In July 2015, Cartoon Brew reported that Harvey Beaks creator C.H. Greenblatt was not happy with Nickelodeon’s treatment of his series. Our source: comments that Greenblatt himself had written on his Tumblr.
I also added a bit of my own commentary, based on similar gripes that other Nick employees had shared with me, suggesting that the network doesn’t respect creators or do enough to ensure the success of their shows. My comments subsequently led to Greenblatt posting a comment that claimed everything was cool at Nick and his frustrations were “not a knock on the network in general.”
Yesterday, however, in response to a fan’s question on Tumblr about that article, Greenblatt admitted that the defense of Nick he had written on Cartoon Brew had been squeezed out of him by network higher-ups. “That defense was forced,” Greenblatt wrote. “I was taken into an office, given a stern lecture, and told I had to go on Cartoon Brew and write a reply.”
So, what caused this sudden confession? It has to do with Greenblatt finding out that Nickelodeon was moving the remaining unaired episodes of Harvey Beaks from Nickelodeon to Nicktoons. The network never bothered to tell him that it was, in effect, killing the show off, and Greenblatt learned about the fate of Harvey Beaks just like fans of the show did, via a Nickelodeon Twitter post.
“I’m terribly disappointed in this Network,” Greenblatt about Nickelodeon in response to another Tumblr fan. “I’m disappointed that I put my faith in them. I’m disappointed that I spent 7 years of my life making something special for them to just throw away. I’m disappointed in so many things about them that I can’t even say it all. It’s hard going in to work every day feeling sad, angry and let down. I’ll do my best to make sure the show stays great, though.”
In response to a couple of artists who were planning to pitch to Nick and told him they were concerned about the studio’s poor track record of handling ideas and show, Greenblatt warned, “They have a TERRIBLE record…Be ready for them to bite your neck and cause massive blood loss.”
It should be noted that Greenblatt’s issues seem to largely be with Nickelodeon THE NETWORK, not Nickelodeon THE ANIMATION STUDIO. Though they are both owned by Viacom and work together, they still operate on different wavelengths. Of the studio, he writes, “[M]y time at Nick has been excellent. As a studio they’ve been creatively supportive. I’ve worked with amazing people. They let me make the show I wanted with little compromise. I couldn’t have had a better experience.”
Greenblatt’s issues with Nick stem from how the network treated the show after it was made. He cites a startling fact that makes it quite clear why Harvey Beaks has been unable to compete with Nick’s biggest hit, Spongebob Squarepants: “Nick will have aired Harvey just barely over 15 hours TOTAL for all of 2016. They run a lot more than 15 hours of Spongebob each week and expect us to compete with a global phenomenon show 18 years old. Honestly if I ran a network that way I would be ashamed and disgusted with myself.”
If you have a moment, check out all the responses to his fans on Tumblr.
Cartoon Brew wishes the best of luck to Greenblatt in his future endeavors. He has more than proven himself over the years with two quirky and uniquely voiced series: Cartoon Network’s Chowder and Harvey Beaks. Now, he just a needs a network who can give his ideas the support they deserve.