Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, along with double-digit growth and its #1 status with boys 6-11 on all of television, Cartoon Network announced today several new and returning series to its programming line-up.
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 television theme songs and live performances from the creative talent behind the hit animated comedy series Adventure Time and Regular Show.
Announcements included a new sketch comedy show from entertainer Nick Cannon; the world premiere of DreamWorks Dragons: The Series, based on the critically-acclaimed feature film, How to Train Your Dragon; an original series based on Web sensation, Annoying Orange; a brand new animated series from the 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 1st Quarter 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, Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM). “Today, with a re-invented 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 (7-9 p.m.) among boys 6-11 throughout 1st Quarter 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 2nd season pick-up for the live-action comedy series Level Up, which debuted as the most watched live-action series in the network’s history, and a 5th season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, also was announced.
Combined with top-performing acquisitions and specials, these programming anchors not only fueled 2011’s prime time performance as Cartoon Network’s most-watched in five years, they also set the stage for a record breaking first quarter in 2012. New seasons for more than a dozen additional series also will premiere across the 2012-13 programming timeframe.
“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 ten original 7-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.
Additionally, the network revealed that a third Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards special has been slated for early 2013. The second annual telecast (Feb. 20, 2012), hosted by Shaquille O’Neal, ranked as the #1 program of the day among all boy demos, and out-performed the inaugural Hall of Game special by double and triple-digits—between 64% and 103%—across all kid and boy demos. Online voting for the celebrity sports awards also nearly tripled in participation, from 37 million votes in 2011 to more than 100 million votes in 2012.
“Cartoon Network enters into the upfront season with strong momentum and a programming foundation that is resonating with our audience, as well as advertisers,” said John O’Hara, executive vice president and general sales manager, Cartoon Network. “The ad sales team is committed to developing ideas that extend the reach of an advertiser’s message and connects their brands across multiple screens with an engaged audience. As brands look to deliver measurable return on their investment, we believe it’s a good time to reassess plans and for advertisers to strategically increase their media budgets with Cartoon Network.”
Building off of the success of CartoonNetwork.com ranking as the #1 domain in the kids category among kids 6-11*, the network announced that its next big foray into on-line gaming would be the global roll-out of Formula Cartoon, a huge on-line racing game which will let players race against their friends or favorite Cartoon Network characters.
* Source: Data from comScore Media Metrix run on domain level for Unique Visitors age 6-11 in the Media – Entertainment – Kids category for the February 2012 reporting period
(Source: Cartoon Network)