The LA Times has a huge front page story in it’s Business section today, reporting on
Cartoon Network’s recent programming gamble on live action. From the article:
The new shows haven’t reversed the slide. In July, the network had the fewest viewers in that target age range since May 2000 and its least-watched month overall since June 1998.
There is internal tension as well, with many veteran animators either quitting or being handed their walking papers. There are even whispers inside the channel’s Burbank animation studios that the network might drop “Cartoon” from its name.
If the ratings on CN were bad before, they are worse now. As an example of some of the actual numbers, courtesy of Nielsen Media Research Data, here are final K6-11 Ratings for Saturday, August, 8, 2009, Cable Networks only (Live + Same Day Data):
NICKELODEON – 4.1/25 Avg. (7a-1p)
Jimmy Neutron 1.4/20; Jimmy Neutron 1.9/21; Fairly OddParents 2.8/24; Fairly OddParents 3.5/24; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.0/29; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.6/29; Penguins of Madagascar 4.3/21; Back at the Barnyard 4.5/21; Mighty B! 4.1/20; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.2/25; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.3/28; SpongeBob SquarePants 5.6/30
DISNEY CHANNEL – 2.1/13 Avg. (7a-1p)
My Friends Tigger & Pooh 1.3/19; Little Einsteins 1.3/15; Special Agent Oso 1.6/14; Handy Manny 1.8/13; Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 1.9/12; Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 1.7/9; Imagination Movers 1.8/9; Handy Manny 2.0/9; Phineas and Ferb 3.1/15; Phineas and Ferb 3.5/17; Cow Belles (100 minutes) 2.5/13
CARTOON NETWORK – 1.4/8 Avg. (7a-1p)
George of the Jungle 0.9/10; Chaotic 1.0/8; Secret Saturdays 1.3/9; Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl Galactic Battle 1.3/8; Star Wars: Clone Wars 1.3/7; Ben 10: Alien Force 1.7/8; Batman: Brave & The Bold 2.0/9; Bakugan 1.9/9; Thumb Wrestling Federation 1.2/6; Teen Titans 1.4/7; Teen Titans 1.6/9
To our friends at Cartoon Network, we want you to succeed. We know we’re not in your demographic, but I and hundreds of thousands of others like me actually care about what you’re doing. We love cartoons and we want them back.