Cartoon Network announced a dramatic expansion to its 2009-2010 content development strategy today at its annual advertising Upfront presentation at Time Warner Center. On the heels of three consecutive quarters of double-digit prime time and total day growth - the only major kids network to do so - Cartoon Network unveiled 19 new programming ventures, including three new action-adventure and four new comedy animated series; six live-action "alternative" half-hour series; three original live-action and one all-new CG-animated movie specials; and two hour-long original, scripted live-action pilots. Coupled with 164 new half-hour episodes of returning comedy and action-adventure animated series, today's announcements represent the largest commitment to new content development in Cartoon Network history.
Additionally, the network, along with National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern, announced that world champion Boston Celtics Guard Eddie House and his 7 year-old son, Jaelen, will be featured in My Dad's a Pro, a short-form lifestyle series that is the first of several programs in development under the most recently announced partnership between Cartoon Network and the NBA.
"These exciting new projects represent the next phase in Cartoon Network's ambitious, ongoing strategy to re-invent the network and re-energize our youth business overall," said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer of Turner Broadcasting's Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division. "We've built tremendous momentum over the last year, both on air and through our thriving digital businesses, so we're thrilled to introduce new content that our audience cannot find anywhere else. Today marks the next big step forward in an evolution that is helping us reach our goal of becoming a dominant youth culture brand."
"Based on Cartoon Network's ratings and online growth, coupled with the increased commitment to original content, our goal is to maximize the strength of these linear and digital offerings by developing opportunities for advertisers that will activate their brands across our portfolio," said John O'Hara, executive vice president and general manager, Cartoon Network Ad Sales & Marketing. "We will continue to be flexible and innovative as we work with our advertising partners to develop high-profile, custom opportunities that will deliver measurable return on their investment."
"Last year, we outlined a strategy focused on genres of programming," said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. "Today we revealed how that strategy continues to grow with additional nights of signature programming and expands to include both scripted live-action and alternative content, as well as animation. We're committed to delivering a diverse range of engaging, aspirational content to our audience."
Highlights of Cartoon Network's new content strategy to launch across the 2009-2010 season include the following:
COMEDY AND ACTION-ADVENTURE ANIMATED SERIES
-- Adventure Time with Finn and Jake
: Finn, the human boy with the
awesome hat, and Jake, the wise dog, are close friends and partners in
strange adventures in the land of Ooo. The 30-minute series is from
Cartoon Network Studios, created by Pendleton Ward and executive
produced by Fred Siebert and Derek Drymon.
: Six teenaged groms (young surfers) come together for 12 weeks
over summer to work and surf at the world renowned Surfer's Paradise
Resort on the legendary Sunset Island, home of the most epic surf
break in the country. From Cake Distribution and Fresh Animation,
Stoked is created by Jennifer Pertsch and Tom McGillis (Total Drama
-- Total Drama Action
: Showcasing all the elements of favorite reality
TV shows - romances and friendships; scheming and sabotage;
death-defying stunts and stomach curdling challenges within
larger-than-life elimination competition - Total Drama Action succeeds
Cartoon Network's #1 show of 2008, Total Drama Island, from Cake
Distribution and Fresh Animation. Fourteen contestants face thrilling
challenges on an abandoned film studio back-lot, all inspired by the
-- Ben 10: Evolutions (working title)
: An all-new animated series
follows 16-year-old Ben Tennyson as his secret identity has been
revealed to the world and he's now an international mega-star super
hero, loved by kids the world over but distrusted by many adults.
Armed with a mysterious new Omnitrix, Ben will see action in places
he's never been. From Cartoon Network Studios, Glen Murakami (Teen
Titans) serves as supervising producer and Dwayne McDuffie serves as
-- Sym-Bionic Titan
: From creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's
Laboratory, Samurai Jack) comes an exciting hybrid of high school
drama and giant robot battles. Sym-Bionic Titan follows the
adventures of three beings from the planet Galaluna who crash-land on
Earth while attempting to escape their war-torn world.
-- Generator Rex
: Infected by microscopic molecular-altering nanites,
15-year-old Rex has the ability to grow incredible machines out of his
body. Recruited by an organization called Providence, Rex travels the
world investigating a host of biological mutations that were created
by the same nanites that give Rex his powers. Generator Rex is from
Man of Action, creators of Ben 10. John Fang of Cartoon Network
Studios serves as supervising director.
-- Scooby-Doo - Mystery, Inc.
: A sleepy little village, Crystal Cove,
boasts a long history of ghost sightings, poltergeists, demon
possession, phantoms and other paranormal occurrences. The renowned
sleuthing team of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo arrive to
prove all of this simply isn't real - but they don't realize the
locals don't welcome their help. The series is produced by Warner
ALTERNATIVE LIVE-ACTION SERIES
-- The Othersiders
: This thrilling reality adventure series follows five
friends on real missions to explore mysterious, potentially haunted
locations in search of evidence that will confirm or deny the
existence of paranormal activity.
-- Survive This
: An exciting reality series challenges teenagers ages 14
to 17 to push their limits, overcome fears and develop lifelong
survival skills. Hosted by Les Stroud (Survivorman), each episode
aims to test endurance, wit and self-determination.
-- Destroy Build Destroy
: In a huge construction zone, two teams become
demolition experts with the guidance and assistance of experts in the
field, using wrecking balls, human destroyers and real explosions.
Each week brings a new challenge to build from the debris, with
strategy, wits and teamwork deciding which team's creation
out-performs the other--and whose hard work goes up in smoke.
-- Head Rush (working title)
: Kids participate as game show contestants
playing for cash while riding thrill-inducing amusement park rides.
-- Dude, What Would Happen
: This series stars three adventurous teens
who ask and answer imaginative questions such as, "Dude, what would
happen if you attached 350 helium balloons to a sumo wrestler?" A
series so over-the-top, you just might learn something.
-- Bobb'e Says
: Starring Bobb'e J. Thompson (30 Rock, Human Giant),
Bobb'e Says is a fast-paced, viral video clip show where other
people's painful mistakes become tools for Bobb'e as he dispenses sage
wisdom to an unsuspecting public.
LIVE-ACTION AND ANIMATED ORIGINAL MOVIES
-- Ben 10: Alien Swarm
: Director Alex Winter and writer John Turman
(Hulk '03, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer) team for an
all-new, live-action movie based on the hit animated series Ben 10:
Alien Force, set to premiere in fall 2009. Ben 10: Alien Swarm
follows teenage hero Ben Tennyson (Ryan Kelley) as he breaks ranks
from the Plumbers, a secret organization that battles alien forces, to
help Elena (Alyssa Diaz), a mysterious young woman, uncover an alien
threat to our world. Additional cast members include Barry Corbin (No
Country for Old Men) as Grandpa Max, Galadriel Stineman as Gwen and
Nathan Keyes as Kevin.
-- Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins
: Discover the never-before-told story
of how a mismatched quartet of teenagers first came together before
becoming known as the Mystery Inc. gang. Freddy (Robbie Amell), the
school athlete; Velma (Hayley Kiyoko), the science fair-winning
brainiac; Daphne (Kate Melton), the drama beauty; Shaggy (Nick
Palatas), the misfit; and Shaggy's newly adopted dog, Scooby Doo, are
forced to band together to clear their names. Scooby Doo! The Mystery
Begins, a Cartoon Network co-production with Warner Premiere and
directed by Brian Levant (Snow Dogs, The Flintstones), is slated to
premiere in fall 2009.
: Cartoon Network's first original all-CG animation
adventure presents Duncan Rosenblatt, a rather typical, awkward high
school kid, except that his dad is a fire-breathing dragon and he is
destined to protect the earth. Created and co-executive-produced by
Phil Hester (The Wretch), Firebreather is executive-produced by Julia
Pistor (Lemony Snicket) and co-executive-produced by Andy Kuhn
(Freedom Ring)--Jim Kreig (Ben 10: Alien Force) joins as writer.
Peter Chung (Aeon Flux) is attached to direct.
-- Tiger's Apprentice
: The best-selling young adult book by Lawrence Yep
will be brought to life in a live-action movie. Tom Lee, a teenager
suddenly orphaned, is put under the protection of Mr. Hu, a mystical
tiger who can take human form. Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) is
attached to serve as executive producer/director, Oscar(R)-nominated
screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland) adapted the book and Jane
Startz (Tuck Everlasting, Indian in the Cupboard) serves as executive
SCRIPTED LIVE-ACTION PILOTS
-- Unnatural History (working title)
: An action-packed blend of science,
western culture, eastern philosophy and martial arts, Unnatural
History is an urban adventure series centered around Henry Griffin, a
teenager with exceptional skills acquired through years of
globe-trotting with his anthropologist parents. But Henry faces his
biggest challenge of all when he moves back to America to attend a
high school stranger than any place he's ever lived before. Created
and written by Mike Werb (Face/Off, The Mask); the pilot will be
produced in association with Warner Horizon Television Inc.
-- Prepped (working title)
: A rebellious teen wakes up one morning to
find himself trapped at a mysterious prep school that offers no
escape. He forms a secret group to discover what they're being
trained for and how to escape. The pilot is executive-produced and
written by Paul Dini (Lost, Batman Beyond).
RETURNING ANIMATED SERIES
-- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
: The #1 series with boys 6-11 returns to
Cartoon Network in fall 2009 for a second season. The hit CG-animated
series from creator George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation takes viewers
to the front lines of an intergalactic struggle between good and evil
with favorite characters such as Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and
Padme Amidala, along with brand new heroes like Anakin's padawan
: In Marzipan City, the Mung Daal Catering Company cooks up
the most oddly delicious food where aspiring young chef-in-training
Chowder falls into all sorts of fantastic mis-adventures. The series
is from creator C. H. Greenblatt at Cartoon Network Studios.
-- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
: Raised by Bubbie the talking
whale in the bubbling splendor of the sea, young Flapjack rescues an
old pirate, Captain K'nuckles, whose tall tales tangle up and consume
Flapjack with an unquenchable desire for adventure. Creator Thurop
Van Ormon produces the series at Cartoon Network Studios.
-- The Secret Saturdays
: In this comedy-action series created by Jay
Stephens, Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday are a family of world-saving
adventure scientists called The Secret Saturdays who are part of a
network of scientists who protect the world against all the underlying
evil. The Secret Saturdays is produced by Porchlight Entertainment.
-- Batman: The Brave and the Bold
: From Warner Bros. Animation comes the
latest interpretation of the classic Batman franchise. Our Caped
Crusader is teamed up with heroes from across the DC Universe--Blue
Beetle, Green Arrow, Aquaman and countless others--to deliver nonstop
action and adventure with a touch of comic relief.