Having its best first quarter with kids in prime in five years (up 28% vs. 2011) and showing the most gains compared to the competition in the kids space, the network’s afternoon Upfront presentation held at New York’s Roseland Ballroom paid tribute to the past and present with a full orchestra playing classic Cartoon Network TV theme songs and live performances from the creative talent behind the hit animated comedy series Adventure Time and Regular Show.
Announcements included the world premiere of DreamWorks Dragons: The Series, based on critically-acclaimed feature film How to Train Your Dragon; an original series based on Web sensation Annoying Orange; a brand-new animated series from global franchise powerhouse Ben 10: Omniverse; and a new CG-animated series from Warner Bros. Animation, Beware The Batman.
Also, on the heels of the hugely successful Ninjago launch in 2011 — currently the #1 show across the first quarter of 2012 with all boys — a new partnership with Lego for a second series was announced by the network as it continues to build on its slate of diverse content.
“We are executing a brand vision and content strategy that is fueling tremendous results for Cartoon Network,” said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media. “Today, with a reinvented and thriving prime time, along with overall double-digit growth in total day, we are building the kind of momentum that is making this a great 20th anniversary.”
Ranking #1 in early evening prime time (7 to 9 p.m.) among boys 6 to 11 throughout the first quarter of this year, Cartoon Network also announced new upcoming seasons of its original hit animated comedy series Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, MAD and The Looney Tunes Show. A fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars also was announced.
New seasons for more than a dozen additional series also will premiere across the 2012-13 programming time frame.
“For 20 years, Cartoon Network has cultivated truly original voices from a diverse array of artists and producers, making us the great alternative to everything else out there,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. “Cartoon Network Studios has grown to become the most supportive and creative environment for a new generation of creators.”
Cartoon Network also announced its ongoing commitment to its shorts program with 10 original seven-minute shorts to be produced this year with a wholly dedicated production unit at Cartoon Network Studios. With production already underway on many of these projects, this continuing investment in diverse and unique talent has resulted in many of the network’s hit animated series.
Further details of Cartoon Network’s programming announcements include the following:
Cartoon Network New Series
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.
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 rematch, 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, and 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 13 wild new players. Total Drama: Revenge of the Island is produced by Fresh TV and will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Looney Tunes Show
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Almost Naked Animals
Casper’s Scare School