The school's "it" girl, Lexi Reed (Stefanie Scott), is one of the teenagers who thinks the ants are little kids at Webster. She proceeds to bully Chyna, thinking of her as competition in being the star of the school. Chyna's bumbling older brother, Cameron (Carlon Jeffery), attempts to avoid Chyna in high school as much as he can, afraid she will be an embarrassment to him. Lexi's best friend Paisley, (Allie DeBerry) and Chyna, Olive, and Fletcher's friend Angus (Aedin Mincks) share major recurring roles on the series.
Season 3 takes place at a boarding school instead of at Webster High School held by a big technology company, Z Tech, ran by Zoltan Grundy (Dominic Burgess). The series ended with Fletcher (Jake Short) winning an art fellowship in New York City.
Disney Channel announced on November 11, 2010 that they had greenlighted the show for production, which began in early 2011. The show was first conceived when Dan Signer, creator of the show, saw China Anne McClain. "The girl had so much confidence. She can nail a joke. She can sing. She can play instruments. It's like China was some sort of child prodigy [...] And that's when it hit me: Why not build a show around a child prodigy? Someone who's got all of this natural talent & ability, but is still challenged when she's sent off to high school at the age of 11?" Signer said in an interview. After the first few episodes of the show were shown, Disney Channel bumped up their order of episodes for the show from 13 episodes to 26 episodes for the first season. On November 19, 2011, the series was renewed for a second season, which would start filming in early December.
Sierra McCormick was cast after an audition where she continually talked about tigers. Dan Signer stated "And as I heard her continually talking about tigers, I thought 'That's just how Olive would sound,' because Olive is a fast talking, intelligent student whose talent is memory. Which is how Sierra got that part." Jake Short was the last of the three core characters to be cast. Caroline Sunshine was originally cast as Lexi and Stefanie Scott as the role of Tinka Hessenheffer in Shake It Up!, but Dan Signer decided that Sunshine would be better as Tinka and Scott as Lexi, so the two switched roles. Sunshine, however, would later guest star in the episode "some enchANTed evening".
Olive Doyle (Sierra McCormick) has an eidetic memory and is always ready with a seemingly random fact. She calls them "factoids". She is shown to have many different phobias, such as ghosts, leprechauns, and curly fries. In the episode "replicANT", Olive reveals that her middle name is Daphne; therefore, her full name (Olive Daphne Doyle) in initials spells the word "odd". As of unwANTed, she is dating Fletcher Quimby. Also, as shown in season 3 in 2 episodes, Olive can't solve a brain teaser and gets a 93 on a math quiz.
Fletcher Quimby (Jake Short) (full name Fletcher Pumpernickel Quimby as revealed in the episode "informANT") is an artistic genius, gifted in all media – painting, sculpture, drawing, and other forms of art but is not that bright in other subjects. At first, he was in love with Chyna, but as of unwANTed, he dated Olive Doyle up until the series finale.
Lexi Reed (Stefanie Scott) is Chyna's biggest rival at Webster High. Chyna is seen to be the leader of the ANTs; however, Lexi still considers herself the Queen Bee. She was known as the star of every school play until Chyna showed up, creating a rivalry between the two. However, she begins allying with Chyna and her friends, especially Cameron. Eventually, she becomes student body president. Her best friend and sidekick is Paisley, who will listen to every word Lexi says, but sometimes in the wrong way. Lexi is shown to be very vain and self-centered, believing the world revolves around her. In one episode, she tells chyna and Violet they need an eye contact request sheet just to look her in the eyes. She hates Vanessa (Vanessa Morgan) because everyone thinks Vanessa is prettier than her. She works at Hippo's restaurant. Lexi loves to manipulate people, such as when she kisses Cameron (on the cheek) in the episode "detective agANTcy" as a bribe so that he can accept her friend request on the school's social network web site, Wolf Pack. She is also the winner of many pageants. In the Season 3 premiere "trANTsferred", it is revealed Lexi is a math prodigy, the director really wanted to put her in the season 3 A.N.T farm so they came up with the lame excuse that she is good with numbers (a math prodigy).
Cameron Parks (Carlon Jeffery, seasons 1–2, regular; season 3, recurring) is Chyna's older brother, though he spends a lot of time in her shadow. While she's a prodigy, he does not exactly have a gift, but is determined to find something at which he excels. Cameron is unhappy that his younger sister is at his school, so he tries to keep his distance. Occasionally, Cameron will step up to help Chyna. In some scenarios, it is vice versa. Ironically, he often seems to get along with his sister's nemesis, Lexi, who often goes along with his plans because she can't seem do anything for herself, which fits her character since she is a blonde. He later has a girlfriend who is a model, Vanessa, but she broke up with him due to the fact he kept on spending time with lots of girls to keep Vanessa away from other boys, but she felt he had lost interest in her. After Cameron's break up he reveals that he has a crush on Lexi and smiled when Lexi kissed him on the cheek. In "replicANT", Cameron reveals that his initials are C.O.P. This is a joke because Cameron's father is a cop (This also leads fans to assume that his initials spelling "cop", was intentional and that Chyna's initials could possibly also be C.O.P). Sadly, Cameron Parks will not be part of the regular cast in season 3.
Angus Chestnut (Aedin Mincks), seasons 1–2, recurring; season 3, main role) is a computer genius who often runs illegal programs on his computer disguised as video games. He has a huge, but unrequited, crush on Olive. Overweight and obsessed with food, he avoids physical activity, to the point where he, in the episode, "ClairvoyANT", rides on an elderly scooter so he doesn't have to walk. He often casually wears only boxer shorts. In one episode, he says, "I think better with my pants off." Aedin Mincks joins the main cast in Season 3 when it was announced that Carlon Jeffery was not in the main cast anymore.
Paisley Houndstooth (Allie DeBerry) is Lexi's empty-headed best friend. She is also on the cheer squad, even though she's clueless about almost every cheer, and often hopelessly confused about everything that's going on; however, she thinks differently than Lexi because she is more of a friendly and sweet-spirited girl who cares about people. Both easily fooled and free with compliments, she is treated badly by Lexi despite their being "best friends". Paisley is shown to be an animal lover, shown by her love of badgers, kissing a frog she found cute, and owning a giraffe and two parrots. She is now an employee at Z-Tech's Animal Product's Division as shown in "Animal husbANTry".
Gibson (Zach Steel) (season 1–2) is the counselor and tutor of the A.N.T. Farm. He is shown to be caring, sensitive, and somewhat dimwitted, as well as acting more like a child. He likes knitting, mahjong, and feeding pigeons. He doesn't like his grandmother's boyfriend, Bob, and in "Bad RomANTs", he has gotten back together with his childhood girlfriend despite the fact that she's in jail. Gibson keeps many items in his voluminous hair, from tissues to assorted foods. In the episode "some enchANTed evening" it is revealed that Gibson was on the cheerleading squad when he went to Webster.
Susan Skidmore (Mindy Sterling) (season 1–2; season 3, guest star) is the corrupt school principal. She's completely convinced herself that she is young and beautiful, to the point where she cannot believe her own reflection is her. She runs the A.N.T Program like a sweatshop, to use the kids' talents for her own use and benefit. She is at all times finding ways to spend as little of the school budget as possible. Examples include replacing dinosaur nuggets with different nuggets because they cost five cents less, replacing the school nurse with a first aid kit and using wacky the wolf as a clock. It is also revealed in the episode "trANTsferred" that she uses the A.N.T. usually seen on a stationary bicycle to power the school's electricity. She loves the trophies that were won by students. She even speaks to them. She is dating a city councilman who is revealed to be much, much older than her (so much older that he has a daughter that was born in 1925). In the episode "unforseen circumstANTs", it was revealed that she was fired from being principal due to the ANTs leaving Webster High (but more likely because she got caught embezzling from the school budget) and wound up a hotel maid.
Darryl Parks (Finesse Mitchell) (season 1–2; season 3, guest star) is Chyna and Cameron's hopelessly stupid father. He loves his daughter dearly, but can be very overprotective at times, going to extreme and often ridiculous measures to ensure her safety (all the while insulting and neglecting Cameron). He is also known to be criminally cheap. Though known as a "highly decorated" police officer, he is rarely seen taking his job very seriously and is proud of having "San Francisco's cleanest cop car" Episodes have shown that Darryl would make a better criminal than policeman, such as stealing gifts for Chyna out of the evidence locker, and taking Cameron on unauthorized ride-alongs. Although he loves his children, he is often seen mistreating them in a comical way (such as when he has them defrost lamb chops under their arms, uses Cameron's mouth as a blender, or when he speaks of playing fetch with Cameron as a child). At one point he had been hired by Chyna and Cameron's school to teach driver education classes with go-karts as practice.
Wacky the Wolf (Christian Campos) (season 1–2; season 3, guest star) is the taciturn school mascot. The person inside the costume is never shown. However, on Season 2 episode "fANTasy girl", Fletcher removes the head, and there is no one inside the suit, yet it still moves. He is good friends with Chyna, Olive and Fletcher. Wacky is shown to take his job as school mascot very seriously. In fradulANT, Wacky was seen on the Task Force for recovering Fletcher's painting, which included only Ants, and Wacky was seen in the Ant Farm doing Karate, implying he's an Ant. It is possible his natural talent is "Being a Mascot".
Roxanne Parks (Elise Neal) (season 1) is Chyna and Cameron's mom. She is a children's birthday party entertainer. So far, she has only been seen in four episodes, but has been mentioned in three episodes. Although she is busy with her work, she still loves her kids. In "studANT council", Darryl jokes that he tricked her into marrying him. She did not appear in season 2 and season 3.
Hippo (Matt Lowe) (season 1–2) is a strange man who went from the music business to the movie business to the restaurant business. He often changes the theme of his restaurant (which is eventually named the International House of Whatever or I.H.O.W. I.H.O.W is a parody of I.H.O.P International House Of Pancakes). To ensure that it is stylish or as he explains it, "in right now". Chyna guessed that he is called Hip-O because he dresses really hip and his name starts with the letter O (Hippo's full first name is Oswald), but Hippo corrected her by saying that his friends call him Hippo because he's fat and likes to sit in hot tubs with only his eyes above the water (similar to a hippopotamus).
Violet (Claire Engler) (season 1–2) is the newest A.N.T, with sports and anything athletic as her talent. She has an explosive temper, and reacts with violence to the slightest offence. In Ballet DANTser, it is revealed that she has a crush on Fletcher. She appeared in "InfANT", when Chyna, Olive, and Fletcher have to find a baby's talent. She also appeared in "fANTasy Girl", in which she wanted Fletcher to go to a dance with her, but Fletcher didn't want to go with her, so much so that he convinced Chyna to go with him instead. She also appeared in the episode "idANTy thief".
Zoltan Grundy (Dominic Burgess) (season 3) is a businessman who first appears in "TrANTsferred". He made the school's ANTPads, and many more products that are basically the same also he invented the z phone which was first shown on the Disney channel show Hannah Montana. He creates a boarding school for the ANTs. Zoltan tends to wear T-shirts of famous rock bands, including Led Zeppelin, the Foo Fighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Rolling Stones.
Winter Maddox (Zibby Allen) (season 3) is Zoltan Grundy's Vice President of Acquisitions. She was assigned the job of "Den Mother" of the ANTs, even though she hates children. She is shown to be arrogant, strict, mean, vain and selfish. She repeats lots of times that she went to Harvard.It is revealed in an episode that her nose was given to her as a college present.
Kennedy Van Buren/Kumiko Hashimoto (Piper Curda) (season 3) was pretending to be Kennedy who is a debate prodigy and student at Z-Tech Prodigy School. She's starting a political party, because she's going to be running for president in 2032. She thinks she can be the president of 2032, because she's in touch with the voters. She is portrayed by Piper Curda. In "trANTsferred", when Lexi asks Kennedy to go to her party, she talks about her political party and how she will become the President of the United States since she's in touch with the voters and such. When she asks about her party, Lexi says "nevermind". Later on, when Lexi says, "At least Angus is doing the Cat Daddy," she says that the cat mommy is attacking him since he got too close to her kittens.In "secret agANT", Fletcher asks Kennedy out in order to make Chyna jealous. Kennedy accepts, but after doing a survey, discovers that the entire country dislikes Fletcher, and after Angus suggests it, she decides to have him change his name to Scott. In "Unforeseen circumstANTs", she is still dating Fletcher. She obviously really likes him and looked excited when Chyna told her he was in love with her. Chyna tried to warn her that Fletcher intended to break up with her, but Kennedy misinterprets it as an attempt for Chyna to claim Fletcher for herself. Rather than break up with her, Fletcher says that she's the sweetest girlfriend ever. Fletcher then tells Chyna that he was so focused on how unlike Chyna and Kennedy were, that he completely overlooked her positive qualities. In the episode finANTial crisis, it is revealed her real name is Kumiko Hashimoto, that she is Hashimoto's daughter, and that was pretending to be Kennedy to sabotage the Z-phones.
Mr. Hashimoto (Tom Choi) (season 3) is a Japanese CEO of the Hashimoto Soda Company who first appeared in The Suite Life on Deck. He appeared in the episode "IndependANTs", to seal a deal with Zoltan Grundy. However, Zoltan Grundy did not like his soda flavors, ending their deal. He also made a reference to "Suite Life On Deck" when he ran into a dinosaur statue and saying "Oh, no! Godzilla, not again!" when in "The Suite Life On Deck" Zack wore a Godzilla costume and destroyed the set. Hashimoto also owns a phone company to compete with Z-Tech. In "Product MisplacemANT", Chyna confronts him at Toky-OMG and beats him at a Karaoke contest. He then steals Chyna's prototype Z-Phone 4.
Special guest stars
Sequoia Jones (Zendaya) (season 2) Sequoia Jones is a teen movie star who loves to play her role perfectly by shadowing a person and almost stealing their identity. Her only appearance was in the episode "creative consultANT".
Vanessa (originally credited as Jeanne) (season 2) (Vanessa Morgan) is a model from Canada and Cameron's girlfriend. Chyna tracks her down so Cameron would feel better, because in the episode FANTasy Girl, Cameron imagines Vanessa is his date to the dance, but thinks her name is Jeanne Gossamer because he was dozing off, looking at Lexi's magazine where she was on the cover of a jeans catalog. Chyna helps Cameron track down his imaginary model girlfriend, who is actually Vanessa LaFontaine, and Chyna and Angus do everything they can to help Cameron impress her. Vanessa has bandages on her eyes that kept her from seeing what Cameron actually looked like. In ANTswers, Lexi gets jealous of Vanessa when she models for Hippo's new restaurant, and convinces Cameron that Vanessa might be an alien. In the end they find out Vanessa is an alien, but not the kind they thought. She is from Canada; therefore not a US citizen, making her an "alien". In ANTagonist, Cameron joins the several clubs with Vanessa which Lexi is the president of to keep the guys away from her. Vanessa thinks Cameron hangs out with the girls because he has lost interest in her, leading to their break up.
Tasmanian Neville (Billy Unger) (season 2) Tasmanian Neville is an Australian "Explorer". He claims to be a proper survivalist when he turns out to be a weakling. His only appearance was in the episode "endurANTS". Chyna, Olive, Fletcher, and Angus meet him at an A.N.T convention in Australia. The A.N.Ts find out he is only an acting prodigy later in the episode. Chyna develops a crush on Neville, which leads Fletcher to be jealous and go on an outback trek where he gets lost. While going to rescue Fletcher, Neville gets lost with Angus, Chyna, and Olive. They hide from wild emus and are eventually rescued by Fletcher, who managed to drive away the group of emus that was threatening the rest of the gang. At the end of the episode, Fletcher makes a guest appearance on Tasmanian Neville's T.V. show where Neville lies to the public by saying that he was the one that rescued Fletcher from the emus.
Chris Rock (himself) (season 3) He appears in "Animal HusbANTry". He visits the A.N.T.'s school to buy a rare animal for his daughter.
The sneak preview of the series garnered 4.4 million viewers on its premiere night, ranked as TV's No. 1 Telecast in Total Day among Tweens 9-14 (441,000/1.8 rating) and was also TV's No. 1 Telecast among Kids 6-11 (544,000/2.2 rating). Its lead-in, the series finale of The Suite Life on Deck, received 4.6 million.
The episode "The PhANTom Locker", is currently the most watched episode of the series, scoring 4.6 million viewers., But on Friday, August 5, 2011 a random episode scored 4.9 right after the Phineas and Ferb Across the 2nd dimension. It did better than its lead-in Wizards of Waverly Place, which earned 4.1 million viewers.
In Australia the episode "transplANTed" delivered 80,000 viewers. In the United Kingdom the same episode had 321,000 viewers and the episode "participANTs" garnered 240,000 viewers.