Zynga's Farmville coming to a television near you

The mega-popular social media game is being turned into an animated TV show produced by "X-Men: The Last Stand" director Brett Ratner.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Zynga's Farmville is being made into an animated television series. Zynga

Growing corn, tending chickens, and amassing a fortune of golden coins can be fun as a social media game, but how about watching a TV show about it?

Director Brett Ratner is taking a stab at exactly this. He is following in the footsteps of Angry Birds and producing a half-hour animated television series based on Zynga's Farmville, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Farmville is one of the most exciting brands out there today and its cross-platform opportunities are endless," Ratner said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be expanding the brand with existing fans and also engaging a whole new audience."

Ratner is best known for producing the TV show "Prison Break" and directing the "Rush Hour" movie series and "X-Men: The Last Stand." It's unclear what direction he plans to take with the Farmville television series or what network it will air on.

When FarmVille launched in 2009, it quickly became an Internet gaming phenomenon and one of Facebook's most popular social media games. The premise is that players create and socialize on interactive farms. At its peak, it had 32 million daily active users -- more than 10 times the number today. In September, Zynga launched FarmVille 2 with the aim of bringing back former players as well as attracting new ones.

Zynga itself has had a rough year. After months of cost-cutting and paring down, the game maker said this week that it earned 1 cent per share on an adjusted basis in the fourth quarter as revenue fell 2 percent to $311.2 million. But that looks good compared with a year earlier, when Zynga lost $1.12 a share in the same quarter.

"The biggest highlight of the quarter was seeing our team deliver a successful sequel in FarmVille 2," CEO Mark Pinkus said in a statement on Tuesday.