Well, leads in terms of Beat readers interested, anyway. Beware the Batman is one of 7 new series announced as yesterday’s upfronts, and will feature Batman and a new-to-animation rogues gallery in what is billed as “cutting edge” CGI animation. Sam Register and Glenn Murakami are among the vets working on the show.
Also announced: Ben 10: Omniverse, a new take on the CN’s most popular character. A Lego-themed show and a Nick Cannon live-action variety show are also on the list.
CN announced their highest ratings in years at the upfront; it’s the #1 show among boys 6-11 in the early evening (7-9.) After that the intended audience has to brush its teeth and go to bed.
• Nick Cannon Sketch Comedy Series: The series is a live-action, half-hour, sketch comedy show rooted in raw mischief, high energy and slapstick humor. You’ll never know what will happen next! Some of the silliest kids you know will make up this wild comedy troupe led by teen stars Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time), Brandon Soo Hoo (Enders Game, Tropic Thunder), Shameik Moore (Joyful Noise), Shauna Case (American Horror Story) and Chanelle Peloso (Level Up). Nick Cannon will bring the funny as creator and executive producer along with executive producers Michael Goldman and Scott Tomlinson. The series is being produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with NCredible Entertainment.
• Annoying Orange: Boasting more than 1 billion YouTube online views to date, Annoying Orange is the Web sensation transformed into a new television series that follows Orange and his buddies as they go on a wide range of adventures that take them from the fruit stand to parts unknown and everything in between. The television series was developed and will be produced by The Collective. Dane Boedigheimer co-created the television series with Tom Sheppard (Emmy Award-winning writer for Pinky and the Brain). Conrad Vernon (director of Madagascar 3 and Monsters vs. Aliens) will serve as executive producer for the series along with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein of The Collective. The series will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
• DreamWorks Dragons: The Series: Picking up where the critically-acclaimed feature film, How to Train Your Dragon, left off, this weekly animated series follows the continuing adventures of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless on the island of Berk, along with the band of dragon trainers, all of whom now have dragons of their own!
Through their training, the kids are finding out the cool things dragons can do. Not only will they learn more about their dragons, they’ll also discover new ones and battle against enemies as they explore worlds they never dreamed existed. In addition, the talented cast from the feature film—Jay Baruchel (Hiccup), America Ferrera (Astrid), Christopher Mitz-Plasse (Fishlegs) and T.J. Miller (Tuffnut)—will lend their voices to the series, which is produced by DreamWorks Animation and premieres this fall.
• New LEGO Project: Following the instant ratings success of the CG-animated Ninjago, LEGO and Cartoon Network plan to expand their partnership with an all-new series from LEGO for 2013.
• Ben 10: Omniverse: In the brand-new animated series, Ben 10: Omniverse, Ben will have a new character design that pays homage to his past, and he’ll have a whole new batch of aliens to battle. Beating the bad guys is just part of the superhero gig. With a little help from his new, by-the-book rookie partner, Ben explores the quirkier side of things in the alien underground and discovers enemies from his past looking for a re-match, all while a mysterious hunter is hot on his trail! With 10 new aliens at his disposal and a brand new lease on life, Ben 10 is back and more fun than ever! Matt Youngberg is supervising producer for the series, which will premiere on Cartoon Network this fall.
Ben 10 is Cartoon Network’s most successful original global franchise. Since the premiere of the original Ben 10 series, created by Man of Action Studios, in 2006, the franchise has spawned four animated series, one animated movie, two live-action movies, a CG movie, a feature film currently in development, a widely-popular consumer products line and has captured the imaginations of viewers on a worldwide scale.
• Beware the Batman: A cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise, Beware the Batman incorporates Batman’s core characters with a rogues gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad and Magpie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this action-packed detective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a “Batman show.” Featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals to match the intricate twists and turns of the narrative, Batman steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight for an entirely new generation of fans. With WBA’s Sam Register executive producing, and Batman Beyond’s Glen Murakami and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated’s Mitch Watson producing, Beware the Batman, based on characters from DC Comics, is coming soon to Cartoon Network!
• Total Drama: Revenge of the Island: It’s back to the island where Total Drama began with an all-new cast! Since the series’ host Chris took the show worldwide, Camp Wawanakwa has been abandoned and turned into a toxic nuclear waste dump—the perfect place for new and painful, cringe-inducing challenges! Fighting for the million dollar prize are thirteen wild new players. Total Drama: Revenge of the Island is produced by Fresh TV and will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
SPECIALS AND MOVIES
• Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards: Hall of Game is Cartoon Network’s signature venture into the broadcast awards arena, created and produced in association with IMG Media, the production arm of global sports, entertainment and media company, IMG. This high-energy, multi-platform experience lets viewers decide who’s got game, by honoring their favorite sports stars and sports moments of the year. From the red carpet, to the never-before-seen stunts and surprises on stage, this unconventional celebration in 2013 will be led by a celebrity host and feature icons from television, film, music and sports, as kids experience an evening of humor and fun at the most raucous and biggest sports awards show ever presented on television.
• Adventure Time
• Regular Show
• The Amazing World of Gumball
• The Looney Tunes Show
• Level Up
• Star Wars: The Clone Wars
• Young Justice
• Johnny Test
• Green Lantern: The Animated Series
• Almost Naked Animals
• Casper’s Scare School
• Hero 108
• Scaredy Squirrel
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.