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Bad IdeasTV

Cartoon Network Going Commando

Yeah, this is another post ragging on Cartoon Network as is spirals down the drainpipe of doom. I was at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood last night where found this flyer (at left, click to enlarge thumbnail), recruiting “male teens” for a new reality show. It reads: “Are you between 13 and 16 years old? Would you like to have a team of Former military SPECIAL FORCES train you and your friends to plan and execute real life missions? Learn how to use night vision? Hydro Reconaissance? Rappelling? Who wouldn’t!”

“We are looking for kids who have real problems that need to be solved by our team. Do you need to get something that belongs to you back from a friend? The Special Forces team will train you to get it back using all the high tech equipment available. Need to be at a family event, but want to take a girl out on the same night? Worry no more, for with this team, you will learn spy-like maneuvers that allow you to be in two places at once! Tired of being picked on? Those days are gone! The team will take you through Commando boot camp where you will transform from scrawny to superhero.”

“This is the biggest wish fullfillment reality show… maybe ever!”

Dear Producers of Going Commando,

I would like your Special Forces Team to overtake the building at 300 North Third Street in Burbank, California. A group of highly paid television executives have taken over a cable cartoon network I used to love, took away all my favorite cartoons and replaced them with a whole bunch of brainless live action reality shows. I wanna kick their ass and take over the channel. Who wouldn’t? I want Looney Tunes and Popeye (and about a zillion other things) back on the air so I can share them with a new generation of kids. This is would be my biggest wish fullfillment… maybe ever!

  • TheGunheart

    You know, the idea of child soldiers is frightening enough as it without a REALITY SHOW on CARTOON NETWORK about it. Really, this is just sick…

  • DB


  • james madison

    I don’t understand this.
    “Reality shows”(if you can call them that) exist in mass abundance because they are low cost.

    Why would the CN feel a need to go this route? If you are talking low cost and bottom line, they already own entire libraries worth of entertainment.

    Entertainment that they do not have to pay for. I do believe they own quite a few things and I guess a few shows are licensed.

    I wish if they were doing any “reality” TV, it would be that of a documentary behind the cartoons they could show or possibly interview creatives as a whole.

    I cannot understand executives and their love for “reality TV”, and I am not saying it should not exist. It should but there is a lack of balance.

    “Reality TV” does not lend itself to being timeless. Actually, I cannot think of one that I would like to revisit or see with maybe the exception of the first Real World., and that is because at the time it was a novelty.

    The only thing you can do to preserve it’s life is repackaging the same concept season after season. There is no spontaneity, (because it is not a documentary and too much is “scripted”) and of course there is nothing creative about them.

    I hope CN does not tread heavily down this route, especially when there is a wealth of talent (creatives) that I am sure would be eager to work on a project, and in addition the extensive library that they own.

    Hopefully this will be something that is not invested into, too heavily.

  • Really?

    Sick sad world….

  • Marc Baker

    Just when you think that Cartoon Network decided to throw a small bone to it’s former loyalists with ‘Justice League’ reruns on Saturday night, we get news like this. Interestingly enough, Comcast moved Cartoon Network down the food chain of it’s lineup, and it’s got nowhere else to go but up. (if it ever wants to redeem itself.)

  • I’m starting to think that CNReal has become one big excuse for pedophiles to lure kids to their “special forces”.

  • Christopher Cook

    Actually, 300 N. Third Street in Burbank is where the cartoons were made. If you want to go commando on CN, try where they’re brainstorming this stuff–1050 Techwood Drive in Atlanta GA.

  • HAHAHA! The first part made me shake my head in shame, but your comments made me almost spit coffee on my keyboard. This channel seems to be going from bad to worse, sigh.

  • Jerry, it’s time to get over it. Cartoon Network died way back when before Linda Simensky left it. She saw the writing on the wall. It looks like you didn’t.

  • Mike Russo

    I’m sure there are going to be a bunch of people who come in here to complain that the Brew is spending too much time complaining about just how crappy CN has become and should just lay off the negativity.

    But I say “hear hear!” This channel really is just a load of nothing now. Sad.

  • marley

    so when is this starting? sounds like fun. rather more fun than watching popeye cartoons anyway.

  • Who is responsible? Who is it that over and over seems work tirelessly to ruin every enterprise that he comes into contact with? Who is the grinch that seems to revel in crushing anything that folks (especially kids) enjoy?

    Two words: Stuart Snyder.

  • vanessa

    oh my! this is hilarious!!

  • Dear Cartoon Network assholes,

    Stop corrupting our youth! >:(

  • can’t help but think CN is gonna start getting threatening phone calls when he’s with his kids.

  • Jason

    Word, Jerry. Word.

  • Mentoring a new generation of stalkers… Excellent.

  • Ramon

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh man, Chowder was way to good for this network, anyway!

    So if the kid fails his own mission does he get shipped to the middle east?

    Why no girls? Kinda sexist. I understand that the show’s main demo will most likely be boys, but come on, there women in the military that contribute just as much. I know I’m being a little nit-picky but this is getting pretty ridiculous.

  • Joe

    Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, This happens.

  • You should actually send that in Jerry, thats funny, true and a little sad at the same time.

  • christy

    i think this idea actually sounds cool.

  • fishmorgjp

    marley: so when is this starting? sounds like fun. rather more fun than watching popeye cartoons anyway.

    Moo moo moo. It’s great how you can work the keyboard with those hooves!

  • Change of plans, President Obama. Send the troops to Burbank!

  • Fred Cline

    Turner just needs to completely re-name the network and get rid of the “CN” so it doesn’t lead people to think that there might actually be cartoons when they tune in to the channel.

  • John A

    Sounds like some Army recruiter created this show.

  • Zee

    I agree that CN needs to get rid of all this live action garbage. But for God’s sake! No more Looney Toons and Popeye. If you want to watch the old stuff, watch it on DVD. CN needs to make new cartoon productions. Like they did with Dexter’s Lab, Power Puff Girls, Samurai Jack, Foster’s Home, FlapJack, and The Venture Bros. Animators need work, rerunning our old child hood shows is not going to give anybody any jobs. You can’t keep going back to the same well; the Looney Toons well is dry. Kids these days do not even get the jokes anymore. NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW cartoon productions is what is needed. Not live action, not reality TV, and not re-runs! I wouldn’t even re-run newer shows like the ones I mention. Once the show has aired twice and gone to DVD, give it another season, or air the next new show. We need a constant stream of new productions. Hell, if they want, CN can start a second channel, the RE-RUN CHANNEL. Just re-run all the old cartoons for people that are nostalgic.

  • corey

    I think we should just start a network called “Reality Network” and sooner or later we’ll have a great line up of cartoons.

  • Thomas Hatch

    james madison, Thurop VanOrman (creator of Flapjack) actually pitched a reality show to CN where kids could come in and see cartoon-making first hand and then get to make their own cartoons. (Kind of like “The Apprentice”) Anyway, the idea was instantly dismissed because kids would rather watch special forces soldiers beat up a bully. Zzzzzzzzz

  • Thanks marketing scum!

  • Blake

    fishmorgjp: Moo moo moo. It’s great how you can work the keyboard with those hooves!

    So someone who doesn’t happen to like Popeye cartoons is characterised as a cow now, eh? Personal attacks on other posters is what passes for acceptable debate at Cartoon Brew now? Jeez.

  • *sigh*…I think there just needs to be a new cartoon channel. We have boomarang, but we need one that supports new ideas and up and coming animators and not just use the same old formula. I would love to see Popeye and Woody Woodpecker, but I would also like to see some experimental stuff. I want a network that might show “The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9”, Angora Napkin, Hedgehog in the Fog, Popeye, Danger Planet, Looney Tunes, Brothers Quay. I just want a nonstop network of quality animation. Is this too much to ask. There is so much out there, and so many talented people that I think might support this with material. This is something I think Cartoon Brew is doing right now. But I would love a Cartoon Brew Channel that was constantly steaming this stuff. If there is anyone that could do it, it’s Jerry Beck. What say ye?!!! Hoorah!!!! Hoorah!!!…Just thinking out loud….

  • Thomas,

    Shame it got rejected. I would’ve watched.

    It’d be perfect for the network. It’s a reality show, but it’s about making cartoons also.

    Thurop should look into pitching it again.

  • Nick

    I know it’s really popular to bag on CN right now but you have to look at it from their perspective right now. If there is anyone to get angry at it’s the parent groups who put pressure on junk food and toy companies to pull back on their advertising. So essentially cartoon’s bread and butter are being hurt because some lazy parents want to push the blame away from themselves. CN is trying to keep their company afloat from this big hit. I agree all of these CNReal shows are muck and disgusting, but they need new companies to advertise on their network. I really don’t know a good solution to this so maybe instead of ragging on CN perhaps we can help find new alternatives to bring animation back but help them make a profit.

    I know this sounds really cold and business oriented but these execs speak one language and it’s the language of the dollar. You find a way to make money and they’re all yours.

  • Lucky Jim

    I wish Turner could take back Cartoon Network; Captain Planet reruns don’t sound so bad now!

    Seriously though, it’s comical how many bad decisions the execs have made; it’s gotten to the point where it has to be some sort of giant prank, that’s the only logical excuse.

  • Bob

    child soldier FEEL NO PAIN

    child soldier LIE TO FAMILY

    whew child soldier HUNGRY…… what was child soldier saying?

  • Great post, but Yikes.
    I’d take Captain Planet over that any day.

  • “I wanna kick their ass and take over the channel.”

    Dang, Jerry. Take a chill pill.

    I kid. That’s the funniest thing you’ve ever posted.

  • dr. giraud

    Are some of the references in some Looney Tunes out of date? Yes. But they could easily put together a LT show that kids today would enjoy; the Road Runner toons, for example, don’t date at all.

  • Ramon asks: Why no girls? Kinda sexist. I understand that the show’s main demo will most likely be boys, but come on, there women in the military that contribute just as much.
    The various units of the U.S. Special Forces do not allow women to serve, although there are rumors of super-secret double-black hush-hush units which have women in them.

    Not that allowing girls to participate in this would make it any better or any more appropriate for Cartoon Network, mind you.

  • HA! Love that comeback, Jerry. I’d laugh harder if it wasn’t so sadly true…

  • St. McDuck

    Amen Jerry.

  • John Bloom

    You know what’s funny? CN many have more new cartoons in production than nick or Disney…

    Flapjack= cartoon
    Adventure time= cartoon
    Regular show = cartoon
    Horrorbots= cartoon
    Sym-bionic titan= cartoon
    Generator rex= cartoon
    Superjail= cartoon
    Venture bros= cartoon
    Chowder = cartoon
    fire-breather= CG cartoon
    14 cartoonstitute shorts= 14 cartoons

    That’s a lot of cartoons and I’m probably forgetting some other adult swim cartoons…

    Also, rumor has it CN plans on greenlighting 2 more CARTOON shows in nov/dec.

    CN is currently producing or has produced (in the last couple years) some of the most original cartoon content around… by some of the freshest cartoon talent around. And the studio in Burbank is packed with animated shows in productions… so much so their running outta room.

    Give it a rest… or maybe write something positive about the cartoons CN are making …instead of bashing the live action crap once a week.

  • FP

    The potentially dangerous scenarios proposed for GOING COMMANDO (a great title for anything) could result in the savage beating death of one or more teenagers. This could be a good thing, for reasons other than the obvious. The resulting scandal and lawsuits would force the ouster of the current Cartoon Network execs. Perhaps their replacements might be more live-action averse.

  • What real problems does a 13-year-old have that will be solved by “night vision” and “rappelling”?

    I’m guessing it will involve something like a scene from “Porky’s”

  • Keith

    Zee wrote: “Animators need work, rerunning our old child hood shows is not going to give anybody any jobs. You can’t keep going back to the same well; the Looney Toons well is dry. Kids these days do not even get the jokes anymore. NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW cartoon productions is what is needed. Not live action, not reality TV, and not re-runs!”

    As an animator, I definitely support the idea of bringing new shows in, NOT just re-running their (admittedly vast) library of ‘old’ stuff. I wanna keep working! Looney Tunes, however, should probably have a time-slot. Just not dominating the schedule. Kids today don’t get the jokes anymore than kids of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s did (ie, many of us!), yet those kids still enjoyed the heck outta them because there was plenty of comedy that didn’t rely on a knowledge of the period’s pop culture.

    That said, Boomerang’s already there for the nostalgia-channel; too often it just airs any old HB cartoon it can. Not as much variety as I’d like to see on it.

  • Titanius Anglesmith, Fancy Man of Cornwood

    So taking the law into one’s own hands and using weapons and violence are better than trying to work things out reasonably? That’s CN’s message to kids? Good thing this is a television show, because I always thought that breaking into someone’s home or business and taking something without permission was stealing.

  • AMEN!


  • Phil

    To quote Doctor Who:

    “It’s the end…but the moment has been prepared for.”

    So far, we in the UK have been lucky in some way, letting Boomerang and Cartoonito take the brunt of any live action programming, and delegating any live action on CN and CNToo, however annoying, to around five minute promotional clips.

    If only the big cheeses themselves would take note of their smaller brethren and do the same, before it becomes a modern day media version of the ‘David and Goliath’ scenario.

  • This my be a recruitment effort for a larger problem. “The army reveals,75% of young americans are unfit for military duty.”
    Nothing that a few Bugs Bunny recruitment cartoons can’t handle.

  • Deaniac

    You might just get your wish, John Bloom.
    I recently checked CN’s schedule via Zap2It, and CN is airing reruns of Johnny Bravo on Tuesday, November 10that 2pm. Don’t think it can get better? On Sunday, November 15th, CN is bringing back airings of Looney Tunes.

    Fucking. LOONEY TUNES.

    I don’t know about you guys, but CN just made a sharp U-turn and is heading in the right direction.

  • I’m surprised about the “Looney Tunes”, too.

    And I don’t know if anyone’s aware, but CN is actually airing “Pink Panther”. Yes, the DePatie-Freleng theatricals from the ’60s and ’70s. This is probably to lead into the new “Pink Panther and Friends” series, though.

    Too bad it’s on a really bad time slot (weekdays at 12 noon). Better than nothing, I suppose.

  • Don Adams

    Yeah Jerry….like Michael Sporn said, why don’t you just roll over and accept that Cartoon Network has died? Why you gotta go and try to rally your forces for change? Pfff…..what a waste of time.

    Mr.Sporn’s got the right idea….idolize the old cartoons and to hell with any of that new fangled stuff.

  • I hate to say this, but that show sounds like fun!
    Running away for dear life now–>

  • stavner

    FP, are you out of your mind?

    Deaniac: I think CN execs may read CB.

  • …They’re called the CARTOON Network… why do we need more reality shows?

    The entire idea of this makes me cringe.

  • Bugsmer

    That sounds like a really interesting TV show. It’s not exactly a cartoon, but it might play out like one.

  • Mesterius

    Go Jerry! If those kids could be trained to do THAT, then this new show actually wouldn’t be one of the most unnecessary and idiotic things ever conceived. And if you haven’t sent this in yet, please do:)

  • Hey kids!

    Is there a bully at school bugging you?

    A girl you want to ask out on a date?

    A fascist third-world dictator you want to overthrow?

    Well, come be on our new boot camp reality show and we’ll put you through rigorous army-style special ops training that will boost your self-confidence in a few short weeks!

    From the people who brought you [i]Chowder[/i] and [i]Flapjack[/i]…which we’ve canceled to save up the scratch to make this show, since who watches cartoons anymore anyways!

  • Ricardo

    What else they are going to show on Cartoon Network ? Cartoons ? C’mon be resonable Jerry. Next you will be saying MTV should show Music and AMC should start showing films more then five years old.

  • Ricardo
  • vzk

    We should go to the homes of all CN executives while they’re sleeping and beat them up with soap-filled socks.

  • “You’ll never get rich, you son of a ****, you’re in the Army now!”

  • Ted

    “rerunning our old child hood shows is not going to give anybody any jobs.”

    Running good cartoons of any given age will give people something to shoot for, and a template to examine for material that continues to work for long periods of time. Unlike, say, running whatever got made in the last few years under the current executive regime, no matter whether it’s good or not.

    “You can’t keep going back to the same well; the Looney Toons well is dry. Kids these days do not even get the jokes anymore”

    I don’t think kids got most of the period specific jokes in Looney Tunes from the time they hit TV. Boomers never heard most of the sources of the popular radio references, never experienced what went on with WWII, etc. You may as well say Simpsons reruns should be pulled because kids don’t know who John Waters is, or that kids will be confused because Bill Clinton was not president when kids younger than 9 were born and he shows up that one time…

  • james madison

    Thomas Hatch, Wow, No words. I don’t know what some of these executives see.

  • Ricardo

    Re-running old cartoons is not just for us cartoon fans, it’s essential for future generations who aspire to be cartoonists. My love of classic cartoons broaden my horizon of tastes which also include classic film and music.

    Also I am sorry disappoint those who put so much stock into Chowder or Flapjack but no one is going to learn about animation’s good prinicples by watching those programs. They need to watch classic Warners, Disney, Lantz,MGM, etc.

  • Brenda

    Awesome. A military-themed reality :l

    I vote for Jerry to be the new head of CN.
    When i see the direction CN has taken, i wonder who ever let those idiots run the channel?
    more importantly, why do they think coming up with liveAction garbage instead of new cartoons will save the channel?

  • With the terrible ratings the live action shit has gotten so far, one would think they’d have given up at this point.

  • James E. Parten

    Aside from those shows based on the Diniverse (that adaptation of the DC Universe), Cartoon Network hasn’t had a good show in some time. Instead, it has been unfunny, witless drivel, or shows that could just as easily be done in live action (“Total Drama Island”). This shift over to so-called “reality” programs is not a good sign, especially as these programs are so derivative of other “reality” programs, without the spark of ingenuity that might make them bearable.
    The only “reality” program that has any place on the CN schedule is “Man vs. Cartoon”, which ran for six weeks this past summer on TruTV. At least that show had some tangential relationship to cartoons, even if it did limit itself to trying to replicate the tactics of Wile E. Coyote, ignoring other scenarios from “Tom and Jerry” or “Popeye”.
    What next? A remake of “Knightmare”, the UK gameshow which was basically “Dungeons and Dragons lite”?? That would be better than some of the (expletive deleted) that they are running in this day and age.

  • Chris

    If this new piece of crap reality show seriously premieres for real I might just lose faith in the network. I hope my long winded feedback message wields some results. I had written it before I saw this, but what the heck, i’ll show you guys here. Transcript is in between the quotes. “What the heck? I thought dumb reality crap was going to go away for good, then I see a promo

    for destroy build destroy and today the premiere of my dad’s a pro? Come on! Remember when CN

    Real had most of the time slots? You had the lowest ratings since the last time you had really

    low ratings! You give cartoons about a week to see if anyone likes them, then even if they do,

    you still take it off, but you continuously shove this reality crap down people’s throats

    despite numerous assertions by the people that nobody likes this stupid crap? What’s wrong with

    you? Get it in to your head, NO ONE LIKES CN REAL, nor any of the other reality or sports crap

    that honestly looks like it took $10 to make. And I used to be a fan! To this day I still watch

    your network, hoping to see more cartoons, even if they are bad! I hope this comment gets read,

    because I thought hard about what to say here.”

  • FP

    –the Looney Toons well is dry. Kids these days do not even get the jokes anymore–

    Eh? I didn’t get those jokes when I was a kid, and I loved the Warner Bros. cartoons anyway. “A cards”, “Meatless Tuesdays”, “the little man from the draft board”, ” “hoarders”, all that stuff was part of a crazy cartoon world. It didn’t have to make sense.

  • Ricardo

    Also CN should recognize it’s adult audience of cartoon lovers. Bring back Toon Heads and old B&W cartoons on sunday nights !

  • Ben

    Airing Looney Tunes doesn’t give young animators work… but neither does airing trashy live-action reality shows.

  • Chet Kennedy

    “CN”=Cartoon Network….Not” LAN”=Live Action Network. If I want to watch live action TV, I can watch NBC, CBS, ABC or FOX. BTW they all have horrible reality shows too. And I don’t watch those either.

  • Nightmare Is Near

    This would be hilarious if this becomes like 1-31-07. Never Forget 1-31-07! Thank you Boston! Since your paranoia made Jim Samples lose his job and gave us Stuart Snyder and Robert Sorcher 2 guys whose brains combined are still over 9,000 times smaller than Tyrannosaurus Alan and Tyrannosaurus Alan’s brain is the size of a pea!

  • Michael Sporn and “Don Adams” – Mike, I will not “get over it” and Don, I will not “roll over” and play dead when it’s something I believe in. It’s not in my DNA. I love animation – all aspects and varieties of it. What’s happened to Cartoon Network saddens me. And frankly, it also should sadden you too.

    Today, with all the kids channels, Nicktoons, Disney XD and the like, it’s easy to take CARTOON NETWORK for granted. I still remember feeling the “victory for our side” when Turner first established this channel in 1992 – and relished the potential it held for showcasing animation. Some of that potential was realized under the days of Linda Simensky and Betty Cohen.

    However, Cartoon Network is set up to be WB’s Kids Cable Channel. The advertising money comes from this demographic. It’s not aimed at anyone over 15 (I’m leaving ADULT SWIM out of this). So why do I care about a kids channel? First, because kids deserve better – and they know it (and they’re getting it at Nick and Disney). Second, independent animators, the industry and animation “fans” deserve better too. I think a failed Cartoon Network reflects badly on us and our medium. I’m not happy to see the decline of a piece of prime media real estate we once owned being trashed by mismanagement.

    I really wish they’d just change the network’s name. Take the word “cartoon” out and change the channel’s named to KIDS WB NETWORK and I’ll move on. But as long as a cable channel exists with even the pretense of catering to cartoon watchers, I’ll be critical of its programming choices – especially if I feel I can do a better job.

    It bothers me to feel I could run the network better than the people who are running it now. Perhaps this conversation will spur someone to create the animation channel we’d all like to see.

  • Nightmare Is Near


    Jerry there may be hope.

  • animemefreak74

    this is not good. It’s good for kids (like me) to have the freedom we have right now but it’s not ok for us to have these abilities. I bet one person’s going to say “humiliate whoever”. It’s a stupid idea anyway. If someone got hurt during the show, they’d be in so much shit.

  • johnny retro

    you know,this seems a little familiar…hmm… oh yea,like when M.T.V. (music television) turned into something that should be could R.T.V. (reality televisin).whens the last time you say a music video on there?maybe cartoon network will be R.T.V.jr.