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The Office on Adult Swim

Remember they used to run “What-A-Cartoon”? Now it’s “Where’s-the-Cartoons?”

A channel called Cartoon Network continues to produce and acquire live action programming. I’m not sure why this still surprises me – or why I even still report on it here.

In case you haven’t heard: The original BBC version of The Office starts running on Adult Swim this summer. The Mighty Boosh, another BBC live action pick up, is already running on the Cartoon Network’s nighttime block.

  • Mighty Boosh is terrific.

    AS is also playing Look Around You which is the 4th funniest thing I can think of at the moment.

  • vzk

    Well, at least they’re running a good show, but all their live-action should be on TBS.

  • Justin

    Since I rarely watch TV anymore, I’d love to read a piece on what they should be playing. Not sure how hard of piece that would be to write but I’d like to know what good shows are being made these days.

  • meesterbean

    It went from Cartoons, to Cartoons with Photoshop backgrounds, to …well…just the photoshop backgrounds, really.

  • Remember when MTV ran rock videos and Bravo ran Operas and Ballets..?

  • Bob

    Sadly, this is all part of an effort to gain the eyeballs of young adults, the kind of viewers that advertisers crave.

    The network really should be renamed.

  • If CN is into British shows, maybe they can pick up the british “Whose Line is it Anyway?”

  • OM

    …I wonder if we could file a class action suit against Cartoon Network for false advertising, since they’re no longer a network dedicated to cartoons as originally promised.

  • Lucky Jim

    For what it’s worth, Adult Swim considers itself a separate network from Cartoon Network, and is thus free to do whatever it wants.

    Plus, they’ve brought us “Gareth Marenghi’s Darkplace” and “Look Around You,” so I can’t be mad with them. “The Mighty Boosh” can be pretty amusing too.

  • Hmm, great show, but not the place.

  • Andrew

    For some reason, I am more lenient whenever a live-action show is run under Adult Swim instead of this… “kar-tune net-wurck” you speak of… I never heard of that network before. :P Maybe it’s because experimentation works more on the former.

  • greaney

    i hate what the world has become…

  • vzk

    To MTV’s credit, had they been 100% faithful to their name, we wouldn’t have Liquid Television, Beavis and Butthead, Aeon Flux, Daria, The Maxx, and all those other ground-breaking shows celebrated by the cartoon community.

  • Mighty Boosh is AS creative programming as Yo Gabba Gabba(which gets all kinds of kudos in here), except its for adults, so I can’t begrudge them that decision. I applaud them.

    But I do begrudge them for beginning their airing of Mighty Boosh with the THIRD season!
    If a network were run with smarter people then they would begin with the first, and then people who watch it aren’t asking questions like “who is the character?” and “whats the backstory here?”

  • Kevin Martinez

    This doesn’t even make sense from a business perspective. What ratings increase does AS expect to get from this?

    My guess is that the Adult Swim/Williams Street people have graduated from the Andy Kaufman school of posmodern non-humor. That’s why greenlight crap like 12 Oz. Mouse and Assy McGee.

    Hell, THIS isn’t even a new occurrence, they’ve already aired Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Saved by the Bell on AS.

  • Thad

    Remember when TV was cool?

    Not really. Always sucked, always will.

    Find what you like and buy the DVD. Problem solved.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Cable television is dying because they have never gone ‘a la carte.’ We have the technology today that a cable company can hand us a menu and we could just check off the channels we want. But they don’t do that and we pay for channels we don’t want. It’s like going to the supermarket and buying a loaf of bread and having them tell you that you can only buy the bread if you buy a jar of mustard with it.

    Does anyone have a can of gasoline and a match I could borrow?

  • Enoch Allen

    Ah well. I’m glad that at least I no longer have to pay for BBC America to catch the British Office.

  • My first heavy exposure to Monty Python was on MTV. As a media consumer, sometimes I’ll gulp down a show regardless of source (and I’ll take my Mighty Boosh where I can get it). It’s nice that MTV at least acknowledged the backlash by creating MTV2. I wonder if there will be a CN2 someday that will only run cartoons.

    I realize that, in a sense, a CN2 would seem to be a pointless, contrived, backwards thing considering Cartoon Network “should” have only cartoons. But once it becomes a brand and gathering place for a certain demo, as MTV did, I can understand how the tranformation can happen.

  • CorBlimeyGuvnor

    Adult Swim are just a bunch of fifty-year old wankers and tossers (as we say in the old country) who wear ironic ‘Starland Vocal Band’ T-Shirts while trying to be cool and ‘edgy’ and wouldn’t know a cartoon if it bit them on the arse.

    Cartoons are for kids, after all…unless they are drawn left-handed by their frat boy buddies

  • I’m liking The Mighty Boosh. Certainly more entertaining than Delocated.

    Screw Cartoon Network. At least I have Boomerang. All they need to do is put Looney Tunes back on there and it’d be perfect. ;)

  • Adam Van Meter

    Maybe they’ll just change their name to ‘Network’.

    They haven’t been worth anything as a network in years anyway. There’s no point in caring any longer.

  • I think it was Fred Allen who said :’ We call television a Medium, because nothing on it is Rare or Well Done…”

  • The Office: one of my absolute favorite shows (although I may like Gervais’ Extras a little more). The Mighty Boosh: becoming another favorite show. At least Mighty Boosh has elements of animation and special effects in the show, as it’s pure wackiness. As for The Office – I agree, not exactly a fitting channel… but least we’ll get some “Freelove Freeway” to air on our TVs. Not that it matters whether I watch it on Adult Swim or not anyway – Complete Series DVD is sitting at home.

  • nick

    I see it as it’s a situation there of people climbing up the TV career ladder who clearly aren’t interested and or comfortable with animation (even less when it costs something).

    Knowing a win-win situation when one comes by it’s clear that one can import a series already known to be liked and then cite it as a successful example of why there should be more of their own developed live action programming with the money they’ve saved.

  • It’s like MTV… Music Television with no music…
    Man, I should just start a new network… I’ll call it “Toon Tune” and it’ll only be cartoons and music videos.
    There has got to be a market for it!

  • joe

    They should invest in animators with good ideas, instead of rehashing old live-action tv shows.

  • Christopher Cook

    Cartoon Network isn’t the only outlet that’s veered from what it started as. GSN (formerly Game Show Network) began airing reality drivel and blackjack and poker tournaments. Disney Channel used to spotlight the cream of Disney animation and now it airs Mary Sue garbage for undiscriminating teenyboppers. TV Land was a home to classic TV and now they’re airing reality junk like “The Cougar” and “High School Reunion.” And of course the late and lamented MTV, which has been mentioned.

    I could harp all I wanted about the direction CN has taken but it would be pointless. For one, I’d freelanced for them on their DC Comics line up to this year (the title I worked on is being halted), so I could easily bite the hand that fed me. Wouldn’t matter. As Fred Allen once said (and Mighty Mouse would invoke three decades later), imitation is the sincerest form of television. Wherever the money is, TV programmers will smell it. If it caters to the lowest common denominator and winds up being a hit, that’s all the comfort they need.

  • Charles

    Hm. I wonder if it’s time for another channel to pick up where Cartoon Network/Adult Swim seems to be leaving off? It looks like CN/AS is just providing an opportunity for someone like Canada’s TeleToon to invade the U.S. market. But then again, I guess my opinion really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things since I canceled my cable tv service last year. I can get everything I want to see on the internet, YouTube or thru iTunes so why spend the money on channels I never watch (or don’t have anything to offer me anymore)?

  • Stu Fleisher

    If you want to get mad at AS get mad at them for stuff like delocated, which is neither animated nor quality.

    That said, realize that they have to cater to a demographic and that they are incredibly successful at doing so. If they don’t get the ratings then they can’t show the animated programs you love anyway.

    I’d rather have The Office than Xavier: Renegade Angel any day of the week despite the fact that the former is live action and the latter is not.

  • jeffb.

    ‘a la carte’ will only save you money if you don’t want ESPN (and a lesser extent the other sports channels).
    ESPN double-dips. They get money from commercials. And they charge the cable companies a HBO price to carry ESPN.

  • corey

    LOL @ TV

    Who watches TV now? Who cares what they do on there?

  • Tekena

    Still remember this one time when I was watching all the weird Canadian cartoons, and there was this one that showeds a live action orchesta playing. I was bored most of the cartoon, but when that came on I was like, “Oh my God! The Cartoon Network guys are gonna get arrested!” Not really what I said, but that’s how it felt.

    Although I do like “The Office,” I think they should slow down a bit and think more things through. They should start putting things they want to see on television, instead pulling names out of a fish bowl

  • Hooper

    Remembering how AS cut episodes of “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse to ribbons and aired them out of order, I don’t know why anyone would turn to Adult Swim as their source for “The Office”.

  • big bad balloon

    cartoon-less network continues to devolve.

    in other news, someone tell charles from animation nation there’s a reason people PAY for ad space on CB and he can’t give ad space away on his outdated site for FREE.

    wake up, fool, you aren’t leading anything. you talk trash about the egos of amid and the Guild…as you rant on and on about how you’ve been wronged by so many.

    wanna build a new union? SHUT UP AND DO IT. you look like a crying jackass when you insult CB and TAG.

    i’d write this on animation nation but i’m not signing up for that psycho-bully forum where 3 people blather endlessly.


  • J. N. Garner

    CN’s goose was cooked when they let Nick clean their ratings clock. They are history, like the DuMont Network.

  • FP

    It’s hard to complain. The “purity” of ADULT SWIM in terms of maintaining animated programming was long ago abandoned. OFFICE and BOOSH are great shows. TIM AND ERIC GREAT AWESOME SHOW JOB is one of the best things on the network and it has very little animation. XAVIER is the best, funniest thing on SWIM (or anywhere) right now and it hurts to look at its animation.

    Okay, here’s a complaint, anyway: The MIGHTY BOOSHES I downloaded, years ago from UK TV captures, are 29 minutes long. SWIM cuts them down to 22 minutes and bleeps the profanity. So, the show is de-balled on SWIM. Much of its impact and humor have been removed.

  • Charles

    Um… just for the record, I’m not the ‘charles from animation nation’ that big bad balloon is refering to. Given the content of his post, I don’t think he was responding to my post (04/30/09 6:31am), but just felt the need to make this clear… :/

  • AS has had enough shows where they could have their own 24 hour network. I doubt most people stay up and watch the shows. Then maybe CN could go back and focus on showing old/ classic shows as late night programming. Does anyone remember when Disney used to show the B&W cartoons at night?

  • Lucky Jim

    “Okay, here’s a complaint, anyway: The MIGHTY BOOSHES I downloaded, years ago from UK TV captures, are 29 minutes long. SWIM cuts them down to 22 minutes and bleeps the profanity. So, the show is de-balled on SWIM. Much of its impact and humor have been removed.”

    The uncut version of each week’s “Mighty Boosh” is up to watch on Adult Swim’s website. It’s not a perfect solution obviously, but it’s something.

  • You know what would be helpful? If everytime a post like this is made, you also post the contact info for Cartoon Network’s head of programming. Then, each angry post here could also turn into an angry email that says “I’m not going to watch your network anymore, unless you start showing more animated shows”.

  • William

    “A la carte” is ok, as long as your bread REMAINS bread. You may have to buy the mustard, but you don’t have to eat it.

    It’s not so much an a la carte issue as it is simply sticking to your guns. If these networks would stick to what they do (did?) best, we could gravitate to what we like. Instead, ALL the networks show ALL the same stuff. ALL with a gratuitous helping of reality shows included. Boring!

  • Tom

    If AS is going to stop making crap like Squidbillies and Frisky Dingo I’m all for the change. They’re half Superjail/Venture Bros. quality and half garbage now anyway.

    Still:make cartoons, dammit! You’re a CARTOON channel!

  • *SIGH* I miss the days when CN used to show classic Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, and H-B right alongside new CN originals and then anime at night…

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It sounds like the film that Tekena referred to was the NFB short “Concerto Grosso Modo”, which made use of a live-action opening to set up a concert beginning or something. The rest of it kinda feels like something out of Chuck Jones’ “High Note” without the drunken note!

    > The uncut version of each week’s “Mighty Boosh” is up to watch on Adult Swim’s website. It’s not a perfect solution obviously, but it’s something.

    At least they have an excuse for the usual 22 minute attention span.

  • All we’re really holding on to is the name. Face it the CN you knew is dead. How many adults here really watch it on a regular basis? I’m serious… it’s not a smart ass comment. My kids don’t watch it because they say the programming is lame these days. They watch Disney Channel and Nick.
    Jerry, you should do a poll as to who watches CN and for how long. I’m betting if viewers are honest they might tune in for an hour or two but that’s it. Most animation connoisseurs get their animation from DVD or the internet. Am I wrong? That said, CN is trying to get you to watch their channel more and many people have already they’ll watch the Office. Sounds to me like their ploy might work. Granted Cartoon Network will be no more but it’s really dying anyway.

  • We watch it on Friday nights. The Clone Wars, Secret Saturdays, and Batman:The Brave and the Bold are quite popular in my house.

  • J Lee

    On the positive side, at least CN is not relying on its on execs to think up programming (thinking about the right elevator button to push every morning is probably about has high as you’re going to go in their pay grade…)

  • Why don’t they just make an Adult Swim channel, and let Cartoon Network run cartoons again?

    I remember watching shows like Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Lab, and Johnny Bravo at night, not that stuff.

  • Gene Vandervoort

    They forgot how to spell C A R T O O N and H U M O R ! There is so much good animation going on in the world, and they need to run live action. ALSO WHY DOES “edgy” mean :the absents of high production standards?”

  • Sara

    I really see no issue with this. This is what viewers want. I’m not partial to the UK Office but I love the Boosh and Look Around You and Delocated and Tim and Eric. They are great, original, and fantastic. And for what it’s worth the Boosh is as pretty close to a cartoon as a live action show can get. All of these shows are quality pieces of art and are created by very talented, hard working comedians. AS is currently the only medium for these shows that otherwise would not have a voice in America and in some cases, on television at all. And I hate to break the news that I doubt most of the AS viewers are tuning in for the quality of animation. Isn’t Family Guy their most popular show? I mean, really. These are mostly college kids. And y’know what? Times change. Nobody wants to watch Topcat anymore. If they do then they can go see it on Boomerang. I recently went to watch some Tennessee Tuxedo and it was unbelievably boring.

    The only really great shows on CN now are Flapjack, Chowder, and Foster’s (which is about to end). And apparently next year, they may not even be part of the picture. CN has a lot of live action and reality shows/contests planned for next year which doesn’t surprise me. It’s sad, but this is what kids, or rather, what they think their demographic wants to see. And their demographic IS kids, not middle aged animation buffs.

  • droosan


    I have to admit, though, that I watch Boomerang much more often than Cartoon Network itself .. since Boomerang -is- essentially what Cartoon Network was, 15 years ago.

  • FP

    Ya know, sometimes “cartooniness” is more determined by script and direction than the production medium. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 30 ROCK on ADULT SWIM some day. Its style is more cartoony than KING OF THE HILL and even FAMILY GUY sometimes. TIM AND ERIC “feels” like a cartoon, even though it technically isn’t. Same with BOOSH.

    “Premium? more like cream-ulum!”

  • america DESERVES the might boosh!

    i’d rather have quality live action programming than the after effects bullshit they call “animation.”

    We need more shows like venture bros. and super jail on adult swim.

  • EricW

    As much as I resent to high heaven what’s become of CN/Boomerang, I have to agree that Adult Swim block has developed into more of a general programming philosophy than rigid genre specifics. It’s a different kind of “purity” than FP was referring to, the kind of attitude purity that MTV aims for, except AS doesn’t have a letter in its name to explain away. In the new order, King of the Hill is more the odd man out than Ricky Gervais and his Theatre of the Uncomfortable Glances.

    Having said all that, if they ever completely write off quality animated work like the Venture Brothers, I’ve got a strongly worded letter of complaint in my word processor. And yes, I agree the Saved By The Bell month was a thumb in the eye.

  • Kevin H

    Much ado about nothing. The majority of posters here already hate Adult Swim.

  • shouldbeworking

    “‘Remember when TV was cool?’
    Not really. Always sucked, always will.
    Find what you like and buy the DVD. Problem solved.” -“Thad”

    The best answer, hands down, Thad.
    I have always had basic cable…..for 40 years (If I count being a kid in Canada) . Don’t have Teletoon, don’t have Cartoon Network. Can’t stand animation on Kids’ channels with all the commercials. See more of the SImpsons becasue they are many affiliates showing it at many times of days; essentially because it is there when I turn on the TV…maybe the best thing on, which doesn’t say much.
    I hardly watch animation on TV with DVD and internet getting my attention, likely because of the control and convenience.

    Do you see a running theme folks? Speciality leads to catering to niche markets. Niche markets will not bring in advertising revenue. That’s why the homogenizing of the specialty channel, every other channel becoming like every other channel. People interested in animation are not a huge market. Even as passionate and nerdy about cartoons as I am, I am not interested in watching it all the time. As are people who are interested in games shows, gardening, racing are not interested in watching the same subject all the time.

    Tv is taking a hit from these other convenient media. WHo cares. The stuff I watch on TV is becasue I don’t have a couch at my computer desk.

  • For some reason live action on Adult Swim doesn’t bother me as much as it does on Cartoon Network proper. It’s sorta like Nick at Nite.
    But it would be nice if the live action shows were on the creative and multi-media side like The Mighty Boosh (which I LOVE). It’s like a demented throw back to 70’s saturday morning shows in a lot of ways!
    It drives me crazy when channels just show old programs that have already run on bunch of other channels and act like it’s a big deal that they now have the rights to show it.

  • chdr

    I don’t care about what CN/AS airs anymore except that it’s good.

    That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.

  • On Adult Swim its as much about the culture as it is about the plethora of cartoons. Besides, how can you be mad at a programming block that gave the world Tim and Eric? And its not like they’ve given up on cartoons. Drinky Crow, Superjail, That Crook’d Sipp’d, new Venture Bros. The best stuff is on Adult Swim.

  • Its just more rough news….
    Little disappointing…


  • Matt Sullivan

    iAdult Swim has been getting worse and worse and worse. I think this tears it. There’s really no reason to watch this anymore. Anything GOOD they do is bound to end up on dvd. I guess I’ll wait for that and not waste my time watching “the live action network”

  • yoshitoshi

    sooooo boring!!!

    i miss home moves :'(

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > AS is currently the only medium for these shows that otherwise would not have a voice in America and in some cases, on television at all.

    Heh, say that 20-30 years ago when cable TV was starting to penetrate our nation. Back then seeing anything outside The Big Three was few and far between.

    Thanks for putting us 30 year olds in our place Sara! :-/

    I don’t really have to take any of this since I’ve been out of the loop for years, but it is a shame to think there was a time when watching Top Cat at 2 in the morning was ‘normal’ a decade ago when nowadays CN shares it’s nightly schedule with the AS crowd. I don’t mind either way, AS is the [email protected] for the Y Generation. I know these people would go or these shows anyway, much to the way the channels in the 90’s shoved the same things down our throats as well. It’s all generational and with the way advances in technology have come to make these things further into niche groups, it’s hard to keep up with anything in the mainstream for me. I can’t get more than 10 minutes of TV viewing at all until I shut if off in disgust.

  • Rainbow Stalin

    I generally don’t care much about the Adult Swim original shows anymore, but I like all of the British shows that they’ve picked up. The Mighty Boosh is a funny show, and it actually has a small animation component, so it doesn’t feel too out of place on the Cartoon Network.

  • I still hate that Cartoon Network airs and makes live-action shows. It’s obviously in direct opposition of why the channel was created.

    That having been said, the Mighty Boosh *really* fits in with the Adult Swim line-up, humour wise, and if they have to show live-action, it’s a great fit.
    But since it’s cut out 7 minutes for ads, it’s still pretty sad.

    Putting The Office in a line-up with the likes of Robot Chicken, Venture Brothers, Squidbillies and Aqua Teen Hunger Force seems incredibly strange though. Not that there’s anything wrong with those shows. (well, except Squidbillies. It really sucks.)

  • Adult Swim’s problem was that it started to become popular and make money. Then the Exec’s get ahold of it and monetize the crap out of it, regardless of what caused it to become popular in the first place.

  • Wonkey the Monkey

    Coming soon, the “What’s-a-Cartoon? Show”!