Monday, 6 July 2009

The State of Cartoon Network

Heh not really sure how to start this blog proper (I've left it dormant long enough!) but maybe this post is a good way to start

So recently theres been hubbub over in America because Cartoon Network has recently become, well...less Cartoony I guess you could say.

Needless to say animators and animation fans alike have all been less than pleased with this newpositioning the US network is taking (and seems somewhat determined to do worldwide). Many dumbfounded at this change that seems to have been headed by the execs at the station - even more so at the news that Chowder and Flapjack may not be renewed for another season next year.

This leaves more of the action and reality based toons that CN has become fond of such as Ben 10 and Total Drama Island/Action and the seemingly evergreen Scooby Doo. Properties that all seem to do well in ratings.

That said this isnt the first time Cartoon Networks dabbled with live action. In the UK about 3 years ago Cartoon Network did a major re-jig of the Toonami channel in the UK - which up to that point had become a mix of the US Toonami and the action and superhero shows CN owned. This abruptly changed to a channel showing a few of the superhero shows and Pokemon alongside a random selection of Live Action such as Porker Lewis cant Lose and Life with Derek. It may of been Toonami by name but it certainly wasnt Toonami in nature anymore - even the bumpers reflected that by changing into a more cartoony goofy sort of identity - which was almost at odds with the live-action theming of programming

The UK Toonami limped along like a wounded duck for about another year with this new branding. Shows like Pokemon were still pushed alongside the live action and the amount of it waned but Toonami itself gave way to Cartoon Network Too - which is essentally a clone of Cartoon Network with the odd additional show (and a bit of the live action still hanging in there somehow)

Anyway I had a long phase after that of not watching Cartoon Network. Fosters occasionally got new episodes but they were bearly advertised here and it became much more about the action cartoons. Meanwhile shows like Chowder and Flapjack aired in the US which we got bearly a sniff of - which seemed strange to me, most Cartoon Cartoons have appeared in the UK not long after premiering in the US - Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends premiered quite closely to the US version.

We didnt get Chowder nor Flapjack till last month. Pokemon now airs on Jetix and Fosters has ended but we've not had any of the final episodes.

Cartoon Network has some good stuff but I wish they would respect what they got rather than run for Nick and Disneys viewership when they dont even seem to really understand the live action side of things or only seem to want to have what other channels had first. Still time will tell how CN Real manages and what happens next