nickanimationexperts nickanimationexperts

The Way Nickelodeon Presents Its Creators Highlights the Network’s Creative Stagnation

Nickelodeon has rolled out a new set of promos for their upcoming slate of animated shows in a series of behind-the-scenes clips embedded in their Nick Studio 10 pre-teen programming block. Here, viewers are introduced to new series like Breadwinners and Rabbids Invasion, and reacquainted with returning players like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Monsters Vs. Aliens, Sanjay and Craig and The Legend of Korra.

In the Nick Studio 10 spots, a pair of hyperactive tweens scramble from one studio cubicle to another to chew the scenery with unidentified mononymous animation “experts” with names like “Bret,” “Ciro,” and “Claudia”. The entire experience results in a headache-inducing panderfest that is desperately trying to connect to its youth demographic.

The direction of this presentation style is the polar opposite of Cartoon Network’s recent profiling of their upcoming slate of auteur-driven, character-based properties from smart, hipster-ish millenials. While CN is at least making an effort to nurture bright ideas from the next generation of talent, Nick hopes to distract from rebooted ideas and threadbare concepts with quick cuts, dubstepping ducks and rectally-focused gags that take the form of toilet plungers, cow farts and “booty kicks.”

Ultimately, Nickelodeon would be hard pressed to sell this collection of spinoffs, adaptations and desperate grabs in a sincere, straightforward way. When placed alongside CN shows like Steven Universe or Uncle Grandpa, something like Rabbids Invasion, which began as a manic, unintelligible video game, has trouble competing.

Nick management continues to wallow in its inability to find a clear creative path that distinguishes itself from its competitors. These dips in quality are cyclical in TV animation—just a few years Cartoon Network was in a similar position—but Nick’s stumbles have been an ongoing concern for over a decade. These promos are the outward manifestation of the network’s inability to come up with shows that connect with their base, and explain better than anything why the entire network subsists on the back of a single decade-and-a-half old series, as evidenced by the network’s recent ratings:

  • Sauceman


  • sasha

    Yikes, these presentations were trying WAY too hard. I could not stand those teenagers and the very fakeness of these ‘tryin to be HIP!’ presentations. Maybe instead of trying to make shows from already semi/popular movies and games, Nick should try to focus on … making a good show that stands out? maybe they can strike gold again by not relying on market testing… at this point what would they have to lose?

  • Ken Martinez

    The ratings chart is worse when you go down. Of the top 50, only 6 aren’t Spongebob or the Spongebob movie.

    Even when Nickelodeon was called Pinwheel, they weren’t this dependent on a single show.

    • Barney Dillweed

      Pinwheel was a show on Nick not the name of the Network. Nickelodeon has always been Nick.

      • Dana5000

        Actually, Nick was originally called Pinwheel when it first went on the air.

        • Chris Sobieniak

          If you have to go further, it was called “Pinwheel” from 1977 to 1979 when it was originally seen as a part of the tested “QUBE” service offered by Warner Cable in selected areas like Columbus, OH. Of course Nickelodeon in it’s early days of the 80’s wasn’t quite the original powerhouse it is today and often relied heavily on a lot of outsider productions to fill up it’s schedule. There was a lot more foreign programs I saw growing up I wouldn’t have seen before if not for the channel.

          • Funkybat

            To be honest, what I consider the golden age of Nick is that early-to-mid 80s era where a lot of their content was imported from the UK and other Commonwealth countries. Nick felt fresh because shows like Danger Mouse and Count Duckua felt different from what we kids could see on Saturday morning network TV or weekday syndication blocks. The live-action stuff like “You Can’t Do That On Television”, while not quite my cup of tea, also felt fresh and unusual.

            I know most people would say Nick’s golden age was the 90s, with great shows like Ren & Stimpy, Rugrats, and Rocko’s Modern Life, and that was a great time too. But I still have a soft spot for the real early days when Nick felt like a slightly polished pirate TV operation made just for kids.

    • Tony

      The chart reminds me of the Simpsons spin-off showcase episode, where they show the Fox Network schedule and almost every slot is a question mark.

  • Mark Neeley

    I find the point you made in the last paragraph re: CN being in the same boat a few years ago fascinating. With the news of respected creators actually leaving the network due to the shift toward live action programming, it is astounding that we are now talking about Nickelodeon in the exact same boat a mere 4 or 5 years. But ultimately I don’t know that it is something very substantial because on it’s basis, a correction can happen at literally any minute. It’s only going to take Nick greenlighting some new shorts by creators (probably more CalArts grads) that plays on the more late teen/twenties-style humor that has made Adventure Time and Regular Show successful to finally get them out of that post-Spongebob funk. I mean, you could argue that CN had been in that funk since the original wave of “Cartoon Cartoons” successes (Dexter, PPG, etc.) There were some excellent shows since then like Chowder and Foster’s but on the subject of the industry, I don’t know that any were really a success in regards to ratings, merchandising, etc. Some, like Chowder, were simply given up on. Not disagreeing with your point at all though, as Spongebob approaches 15 years, Nick has never been so bleak.

  • penvellyn

    Both Cartoon Network and Disney Channel seem to be really focusing on finding and nurturing creators; even though Disney has fewer titles, I’m really looking forward to their upcoming slate (Wander Over Yonder, Star and the Forces of Evil), and they can afford to take their time since the shows they currently have are pretty big (and excellent) hits. The CN kind of doesn’t have a full handle on some of its shows–especially action cartoons, which are left to dwindle and die–but at least it recognizes that much of its current success is coming from truly talented writing teams. It’s kind of devastating to see how devoid of ANY direction Nick seems to be, especially since they were always my favorite channel growing up, and almost everything they put out was at least worth watching. They need a strong creative vision, sort of like what Mike Moon brought to Disney Channel when he left Cartoon Network. It just takes a few smart choices–not desperate ones.

  • Obj_Solid

    If you want to something really sad, scroll down to see the “comments” on the video. It’s pretty sad, I suspect they’re all fake accounts.

    • grimey

      Probably children who legitimately enjoyed the video.

  • SarahJesness

    Goddamn, I knew the reruns of Spongebob got good ratings, but I didn’t know they took up the whole chart! I guess it’s not TOO surprising. I work in the employee cafe at an amusement park and there are two TVs. We play different things on different days, and aside from certain big sports games, by far the most popular thing to air is Spongebob.

    There are a few shows I do like on Nick, but admittedly, one show (TMNT) is a reboot and another (Korra) is a sequel.

  • Emanuel Alfredsson

    The only comparison between CN and Nick! now is the one between Jay-Z and Kanye.

    CN is obviously Jay-Z, who seems like a safer, stricter and more competent choice, but he comes across as too pretentious and too distant at times. With Nick! and Kanye, you can pretty much figure it out, right?

    • Keen Bean

      I can’t really call cartoon network pretentious and distant. And safe only because they are in the process of success with their current line up. Stricter? No.

      And as far as nick being like kanye. No.

  • Jorge R Gutierrez

    Don’t give on Nick just yet. There’s some new magic brewing…

  • Mike Milo

    I think you guys are forgetting these cartoons aren’t made for you 30-year-old curmudgeons. They’re for 9-year-olds! They’re not supposed to be hipster proof! Cartoon Network is making Adult Swim Lite and hey that’s fine but Nick was never conceived to do that and I don’t think they’re trying to be it either.It’s cartoons for kids not sexual innuendos. C’mon there’s got to still be a place for that dontcha think?

    • z-k

      The irony being that it’s a kiddified WTF-hipster promo.

    • Mark Neeley

      Personally I think there are several examples of a very good in-between balance of the two, but sadly I think those shows are becoming rarer and rarer these days in favor of the “Adult Swim Lite” stuff that I think you accurately describe. Spongebob itself is of course a classic example, to name one topical to the original point. But you’re absolutely right.

    • SarahJesness

      This is a website for animation professionals and animation fans. In the US, there is little in the way of mainstream animation aimed at adults so we have to settle for the stuff they make for kids.

      Besides, just because something is made for kids doesn’t mean it can’t be decent. A lot of people who work on kid shows today make an active effort to ensure it appeals to adults as well. Sometimes it’s merely to please the parents who are stuck in the room while the kids are watching the show, other times it’s a matter of wanting a bigger audience. Walk into a Hot Topic and you’ll find a ton of merchandise for TV shows aimed at kids. (on that note, I reeeeally hope that store gets some Gravity Falls stuff…)

      • Riu Tinubu

        But just because we enjoy shows aimed at kids, doesn’t mean we should expect them to be marketed towards us. Sure, it’s nice. But not obligatory.

      • ILDC

        Try going to

        • SarahJesness

          Heh, I know. But I still want more. XD Hirsch said on Reddit that he expects Disney to start putting out more merchandise soon. I REALLY want some Bill Cipher stuff.

          Edit: I was about to say I also want LED shirts, but it looks like WLF just got some! XD

  • z-k

    Are they sure they didn’t mean “duck sauce”.

    Important life lesson: Avoid being a tool for studio activities, especially when it’s from the marketing or HR departments.

    To be fair, the CN promo had its contrived moments. Though, not to the level of toolage in the above.

    • Vic

      Love people acting like guys who just sold their first show aren’t going to play ball with network promo efforts. Unfortunately, unlike in other show business avenues, kid nets seem fine with dumping geniuses that make grand gestures of defying the studio.

      • z-k

        “Love people acting like guys who just sold their first show aren’t going to play ball with network promo efforts.”

        In other words, like a tool, they have no choice. Glad you agree.

  • Anonymator

    “BREADWINNERS: The really cool dudes whose idea we rejected, only to realize it was actually worth a damn when it became popular on the internet! We totally support these awesome bros!” – Nickelodeon

  • TheHurlyBurly

    If Nickelodeon is so obsessed about having hit shows then why don’t they just renew their old shows like they do with Fairly odd parents and Spongebob? I’m pretty sure My life as a teenage robot was fairly popular,fans were literally
    begging for Danny Phantom to continue,and Jimmy Neutron was popular as well wasn’t it?

    • ILDC

      Jimmy Neutron got a spin-off Nick is now trying to burn off.

  • karl hungus

    I was going to comment on the CN feature and suggest “Lets all hope Nickelodeon has taken note”. And here we have them indeed taking note. And responding in the manner in which we should expect their dunderheaded executives to respond; with fluff, empty overtures and intelligence insulting fluff.
    I met with one of the executives over there(and her protege) – who both shall remain nameless – about helming one of their new properties and it was like talking to two flight attendants on a plane. They are there. They have authority. But they don’t care where we are going and they don’t know how to get to any destination. Just words in a vacuum that mean nothing….

    • Ant G

      Those Nick promos have been around longer than that CN promo vid.

      • ILDC

        That doesn’t mean they can’t follow CN’s example.

        • Ant G

          Nick promos that have been out longer…. doesn’t mean they didn’t copy a CN promo that came out after…. wat

          • ILDC

            CN (and Disney) has still proven it can be done in a less condescending way.

    • observant one

      I had dinner with a Nick “creative” representative once. They were of the opinion that Cartoon Network was ” geared only towards men” and “is completely inappropriate for children because they portray too much violence and hit women on television”. They felt that Nick Jr. was going to be more of their main focus in the coming years. That was six years ago…

  • Roberto Severino

    What a spot on analysis of the incompetence going on at Nickelodeon that they seem to have forgotten about what made their earlier shows such big hits. It seems like they’re just throwing random darts with no clear direction whatsoever. This network needs another visionary who can spot good talent and people with fresh new ideas, especially for cartoons. CN and Disney seem to have a lot more going for them in terms of animation and getting better people to come up with their next shows.

  • Guest

    So does Nick take pitched from actual animators anymore?

    • Ant G

      All those shows are pitched by actual animators and story tellers.

      • ILDC

        Who can still pander to executives.

    • badimator

      Yes, but don’t really know what to do when something good is pitched to them. So they settle for a rehash of an existing show. Yawn. Safe, wimpy and insipid.

  • truteal

    Post-Nick Spongebob will be interesting (and tragic) to watch

    • Joel

      Brand Spanking New! Spongebob

      • truteal

        Oops, I should’ve said Post-Spongebob Nick

        • Joel

          Oh. That’d still be interesting (and sad, indeed) to watch. (I still want to horrify myself with the fantasy of “Brand Spanking New! Spongebob,” though)

      • SarahJesness

        Ugh, I could definitely see them trying to do a Spongebob reboot after the original series ends…

        • The Sniper King

          If it ever does.

  • StephaneDumas

    I guess Nick had relied too much and are now too dependant on Spongebob. Even back they aired You Can’t Do that on Television(YCDTOTV), they wasn’t too dependant on YCDTOTV even if that series helped to put Nick on the map in the 1980s as well as Danger Mouse, Mysterious Cities of Gold, Pinwhell who showed short from Europe like Chapi-Chapo.

    I wonder, do the FOP live-action movie “Grow up Timmy Turner” had bring a curse on Nick? On a off-topic sidenote, I posted a post about a retrospective of that movie.

    There one video who studied where Nicktoons jumped the shark.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Very good point there Stephane, of course Nick would also capitalize on the “green slime” craze first seen on YCDTOTV which continued long after the show was over, such as licensing this product.

      • StephaneDumas

        Speaking of slime, here another clip showing the “Slime in” winners.

        Also, it’s too bad then Nick dropped the ball so easily on Invader Zim as well as Kappa Mikey and Wayside. The adaptation of Louis Sachar’s Wayside school book series beginned to gain traction after the 1st episodes.

  • “Claudia” is way more of an “expert” than you. She’s an excellent artist who’s been working in animation for nearly 20 years.

    Say what you will about the marketing (though really, why give a damn about that?) but knocking the credentials of a respectable contributor to animation is shameful.

    • jimmortensen


      “Ciro” = Ciro Nieli.

      “Bret” = Bret Haaland.

    • Jason Cezar Duncan

      Who’s knocking the credentials of them? Not me or anyone I see here has anything against these artists, it’s these dumb promos that are disrespecting them and “knocking their credentials”.

      • The author of this article does.

        I understand the piece is difficult to read, but I quote: “a pair of hyperactive tweens scramble from one studio cubicle to another to chew the scenery with unidentified mononymous animation “experts” with names like “Bret,” “Ciro,” and “Claudia”.”

        If one is intent on calling others to task, then, Caesar’s wife, as they say, should herself be beyond reproach.

        • AnimationGuy

          No, I think you’re missing the point of the author, and it’s that the promos aren’t treating the artists with the respect they deserve by presenting them as if they were some random nobodies.

          • andrew M

            No it comes off as sarcastic, and disrespectfull

        • Animator606432

          It’s good you know that, but how the hell would anyone else? It doesn’t give a last name, or tell is what else she’s worked on. It just credits her as an “Animation expert”. What does that even mean? Why is she important to the shows and why should I care what she has to say? Not saying she isn’t, but this promo doesn’t give answers to any of these questions and therefore you wonder about her importance. I love these behind the scenes look into the production of animated movies and shorts. It’s my first real exposure to the business as a kind and understanding how animation was create.

          One’s like these are terrible because they don’t appear to offer any real insight or a look into the shows creation. Look at some of the one’s Disney’s done for their animated films. The writer is credited as a writer, character animator credited as character animator and it is all presented in a very serious yet informative light.

  • Laura H

    They actually have their own office, but it was easier to show them as having a cubicle. This was all super staged.

  • sour guest

    Ewww! Who’s in charge of new shows there?

    • omfgstfugtfowtf


  • ILDC

    I’d say Disney television animation is still less grotesque and more heartfelt than Cartoon Network. If there’s a gold standard they’re following, it’s definitely Phineas and Ferb, whose creators to my knowledge have never worked on a CN original.

    • Tony

      They did work on Rocko’s Modern Life, one of the classic Nicktoons.

      • ILDC

        Right, and Eric Coleman himself is from Nick.

  • Jason

    Considering how popular SpongeBob is, you’d think they’d show new episodes. Season 9 has 26 episodes, and it’s been on since July 2012, and has only 7 episodes aired in the US. Most of the episodes have already aired in Greece. A country that speaks a foreign language airs shows faster than the main channel.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      It’s all red tape.

  • Mike

    The point was Nick obscuring their full names and titles. Amid is commenting on the network’s lack of respect for the people producing the animation compared to CN, who clearly identifies them in their promos. It’s a valid point. You just misunderstood it.

    • AmidAmidi

      Mike – I was not the author of the piece, but I’m similarly bemused by this criticism. The sentence that the commenter singled out was a straightforward summary of the videos: the people in the video are not identified by their full names, they are labelled “experts” onscreen, and their names are “Bret,” “Ciro,” and “Claudia,” among others. Nothing in that sentence is an opinion of the author, much less a ‘knock on credentials.’

      There is a lot of spirited debate and discussion on Cartoon Brew, but this is the first time in the nine-year-history of the site that I can recall someone objecting to a description of a video. Now I have truly seen it all.

      • I realize writing isn’t your strong suit, Amid, so I can understand why you wouldn’t see putting “expert” in quotes in a post laden with snark might not appear insulting to you.

        • AmidAmidi

          The author of the piece used the quotations appropriately. The people onscreen are identified onscreen as “experts”, however that is not their formal capacity at the studio. A routine application of quotations is to distinguish made-up titles from reality.

  • SarahJesness

    Oy, yeah. The most successful works don’t follow trends, they start trends. “Twilight” made supernatural romance novels ridiculously popular, to the point where many large bookstores have separate shelves for them now. But none ever reached the popularity of “Twilight”. After “Harry Potter”, again, you had a lot of books with similar premises being released and while many did get popular, they never reached the “Harry Potter” level.

    You can’t make a hit by trying to play off something else, you need to make something new, and make it good, and hope that it takes off. Because ideas don’t matter very much. It’s all about the execution. “Harry Potter” was about a normal boy who got taken to a magical world, but you can’t write a story with that premise and expect it to be just as popular. That premise is only one small reason people like that series.

    • Simon

      Percy Jackson and the “blank blank”. For example

    • Jason Cezar Duncan

      I very much agree. As a CREATOR, just like a philosopher, scientist, etc, you’re supposed to go for things that haven’t been done before, that’d you’d to like to see happen. Otherwise, why are you worth our time if you’re not at least adding anything new to something? I’d say good character goes a long way for that as well. If you have strong defined characters people can connect with and relate to, it makes their stories all the more interesting to watch or read.

      • SarahJesness

        That’s true. Even if a show or a movie has a cool premise, it’s hard to get into it if the characters or boring or sucky or unlikable. (I think that’s why I didn’t like Pixar’s “Cars”)

  • SarahJesness

    I think the massive success of SpongeBob reruns is pretty problematic, not just because it’s oversaturation of a single show but because I fear it could be making Nick more reluctant to make new shows. Reruns are cheap to air because they don’t have to spend money, you know, making the episode. If reruns of SpongeBob do far better than episodes of any new show, the new show is held to a high standard. It needs to do VERY well for Nick to justify keeping it on the air, because the network can easily replace it with a SpongeBob rerun that gets better ratings and costs far less.

    • Funkybat

      Spongebob is Nick’s “Scooby Doo.” Over-reliance on this tried-and-true perennial is preventing them for pursuing enough new opportunities. Very much an early-mid 2000s era CN vibe.

  • Riu Tinubu

    “with names like “Bret,” “Ciro,” and “Claudia””

    hahaha, lord, what would have them do man? How does this offend you? hehe, anyway, yeah, these segments are annoyingly childish, but their not directed at me, unlike the Cartoon Network one, which was obviously hitting higher and acknowledging it’s older, creative audience. Nick doesn’t have that as much, so we have this.

    Either, it has the Legend of Korra, which is brilliant (which gets no exposure on this site for some reason) so I can’t care to judge it too harshly.

    • SarahJesness

      I think the writer of this article is annoyed because it feels like the segments don’t respect the people working on the show. Animation “experts”? What the crap does that mean? Why can’t they say “writer” or “character designer” or “storyboard artist”? Saying “expert” just feels like its talking down to the audience, and yeah, I get that this is aimed at kids, but I don’t think calling the writer a writer is going to confuse them.

  • Animator606432

    Again, you’re still missing the point. The snark isn’t to imply that she doesn’t have any credentials. It was to point out how stupid it is to refer to someone who, assumedly, has worked on the show as simply an “Animation expert”. Why is anyone supposed to care about what she has to say without any context? Sure, you could look it up but why should you if this special is supposed to tell you the ins and outs of the production.

  • ILDC

    So what if they’re more CNish then P&F, they still have that show’s more innocent feel. Disney still doesn’t do random snot monsters, if you haven’t checked.

    • Ant G

      Gravity Falls is Disney Channel’s number one show and it has its own charm, unlike P&F, it surpassed P&F (not that hard to pull off, its not that good a show) and that show comes from Cartoon Network animators. Simple as that.

  • ILDC

    It didn’t help it aired years after JN ended.

    • SarahJesness

      I suppose. I did think it was really weird that they made a spin-off of a show that hasn’t been on for years. I mean, it would be one thing if Jimmy Neutron still had a strong, dedicated audience.

  • NickEmployee

    Oddly, Nick claims that “teens” are not their audience, but that they are a children’s network. Which is the main difference between Nick and CN or Disney.

  • Buddy

    Nick has been on a downward spiral for years now. Their entire
    management is pathetic, void of any original thought and all have a
    total disregard for their employees and and an utter lack of
    understanding of how the animation process works. It’s all just treated
    as a crude assembly line with the top shows getting whatever they want
    as other shows basically getting screwed. I love to see underdogs like CN,
    HUB and even YouTube (Bravest Warriors) have cartoons that rival even
    what is considered the best at Nickelodeon.

    • poominator

      Cartoon Network is hardly an underdog but yes, I see your point and agree.

      • Buddy

        You’re right. But in the world of Nick, Disney and WB, everyone else seems like a distant 4th, but they really aren’t.

  • Keen Bean

    I can agree with this. Very good explanation. I retrack the gruff of my comments, but as far as I can see we’re on the same page.

    I can never tell how people view Kanye. Some good some bad. That’s why it threw me off when you said I can just figure it out.

  • To be fair, Sanjay & Craig is actually pretty decent. It has its moments and it’s one of the only Nicktoons in the past 5 years that ISN’T based off of an existing property or CG. On top of that, Thurop Van Orman is the supervising producer, so he definitely adds a surreal quality to the show.

    With that said, Nick’s attempt at producing making-of segments for its current crop of Nicktoons is good-hearted, but ultimately misguided. The execs may think adding random, forced jokes to these videos is quirky and fun, but it just comes off as awkward and shallow – whereas Cartoon Network’s recent “Behind the Animation” video, which shows the creators gushing about how passionate they are for their craft, feels much more sincere, and in turn, enjoyable.

    I have high hopes for the future CN’s animation with shows like Steven Universe, Clarence, and Uncle Grandpa underway and I find myself watching the channel more than I have in quite some time. Whether it’s giving their creators more leniency or taking more risks, Nick really has to get its act together; S&C is a step in the right direction, but they need to continue on that path. One day, the the Spongey cash cow is gonna be wrung dry…and then what?

  • Krypton Keeper

    That ratings thing scared me.

  • Krypton Keeper

    They would probably cancel it in favor for more Spongebob reruns.

  • Buddy

    Among many others.

  • Buddy

    Office space is at a premium. I mean with everyone over there getting VP titles and all. If any PA’s or PC’s at Nick are reading this, hang in there, your next promotion could be a VP one!

  • Crystal

    I really hope Nickelodeon picks up Prodigal. It’s a Titmouse property in development that shows a lot of promise. Disappointed that no one commented on it yet.

    I honestly can’t stand the “Nickelodeon was better when I was a child, not matter what year I was born” attitude. Why not move on from kids’ shows instead of complaining how they don’t pander to you?

  • NightmareWhimzy

    Jesus Christ, Nickelodeon! What happened?!

  • Arthur F.

    Nickelodeon in Germany hardly ever updates to new programming, with Fairly Odd.. Spongebob, Penguins of M., KungFuPanda and the awful tween shows. So imagine how surprised I was to see advertised that Sanjay is already coming soon. That is a major change, and makes me believe the only difference is in the foreign markets doing the economic lifting earlier in a series life, instead of waiting for a solid number of episodes and measure of appeal.

  • Funkybat

    All I know is that Gravity Falls is one hell of an entertaining kids show, the best thing I’ve seen come out of Disney TV since Kim Possible. Wander Over Yonder has a great artistic pedigree and I will be surprised if it isn’t a pretty good to great show as well.

    If Disney Channel is more CN-like, all the better. For most of the 2000s, Disney Channel had almost no animation, aside from Phineas & Ferb and a few short-lived series like Brandy & Mr. Whiskers. It’s good to see something other than live-action tweeny “comedies” on a channel that says it is “Disney.”

  • Jorge R Gutierrez

    Yeah, I guess you are right. All hope is lost.

  • SarahJesness

    New episodes of any show require money to make. A rerun is an episode that’s already been made; it’s far cheaper to air a bunch of reruns than to make a few new episodes.