Giancarlo Volpe, showrunner of Green Lantern the Animated Series has drawn a comic about a focus group test of the cartoon. It’s an interesting behind the scenes of how the testers said the kids wanted the opposite of what Volpe thought would work for the show. Luckily Bruce Timm comes to the rescue.

Focus groups can be pretty brutal. If you know what you’re doing, they can be a hindrance, but if you don’t…sometimes a truth is revealed. Unfortunately a lot of kids entertainment is heavily focus grouped and you can usually tell the ones that are because they are bland as hell.

Cartoon Brew has more tales of focus groups gone wrong.


  1. I recently saw Green Lantern thanks to Netflix streaming. Very good show with very impressive CGI that had lighting work which made it look cinema quality in a few episodes. The main love story got a kind of sappy, but that’s okay since it’s supposed to be super-hero melodrama.

    Highly recommend both this and Young Justice to anyone looking for super-hero entertainment outside the live action films.

    And it really is a shame if they cancelled GL and YJ because it attracted more girl viewers than boy viewers. The storylines skewed way too old for a 30 minute toy commerical aged audience. A new business model should be arranged for these types of shows if they’re not for toys and ads don’t bring home enough bacon.

    Perhaps they could do like Disney did with Clone Wars and cut a deal with Netflix to show it there exclusively in exchange for, presumably, a larger cut than they normally get every time someone streams an episode. Then they could reap the final profits on the back end sales of DVD/Blu-ray and Amazon downloads.

  2. In my experience, focus groups are used by companies that want to reduce their risk in trying something new.

    However, you need to compose useful questions, because at the end of the exercise, you are going to be interpreting data, and probably reading some alarming verbatim comments from the group members.

    The comments need to be interpreted with ‘a grain of salt’, as people get carried away in group settings, responding to group dynamics.

    And at the end of it all, someone with some maturity and emotional intelligence will need to make a decision; do we proceed with this project as is, cancel it, or make changes and test it again.

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