Cartoon Network has updated it’s lineup with 19 new programs, including original movies and its own reality series.
Stuart Snyder, President and COO of Turner Broadcasting Animation and Young Adults and Kids Media Division, said in a press release “[Cartoon Network] built tremendous momentum over the last year, both on air and through our thriving digital businesses, so we’re thrilled to introduce new content that our audience cannot find anywhere else. Today marks the next big step forward in an evolution that is helping us reach our goal of becoming a dominant youth culture brand.”
John O’Hara, Executive VP and GM of Marketing has stated that he stands by the current aging form of advertising in their shows. While recent reports have them climbing personal charts, Nielson has them inching barely a smidgen of success with their “Star Wars: Clone Wars” among recent cable ratings. Cartoon Network has a lot to do to start making the impact they’re looking for in a demographic as malleable, but fickle, as children. So with new “diverse” programming lined up they expect to finally move in a new direction, hopefully toward doing some damage to the children’s power house that is Nickelodeon.
One volley includes a team-up (no pun intended) between Cartoon Network and the NBA. Boston Celtic’s guard Eddie House and his 7 year old son, Jaelen, will be featured in a ‘lifestyle’ series (read:reality show) of their own titled My Dad’s a Pro. It’s a prototype for future merging of shows involving the CN and the NBA brand.
Hot on the heels of “Total Drama Island” comes its successor, “Total Drama Action.” True to reality TV shows, “Total Drama Action” has 14 contestants facing kid-friendly challenges on an abandoned film studio back-lot, all inspired by movies.
From Cake Distribution and Fresh Animation, “Stoked,” is about surfers and their lives. Other reality series in production are “The Outsiders,” “Survive This,” “Destroy Build Destroy,” “Head Rush,” “Dude What Would Happen” and “Bobb’e Says.”
Another attempt is the original movie line up, starting with well established, “Ben Ten: Alien Swarm” and “Scooby Doo, The Mystery Begins!.”
Cartoon Network then takes a chance with a personal favorite “Firebreather” and “Tiger’s Apprentice.” Creator Phil Hester says of “Firebreather” going to Cartoon Network, “we’ve known about it for a while, and there’s actual work being done on it. We’ve seen a treatment of the screenplay so things are moving along. It’s more than just an initial pickup.
“Since it’s two hours,” Hester continues, “it’ll expand on [the mini-series] and dig deeper into certain aspects of it. It will expand certain characters that we introduce in our comic, but don’t really get into. It will expand on the back story.”
To provide more of whats been at the forefront, the Ben Ten franchise returns for “Ben Ten: Evolutions.” “The Mysterious Misadventures of Flapjack” and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” also make a return for another season of proven entertainment.
On the scripted-live action side of things, “Unnatural History” and “Prepped” pilots will try their hand at entertaining the young adult crowd.
Blast readers would do well to keep an eye on “Firebreather.” We all know Adult Swim is lacking lately, and this could be the next big thing.
Cartoon Network is owned by Time Warner.