CBS Gig for Baby Bob

The talking baby hatched by Siltanen/Keehn for a now-defunct dot-com client is moving out on his own.

Left on S/K’s door step when Free Internet. com went belly up, Baby Bob has been picked up by CBS for a sitcom pilot.

The Bob work was the first from Siltanen/Keehn, the shop formed in early 2000 by TBWA\Chiat\Day veterans Rob Siltanen and Pam Keehn. Bob was a cuddly toddler but, thanks to special effects, spoke like an adult. He appeared in 15 spots overall, including some with Shaquille O’Neal.

“When FreeInternet disappeared, Bob became our property,” said Siltanen. “He’s a great property because he’s so watchable. We knew he could only get bigger.”

Viacom agreed, purchased licensing rights from the agency this year and began shopping the concept to networks. After CBS media buyers viewed a 15-second clip, the network green-lighted a pilot.

Now in production, the Baby Bob pilot—it does not yet have a title—will tentatively test on CBS in May.

The deal means double duty for Siltanen, who remains at the agency and will serve as executive producer of the show, along with the director of the advertising spots, Craig Tanimoto. Ken Campbell will stay on as the voice of Bob, and Jonathan Silverman and Joley Fisher will parent the budding star.

He began as a “chubby, talky, lovable Baby Bob, and evolved into a vehicle people want to watch,” said Keehn. “We wanted to take advertising to a new level. We thought advertising could be more than spotlighting our brand for a month.”