By Graeme McMillan, 10:30 AM on Thu Mar 26 2009,
Is Cartoon Network about to head the way of the Sci Fi Channel? More than half of the shows for next season aren't cartoons... but that doesn't mean that they won't be awesome. Cartoon Network has long been a home for the quietly wonderful, whether it's Powerpuff Girls or Batman: The Brave and The Bold, and amongst the various reality shows (No, really) and Scooby Doo reboots, there are three new series that have caught our sci-fi eye:Ben 10: Evolutions continues CN's favorite
superhero franchise into another series, as Teen Titans' Glen Murakami and
Justice League's Dwayne McDuffie give us a world where Ben Tennyson is now 16 and an "international mega-star super-hero," according to the network. But that's just the excuse for generational clashes as the kids love him and the
adults want to control him. It's just like your childhood... but with superpowers!
Generator Rex is also from Man of Action, the collective who created Ben 10, and stars a teenage boy who's become infected by "molecular-altering nanites" that let him grow machines out of his body, and his worldwide mission to track down others infected by the same nanites.
Sym-Bionic Titan is easily the most exciting show; the new series from Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky, it's described as a mix of "high school drama and giant robot battles," and centers around three aliens who try and escape their wartorn planet, only to become stranded on Earth. I foresee well-animated carnage ahead.
It's not only new shows that'll fill the network come September; the network also
announced new seasons of Clone Wars, The Secret Saturdays and, thankfully, Batman: The Brave and The Bold. A full list of the shows announced can be found here. As for the increasing amount of non-cartoons on the network, Stuart Snyder, the COO of parent company Turner Broadcasting's kids division, explained in a very unconvincing manner: Our voice is changing... This is an evolution of our brand.
Dear Cartoon Network: Your brand is cartoons. While you may be going
through brand puberty, that doesn't change the fact that non-cartoons
theoretically doesn't belong with your brand at all. Still, at least we'll have
Oh. My. God.
Good News! They are continuing shows like Batman: The Brave and the Bold, (which, if you dare call yourself a Batman fan and you aren't watching it, then you are officially LAME. It's one of the Bat-nerdiest shows I've watched in a very very long time. My love for this show cannot be textually rendered.) and giving us new shows from creators like Glen Murakami , Dwayne McDuffie & Genndy Tartakovsky, who are all amazo to the power of squee!
Bad news! Like MTV and, more recently, the SciFi Channel, (I refuse to acknowledge that name change) the Cartoon Network is abandoning its purpose under the guise of re-branding. Your network is called THE CARTOON NETWORK. You should show cartoons! If I want live action I will go watch some other channel! Perhaps the Live Action Kids Show Channel! Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel are currently penning the market on horrible live action sitcoms aimed at stupid kids with coporate logos sewn into the lining of their brains. I come to you, Cartoon Network for tolerable entertainment! (I can set aside that I, an adult woman, in no way represent your target market, but c'mon.) Some of your current programming is even surfing the crest of a new wave of cartoons that aren't COMPLETE HORSESHIT. (Pardon me as I wax nostalgic about the good ol' days of Batman the Animated Series and Rocko's Modern Life and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Inspector Gadget and Darkwing Duck and yes, even Captain freakin' Planet!)
I can at least commend you for not spitting in the face of your audience like the SciFi people are.
Oh wait, no I cant. Pacifying the stockholders through banality and homogeny. Great.
I do not understand this growing media trend of taking what your brand is known for, standing up, facing your audience, pulling down your pants and taking a giant crap on your product, right in front of everyone. Next Comedy Central is gonna start showing Oscar winning tear-jerkers and the Spike Channel will have a Golden Girls Marathon every Saturday night! I don't get it. Someone please explain it to me. Before I go mad.