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 Channel greenlighted the series, with production beginning in early 2011. The first promo was released during the premiere of Lemonade Mouth.
Taking place in San Francisco, the series stars China Anne McClain, Sierra McCormick, and Jake Short as middle-schoolers in a gifted program at their local high school called the "Advanced Natural Talent" or "A.N.T." program for short. The series is notable for being the first show after the 65th Episode Rule Disney stopped on to end exactly at 65 episodes during its 3 season run.
China Anne McClain announced that A.N.T. Farm was cancelled and will not be renewed for a fourth season and ended on March 21, 2014.
A.N.T. Farm centers around Chyna Parks (McClain), an 11-year-old music prodigy, who has just become the newest A.N.T. in the A.N.T. program at Webster High School in San Francisco, California. On her first day, she meets Olive Doyle (McCormick), a girl who has an eidetic memory, and Fletcher Quimby (Short), an artistic genius who develops a crush on her, and they soon become her best friends at the high school. They proceed to go on multiple adventures, using their talents to their advantage.
The school's "it" girl, Lexi Reed (Stefanie Scott), proceeds to bully Chyna, thinking of her as competition in being the star of the school. Chyna's 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.
Fletcher has been mad in love with Chyna ever since the first episode. He has a great crush on Chyna and will do anything for him to be his girlfriend.
Disney Channel announced on November 11, 2010, that they had green-lighted 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 21 episodes for the first season.
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.' Which is how Sierra got that part." Jake Short was the last of the three core characters to be cast.
- Chyna Parks (China Anne McClain) is a musical prodigy, who at eleven can play more instruments than most people can name, including guitar, piano, violin, trumpet, saxophone, flute, cello, harp, bagpipes, French horn, Theremin, drums, harmonica, and the spoons. She's also an amazing singer, blowing people away with her big, soulful voice. Never afraid of a challenge, she sees high school as an exciting place. Unfortunately, she's going to have to drag her new friends out of their shells to experience it.
- Olive Doyle (Sierra McCormick) is a human computer. Thanks to her eidetic memory, everything she’s ever read, heard, or seen is permanently etched in her brain. Unfortunately, there are some things you want to forget. Olive, always ready with a fact about pretty much everything, is something of an over-thinker. She'd rather hide in the safety of the Ant Farm, but her new friend Chyna is not going to let that happen.
- Fletcher Quimby (Jake Short) is an artistic genius, gifted in all media – painting, sculpture, drawing, you name it. But to him, the most beautiful work of art is Chyna. He falls for her the first moment he sees her, though has trouble keeping his crush a secret when he's constantly immortalizing her in his art.
- Lexi Reed (Stefanie Scott) Lexi Reed is Chyna's biggest rival at Webster High. She is the series main antagonist. Chyna may be the leader of the ANTs, but Lexi is Queen Bee. This teen is super popular and she super knows it. She is the star of every school play. At least she was until Chyna showed up. She becomes Student-Body President. She is a sophomore.
- Angus Chestnut (Aedin Mincks) is a computer genius who often runs illegal programs on his computer disguised as video games. Though finds Chyna unattractive, he has a huge, but unrequited, crush on Olive. Because of the extensive time he spends on his computer, he is quite lazy and often complains about doing basic physical tasks, such as walking in between classes. Because of this, all classes that he's chosen are on the ground floor of the school so he never has to walk up or down stairs.
- Cameron Parks (Carlon Jeffery) is Chyna's older brother. Despite being the oldest of his family, he is very short and also insecure about some things.
- Paisley Houndstooth (Alexandria Deberry) is best friends with Lexi. She is also on the cheer squad, even though she's clueless about almost every cheer. She is often confused about everything that's going on. However, she thinks different from Lexi, because she usually cares about people. She's a sweet-spirited and dim-witted girl, but cluelessly gets roped into Lexi's schemes. Both easily fooled and free with compliments, she is treated badly by Lexi despite them being "best friends".
- Gibson (Zach Steel) is the A.N.T.’s counselor, tutor, and therapist. He is shown to be a dumb person and more of a child than an adult. 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.
- Darryl Parks (Finesse Mitchell), a 'highly decorated' police officer, and is Chyna and Cameron's dad. Though he obviously loves his daughter, he can be very overprotective. He appears to be a cheap person. It has been shown that people often mistake him for being a mall cop.
- Roxanne Parks (Elise Neal) is Chyna and Cameron's mom. She is a children's party entertainer. So far, she has appeared in three episodes but has been mentioned in some episodes. Although she is busy with her work, she still loves her kids.
- Principal Susan Skidmore (Mindy Sterling) is the 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 uses the A.N.T Program like a sweatshop. She says the reason for the A.N.T Farm is for her to use their talents for her own use.
- Wacky The Wolf is the taciturn school mascot. Wacky's true appearance is never shown, despite that he is good friends with Chyna, Olive, and Fletcher. Wacky is shown to take his job as school mascot very seriously.
- Dixon Ticonderoga (Ben Winchell) is an FBI super spy prodigy at Chyna's school for prodigies. He is a heartthrob for Chyna, Lexi, and Olive. Interesting factoid, the words Dixon Ticonderoga can be found on some pencils.
The A.N.T. Farm Soundtrack is a Disney Channel soundtrack from the TV series, A.N.T. Farm. It was released on October 11, 2011. In addition to songs by China Anne McClain and cast members Stefanie Scott and Carlon Jeffery, it features two songs by China and her sisters as The McClain Sisters leading up to their debut album on Hollywood Records in 2012.
The series's premiere earned mixed reviews. It also currently holds a 7.4 making "Good" rating (based on 96 votes) on TV.com, and 4.8/10 rating (based on 263 votes and 7 reviews) on IMDb.com.
The sneak preview of the series earned 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, got 4.6 million.
The episode "phANTom locker", is currently the most watched episode of the series, scoring 4.6 million viewers. It did better than its lead-in Wizards of Waverly Place, which got 4 million.