Thursday, October 24, 2013

TV CGI

Problems for the Caped Crusader.

... Cartoon Network abruptly pulled the animated series Beware the Batman from its schedule this week with no explanation or announcement. A new episode had been scheduled to air (after a normal three-week break of reruns) on Saturday during the DC Nation block of programming, but now not only is that not happening, but Beware won’t even get a repeat in its regular slot. (Two episodes of Teen Titans Go! will run in the block instead of the usual Beware/TTG! pairing.) ...

The problem is, in trying to go in a new direction as the umpteenth Batman cartoon in recent memory ... many of the familiar tropes of the Bat-world aren’t present to draw the average would-be viewer in. Instead, possible new audience members just see a sorta funny-looking CGI Batman and an Alfred who doesn’t seem like Alfred at all. ...

Even though we don’t have an official reason for what has happened to Beware, we can take a pretty good guess. ... It probably comes down to numbers at least in part: Beware the Batman’s ratings lag behind not only Teen Titans Go! but also the previous animated Caped Crusader series that ran on the channel, Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

There could be any number of reasons BtB is getting yanked. Like for instance:

1) Cartoon Network doesn't seem that jazzed with its DC properties. (Face it: Time-Warner -- with some exceptions -- hasn't nurtured its squadron of super heroes in the way Diz Co. has hugged and nuzzled its freshly acquired Marvel roster.)

2) The ratings weren't up there.

3) CN wanted to shoehorn more repeats of Teen Titans Go! into its schedule.

But here's the reality: animated CGI for television doesn't necessarily translate to Big Ratings/Big Money. Animated theatrical features rendered in CG roll up big grosses on a regular basis. But TV computer graphics don't get more eyeballs than hand-drawn images, and often get less. This has been evident since Sony Adelaide spent lots of dollars to produce a small-screen version of Starship Troopers entitled Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles. The show ended up with a strong cult following ... and lackluster ratings.

TV cartoon execs figured out some time ago that the big cash outlays for CG shows don't translate into gangbuster ratings, so it's safer (also saner?) to go the less expensive hand-drawn route. Much of the time, it means the profit margins are bigger.

I mean, with Teen Titans Go! replacing Beware the Batman, can we draw any other conclusion?





2 comments:

jupey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
big bad balloon said...

Agreed.

New day and new model.

The Marvel animated series aren't great but at least they're consistent.

Which DC legend will be animated for half a season and then cut? Anybody's guess. DC has great direct-to-dvd/blu ray movies but they're so spread out.

Hope they can decide(AND STICK) to their next project.

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