Fox‘s Animation Domination High-Def will cease to exist as a late-night block on June 28 after 11 months on the air. The network is keeping alive the initiative, which employs 100 people working on six series in production. It will be geared exclusively towards younger-skewing digital platforms like Hulu and focus on incubating shows for primetime. ADHD is working on two half-hour primetime series that Fox has quietly greenlighted for next year. After a preview in Fox’s animation domination Sunday primetime block, ADHD got off to a slow start in the Saturday 11 PM hour last summer and never gained traction. Its programming was considered too edgy, targeting young males who weren’t necessarily available at that hour. After ADHD exits late-night, Fox will resume airing repeats in the time slot.
Last night Fox entered the late-night animated comedy space with the launch of Animation Domination High-Def, and incumbent Adult Swim had something to say about it. In a stealth move through local buys as it was done without Fox’s knowledge, the Turner network aired two ads: one at 11:30 PM after the two ADHD premieres of High School USA and Axe Cop, and one at midnight, following the encores of the two animated debuts. The stripped-down ads featured words on black screen, with elevator music in the background. “The preceding content has been a work of fiction,” the first ad, which followed the ADHD premieres. (Video below.) “Any resemblance to networks, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Pay close attention to the label. Many suitcases look alike. You may find yourself at a beautiful network with a beautiful suitcase. You may ask yourself: How did I get here? [adult swim]” The second: “Congratulations to the crew at ADHD on the launch of their new shows. We wish you all the best…. Nice place you got here… How are the kids?… Great, Great stuff. We’re going to go home now [adult swim].”
ADHD responded to the stunt via Twitter last night: “@adultswim THANK YOU FOR YOUR MONEY” Said ADHD head and Adult Swim alum Nick Weidenfeld today, “We love Adult Swim and we’re happy to receive both their attention and their ad dollars!”
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
No other broadcast network has had nearly the success in programming primetime animation as Fox, from The Simpsons to King Of The Hill to Family Guy and beyond. But Fox isn’t content to rest on those laurels, as it made clear during an afternoon TCA session hyping its forthcoming alternative-themed Animation Domination High-Def experimental block that’s scheduled to launch on July 27. It will run Saturday late-nights over 90 minutes (11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.), initially rolling out six 15-minute series that will try to rival Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim in the experimental space. But while the head of the overall initiative, Nick Weidenfeld, tried to minimize comparisons to Adult Swim — over which he was head of development for eight years — he told critics today that it ain’t about trying to out-do Adult Swim on its turf. “I’m not sure I’d call it competition with Adult Swim,” he said. “They do action programming on Saturday night, so I think there’s space for interesting animated comedy to exist…I think if we’re competing with anyone, it’s with the Internet and with ourselves more than any other network.” The initial shows on Saturday night will include offerings like Axe Cop, based on an Internet sensation about what comes from the imagination of a five-year-old boy, and …
Animation Domination High-Def will debut Saturday, July 27 and run from 11 PM-12:30 AM, Fox announced today as part of its portion of the TCA winter tour in Pasadena. The alternative animated programming block will feature quarter-hour series Axe Cop, High School USA! and the untitled Lucas Brothers project. Six quarter hours have been ordered for the series, the on-air component of Fox’s digital animation network, which encompasses online, mobile apps, game consoles and VOD and acts as an incubator for animated fare that can transition to the network. Here are Fox’s descriptions of the shows: