While Cartoon Network continues to abandon cartoons in favor of live-action productions, this article in yesterday’s NY TIMES reaffirms how important animation is to Nickelodeon’s success. These paragraphs stood out in particular:
“Animation really is the heart and soul of our business,” Ms. [Cyma] Zarghami said. It accounts, she said, for more than 70 percent of annual revenues from advertising and licensing of consumer products.
Witness the results from the network’s recent 24-hour “SpongeBob” marathon, capped by a single new episode and the first television broadcast of “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” (2004). Those “SpongeBob” episodes accounted for 25 of the 40 highest-rated shows on cable for the week, each drawing from 3.3 million to 6.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The TIMES piece was “coincidentally” timed with today’s announcement by Nickelodeon of their upcoming slate of animated productions. Among their new shows is EL TIGRE: THE ADVENTURES OF MANNY RIVERA, created by my pals Sandra Equihua and Jorge Gutierrez (pictured above). I haven’t seen any of the episodes yet (the show premieres March 2, 2007), but visually, I’m pleased to report that EL TIGRE features some of the most kick-ass eye candy I’ve seen in a TV production in recent years.