The Cartoon Network held its upfronts the other day — you can read the PR here — but like most cable channels, the name of the channel is becoming less and less accurate. Broadcasting & Cable assesses the changes:

Cartoon Network is boosting its live action fare and expanding into unscripted alternative programming in an attempt to woo a slightly older (and potentially more profitable) new crowd.

“Just like the boy that wakes up one day and starts to sound different, our voice is changing too,” said Stu Snyder president and COO of Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division.

Upcoming shows include a live action show about kids working with a demolition expert to blow things up, a show about teenagers asking silly questions, and various other sorts of quiz shows, viral videos and the like.

But there will be SOME cartoons — Genndy Tartakovsky has a new show , and more Ben 10 spin-offs and Scooby Doo movies are in the works. Tartakovsky’s show is called Sym-Bionic Titan, and it’s “an exciting hybrid of high school drama and giant robot battles.”

GIANT ROBOT BATTLES! Back in the olden days, that’s as exciting as it got! Kids didn’t need any fancy demolition quiz videos!

The Cartoon Brew comment section on the announcements has a “spirited discussion” of the announcements.


  1. Rorschach’s diary:
    More Scooby-Doo animated movies. Must investigate. Thelma walks the streets.
    CN jumps on the corporate teet of infomercials and reality shows.
    Their vile ways stink of MTV STDs and SyFy-philis. A cancer that advertisers cling to.
    I can’t blame them for expanding, but the eyes of the city are screaming.

  2. Ah of course. Because when kids flip to Cartoon Network, what they’re looking for is “unscripted reality shows”. I’m assuming a name change is also pending? Perhaps they can get the crack squad that came up with “SyFy” to suggest “Cartune Netwurk” as a brand that will be “hot” and “fresh” and “poppin” with the “kids”.

  3. The good news, I guess, is that the cartoons that they are trotting out look like the strongest palette of cartoons they’ve put out in years. Sym-Bionic Titan alone is worth its weight in reality shows. In the promo art, Sym-Bionic Titan is a giant robot fighting a big red dinosaur.

    But yeah, griping about why there’s live-action programming on Cartoon Network is a ship that sailed years ago. They’ve been doing it for years and all the complaining in the world has clearly not changed anybody’s mind over there about anything. The only thing to take heart in is that some of their rotten live-action shows died a quiet death, while cool cartoons like “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and “Chowder” are solid hits and reviving the fine art of hand-drawn cartoon mayhem.

  4. The Wasteland Speech was given by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Newton N. Minow on May 9, 1961:

    “When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.
    But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.

    He had NO idea how bad it would get.

  5. The other night on TCM they had a Chuck Jones lineup. They ran a short, documentary about Chuck, then several Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes shorts that he directed.

    As I watched the shorts it dawned on me, that in this day and age, in the year 2009 with hundreds of stations available on cable and satellite, that NO ONE is running the classic Warner Brothers cartoons!!

  6. Here’s how it works, almost without fail:

    A network starts, with a original idea about serving a particular niche. MTV = music, ESPN = sports, Cartoon Network = cartoons, etc.

    Eventually, the Giant Entertainment Vortex of Suck takes each of these channels down to the same common denominator of crap–reality shows, “original series”, etc.–until they’re almost indistinguishable from each other, except for the logos.

    My favorite so far has been “An AMC original series”. Uh, doesn’t AMC stand for “American Movie Classics”? How does that include any original series?

    Well, that, and ESPN thinking it was a good idea to have game shows and a soap opera about a pro football team.

  7. As long as there’s Adult Swim and a action packed Friday night line-up still standing, I have nothing to complain about?

    And when the hell are we going to get new Secret Saturdays?



  8. But in their defense, this did result in their showing at least a few episodes of the brilliant UK show “Look Around You.” As there’s no US region DVD, that’s as close as you’ll get without hunting on Youtube.

  9. I have said this on so many boards to people already. an now they our starting to see it happening an unfolding. I SAY that Cartoons our returning to their roots; an that is airing on BASIC CABLE again in reruns and in some few Morning and Afternoon Blocks; only this time they will air in and outside blocks on ALL STATIONS.

    like WGN AMERICA now all of A Sudden Airing Bullwinkle and Rocky at 12:30 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. Starting in April 18, 2008 Saturday (it is just like the OLD Latenight Black/White at Cartoon Network did,maybe WGN America hired those old CN people there.) this Airing of Cartoon Classics has not Happen in About A Decade since 1999 on WGN America and now it is once more,doing so again?.

    See Cartoons airings our really RUTURNING TO their ROOTS AGAIN. an it was just A matter of time,that I told them ALL 24/7 Cartoon Stations WILL BE AXE OUT and come to An ABRUPT END. that TIME is Right Now. My Divine Gift is telling me to say to you to; LOOK for A Name Change SOON to be Annouced at Cartoon Network.

    it will be A COMPLETE REMOVAL OF THE CARTOON PART that is All I Can say for now. also look to A Axing of Nicktoons Network to be Annouced as well real soon. I have been right what this Gift has Attained an Shown me everytime it has revealed it to me.

    so you can Mark this down people and fans,friends. it will happen an it is Already starting to put itself in Action an Motion as I speak an as the Divine Gift is saying it to me.

  10. Will television (or “T.V.” as I like to call it) one day be all reality shows and game shows? My TV is kinda crappy and I keep thinking “I should buy a new one.” and then I ask “Why? To watch what?”.

  11. honestly I don’t wanna get into the habit tellin’ companies how badly they messed up but seriously you guys messed up did you really think that showing reality shows would speak to teens. Not your reality tv shows because they have to get a bit dirty first somethin I don’t think your willing to do. your first mistake was getting rid of toonami really i never liked that line-up but it draws the less sociable teens and just regular kids to it I could see why you might dump it because of profit drops but at least try to tweak the line up a bit with fresher new shows or just start over again go to the roots were it started rename it dress er up some. Because shows like chowder and flapjack are great but they can’t hold a network for even 10 years. I mean seriously i mean almost all the other shows are dumb or just gonna be forgotten. so come on im only 13 and even Iknow where this all going.I’m only doing this because i used to watch your network

  12. Hola :) First Sorry if I used an arabic name Because it is already used from the first time in all English and non English sites.And sorry! just passed by consedince while looking for some articles for my freakin Univ :) okay anyway nice blog Will check it out Later on ,hope you accept me as a friend blogger. oh yeah will try to visit again :P thanks ^^Ø

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