Things are tough all over, but the LA Times relates:
Since launching several live-action reality shows in June and moving away from its animation roots, Cartoon Network ... has been playing a game of hide-and-seek with its audience. Few of its new shows -- which include "Survive This," a knockoff for kids of CBS' "Survivor"; "The Othersiders," about a bunch of paranormal-obsessed ghost-hunting teens; and "Brain Rush," a quiz show with contestants on roller coasters -- are catching on with viewers, and none are among the network's top 10 series. Only one -- "Destroy Build Destroy," whose title is self-explanatory -- is gaining any traction ...
The trouble, I think, is that you've got to have some profile you cut that your audience identifies with. And some of the fan base, apparently, is getting ticked off at CN's brave new programming.
Ashley Rosario went looking for her favorite Cartoon Network shows such as "Chowder" and "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" and instead found reality programs, she did what any normal teenager does these days. She made a video complaining about it and posted it on YouTube ...
Me, I don't think networks succeed by aping other channels and lurching away from their core audience. Trying something other than animation from the nineties is well and good, but it's got to be based on something identifiable with the heritage that's gone before.
Of course, if CN has some edgy, live-action breakout hit, management personnel will become geniuses in the wink of an eye. (I recall when Disney TVA went over budget with Duck Tales and the execs on the Buena Vista lot were livid ... until the show turned into a gargantuan hit, at which point the cost overruns were forgotten.)
Nothing succeeds like success. (And don't cry too much for the staff of the cancelled Chowder. Last week a CN artist told me: "Almost all the artists and production staff got hired away by Disney. The only part of the crew that didn't get job offers were timing directors. I guess Disney has plenty of those already.")
I still think CN would do well with some new and fresher 'toons, but they've decided -- for the moment -- to plunge ahead with the live-action strategy.