Here’s a roundup of news related to our earlier post about Cartoon Network’s rebranding efforts, and its new programming direction, which is showing less cartoons and more live-action programming. In the past few months, the network had begun airing live-action features like DUMB AND DUMBER, ACE VENTURA 2 and HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS, but tonight, CN began airing reruns of SAVED BY THE BELL, the first time in its history that it has aired a completely live-action TV show. The news of CN’s live-action shift has not been well received in the online community. Cartoon fans have good reason to be concerned, and one person has already started a PETITION asking the network to stop airing live-action programming.
A recent article in TV WEEK had this quote from Cox cable spokesman David Grabert addressing Cartoon Network’s shift in programming: “We always closely watch what programmers do, especially if they make changes that take them away from how they sold us the service. This is the first we’ve heard of these plans, but if we feel like they’re going too far, we’ll let them know.” Grabert’s statement suggests that if enough viewers complain to cable operators like Cox, they may step in and take some action forcing Cartoon Network to return to its original programming charter.