Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cartoon Network Skews Live

I met with a bunch of Cartoon Network Studio staffers recently, and discovered some long faces because the cable network of the same name is chasing a variation of the Disney model.

... The net is diversifying into live-action ... Chief Content Officer Rob Sorcher and Turner Animation prexy Stu Snyder unveiled a 6-skein reality show slate.

In addition to the reality shows, CN is beginning a partnership (announced last week) with the NBA, repped by a short-form entry into the network's slate: "My Dad's a Pro," starring Jalen House, son of Celtics player Eddie House.

"If I were a buyer, I would buy," joked NBA commish David Stern to the aud of potential advertisers.

The move is likely a response to Disney XD's much-publicized partnership with ESPN ...

Many of the net's live-action series appear to be tween-friendly versions of adult reality fare, like "Head Rush," a "Cash Cab"-style game show set on a roller coaster; "Survive This," an outdoors adventure show that focuses on teamwork instead of backstabbing; and "Dude, What Would Happen," a "Mythbusters"-esque series of answers to oddball questions like, "What would happen if you attached 350 helium balloons to a sumo wrestler?" ...

High quality, high concept stuff, to be sure.

Me, I wish the boys and girls at Cartoon Network would stick more to cartoons and less to cousins of the Disney Channel's flesh-and-blood line-up. But then, I'm prejudiced toward funny animals and wacky kids drawn on paper and Cintiqs in two dimensions.

I just hope the day doesn't come where Cartoon Network doesn't morph into plain old Network.

17 comments:

robiscus said...

Cartoon Network has been a complete FAILURE ever since Linda Simensky left. After her departure, they stopped turning to smaller studios to produce content and wronly figured they could have better quality if they did all shows under one roof... which turned into a colossal crapfest with artists ruled by a committee of clueless execs and nearly all of their shows looking the same.

It's a real simple formula:

An eclectic slate of content that challenges the viewer is most easily attained by creating it in a variety of different smaller studios where creative voices aren't drowned out.

I don't even consider Cartoon Network a functioning Los Angeles studio anymore. They should close it down and fire the execs that took over after they fired that last round of execs two years ago.

The studio is a loser and this proves it more.

Anonymous said...

The direction they're heading, things need to change there fast, or they might just have no network at all.

Anonymous said...

Sigh....

Anonymous said...

woo...cartoon network...go CNS...woo,woo....wuuu....

woo.

oh, f*** it.

theory_of_everything said...

They should look at what was happening back when Cartoon Network was at its peak, replicate and refine.

(But that would actually make sense, wouldn't it)

On another note, I hope AdultSwim just becomes its own channel. Or maybe Boomerang might start to have original content.

--I can dream, can't I?

Anonymous said...

robiscus - why do you sound like a jaded artist whose pitches have been rejected by Cartoon Network?

anonymous #1 - the direction they're heading??? If the research is correct, Cartoon Network has been GROWING its audience the last 3 quarters, whereas Nick and Disney have been in decline. Seems like they're headed in the right direction to me.

robiscus said...

Excuse me very much, but please do us all a favor and cease extrapolating nonsense from whats written in here.

I've worked on and off for CN for the last 20 years... the last five or six years less and less so(and that has been a blessing as much of a curse). One thing is clear from the facts stated in the this post and my comments; Cartoon Network is a total joke. There is no defending it. Its self evident.

Your post is not only irrelevant in that its anonymous and empty in its accusation, but its funny that it accuses any valid criticisms of bitterness with such a bitter tone.

And kudos to Cartoon Network for striking the iron when its hot huh? Reality TV is just taking off right now in 2009! Who can't recognize the genius there!

Mr. 'Anonymous Cartoon Network apologist', please spare us anymore of your pointless finger pointing.


(and btw, I'd suggest most artists don't pitch to Cartoon Network because everyone I know whom they have courted have told me that they turned them down because their contracts for creators are THE worst in town)

Anonymous said...

So no comments about the fact that Cartoon Network just renewed three of their existing animated shows, and greenlit four new animated shows?

Different Anonymous said...

So no comments about Cartoon Network not mentioning the status of the cartoonstitute? could this be their forth failed attempt of a shorts program in the last four years? Funny, a studio built from shorts can't seem to figure out how to make them anymore...

Anonymous said...

"you sound like a jaded artist whose pitches have been rejected by Cartoon Network..."


How is this an insult? Cartoon Network wouldn't know a good pitch if it waltzed through their hallways with bells on.

Anonymous said...

Adult Swim is a friggin' joke now. It used to showcase anime and other shows seldom seen in the U.S. Now it's primarily Family Guy/American Dad reruns and lameass original animated crap cranked out by untalented braindead fratboys whose motivation seems to be a mixture of boredom and the need to do something ELSE with their hands (hint hint). I barely watch it now. As for CN...feh. At least the new Genndy show sounds interesting...

Anonymous said...

wooo. cartoon network...wuuu...

Another Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"you sound like a jaded artist whose pitches have been rejected by Cartoon Network..."

How is this an insult? Cartoon Network wouldn't know a good pitch if it waltzed through their hallways with bells on.


Too true! CN has routinely passed on pitches from the major talent behind it's biggest hits to greenlight 2 seasons of celebrity-driven projects with no vision. Their loss...

Anonymous said...

sigh....

Anonymous said...

does anybody still watch CN regularly. If it wasn't for Clone Wars i wouldn't even know cartoon network was still around.

Anonymous said...

that's right, Why they have to stop producing Camp Lazlo (even reruns are aired), I think they should listen to audience more frequently, and ask them what do they want, if new shows need to appear, !!fine!!, but that doesn't mean they have the right to do something that many don't like.

Anonymous said...

If cartoon network was wise they would drop the shows that probably get near to no views (which is alot of there new shit [excluding "Flapjack" and "Chowder"])and bring back the old

Adult Swim as well had started to go down hill, they even sank low enough to put the kids show "Star Wars the clone wars" on their block

its said how the new millennium fails compared to the 90s

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