Saturday, June 6, 2009

PVoA: Cartoon Network Rant #1

I'm sorry to say that I don't know how to start this. Cartoon Network has been a very important part of my life. The channel introduced me to all kinds of animation: old and new. Sure, it has (and is currently doing) a few live-action projects, but it has never bothered me. That was because I never believed it would have a major impact on the animated side of the network. Heck, Rob Sorcher, the person that is currently the Chief Content Officer of Cartoon Network said that it will not effect the channel's animation output. And I believed that, since when the Stuart Synder regime came to the network, things were looking up. We saw the premiere of several successful animated series, the greenlight for a What A Cartoon!-esque short program (The Cartoonstitute), and the pickup of a new Genndy Tartakovsky series (Sym-Bionic Titan). They even canceled Out of Jimmy's Head. These people seemed to be genuine animation fans who knew what to do with the network and how to make it succeed.

But of course, things change. Someone at the network went ahead and decided that they should produce reality programming, and everybody went ahead with it. And on June 17th and June 20th, CN Real will premiere. Four reality shows, with two more coming by the end of the year. "Great!," is what I though at the time. I thought this would be a good thing to gain ratings for the channel and to finance the animated series. But then Cartoon Network started focusing all their energy into promoting them. Advertisements for new Batman: The Brave and the Bold and The Secret Saturdays are clumped together into a single ad for the entire block. Same for Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. But, being the optimist I am, I didn't really see this so much as a bad thing. Then, the creator of Chowder (C.H. Greenblatt) started getting worried (and later came to the conclusion) that his show will get cancelled. But I refused to believe this. But then Greenblatt said that Flapjack could also be in danger of cancellation, of which Thurop Van Orman has said nothing about. I refused to believe this either, since Flapjack didn't even premiere its second season yet, so the network had to see how it did in Season 2 before making the final decision. But then Jay Stephens (creator of TSS) came to Toon Zone with some troubling news: Cartoon Network Studios has closed its doors to comedy.

Yes, you read that right. Cartoon Network Studios, whose most popular animated series WERE comedies, have closed their doors to anymore animated comedy pitches and any comedy series in development (not production, so Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is safe). For the foreseeable future, Cartoon Network is now going to focus solely on action/adventure series. Sure, Jay has told us that the entertainment world changes all the time: that the doors for hilarity will likely be opened again in the future. That made my anger subdue, until I learned that Cartoonstitute was affected by this also. Of the planned 150 animated shorts to be made, only 14 were successfully completed. It was at the point when I realized that there was no real bright side to this other than 2 or 3 of these shorts becoming full-length series (if that's still happening). I completely and utterly hated what Cartoon Network has done. What the hell happened!!??

EDIT - Craig McCracken confirmed that only 39 shorts were to be made, which (in retrospect) makes more sense than 150 shorts. There is no way a studio could complete 150 shorts in 20 months without the help of several other studios. The only reason the project was canned was because of the horrible economy, so it was either the shorts program or something else.


ZenQued [MasterK] said...

they killed cartoonstitute
I will has revenge

Racattack Force said...

Well, now that I know that was really going on, I'm currently less mad. But I'm still ticked that the short program ended prematurely.

CHDR said...

I wouldn't be surprised if CN canceled Chowder because of the economy. Alien Force is a cash cow and Flapjack is too new to be canceled.

Your Mother said...

Hey moron, I'm glad you got banned from Toon Zone. Now you'll to find somewhere else to shrug off.

shrug shrug shrug shrug shrug shrug

God you are such an idiot.

CHDR said...

^ Gary, is that you?

Anonymous said...

I know that Adventure Time with Finn and Jake is safe, but this still makes me worried. CN might just make the planned episodes and not renew it.

However, from a different standpoint, having them focus on action/adventure maybe isn't a bad idea. The action currently on the network is entertaining. And on top of that, you can make and sell merchandise involving action shows easier than comedies. But, then again, there's Total Drama Merchandise coming soon.

In my standpoint, no comedy is a bad idea, and the network will realize that in a year or so.

Racattack Force said...

The network has stopped the flow of in-house comedy, but they'll still purchase comedy acquistions.

david said...

Frigate! I lived of off Courage the Cowardly dog and Dexter's Lab when I was growing up, it's a real shame to see what this network has become. Modern day tragedy

ZenQued [MasterK] said...

bleh, now from what I've heard its not the economy. I guess Total Drama is partly to blame since they think kids want reality shows. Kinda stupid since they're doing the very things that TDI and TDA make fun of.

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