With three new Star Wars movies in the pipeline, Lucasfilm and Disney today turned its attention to the power of the Force on TV. “Lucasfilm has decided to pursue a new direction in animated programing,” the company announced online. Lucasfilm said that it’s “exploring a whole new Star Wars series set in a time period previously untouched in Star Wars films or TV programming.” What that new direction will actually be beyond “stay tuned” and will it see Star Wars on Disney XD is yet to be known — though that is where the boss is leaning. “We really like Star Wars‘ potential on TV, and Disney XD would be a great home for that,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said when the $4.06 billion deal to buy Lucasfilm was announced on October 30.
However, what is known is that the new direction for Star Wars on TV includes no longer producing more Star Wars: The Clone Wars for Cartoon Network, as it has since 2008. “We feel the time has come to wind down the series,” said Lucasfim today. Also the company is postponing the release of the Seth Green-Todd Grimes-Matthew Sereich-produced animated Star Wars comedy series Detours, which was first announced last year.
Cartoon Network brass have decided to scrap this year’s formal upfront presentation. Instead, they are going on the road for “in front” presentations for clients and promotional partners in more than 15 cities. The Cartoon Network Road Tour starts the week of January 21 and will continue into March. Along with its presentation, the network also plans to “take over” the building at each of its visits with Cartoon Network-branded imagery and giveaways. The strategy has been employed before, most notably by NBC under Ben Silverman.
At the meetings, Cartoon Network will tout its ratings growth in 2012, which became the network’s most-watched year in Prime in its 20-year history, and will present its upcoming slate, which marks a shift from live-action back to the network’s core animated fare. It includes three quarterly installment specials of The Yoda Chronicles, a new CG-animated foray into the “Original Saga” world of Star Wars. Cartoon Network also airs Clone Wars. Given Disney’s recent acquisition of LucasFilm, it is probably a matter of time before all Star Wars animated programming gets funneled to Disney Jr. and Disney XD. Read More »
This is the second licensing deal the entertainment giant has cut with Netflix over the last week. In the latest one, beginning on March 30 the streaming service lands all past seasons of Cartoon Network‘s Adventure Time, Ben 10, Regular Show, and Johnny Bravo, as well as Warner Bros Animation’s Green Lantern. It also will have Adult Swim shows Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sony Pictures Television’s The Boondocks and Warner Bros Television’s Studio 2.0′s Childrens Hospital. Subscribers have to wait a year, to January 2014, before Netflix begins its exclusive streaming run of the first two seasons of TNT’s Dallas. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.
The addition of children’s shows to Time Warner‘s deal with Netflix may revive the debate over whether the streaming service is cutting into ratings for ad-supported kids shows on TV. That was a big concern last year when ratings dropped at Nickelodeon after many of its shows appeared on Netflix.
Cartoon Network has greenlit Clarence, a new animated series created by up-and-comer Skyler Page. The network has ordered twelve 15-minute episodes from the project about Clarence, an optimistic boy who wants to do everything because everything is amazing. … Read More »
The two projects hail from Cartoon Network Studios’ homegrown shorts development initiative. Steven Universe, from Adventure Time writer-artist Rebecca Sugar, is a coming-of-age story told from the perspective of Steven, the youngest member of a team of magical … Read More »
Cartoon Network has acquired the rights to popular YouTube series The Annoying Orange for a half-hour animated series to premiere in 2012 as part of the cable network’s original programming block. Co-created by Dane Boedigheimer, creator of the original … Read More »
Ted Turner seems destined to be one-upped by his longtime ally, Liberty Media’s John Malone. First it was in media, where Malone remains a player long after Turner was pushed out of Time Warner. Now Malone has passed Turner … Read More »
It may not sound like much at first, but Cablevision and Time Warner took an important step today to help make TV Everywhere a reality. The companies announced that Cablevision customers now can watch shows from TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and truTV on broadband-enabled devices outside the home — not just inside. The arrangement also provides for live streaming of news from CNN and HLN. Over the next year or so you can expect to hear a lot of announcements like this from pay TV distributors and programmers. Comcast, Dish Network, and Verizon are already a step ahead of Cablevision in offering out-of-home service. But this deal for a package called Turner TV Everywhere is the first time Cablevision has offered such popular entertainment and news programming so broadly to digital devices. Read More »
The Parents Television Council fired another volley today at one of its favorite targets: adult-themed cartoons that also attract kids. The activist group called for “sweeping reform” of the TV content rating system as a study it released points to what it says are “shocking levels” of sex and drug references in primetime on animation channels that are popular with kids between 12 and 17. “Adult content isn’t just creeping into the cartoons that kids today are watching the most; it has overtaken much of that animated programming,” PTC president Tim Winter says. “Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.” PTC is especially upset with programming on Turner’s Cartoon Network and Adult Swim: The report, titled Cartoons Are No Laughing Matter, gave each an “F” grade for their handling of adult-themed animation. Disney Channel and Nick At Nite each received an “A”. Read More »
Producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford, who are coming off Transformers: Dark of the Moon and the upcoming Shawn Levy-directed Hugh Jackman-starrer Real Steel, have signed a deal with Cartoon Network to develop a live-action adventure theatrical feature … Read More »
Consumers worldwide spent $2.4 billion last year on merchandise related to Toy Story 3, helping Disney to easily reclaim the No. 1 position on License! Global magazine’s annual tally of the top sellers of stuff emblazoned with trademarked characters and … Read More »
Cartoon Network’s VP original series Rob Swartz is leaving the cable network after a three-year stint to return to his alternative series roots, this time as a producer. His last day is today. At CN, Swarz led the development and current teams and oversaw development and current programming for all of CN’s original animated, live-action and alternative series, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Mad, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Generator Rex, Young Justice, Hole in the Wall, Dude What Would Happen, and Destroy Build Destroy. He joined CN from Syfy, where as VP alternative programming he developed and launched Destination Truth and was responsible for overseeing the successful Ghost Hunters franchise. Here is an internal memo from CN chief content officer Rob Sorcher announcing Swartz’s departure: Read More »
Here is a first look at Cartoon Network’s ThunderCats, a reboot of the 1980s action classic. The series, about Lion-O and his battle against evil in the quest for the fabled Stones of Power, is executive produced by Sam Register (Teen Titans).
At its upfront presentation in New York today, Cartoon Network announced the 2012 launch of DC Nation, an on-air and online programming block of DC animation properties “populated with event programming, interstitials, exclusive behind-the-scenes of theatrical production and an insider look into the world of all things DC.” The block, whose content will be produced by Warner Bros. Animation, is the latest effort under Time Warner’s new mandate to better integrate DC Comics with the company’s film and TV divisions.
DC Nation is part of Cartoon Network’s slate of new programming presented to advertisers today, which includes 13 new animated series, 19 returning shows, and the network’s newest live-action scripted comedy series, Level Up. DreamWorks Animation SKG CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg made an appearance to talk about the company’s half-hour CG-animated series for Cartoon Network based on the film’s How to Train Your Dragon. Additionally, the network announced fourth season renewals for the LucasFilm Animation’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars and animated comedy reality show franchise, Total Drama.
Here is a rundown of Cartoon Network’s new series, which include previously announced Looney Toons, ThunderCats and Green Lantern: Read More »
Cartoon Network has ordered additional episodes of game show Hole in the Wall, which originated on Fox, live-action series Dude, What Would Happen along with a third season of Destroy Build Destroy. The shows air aspart of Cartoon’s Wednesday night, which has seen double-digit ratings growth in kids and … Read More »
More than a month after we broke the story about Cartoon Network’s decision to cancel live-action series Unnatural History after one season, fans of the show continue to weigh in on the cancellation in the comments section of the … Read More »