EXCLUSIVE: The kid-targeted net has picked up 13 additional episodes each of its new animated series. That brings the orders for Cartoon Network‘s Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe, which were greenlighted in September 2012, to 26 episodes. Creator Pete Browngardt’s Uncle Grandpa, about a magical elder who travels the world finding unusual solutions to everyday situations, has regularly led its time slot in targeted kids demos since its September 2 premiere. Steven Universe, from Rebecca Sugar, Cartoon Network’s first solo female show creator, drew the network’s best premiere of 2013 on November 4. It centers on the ultimate “little brother” to a team of magical guardians of humanity.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Girls Impact The World, Dubai Fests Partner On Filmmaker Prize; ‘The Wolverine’ Tops In China; More
Girls Impact the World And Dubai Fests Team On Film Prize
The Girls Impact the World Film Festival and the Dubai International Film Festival have partnered to offer a new prize, the DIFF Prize for Advancing Women and Girls. The prize will be awarded to an aspiring student filmmaker from the Middle East and North Africa region for a short original film on an issue related to the advancement of women and girls globally. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship award. The submission deadline is December 31. Entries will be judged by a panel that includes Jeff Skoll, Christy Turlington-Burns, actor Ian Somerhalder, and Paley Center CEO Pat Mitchell. The winning submissions will be screened — and the final winner selected — at an awards ceremony at Harvard College on February 22. Guidelines and entry requirements can be found here.
‘The Wolverine’ Claws Its Way To $14.4M Opening In China
Fox’s The Wolverine opened in China this weekend, taking $14.4M from Friday through Sunday. After four days in release, it had earned $18.3M through last night, according to FilmBizAsia. The film was No. 1 at the box office and outperformed 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which earned a total of $13.2M. The Wolverine was ahead of Donnie Yen’s new Chinese entry Special ID, which opened on Friday to $10.9M. Last week, magic/heist thriller Now You See Me was the top pic at the box office, but fell sharply in its second weekend, FBA said. Tsui Hark’s hot Young Detective Dee: Rise Of The Sea Dragon, is closing in on $98.5M and Huayi Brothers Media Corp said Monday that it was lowering its box office revenue share from 43% to 30% in an effort to get the film across the line.
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.
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.
Here’s today’s release:
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.
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”.
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:
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: