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October 3, 2015

Taking the Cartoon out of Cartoon Network

by Michael Pascua, posted May 27th 2009 9:03AM
Cartoon Network LogoI know that I'm not the target demographic for a cable channel like Cartoon Network. Although I still watch Pokemon on Saturday mornings, the last non-Adult Swim original cartoon I watched was Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.

Recently, Cartoon Network has announced a block of programming they're calling "CN Real." I'm already upset that a show like Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job isn't animated (don't get me started on Delocated), but isn't getting rid of the cartoons turning the channel into just "Network"?

Am I the only crazy person who thinks that Cartoon Network jumped the shark? Not only are they airing live shows, but several of the shows (The Othersiders, Survive This, and BrainRush, to name a few) are all teen knock-offs of current shows (Ghost Hunters, Survivorman, and Cash Cab, respectively). This will probably just open the door for knock-off versions of The Real World, The Soup, and some reality show that follows a teen celebrity. Apparently, reality television costs less than dubbing any good teen anime or brainstorming for an original cartoon.

I understand that Cartoon Network probably gets a lot of pressure from the other childrens' cable channels like The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon to create similar programming, but becoming a clone isn't the best way to get ratings. Cartoon Network already has several differentiating factors -- it was once the best place for anime, and it had some of the best original cartoons like Cow & Chicken and The Powerpuff Girls. It upsets me to see how badly the channel has degraded since my childhood.

If Cartoon Network makes the name jump to "CN," like SciFi becoming SyFy, I'm giving up on any of the programming that isn't in Adult Swim. The network should just split into three channels: The original Cartoon Network (which, by getting rid of the pre-teen/teen shows, could reincorporate Boomerang), CN Real (a teen oriented channel), and Adult Swim. They could probably get better sponsors that would fall into the right demographics and make a pretty penny.

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i too am sick and tired of the live action shows they have been showing in disney channel and cn. (nick does not count cuz they've been doing that for years like "keenen & kel", "Cousin skeeter", and "All That".) i hate how disney does not show the original cartoons like micky mouse and friends, even though they made a 3d version it is only for little kids it does not have the comedy just education.....lame. i was first crushed about cn when they first made "out of jimmys head" yes it had cartoons in it but it was more like "neds declassified school survival guide" and the "cn real" had me more frustrated.

July 11 2009 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patrick Burks

CARTOONs!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey look closely at the title of your channel.....do you really want people to quit watching tv...do you want people to go back to reading books and and heaven forbid listening to vinyl records or actually stepping outside and going for a walk....I thought aliens ran cable so our brains could go to mush. If you want people to consume new technology give us what we want....like cartoons on a cartoon channel.

June 13 2009 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Corrado Arcilesi

I think that Adult Swim has an excellent lineup with Tim and Eric, Aqua Teen, etc. They really should make AS a separate channel and nix the anime. It is TRULY AWFUL and a fad that I hope disappears ASAP. I'll give the Othersiders a shot if I have the time to watch. I would like to see a lineup on AS like this:

The Simpsons
Family Guy
American Dad
Tim and Eric
Tim Goes to The Mayor
King of The Hill
The Oblongs
The PJs
etc etc

and on CN I really hope that they get the licensing for Ghostbusters and other classic cartoons.

June 02 2009 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Flying Dutch Girl

Adult Swim is crap now. It used to have great anime like Inuyasha and Full Metal Alchemist; now it has crappy fratboy "animation" like Assy McGee and the Squidbillies. It's a freaking eyesore. As for CN, it has two good shows now: Total Drama Island and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. But since it dropped Naruto I've stopped watching CN on Saturday nights. Frankly I hope CN goes the way of General Motors. Who needs it?

May 31 2009 at 12:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can forgive AS for showing live action to some extent since, as has already been mentioned, it's considered its own channel and therefore doesn't share CN's mission statement.

OTOH, I'm not at all pleased about the addition of a live-action reality block to CN. Not only is it channel dilution, but the shows aren't even anything that hasn't already been covered on channels like HBOFamily and DiscoveryKids.

I'm not overfond of the live-action movies they've been showing either, but at least most of them are based on animation properties.

CN should stick to their original concept and not try to become a Nick/Disney clone.

May 27 2009 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've never watched the Cartoon Network, but I wanted to add a comment to this post: I always thought Malcolm In The Middle was a live-action cartoon.

May 27 2009 at 9:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree. The "idea" behind Cable was to have all the niche channels, so you can find what you want whenever you want it. One would have assumed whenever you wanted some 'toons, there is a "Cartoon Network". If my kids wanted to watch shows like these new ones, isn't there already a channel (or two) that covers this? As someone else already said, there a reason for niche programming. What sense does it make if they ALL start showing crappy reality TV?

It seems sad we can look back to the "golden" era of cable, when you could sit down any time of the day or night and CHOOSE a genre you were in the mood for. Music videos? MTV. Highbrow drama? Bravo. History? um, History. Classic TV? TVLand. And cartoons, Cartoon Network.

It's a damn shame.

May 27 2009 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think any network showing crappy reality TV has jumped the shark. :/

May 27 2009 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't see the issue. The CN Real Shows account for 4 hours of programming out of 20+ hours of prime time.

Cartoon Network still has original cartoon programming. Star Wars: Clone Wars, The Secret Saturdays, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Ben 10: Alien Force, Chowder. I could go on and on. The only network which comes close to new cartoons would be Nicktoons Network. Disney/Disney XD has some new cartoons, but most of their stuff is live-action. As for Nickelodeon, they just play repeats of stuff they have had on for the last 10 years (ie Spongebob and Fairly Oddparents).

I think we are still way off on having to rename Cartoon Network. As long as they don't have WWCW (WorldWide Childrens Wrestling) RAW, I think we are ok.

May 27 2009 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to EbonyDad's comment
Jeff Harris

For those that don't see the issue of live-action airing on Cartoon Network, some scenarios:

1. Comedy Central has a biweekly showcase of movies Comedy Central Drama, airing dramatic fare in a serious light with no comic overtones or anything like Unforgiven and Schindler's List.

2. Lifetime picks up The Man Show and High Octane movies like Blade Runner, Patton, and others.

3. Spike picks up weekly movies like Fried Green Tomatoes and shows like The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

4. CMT airs a new biweekly version of Rap City.

5. BET airs classic and new versions of Hee Haw.

You expect to see comedy on Comedy Central, women-oriented fare on Lifetime, and male-oriented fare on Spike, and even though those deviations I mentioned are weekly diversions, viewers would be up in arms over those changes.

And yet, regular viewers of Cartoon Network are supposed to be quiet over their decision to put in reality shows? The network's highest rated fare from the past year were all animated series (Total Drama Island, Chowder, Ben 10 Alien Force, and The Clone Wars), and the fact that Cartoon Network ignored that by bringing in more live-action is moronic at best, suicidal at worst. They obviously haven't learned anything from the failure of Out of Jimmy's Head, which was a bomb killed by the Writer's Guild Strike (and notice how these newer shows are strikeproof).

I'm sick of all these networks converting themselves into gray goo trying to show everything for everybody. At this rate, there will only be three basic cable channels: Goo 1 (with cartoons and live-action tween/young adult smeg) Goo 2 (with forensic crime dramas, "reality" shows, and "news" shoutfests), and Goo 3 (sports and edited theatrical movies).

May 27 2009 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's just the same thing that has happened to almost every formerly good cable channel over the past several years. History no longer shows history, TVLand hardly shows old shows any more, and so on. And they wonder why more and more people are turning to alternative forms of entertainment?

May 27 2009 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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