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Bad IdeasTV

Another Cartoon Network update

According to an article posted today in the trade publication Broadcasting and Cable, Cartoon Network will start advertising its new CN Real (live action) block with a marketing blitz, which will include a Facebook page and a “fanzine”. The article states:

“Cartoon is also relying on decidedly old-school technology in an attempt to lure viewers to the new lineup: a fanzine. The network is printing eight million copies of the fanzine, which will blend pop culture tips with promotional messaging related to the new shows. The publication will be distributed at movie theaters, Six Flags amusement parks, the Essence Music Festival, Cartoon Network live tours and other events.”

Wait a minute… “a fanzine?” Eight million copies? Any publication printing eight million copies, being bankrolled by a major corporation, and distributed in movie theatres and amusement parks isn’t exactly a fanzine. But then again, Cartoon Network isn’t exactly a Cartoon Network anymore…

P.S. While I was searching Facebook yesterday, I found this Boycott Cartoon Network’s “CN Real” Block page. Thought you should know.

  • RDee

    Those kids with shaggy hair and expensive clothing (that makes them look poor) just love their ‘zines!!!!

  • Y’know, you would think that the people at CN would at least come up with some live shows that animation lovers might actually want to watch: like a reality series where we follow a student animator getting an internship working at a Japanese or Korean or Indian animation studio. Or maybe hire someone like Jerry Beck to do a history of animation series. Or get someone like Kevin Geiger to travel the world and visit animation studios detailing the history of animation in their country and what projects they’re working on. If you’re going to do live action on a “cartoon” network, at least make the effort to do it right. *shrug*

  • Brand extension fail.

  • Andrew Laubacher

    A studio-produced “fanzine” ain’t no fanzine!

  • They better place their onesheet’s in Nick’s pub soon… Nickelodeon Magazine Group has announced plans to shut down by year’s end.

  • Jerold

    Reality programming is cheap and involves no thought. Nice to see CN take the high road.

  • The only thing CN has taught me to to follow your dreams and ambitions. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re crazy, or your idea sucks.

  • Boycott Cartoon Network’s “CN Real” Page? It’s official, Cartoon Network is just as bad as Viacom now.

    Seriously, if Ford, GM, and Chrysler took the “All-Electric”car-fueling transition for their vehicles, would you fuss and complain, even if it was good for the enivorment?

    Come on, I know Cartoon Network is bad buisness maker, but they might feel the same way, allthough it’s a whole ‘nother story.

  • Hannah

    As a 90’s kid, CN’s spiral into pointlessness doubled with the cancellation of Nick Magazine equals one rather disheartened child at heart.

  • luxo Sr.

    Jerry just make your own Animation network. CN is dead.

  • Robert Schaad

    …Distributed at Six Flags (which is filing for bankruptcy).

  • Once Ted Turner left the organization, it was obvious that this network would die. Creative people left the ship and pretend-creatives took charge. The whole shift took not much longer than expected.

  • Katella Gate

    Hooray! More of the same, I can hardly wait! Another dead channel slot in my overpriced cable package!

    You know something’s wrong when the cartooniest thing on TV is Billy Mays peddling prophylactics.

  • droosan

    I know it has nothing to do with CN Real .. but I did get a kick out of TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND’s ‘send-up’ of the reality show genre; and I look forward to TOTAL DRAMA ACTION.

    As well as more FLAPJACK, LEAGUE OF SUPER-EVIL, THE MR. MEN SHOW, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, and CLONE WARS. I even enjoy an occasional episode of JOHNNY TEST once in a while.

    But, CN Real..? I’ve seen the promo blitz they’ve already put in Burbank’s AMC theaters .. and, yeah; I’ll likely switch the channel when that stuff is on. <_<

  • Sara

    I appreciate the sentiment and the only way “CN Real” will be viewed in my house is possibly once to satisfy morbid curiosity or if I’m flipping channels and happen to catch a second my accident. But is it really a “boycott” when you’re pledging not to watch a TV show or shows that you probably wouldn’t watch anyways? I mean, even if “Kids Act Like Ghosts Are Real” or “Junkyard Wars Jr” were on the Discovery Kids channel or some other appropriate venue, I wouldn’t be particularly interested. Maybe if I was in the target audience for these shows or had a kid who was, it would be more of a sacrifice or a struggle for me to keep these shows off of my TV. But as is, not watching the “CN Real” block will not mean any less skin on my nose than is currently there.

  • William

    I’m shocked they’re doing anything with print, here in the age of Twitter and blogs. I wonder how that’ll go for them, especially if Nick is getting off that ship.

  • Andy Seredy

    Can CN really be blamed for this, though? If they didn’t think kids would watch it, would they still put so much money/effort into it? Dumb kids watch dumb entertainment. I blame the schools.

  • “Kids today with their iPods and their Myspace and their corporate-influenced fan magazines.”

  • I guess we’ll just have to make a new network for cartoons and animation, because the current choice of animated broadcasting seems to be on its way out.

    If only I could win the lottery. Then I would be able to start a cartoon channel, and build an adult size discovery zone in my basement.

  • My favorite shows on CN: Flapjack, and probably Adventure Time…look forward to those. Adult Swim is nice too.

    I really wish CN wasn’t doing this whole live action thing–leave that to Disney Channel?

  • I’m still surprised at the decision to keep “CN” in the title of live action programming more-so than the decision to make more live action programming altogether. It’s like how “Adult Swim” has no reference to purely animated content, so they can have a wide variety in their blocks. Whatever…so they want to have more live action; fine by me. Maybe it’s a really good money-maker…all the more to afford animated shows on other blocks, maybe? But is it too sacrilegious to ask for a little bit of creativity that has the possibility of sounding more appealing than “CN Real”?

  • vzk

    I hope this entire block fails miserably like “Out of Jimmy’s Head” and CN goes back to showing only cartoons, or dies; whichever comes from this.

  • Brannigan’s Law

    Isn’t this what happened with Mtv in the 90s. They stopped showing music videos and became a reality tv network so they started M2. And didn’t six flags just claim bankruptcy? I suppose in this market that only means they will thrive.

  • Ethan

    History Channel now airs reality themed shows that have little to do with the subject of history. When will ESPN start their all-ballet lineup?

  • uncle wayne

    Let’s, then, put Tweety & Sylvester on CNN, why-don’t-we??

  • gaastra

    Don’t forget bio channel airing die hard on it’s “true story movies”. Die hard was based on a true story? Then there’s sci-fi airing ecw and law and order.

    Would it kill cartoon network to put a few classics on the channel? Looney tunes or droopy or yogi bear? The excuse is they are to old and kids won’t watch them yet tom and jerry, scooby-doo and courage get great ratings. So much for that excuse. It’s pretty sad that cn is killing off all these classic shows for this generation. None of my nieces friends even knew who bugs bunny was! This is really sad and both wb and cartoon network are to blame for not airing them. Do they really need to air 6teen 6 times a day? Air it once and put 5 other shows in place of the rest. The have a HUGE collection of cartoons and they air the same 8 shows 5 times a day!

  • vzk

    Slightly off-topic, but if Courage was doing so well why has the show been discontinued for almost seven years?

  • MadRat

    The website mentioned is a Facebook page and I’m on MySpace otherwise I’d sign up. As soon as they put up a MySpace page I’ll add them to my friends list. There’s also an online petition ( but I think it’s independent of the Facebook page.

    It’s not like I’ll have to go out of my way to boycott these shows, after reading about them I’d never watch them anyway. Cartoon Network needs to take chances and try something different but that means taking chances and something different with animation. Showing live action is just more of the same.

    I have no idea what’s being taught in business school but these days it seems the idea of “failure leads to big rewards” must be the most important part.

  • I was talking about the reruns. It was brought back for halloween only and did great in the ratings so they left it on. Early this year it was on twice a day. They don’t play it as much now however. Have to make more for the 12 showings of johhny test.

  • chdr

    Cartoon Network is a kids network, and I’ve honestly accepted that fact. No amount of complaining will make CN Real go away. Instead of starting up pointless boycotts against the live-action, you guys should be SUPPORTING the animation they have, like buying merchandise, spreading word-of-mouth, watching, etc.

    Networks don’t care about opinions, they care about money. Supply them with money, and they will listen to your opinions.

  • captainmurphy

    That block sounds horrible. At Least stuff like Saul of the Mole Men made fun of Sid and Marty Kroft, which was not animation either, but at least tilted towards Saturday Morning programming which was often majority animation. And stuff like Tim and Eric takes the Bob Odenkirk humor sensibility that are part of Adult Swim. Adult Swim is really about the humor, the animation is secondary, actually a post modern take.

    This is all, how quickly and how cheaply can we produce several hours of programming.

    That would be an idea, just recycle the cartoon content from the past 60 years of TV cartoons. Things that actually fell by the wayside once cable got its legs.

  • In 2002 TV Guide posted a list of the greatest TV cartoons of all time. Number one is Bugs Bunny. Where are the Looney Tunes on TV?

  • I saw a primetime ad on broadcast TV (well, The CW) for one of the shows today. That’s a bit unprecedented, especially for a cable network, but especially for the Cartoon Network. It would appear that they are quite serious about pushing this particular genre of programming.

  • William

    That list looks rather suspect to me. Cartman and Beavis & Butthead in the top ten?

  • Disgusted

    This is a last and desperate attempt of a network that is going to be disowned by its parent company.
    CN will fold within the year.

    There is no way that CN-Real will be a success and they definitely will not try to make any more cartoons. they have failed at that DOZENS of times in every way possible.

  • GoodBM

    Craig Clark said:
    “In 2002 TV Guide posted a list of the greatest TV cartoons of all time. Number one is Bugs Bunny. Where are the Looney Tunes on TV?”

    That list is a load of BS! Tom And Jerry @ 50th? …BS!
    TV Guide: A lesson on how to do 2 things well… Suck, and get shiz wrong!

    Agreed, though. Where are the classics on TV today?

  • chdr

    @Craig Clark: The main reason why LT isn’t on TV is because Warner Bros. expects networks under the TimeWarner umbrella to pay for content owned by TimeWarner. It’s a very stupid idea and is the reason why Looney Tunes isn’t on ANYWHERE, not even on Boomerang, a network dedicated towards airing classic cartoons.

    The saddest part is, that even without WB’s help, Cartoon Network has a pretty good reason why not to run LT. They gave it a big, highly advertised marathon on New Year’s Day with no counter-programming from Nick or Disney and it still failed. If that doesn’t say that today’s kids don’t have an interest in LT, I don’t what does.

  • I may be in the minority, but I have no problem with Cartoon Network’s current live-action agenda. At least they realize what they want to be, know that they’ll be alienating fans, and are aware that this could blow up in their faces. Looney Tunes don’t being on Cartoon Network currently, is partly because of a grudge between Turner and Warner Bros. I find it hilarious by the way, that Cartoon Brew doesn’t stop to hesitate at CN’s live-action fare, but completely ignores any animation it does showcase. Oh, and on a side note:

    “Any publication printing eight million copies, being bankrolled by a major corporation, and distributed in movie theatres and amusement parks isn’t exactly a fanzine. But then again, Cartoon Network isn’t exactly a Cartoon Network anymore…”

    Cartoon Network becoming an equal live-action/animation mix has nothing to with how you’d view a fanzine.

  • One would think that the name “fanzine” points at it being done by fans, not a company.
    Someone over there is using the wrong definition. It’s a magazine, or maybe a leaflet or something similar, depending on the amount of pages and its size.
    8 millions is a huge number! If it is intended for free distribution, they probably need that many.
    I wonder if they will put actual fan content in it, like drawings, or just promo material.

    Aaron- I thought Nick mag is folding way before years’ end. The news mentionned it stopping immediately. Maybe just enough time for one more issue and then the end.
    I may be wrong.
    One more kids friendly magazine disappearing off the shelves.
    I’m more jealous of Europe, who have a lot more magazines aimed towards young and all ages readers.

  • That TV guide list is seven years old and intended for debate; everyone has his or her own list of the top 50 TV cartoons. Too bad they have to pay extra for Looney Tunes , it can’t be than more paying for new programming, or can it?

  • CHDR:

    You say “even without WB’s help, Cartoon Network has a pretty good reason why not to run LT. They gave it a big, highly advertised marathon on New Year’s Day with no counter-programming from Nick or Disney and it still failed.”

    This is absolutely incorrect. Here’s a ratings report I looked at:

    The marathon did much better than average for CN (best of all six days sampled) with kids 2-11; average with kids 6-11; and better than average (second-best of all six days sampled) with tweens 9-14. Adults aren’t mentioned, but they’re not the demographic CN shoots for in the daytime anyway.

    I’ve heard others claim the CN Looney marathon did badly. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I imagine these rumors originate with the suits behind the new CN content. If it becomes widely known that the Looney Tunes they’ve actively kept off the network easily do better than their current content, someone might be embarrassed—and we can’t have that.
    See my comments, too, to this older Brew post:

  • Brannigan’s Law

    I can’t wait until great 2-d cartoons are produced in basements and behind locked doors and are only shown in speakeasys. I see myself going up to a dark figure in a tall coat in the back of a trashy alley. I say to him “the cat goes to hell at the drop of a piano.” “I hate meeces to pieces” he replies, then proceeds to pull out an ipod playing a sample clip of what looks to be a quality cartoon. I exchange cash for a thumb drive and scurry home undetected like a ninja in night so no one discovers my shame. But I know there are others that will feel my joy.

  • chdr

    @David Gerstein: The day did well compared to the rest of the week, but holiday events generally get better ratings than regular days. The thing is, that it performed worse than previous New Year’s Day events (including the previous year, which was mostly live-action movies).

    And the “it’s old and CN doesn’t want to pay attention” excuse doesn’t work either. A month later, CN aired a similar marathon of The Powerpuff Girls, another (relatively) old show that CN tried to bury, and it got great ratings. And CN acknowledged it, with a press release.

    The main thing is that the LT marathon’s ratings were lukewarm, and definitely not what CN expected (hence, LT has not joined the regular schedule).

  • Live action on Cartoon Network.

    Professional wrestling on Sci Fi.

    Extreme Makeover Home Edition on TV Land.

    What’s next, music videos on MTV?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Those kids with shaggy hair and expensive clothing (that makes them look poor) just love their ‘zines!!!!

    Do people even read these days? ^_^

    > Aaron- I thought Nick mag is folding way before years’ end. The news mentionned it stopping immediately. Maybe just enough time for one more issue and then the end.
    > I may be wrong.
    > One more kids friendly magazine disappearing off the shelves.

    I’m only surprise any of ’em are still around at all.

    > I’m more jealous of Europe, who have a lot more magazines aimed towards young and all ages readers.

    There’s a lot to be jealous of Europe these days. Those people do not treat their audience like s__t!

    And yes, 8 million copies is NOT a fanzine, let alone a ‘fanzine’ that is corporately-controlled and published. I’d rather see someone out there put out a fanzine that rivals anything put out commercially that people flock to buy whatever limited copies are available!

  • captainmurphy

    I would bet that Cartoon Network has a greater share of people watching programming there via DVR than broadcast live. Now, I have no idea what point this would make in this discussion, but there it is saying something about how well various channels are are selling advertising, that they would have to turn upside down the entire notion of a channel having a particular flavor of content.

    I suspect there will be an implosion of cable channels, back to the old network model where the most important thing was to counter program against the competitor while keeping some semblance of variety in the line up. They find, or at least feel, that monoculture programming is keeping them from selling and placing ads. And ads are sold in blocks now anyway, you don’t buy placement on THAT SHOW as often as you just give Viacom a certain amount of money for a certain amount of minutes in front of a certain amount of eyeballs, hopefully of the right demographic.

    After a certain point, divide and conquer vertical marketing just doesn’t work, it casts the net too narrowly.

  • Neto A.

    Even here in Brazil, where cable TV scheadule and channels are different, the situation is sad. You can count that, around 20:00, almost every channel will be showing a movie – including Cartoon Network. I used to love that channel. Now, sadly, I watch more the Discovery Channel – at least, y times out of ten, they will still show documentaries and related programs. What’s much more than can be said from other channels.

    The saddest is that, for a while, we had Boomerang – a Cartoon Network sister channel that aired just old animation. Within months it was relaunched as a teen series/movies/soap-operas channel.

    Seems the net is our salvation. Let’s have our Cartoon Brew TV 24/7 :D

  • Maybe John Lasseter and Pixar should overtake Cartoon Network as well…I mean shoot, what do we have to lose?

    I’m still frustrated that Cartoon Network is trying to be the next Nickelodeon by appealing to kids with live action. Not to mention live action movies…..Cartoon Network needs to go back to its’ roots…I just hope some new leader over there figures that one out.

  • The Looney Tunes marathon did average for Cartoon Network on New Year’s Day. They could have aired anything else, and gotten the same (if not better) ratings.

  • Marc Baker

    ‘I really wish CN wasn’t doing this whole live action thing–leave that to Disney Channel? ‘

    No, i want Disney to return to it’s animation roots because their current live action programing is awful! i don’t want to Disney to do a live action remake of ‘Lonesome Ghosts with Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato.

    ‘Maybe John Lasseter and Pixar should overtake Cartoon Network as well…I mean shoot, what do we have to lose?’

    I’m still waiting for Lasseter to fire all the idiots running Disney Channel so they can make better programing.

  • vzk

    Who really wants to see Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies on CN anyway? They air them edited and censored for the most part, and many of the older ones don’t even have their original title cards. Stick to DVDs and Youtube.

  • Sounds like the MTV programming model.

  • “No, i want Disney to return to it’s animation roots”

    Disney Chanel was always a mix of animation and live-action. And look at the bright side: Cartoon Network stayed all-animation (10+ years) longer than MTV stayed all-music (6 years).

  • Asymetrical

    Well if truth be told the real reason they’re switching to live action is because they don’t get the ratings that their competitors get and they’re trying to fix that. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that it’s not their programming that makes their ratings go down it’s the fact that they don’t put the same thing on at the same time every day. They have no steady lineup!~ They don’t cross promote. Hell they don’t really promote at all! Their competitors? They do it all the time. Disney is a juggernaut of advertising for their products and so is Nickelodeon. Cartoon Network? Bah, they don’t even have an entire week of new shows. Coming this Thursday: A new Flapjack! Wow! This Thursday huh? So I have to wait alllllll week to see this one new 11 minute show? (because after all only one of the new cartoons is new per half hour. Or, I could go and see a brand new episode of iCarly, or Hanna Montana. Hmmm which would I choose? New episodes every day or a half new one on Thursday. Do the math TW!

    The truth is that Time Warner was clueless when they bumbled Iron Giant and they’re STILL clueless.

  • chdr

    @Asymetrical: As I recall, Nickelodeon hardly even HAS a schedule and it’s #1 all the time. Also, I don’t see how a new episode every Thursday is any worse than a new episode every Saturday. If anything, it’s one of the smartest moves CN has made in the last couple of years: Nick and Disney have no premieres to counter-program with!

  • Brad

    Cable is apparently its own worst enemy. CN jumped the shark forever ago so I don’t care what they do. How many times have I seen networks I used to like devolve into total crap? AMC, TLC, Discovery, CN, MTV, Spike, Disney, Nickelodeon (okay, never could do much damage there), etc, etc. It always ALWAYS happens. Is there a cable channel you actually like? Well don’t worry, just wait long enough and you won’t. By the time I’m able to get channels like TCM or Boomerang with my carrier they will also have been completely ruined (too late already in some instances I’m sure). Some channels like History and TVLand have held out longer than others, but are really pushing the accelerator lately on their way to quest for boring mediocre truck-driving crapola.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    As Brad put it, so is the feeling I have on the whole matter itself. Cable has became too confined in this present age. Back in it’s heyday, when it was still fresh it had a lot more ideas and interests than I see today, where it copycats the next channel down the street in order to stay in good standing.

  • CN Real. Oh Lord.

    Yeah, and what the hell is up with that glorified printed-and-bound together thing they call a fanzine? What??? Why couldn’t they (the marketing dept?) have called it an advertisement?

    This is getting very funny, very quick. . .almost more entertaining than their slate of Real programming. . .

  • Brannigan’s Law

    can we just refer to it as “N” now. Is Boomarang still around? I never got the option to get it so I don’t know. Maybe they’ll just move everything over there?

  • Billy Bob

    I know there are a lot of professional cartoonists here that are perfectly justified in their opinon. Hell cartoon buffs like me have a right to say things too.

    But well, after a while, I just realized that it’s not really right for me to be so harsh on CN’s programming because, well I am 21 years old and not a kid which is what the channel is made for.

    Sure I lament the network turning into another generic Nick knockoff but it gets money, we’ve been complaining about Disney shelling out the same schlock FOR DECADES and where did that go.

    It’s inevitable, I am afraid. Anyway aside from Total Drama Island, nothing attracts me to the channel anymore.

    (The nood bumpers are cute though).

  • Zork Nemesis

    I really don’t understand where the future of animation is headed. At the turn of the century it dominated the airwaves and the theaters. Now it’s becoming a niche. A niche!! This is some serious shit.

  • I remember when my cable provider finally included Cartoon Network. I was happy, it was the only channel I watched. It had all of my favorite shows on there and new ones that I never even heard of. Now it sucks. At least there’s still Adult Swim.

    But reality tv and live tv don’t have a place on CN. Who ever thought of this genius idea needs a good swift kick in the nuts. Heck, they canceled Megas XLR but they kept a retarded show about battle tops on, wtf?! >:[

  • mep

    I am so furious at what cn has done to the original cartoon network tv station. Cartoon network was always about the animation not live and cn real has nothing to do with animation and never will.I personaly think that the live action and animation should never be mixed.If the company would bring back action animated shows like gundam, pokemon, or even yu gi oh they would get more ratings than the new shows.Some of the new shows like chowder and flapjack are just silly and should never been put on the tv station.Animated action is what I wachted on cartoon network especially on toonami. Now that it’s gone cn has lost malor ratings to these new shows like the othersiders and brainrush.cartoon network is CARTOON network, not cn or cn real.I hope these new live action shows teach cn about how kids really feel about how much they’d rather have cartoons than non-animated shows.BRING CARTOON NETWORK BACK.

  • Master Toon

    It doesn’t matter what most of us here say, we’re just a bunch of adults wanting to recapture our childhood. Well I’ve grown up and stopped whining over a channel that hasn’t been the same for like 5 years.

  • Propagandhi

    I thought nothing could be worse than the suckitude that is Disney XD, until CN Real debuted.

  • i want cartoonnetwork now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i don’t want a stupited cn real show f you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shadebeast

    PEOPLE! the fact of te matter is CN is removing good cartoon shows for the reality shows that, lets face it, no one wants to watch. just because its cheap and requires no thought doesnt make it a GOOD thought. the only shows that werent good besides EVERY ONE THAT DOESNT HAVE ANIMATION INVOLVED WHATSOEVER would be league of super evil, every elementary school dueling show, and johnny test. obviously thats just my opinion but too many people are dissaproving of the CN real block. more people than those who werent giving any of the good toon shows the ratings hey deserved. THEREFORE IT MUST GO.