Cartoon Network loses gamble

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):

NICKELODEON4.1/25 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 CHANNEL2.1/13 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 NETWORK1.4/8 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.

To paraphrase 14-year-old Ashley Rosario, quoted in the LA Times article, we’re open to new things as long as they’re not crummy. Stop looking at market research and viewer surveys – you clearly don’t understand them. Or us.

What might work at AMC or SYFY or USA and TBS won’t work here. Cartoon Network is a niche channel and you must give the viewers what you promise. I don’t want mustard coming from my ketchup bottle. As long as you are content to follow your competitors, and to recycle worn out ideas, you won’t succeed. You must lead with new ideas, new concepts, new animation.

You are programming Cartoon Network as a run-of-the-mill cable kids channel, instead of using the incredible opportunity you have to lead and bond with the animation community – where there is a wealth of talented creators and an abundance of original ideas just waiting to happen.

I strongly believe in the potential of Cartoon Network – otherwise I wouldn’t post so much about it. I am heartened by the recent announcement of the two new animated shows and the ongoing production of Pen Ward’s Adventure Time. So until the day you drop the “Cartoon” from your channel’s name and dive completely into obscurity, I’ll be keeping tabs on you. And our readers will let you know what they think.


  • http://ukracattack.blogspot.com RacattackForce

    *sighs* I’ll be watching the PPG marathon they’re doing right now, to get my mind of this.

  • Mesterius

    I second everything Jerry says here.

  • uncle wayne

    Yes, I agree…..we do NOT “want them to fail!” (“Boomerang,” its sister network…..is an ABsolute joy…and is my glued-channel of choice!)

    And, again I ask, why is there (now) NOwhere to find a WB cartoon in sight! Those films were on our airwaves since the late 50s.

    Hello!???

  • Dave

    IMHO, the slide at CN began when they let Williams Street do whatever the hell they wanted, regardless of whether it was any good. The formerly brilliant “Space Ghost: C2C” and “Sealab” became unwatchable messes, as though they’d been written on copious amounts of dope and alcohol at the world’s worst frat party.

    I agree with that 14 year old. Stop doing crummy shows and I’ll watch; I swear.

  • Dan Thompson

    They need to get rid of their current management. Rob Sorcher, Rob Schwartz, and Stu Snyder need to get the axe. Seriously. These guys obviously don’t know what their doing. Their track record proves it. From what I hear from the inside they don’t even watch the shows on their own network. They didn’t even know they had let go of Craig MacKracken. Their best executives quit. Adventuretime has been in production for a year and they haven’t even delivered one show because of executive meddling. Their single-minded agenda obviously isn’t working. Something must be done about them because they are the source of all the problems. Honestly, where’s Ted Turner when you need him?

  • http://www.optionjoe.blogspot.com Joe Apel

    Great sentiments Jerry!

  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    I’m about to give the ultimate secret here. One that could save the Cartoon Network. If you’re reading this, CN people, I know sometimes this business is a closed shop and there are people lurking in the shadows, dangerous people who have been trying their hardest to stop you learning the secret.

    But this secret must get out.

    And it will. Here it is –

    Children like good cartoons.

  • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John S

    I agree!! Dump the 3 assholes responsible for all this live action bullshit! Hire some execs who appreciate animation to run the network.
    If they didn’t know they lost Craig, then they aren’t even qualified to sell oranges on the interstate.

  • Rob

    Amen Jerry!!

  • http://goldenagecartoons.com Matthew Hunter

    Look at the ratings comparison you have there. These executives at CN are clearly missing the point. If kids want variety, they’re getting it on Nickelodeon, and they’re loving it. Look at that lineup there: They’ve got a little bit of action, a little bit of fantasy, a little bit of comedy. Some is 3-D, some is 2-d, some of the characters are human, some are funny animals.

    Then look at CN…it’s ALL superheroes and action. The highest rating they got was for Batman, probably because it’s the only thing on that list that’s any good!

    I thought CN was at its best about 2003-2004, because they had EVERYTHING. I’m sure if they look back on their ratings, they’ll agree they had something there. They had all kinds of cartoons, modern and classic. They had Looney Tunes, Samurai Jack, Ed Edd and Eddy, Batman and Inuyasha living peacefully together on the same channel, because they had a schedule that flowed. I was a sophomore in college then, and I know we weren’t the “target demographic”, but Cartoon Network was probably the most-watched channel on my campus. It was on all the time, everywhere.

    They need to quit following the age-old myth that cartoons have to be for kids, and start targeting people of ALL ages who watch cartoons, and give them some good quality cartoons to enjoy.

  • http://ukracattack.blogspot.com RacattackForce

    “Adventuretime has been in production for a year and they haven’t even delivered one show because of executive meddling.”

    Actually, it hasn’t been a year. And animation takes time. They only have a few episodes currently completed. No executive meddling there. I just say continue to watch the channel’s animated offerings and ignore the live-action trash.

  • http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/mjf7583 Michael F.

    I’d be more interested in evening ratings myself. How do these new live-action shows compete with other live-action shows on Nick and Disney? I doubt that ratings for Boomerang, Nicktoons or Disney XD are available but I’m curious about whether or not they take too much away from those stations.

  • danbobthompson

    hey

    It was a different Dan Thompson than me who left above comment.

  • http://www.davepryor72.blogspot.com Dave Pryor

    I’ve been following this for a while now. I completely agree with everything that’s being said here. Thanks for being the voice of the artists/animators/and fans.

  • Brad Constantine

    two words…Looney Tunes.

    duh…..oh that’s three words.

  • http://lovehatecartoons.blogspot.com Ted

    “As long as you are content to follow your competitors, and to recycle worn out ideas, you won’t succeed. You must lead with new ideas, new concepts, new animation”

    Or maybe they need to use old animation. You know, that old idea that entertained kids and adults for 50 years more effectively than any of their new ventures…

    Or when they have something new and good and not executively directed at 12 year olds who like the word extreme, they could choose to not burn it off with a single (or close to it) showing and no announcement (the non Adult Swim showings of BooBoo Runs Wild and A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith, the fourth season of Reboot, the last season of JLU, etc.).

  • Jamie B

    Go Jerry; I really want to see this channel turn around… It’s pretty clear that trying to follow/copy others is futile – you’ve got the best name for a cartoon channel possible, CN; please don’t throw it away!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCartoonTycoon Jabril

    Im a 16 yr old cartoonist/ animator. I used to LOVE cartoon network! There shows were what inspired many of my cartoons. From Billy and Mandy to Lazlo to Teen Titans to Johnny Bravo, I loved them all.
    CN was my dream place to work.

    Even at school when i talk about cartoon people who you wouldnt expect comment on how much they hate CN real. These are teenagers; my peers. We all grew up watching there shows and its kinds feels like they are disrespecting a childhood hero.

    When I think of CN i think of Cartoons that push the envelope. Like Lazlo or, more recently, Chowder ( how they use the Claymation, buliding off of Spongbob’s Live action cut aways, i think) or FlapJack( with there visual stlye). Watching those cartoons pushs/ motivates me to create bigger and better ideas; to try to top what’s been done.

    It really saddens me to see the direction they are going in. But maybe this will be a wake up call.

  • Senor Money

    Excuse me…where was Cartoon Brew’s coverage/insight on the fact that Cartoon Network greenlit 2 new ANIMATED comedies, and ordered more FLAPJACK and ADVENTURE TIME–both ANIMATED series??? They announced this almost a week ago, but I still can’t find Jerry or Amid’s thoughts on that.

    But the VERY SAME morning this article comes out, C Brew is ready to attack Cartoon Network? Wow….I know you’re not Fox News, but you could at least attempt to be ‘fair and balanced’.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Agree with Jerry, and also with Matthew.

    I’ve known college students who love “Chowder” and “Flapjack” (myself being one of them), despite not being in the target demographic.

    Hopefully they’ll take advantage of the new comedies they just picked up. Will have to, since Chowder’s cancellation was confirmed by its creator (and seeing that Flapjack’s 3rd season is only 6 episodes long is not a good sign either).

    To anyone who says there will be no more good cartoons in the future, I say bullshit. They just have to get a hold of themselves.

  • startend

    I saw the tail end of that PPG marathon! What brought THAT UP!? What was the occasion?

    As much as we get a rise out of dissing the network, it’s good to have an optimistic view as well.

  • http://www.hunteachother.com Max W.

    Cartoons still rule supreme! You’d think that with all the available animation techniques and styles out there, they would explore those before exploring live action. Maybe they will…?

  • creepy

    Cartoon network has been a lemon for the last 6 years why stop being the worst in class.

    they should support boomerrang more. i wish that was on our cable system.

  • Marcus

    I thought the point of having so many niche channels was to have MORE CHOICE, not less. What a shame. Between Cartoon network and TV land, I’ve been opting for my Looney Toons dvd’s!

  • Joe Torcivia

    Quote from the article in the link:

    “The network also has three dramas in the works for next year. “Tower Prep,” about a rebellious teen who finds himself trapped in a mysterious prep school, is executive-produced by Paul Dini, who has written for ABC’s ‘Lost’.”

    I love LOST but even this article fails by not recognizing Paul Dini’s great achievements in… you know… ANIMATION!

    Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman, Superman, Freakazoid!, and all the rest!

    You know… those old things!

    …Just pointin’ it out!

  • http://smomotion.com :: smo ::

    i think it’s interesting that cartoon network compares itself to disney and nick so much. instead of looking at what they’ve got going on inside their own walls. ratings are mysterious to me, but quality is not.

    it’s like listening to the radio. say, country might have a higher national percentage of people listening than rock, but does that mean you should change format? totally abandon what you’re built on based on a whim and some charts?

    i can’t speak so much for nick today, but they definitely still try new things [spongebob was pretty weird when it started] CTN did at one point too and it’s most popular shows came out of it [what a cartoon show] and the shows used to feel connected somehow. now they’re going for the sort of show by show comparison with other networks.

    in the 90s nick felt like it stood for something, that sort of derisive “kid power” message. cartoon network in recent years has become this weird cacophony, especially with the live action. there’s no theme to the network at all. just mimicking other shows that are somewhat successful on other networks.

    i don’t see them lasting much longer if they keep it up. if they get back to cartoons and even their themed blocking they had for a while with the toonami and all i bet things would turn around some.

    kids like cartoons and they’re smart enough to know when cartoon network isn’t making new ones. if one of these other networks picks up the cartoon slack they’re toast.

    hopefully they figure this out and keep making new flapjacks and chowders i hear so much from kids about these shows and dig em myself, i find it hard to believe that they’re not doing well

  • Raen

    Even though I’m out of their demographic, I am a fan of Cartoon network. I enjoy watching cartoons even though I’m not a kid anymore. With the way that Saturday mornings are being phased out by the other networks (not much of an excuse to wake up early on the weekends now) it had been a staple to go to the CN to watch.

    It is a big shame that they’re going with live action shows and it was fine for just once in a while in a movie but not every day for a couple of shows. Hello? Cartoon network. Not Live Action Network. The other channels have that. A good majority of the other channels have that. If I wanna watch a live action show about a group searching places for ghosts, I’ve got Ghost Hunters. Reality shows, there’s no shortages of them.

    Bring in more animation…not live action.

  • http://bwhitecartoons.blogspot.com Bill

    Very well said Jerry.

    I’m sure there are some at CN that read this site. Let’s hope that this time they not only read your comments, but pay attention to what you say.

  • Paul K.

    I will be first in line for the eventual book summarizing one of the (soon-to-known-as) most infamous executive debacle ever to collide with any industry– ever. (Of course, it might take a decade to sort out all the revolving-door parade of inept managers, myopic administrators, and unoriginal “creative” producers).
    Anyway, I agree with the general sentiment– sure I could be glad to see CN fail hard for showing programing in opposition to the network’s perceived reason for existence; although I would ultimately prefer the channel to continue rather than cease to be.

    Who knows, maybe all of cable will devolve into a murky pool of syndication without demarcation. Perhaps the future of episodic animation will be distributed solely online. Streaming video (bandwidth, storage, etc.) on the web halves in cost ever 9 months, and it was already low to begin with.

  • http://kitschensyngk.deviantart.com/ Kitschensyngk

    The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
    –Friedrich Nietzsche

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    Cartoon Network’s scripted live-action programming is likely do better than their current content. The article touches on it a little bit, but CN is just tossing stuff out there and seeing what sticks. Not that I’ll find it any more fascinating, personally, but I’d be willing to bet that an original kid adventure or drama series will fare better with audiences then the teen-version of shows they (viewers) can already view elsewhere. The network is looking for a repeatable model for success that they’re cable counterparts have mastered for years.

    It’s always mentioned that Cartoon Network is a niche cable channel, but we have to understand that CN doesn’t want to be a niche channel anymore… that’s the foundation of it all. The network spent much of its first fifteen years either showing content from its archive or developing original content in snippets that pulls conceptual cues from said archive. With this in an executive’s mind, the idea that Cartoon Network is going to evolve into a live-action/animation hybrid network — bulking up and getting “bigger and better” in theory — isn’t going to dissolve anytime soon.

    Cartoon Network clearly doesn’t want to be niche anymore; and as such, I’m sad to say to little Ashley Rosario, you aren’t in CN’s newly focused key demographic of Boys 6-12/9-14, so they don’t care what you think.

  • http://hedgehog-rover.deviantart.com Martin Juneau

    Those executives don’t know what they want. CN should bring back the Looney Tunes cartoons because it was one of the only things they could do survive. But when you’re growner and start to acted like kids and worst part, a rebel teenager, you sound a real jerk to the actual kids. And that’s what CN executives did with CN Real block as well also the Nickelodeon and Disney Channel who brainwashed the current generation of kids with their fashion, hip and edge mentality. Those peoples should rid of the crummy shows and executives and encouraged Europpean shows who are much high-quality than from the US and the Canadians shows.

    But anyway, did they really have a real good cartoon show aired in Cartoon Network in the last 10 years? Part of flapjack or Chowder!

  • http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com David Gerstein

    In the quoted LA Times article, Snyder and Sorcher confirm just about all of the conspiracy theories that have been floating around in the animation community: Sorcher sounds gung-ho to rename the network, and both Sorcher and Snyder clarify that a little thing like blatant failure isn’t going to undermine their faith. They’ll keep throwing live-action series at the wall until more of them stick, dammit, because they’re live-action—more of them *have* to stick.
    Lessons learned: 0 and counting.
    It’s time for Turner, Warner, or whatever party is responsible, to remove this management group. They’re openly vowing to continue in a failed direction.

  • http://agerstrand.com joshua agerstrand

    DEAR TED TURNERâ„¢:

    The people you have put in charge are loosing you money.
    They ignore us. The consumers. That’s bad business Mr. Turnerâ„¢!

    *on a positive note:

    i ate at Ted’s once in Tallahassee– man on man! what a buffalo burger! Run cartoon network like you run Teds and then we’ll ALL be happy.

    **Friends of Ted Turnerâ„¢ please forward this message to him**

  • Ed Thompson

    Bitter Animator:

    “But this secret must get out.

    And it will. Here it is -

    Children like good cartoons.”

    The only correction I would make to this is: People like good cartoons.

  • autisticanimator

    Maybe all the dropped cartoons could be hosted on Cartoon Brew…?

  • http://www.mistertoast.com Dan Goodsell

    Just my quick view of the ratings, it seems that Nick is driven by Sponge Bob. When it goes off the ratings go down and right back up when it comes on.

    There are plenty of good & bad shows out there but something like Sponge Bob is magic and Nick reaps the benefits.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Aaron H. Bynum:

    “Cartoon Network clearly doesn’t want to be niche anymore;”

    Neither does animation. At least their Adult Swim programing has been appealing to college age viewers.

  • http://bloghorsedui.blogspot.com/ Blkhorse

    Yeah, come on. Why are they trying to limit their market just to kids. Animation is for everyone. Think about some of the wacky racy stuff that Tex Avery came out with way back then. That red head was frickin’ hot. I’m just saying that I’d like to see more of what Adult Swim had coming out before AS got all lame with all the BBC stuff.

  • Oluseyi

    @Paul K.:
    And you know the book will be titled “What a Cartoon!”, with an appropriately dour sub-title :-P

    @Aaron H. Bynum:
    Yeah, basically. It’s unfortunate, but it seems that the execs are committed to “the CN” path. I’ve basically stopped watching tv (outside of sporting events and social viewing with the girlfriend), especially since I can’t predict when new episodes of shows I actually like (Batman: The Brave and the Bold among them) will come on, so this whole transformation will be one I’ll observe through the proxy perspective of Cartoon Brew.

    Oh, well.

  • Bart

    I have no clue as to what happened to this once-great channel – the only thing I watch on CN is the ADULT SWIM. As for its sister channel BOOMERANG, since when do shows like “Dexter’s Laboratory” and other drek like “Cow & Chicken” have to be on there??

    I’ll stick with my DVDs and out-of-print videos when I need a cartoon fix, thank you very little

  • Mandy

    “I’m not going to make any rash decisions about a strategy after three months,” said Stuart Snyder, who oversees the channel for Turner. There have even been discussions about changing the channel’s name, although that’s not in the cards for now.

    “Cartoon Network wants to skew older in the hopes of luring new advertisers of products including video games and consumer electronics.”

    “But Sorcher, who also oversaw AMC’s transition from an old-movie network to a home for critically acclaimed dramas such as “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” is confident he can do the same for Cartoon.”

    …Is he going to do the same thing to Cartoon Network that he did to AMC? Where’s Ted Turner when you need him?

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    You know how Pizza Hut is now “The Hut”, and Radio Shack is now “The Shack”?

    Maybe Cartoon network can just be “THE NETWORK” now?

    No?

  • http://www.gavinscartoons.com Gavin Freitas

    Well just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best Jerry.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Thad

    Oh my god, who the hell cares about this channel? What the hell were they producing before this publicity suicide that actually warranted a 24-hour cartoon channel? How long has it sucked now, what, almost ten years now? Are any children going to aspire to be cartoonists as a result of these steaming floaters flooding the airwaves? I mean look at how homogenized and generic on every level of what is actually animated that airs on the channel. Flat/”stylish” moving graphics and louder/faster voice acting. How the hell do you people differentiate one from the other? I only got interested in animation because I was smarter and responded to what was actually there which is why I developed a Looney Tunes obsession as a kid. Now future children will never be able to experience that joy because they think kids won’t like old cartoons (isn’t an old cartoon new to anyone who hasn’t seen it?!). How can any child aspire to animated watching flash shit like Flapjack?? The generals fucked up. Animation is dead and it’s not coming back.

  • Jason

    “Children like good cartoons”.

    But what QUALIFIES as a good cartoon these days? I think cartoon producers can be as clueless as CN on that subject. Has CN had any real breakout hits in that venue lately? Anything on the success level of Rugrats or Spongebob? Or Phineas and Ferb? Let’s face it, most of CN’s recent offerings have been clunkers. Gym Partner’s A Monkey, Flapjack, Chowder, Class of 3000, the list goes on. Nick has had its clunkers too – but it’s survived that in part because of its live action shows. Maybe CN is trying to imitate Nick’s success. Or Disney’s success, for that matter…

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    “How can any child aspire to animated watching flash shit like Flapjack”

    Funny you say flash, seeing that the show’s hand-drawn.

  • http://ukracattack.blogspot.com RacattackForce

    “How can any child aspire to animated watching flash shit like Flapjack??”

    Oh, like animated series from the 70s and 80s were any good? Honestly, I’m not even sure you even watched most of the stuff you just put down. Ben 10? Opened the doors for several action/adventure originals on the channel. TDI and TDA? Ratings grabbers. Flapjack? The network ordered an additional 33 episodes to the original 13 episodes in little more than a year, and a visual feast for the eyes that influenced my art style.

  • kent

    “How can any child aspire to animated watching flash shit like Flapjack”

    Funny you say flash, seeing that the show’s hand-drawn.

    Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  • Enoch Allen

    No surprise here, folks!

  • ZN

    Rob’s analogy to AMC doesn’t make any sense. They converted that channel because viewers got tired of seeing the same rotation of classic movies. It’s not like kids are tired of cartoons.

    Rob didn’t march into the room saying “We have to fix AMC… I know! PUPPET SHOWS!”

  • Matt

    “Animation is dead and it’s not coming back.”
    The Princess and the Frog says hi.

    Also, it’s pretty moronic how Snyder and co. think more live-action on CARTOON Network is going to get anywhere. They’ll just have to see this stunt blow up in their faces just like CN Real.
    C’mon Snyder, it’s not too late to admit your mistakes, unless a pink slip motivates you.

  • Pedro Nakama

    So in this economy where there are people lining up for jobs, Cartoon Network should fire it’s staff and hire an entire new one. Yes fire them. That’s what you do when people get paid a lot of money and F@#% up their network!

  • Renee

    At the risk of being laughed down…

    Instead of complaining, why aren’t we doing something about it? Whiny comments on the internet aren’t going to do much in the way of actually getting good programming back on the air.

    So why not pick up our pencils and MAKE something worthwhile? Fight back, get some kind of ball rolling, get animation back on it’s feet again? Easier said than done, but anything worthwhile is worth doing.

  • Thad

    I stand corrected on Flapjack. (Though I heard SOME flash was used, so I was misinformed.) But yes, what an amazing feast for the eyes, and it certainly grabs viewers. My old roommates said it was their favorite show and watched it all the time. They also liked Reba and Queer as Folk too. So I trust their opinions.

  • Sam Filstrup

    Remember the good old days with Cartoon Cartoon Fridays and Toonami weekdays. Back when on Fridays you got 6 new cartoon episodes a week instead of 3. Back when they had action, comedy, and variety among all their shows. Yeah…..

    Hopefully this is a kick in the pants to CN. Batman Brave and the Bold is fantastic, Flajack is jaw droping, and Secret Saturdays is fun although needs some polishing. I’ve noticed they’ve begun to show some of their older cartoons lately Ed Edd and Eddy and Billy and Mandy. Hopefully they start changing the tide and bring themselves back to their glory days.

  • Isaac

    Spongebob is clearly the kind of show they should be producing. Flapjack and Chowder are ugly, really really ugly, and over-scripted (sample script: floating hearts that are actually bloodsucking parasites, how endearing). I understand why they have their following, some people just like the dark, dirty, evil atmosphere. If you want mainstream audience though, you have to go the Spongebob way.

    Take a small cast of charismatic characters, stick them in visually funny situations, and don’t skimp on skilled animators and voice artists. That’s all there is to making a popular cartoon. Be charismatic, be visually funny, have a skilled crew.

  • Ty W

    THAD:

    Really… You know I could walk into any type of department store or entertainment outlet and probably buy a dvd full of Looney Tunes episodes. Its not our job as viewers to depend on a fledgling network to deliver us good entertainment. If cartoon network really has you that flustered, seek out animation elsewhere. While the network may be drowning in it’s own mistakes, there are at least a few animated properties to be excited about. Flapjack is a good show. The art style and animation shouldn’t come into question. It’s a good comedy that isn’t too heavy in story like other shows on CN. In fact its one of the few shows I can play for my younger siblings and have them enjoy it.

    I hate to say this, but television networks as a whole are failing, people aren’t seeking to find quality cartoons/animation on it anymore. Change is bound to happen with anything. However CN’s changes are often and drastic. Leaving people wondering why the hell to bother.

    Lastly, that comment you made. Queer as Folk, Reba, etc. Is it wrong for everyone to like animation or is it exclusive? Cause that sounded like a jab at gay people.

  • Cyber Fox

    What’s worse is they recently cancelled Chowder with a series finale announced down the road, though i have high hopes for Adventure Time after seeing that pilot.. i hope the show is good as the pilot from the Random! Cartoon series

    As much as we all agree that CN Real put a nail in Cartoon Network’s coffin, i think one of the biggest contributors in CN’s ratings decline is the Total Drama series, 6teen and Stoked, all 3 are bland cartoons at best.

  • http://ukracattack.blogspot.com RacattackForce

    “Instead of complaining, why aren’t we doing something about it?”

    We are: ignoring it and supporting network’s animated fare. At least, that’s what me and my friends are doing…

  • AmPhotog

    The real problem with cable channel operators such as CN, is that management believes that it can copy the Disney Tween Money Making Machine. The Disney business model takes a teen actor-actress, puts them into a plain vanilla sit com, then diversifies that character into music, fashion, merchandise, concerts, spin-offs, movies, etc. (example, the Hannah Montana machine). You need a live action character in order to pull off all the associated tangential merchandising opportunities and personal appearance revenue streams. Most Disney tween talent is over-hyped and revenue drained by the time the actor turns 18; in which Disney has the next star already in the production pipeline.

    Disney has this model down to a science. Copiers do not have a clue on why Disney is successful and they are not when it comes to multiple revenue streams off a single project.

    If one wants to be successful, one must commit to be the best channel. Ted Turner wanted the best movie channel (TCM); ABC wanted the best sports channel (ESPN). They spent a huge amount of time and talent to become the gold standard for those niche channels. If CN wanted to be the best cartoon network, it would have dedicate itself to the risk and reward of innovative animated programs. It is odd that it appears that CN has more commercials during its adult swim and late night anime blocks than during its prime time line-up of live action shows.

  • http://www.thexbridge.com Jeff Harris

    You want to do something? Write to:

    Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Chairman/CEO Time Warner
    James L. Barksdale
    William P. Barr
    Stephen F. Bollenbach
    Frank J. Caufield
    Robert C. Clark
    Mathias Dopfner
    Jessica P. Einhorn
    Michael A. Miles
    Kenneth J. Novack
    Deborah C. Wright
    c/o Office of the Corporate Secretary
    Time Warner Inc.
    One Time Warner Center
    New York, NY 10019

    That’s the Time Warner board of directors. Snyder and Sorcher’s bosses. I know it’s probably not much, but considering those two all but revealed that they’re responsible for the network’s decline in profit, prestige, and viewership, and as a shareholder, they should be shocked that such performance is being condoned and accepted at Cartoon Network. Be honest. Be fair. Be blunt. Tell the board of directors how you feel about the state of Cartoon Network.

  • Nightmare is Near

    We must all keep fighting!

  • http://hedgehog-rover.deviantart.com Martin Juneau

    Cyberfox, i agree with you for one time. CN start to cared muchly for Canadians cartoons like the horrible Total Drama series, 6Teen and the horribly animated Stoked. I can’t understand why many peoples loved to act like teenagers when they have the maturity to write a decent script. Teletoon in Canada have high ratings and sponsorships for this shows but this show proves how the current Canadian animation loves to ignore the vertues of animation like anatomy, hierarchy, construction, self-control, composition, etc. Did you think honnestly this shows respect this qualities? Obviously no! Did you see Jimmy Two-Shoes? It’s aired here and in US on Disney XD but seriously, this is a pure waste of time and money.

  • Jack

    Ugh, this makes me so sad! Cartoon Network has had some of my favorite original animated shows in the past decade – Flapjack, Chowder, Camp Lazlo to name a few. Hell, I even liked Class of 3000 (it had a neat visual style). And don’t forget Adult Swim (are they still doing well?). I sincerely hope they make it out of this funk, and I don’t think live action will be what does it. If they’re trying to compete with Disney and Nick, they shouldn’t do it in the realm of live action, which they don’t have a history of producing. Pardon the weak analogy, but it’s somewhat akin to a professional boxer trying to take on a famous swordfighter in fencing. They should focus on what they do best – produce fun, quirky, subversive toons that other networks are too “safe” for – and go for it all the way. I’m not in their demographic, but I have found myself watching CN less lately (and it’s one the only channels I even watch on TV) because half the time I turn to it it’s either a reality TV show or a live-action movie. The one time I know there will be good toons on is Thursday nights.

    Sorry for the rambling. I’m very excited for the 2 new toons, though – they have some good people attached and could potentially be very good.

  • David Eisenberg

    I don’t get this at all. They cancel Chowder, which, along with Flapjack, is one of the two best children’s cartoons on the network. Meanwhile, they lose money and ratings on live-action shows, and their solution is more of them?

    It’s vexing enough when shows on Adult Swim like Robot Chicken and Tim & Eric continue to get new seasons because they’re cheaper than actual animated fare like Metalocalypse and The Boondocks yet get high ratings. It makes no business sense to do what Cartoon Network is doing.

  • Peter

    When you look at the ratings and the ratings trends, you can comprehend how they came to this point. What would YOU do in their situation? They’re not getting the numbers they need to get the advertising revenue they need. Most of what you’re suggesting is what they did before, and that had run its course. Whatever they put on that doesn’t have “Batman” in the title gets the same ratings, third place ratings. They need to rebuild or they will go under.

    Now I agree that the choices they made were mistakes, but I don’t see how picking on them and ridiculing them is going to help them stay in business, if that is honestly your intent.

    When you look at the numbers, the answer for why that’s happening seem clear (to me)– parents put one channel on for their kids and leave it. They put on Spongebarf and then the kids watch whatever else comes on after that. Right now Cartoon Network is like a baseball team with a lot of good fielders who can’t hit. They need a slugger in the middle of the lineup who can lift the team out of the doldrums. I applaud you for making suggestions to them and showing pilots, but the constant harassment and haranguing just seems like your piling more dirt on their grave instead of helping supply them with life support.

    Just my two cents, I love Cartoon Brew and I hope Cartoon Network can pull through this period and come out stronger.

  • Justin

    What would it cost to start a TV channel of your own and obtain the rights to show Looney Tunes all day?

    who’s with me?!

  • Emil Flaim

    Spongebob remains the sole REAL television animation hit of the past ten years. No amount of bad live action or ill-conceived flat and ugly fake cartoon imitations can camouflage that very big white elephant. Even Nick’s ratings still take a dive whenever Spongebob is not on their air. It was such a huge, inexplicable hit that it simply could not be knocked off by lesser talents, though they all tried. Yet Spongebob did not follow Nick’s own house rules. It slipped in under their radar and became a cultural megabehemoth before anyone could quantify or measure the sucker. The problem of how to top (or even equal) Spongebob has perplexed better minds than this current CN troika of temporarily hot live action weasels. Their unspoken horror is this: it may take a completely new generation of viewers for any time honored lameass formulas to work again. The industry will have to bite the bullet and lose a few hundred million more bucks until their tired mojo rises back to the middle. Mediocrity is a terrible thing to waste but that’s just how this sponge apparently bobs.

  • Andrew Foose

    They need to bring anime back at a more convenient time. We need Toonami in a respectable form.

  • Brannigan’s Law

    Why doesn’t AS just get John K. or Plympton to do shows? I’d much rather watch reruns of Samurai Jack or Mission Hill on AS than the live action tripe and half-assed toons they have going now. They lost me a long time ago but they lost me entirely with King of the Hill. That’s on so many networks still. Unlike a lot of you I don’t hate ATHF or Home Movies. They have their place on AS and regardless of the production value it’s the dialogue that makes them fun and different. I feel like Flap Jack should just turn up the heat a little and they’d be a great addition to adult swim, it’s almost there as it is. Maybe Leonard Maltin could have a show on old war era toons. And Jerry you could do you Cartoon Dump and host it like the old horror shows used to with your cast. There are so many things AS could do to reel us all on in for a bit at some point of the night. So sad to see it all go down.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Re:
    –t’s vexing enough when shows on Adult Swim like Robot Chicken and Tim & Eric continue to get new seasons–

    Veering off-topic, but those are two of the best things in all of existence! ROBOT CHICKEN is FAMILY GUY without the FAMILY – thus it’s coolness bullion. T&E are exempt from the cartoons-only rule, in that AWESOME FINE JOB SHOW is essentially a cartoon despite being live action.

  • Kalon S

    I think that cartoon network is purposely trying to kill the network because though they see the ratings they really not doing nothing about it (unless it’s self-denial). And trying to make network that sole purpose was to show cartoons and forcing live-action shows is like make a hoe into a housewife. Cartoon network was the biggest inspiration to me during middle school and now having to be reduce to showing live action crap, I think that is retarded. They even had to cut off Toonami online 4 months after it was cut off on TV, which was a dreadful idea of doing.

    I just want to watch cartoon shows with my 10 and 7 year old cousins . It truly sad of what cartoon network is becoming.

  • ZN

    The reason that CN came to this point is not because kids don’t watch cartoons, though. It’s because those running the network once were content to be in third place, things changed internally, and then they.. weren’t. And the moves they’ve made to try and become the #1 network resemble trying to swim up a waterfall.

    I think part of this stems from the decision made years ago to transition from an all-ages network to building a wall between children and adult viewers. They had an incredibly diverse lineup of programming before the AOL Time Warner merger, and since that point have picked petals off of the flower one by one, until they’re left with just the stem.

    Cartoon Network is a baseball team that has traded away all of their best players, and in a desperate act to sell tickets, has signed Barry Bonds. It doesn’t matter that Barry is a PR nightmare; it doesn’t matter that season ticket holders are jumping ship. It doesn’t matter that Barry won’t get along with the other players. It doesn’t matter that Barry is an insult to the very institution he is a part of, and that he will bring the organization down with him. All that matters is that they will win a few nights, right now. What happens a week, month, year from now… they’ll worry about that when they get there.

  • vzk

    CN should just become a premium channel and start airing uncut, uncensored hentai. RATINGS AHOY!

  • Jeff Boice

    I wouldn’t mind live action shows on CN if they were any good. Unfortunately, what they air now looks cheap. If I read the article correctly, CN’s cash outlays are 1/3 those of Nicks and Disneys. Does that surprise anybody? Maybe if they spent more money on program development they would get shows people will watch.

  • http://tsutpen.blogspot.com s.w.a.c.

    Joe S.: “If they didn’t know they lost Craig, then they aren’t even qualified to sell oranges on the interstate.”

    “Yes, I know you came here for oranges, and the sign clearly says ‘oranges’, but our market research is telling us that pomegranates are really hot right now, so we tossed the oranges off the back of the truck around Pasedena somewhere.”

  • http://blissfulignorance551.deviantart.com/ A.J.

    I grew up with Cartoon Network…at it’s peak, from around 1998-2004 I devoutly worshipped the channel. I delegently watched in awe every friday for new material, and was glued to the TV for Toonami. Dexters Lab was my favorite, cuz i was somewhat short in my youth, and was a bit of a chatty braniac…And now they sit in there big high Rises, telling us what to like. We should fight back i say! if it means me driving 10 hours to get to burbank and start a peaceful protest, I’m In. If we were to stop watching alltogether and the ratings plummett further, I’m In. Cartoon Network, and alll the Disney films, hell, even some anime, All! every possible influence, mad me want too be an animator, and thats why i plan on attenting CalArts and hopefully help revitalize a dying art form :(
    RIP animation (Save for Princess in the frog, Pixar, independant work, and Boomerang)

  • James

    I’m 16 and I’ve loved cartoon network since I was like 8 and in the last few years I’ve been extremely dissappointed in their shows. Great shows like Billy and Mandy, Codename Kids Nextdoor, Ed Edd and Eddy Foster’s Home, Teen Titans and even the somewhat newer good shows like Squirrel Boy, Camp Lazlo and My Gym Partner is a Monkey: these are the shows that put cartoon network up there with nick and Disney.
    Nick has managed to keep it’s most popular shows for 5+ years like Fairly Odd Parents, Spongebob (even though in the past several years spongebob has taken a turn for the worst after Stephen Hillenburg left), Jimmy Neutron. These shows and classics like The Powerpuff Girls, Dexters Laboratory, Rugrats, The Amanda Show and Allthat prove that kids want comedy and a little adventure, not these Japanese themed action shows. I remember being an 11year old in 4th grade and all everyone used to talk about was Ed Edd and Eddy, Spongebob and Billy and Mandy. Now I hear my 8 year old cousin and his freinds talk about icarly, Hannah Montana and Back at the Barnyard: no cartoon network shows.
    And to these people who are talking about boomerang shows that is completely erelevant. It’s not like cartoon network hasn’t been popular in 20+ years, it was at the top of it’s game from 1998-2005. Kids today wouldn’t be interested in boomerang shows compared to the shows cartoon network ran at it’s peak.

  • Vandal Ottsel

    We need to stop feeding the beast and let it starve.

  • http://CARTOONBREW.COM Dave

    This all started when they started getting rid of all the godd anime. there was DBZ, ROROUNI KENSHIN, YU YU HAKUSHO AND INUYASHA. shit couldnt get any better then they fucked it all up. Who ever is responsible for this kill yourself.

  • http://myspace Naruto CN don’t foget

    Look I know some ways u can get higher rating but it might be a risk with cusing, take off teen titan and put a show called IKKI TOUSEN.If u want higher ratings.Go to my email when u finish.

  • Jordan

    What they really need to put back up is Toonami. I am a huge anime fan and those were the days where I would come home from school and always put it on to watch the best shows they use to have on there like Rurouni Kenshin, Transformers Armada, Outlaw star, etc. Most people don’t know how many fans there are of anime and used to watch these shows when THEY were little.

    The only time I will put on CN is when it’s on Adult Swim to watch the anime that they put on there. Now that Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is airing, that’ll be the ONLY time I put the channel on CN. If these guys stop putting REAL-LIVE crap on a CARTOON CHANNEL, I think they’ll get more reviews from past fans of CN, otherwise I don’t see much of a future for CARTOON Network, as sad as that would be.

  • http://zakeno.deviantart.com Kir

    It’s obvious to me that CN is trying to do what Nick and Disney did, but unable to do so, because they’re trying to play a game they just aren’t good at.

    Cartoon Network was always a place for just cartoons, not live action. Nickelodeon was pumping out good live action shows (Amanda Show, All That!, Drake & Josh) while CN made good cartoons (PPG, Foster’s, Dexter’s Lab). CN trying to make popular Live Action shows is like a Chinese Restaurant trying to make the most popular burger around.

    A lot of people have said that “It’s what the kids like these days! Just let it be!”

    …it isn’t what kids like these days. Kids don’t watch bullshit, they’re not stupid, they know what a good show is. Some kids like iCarly, some kids like Wizards of Waverly Place, but NO kid enjoys sitting down and watching “The Othersiders” for half an hour.

    Why they got rid of Toonami boggles me as well. Anime is a HUGE market these days (even though personally I don’t care for it.)

    I’m just gonna stop typing now before I end up writing 5 pages of rant.