Monday, March 10, 2014

Cartoon Network's Class of 2014: Old friends, new ideas.......

Earlier today, Turner Networks issued a press release announcing plans for the rest of the year involving Cartoon Network. Following is a list of new shows coming to the network, excerpted from the press release (the italics & boldface are mine):

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New Original and Acquired Programming:

Over The Garden Wall: Headlined by an all-star voice-cast that includes Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Collin Dean (The War at Home) and Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men), Over the Garden Wall is Cartoon Network’s first event mini-series, an animated comedy/fantasy story about two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are trapped in a mysterious world. In this ten-part mini-series, Wirt and Greg must travel across this strange land until they find their way home, aided by a wise old Woodsman who gives them directions and a bluebird named Beatrice. Music plays an important role in the series with a soundtrack full of Americana-influenced original songs. Over The Garden Wall is created by Pat McHale and produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

 Clarence: From creator Skyler Page and premiering Monday, April 14 at 7 p.m., Clarence is a new, original animated series about an optimistic boy who wants to do everything. Because everything is amazing! Clarence was conceived as part of the prolific shorts development program at Cartoon Network Studios, which has resulted in six original series for the network: Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe, Clarence, Over the Garden Wall & We Bare Bears . ·

 We Bare Bears: We Bare Bears is a comedy about three bear siblings, named Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. Each episode follows their awkward attempts at assimilating into human society, whether they're looking for food, trying to make human friends, or scheming to become internet famous. Whatever the situation, it’s obvious that being a bear in the civilized, modern world is tough—but at least they have each other. Created by Annie Award-winner Daniel Chong (Toy Story of Terror!), We Bare Bears is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

 The Tom and Jerry Show: The iconic cat and mouse rivals are back in The Tom and Jerry Show, a new, fresh take on the classic series. Preserving the look, characters and sensibility of the original, the all-new series shines a brightly colored, high-definition lens on the madcap slapstick and never-ending battle that has made Tom and Jerry two of the most beloved characters of all time. The Tom and Jerry Show is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and will premiere Wednesday, April 9 at 5:30 p.m. ·

 Be Cool Scooby-Doo!: Be Cool Scooby-Doo! is an all-new 22-minute animated comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation. The Scooby gang is back with a modern comedic twist on the beloved classic. With high school over and one last summer to live it up, the gang hits the road in the Mystery Machine, chasing fun and adventure. But monsters and mayhem keep getting in the way. ·

 Wabbit—A Looney Tunes Production: The hilarious, heroic and mischievous Bugs Bunny you love is back! From Warner Bros. Animation, Bugs stars in an all-new series consisting of comedic shorts that find the iconic carrot-loving rabbit matching wits against (and getting the best of) classic characters like Yosemite Sam and Wile E. Coyote. Along the way, Bugs will encounter brand-new foes…and he’ll have some help from new friends like Bigfoot and Squeaks the squirrel.

 Sonic Boom™: Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of the world’s biggest gaming icons for over 20 years and this year a new branch of the Sonic universe debuts, entitled Sonic Boom™. With a new look for Sonic and friends, the franchise’s first-ever CG animated television series, an action-packed comedy adventure, will premiere on Cartoon Network with support from an extensive video game release of the same name. The Sonic Boom television series, co-produced by SEGA® of America, Inc. and OuiDO! Productions, will debut on Cartoon Network in the 2014/2015 season.

 · Total Drama: Pahkitew Island: All-new island! All-new cast! Same old disregard for human safety! The Total Drama series returns as Chris and Chef put the newest generation of contestants through the craziest challenges yet—all for a chance to win one million dollars! Total Drama Island is produced by Fresh TV Inc.

 Numb Chucks: Woodchuck brothers Dilweed and Fungus didn’t always see themselves as mystical Kung Fu saviors until they stumbled upon an infomercial featuring mega legend Woodchuck Morris’ mullet-fueled motivational kung-fu video “The Way of the Chuck!” With an endless supply of confidence but a limited supply of brain cells, and countless hours of watching the video, this dimwitted duo transmorph-ified into THE NUMB CHUCKS! ·

 Beyraiderz: Sho, Jin and Leon find themselves trapped on a strange world once defended by the Six Mythic Beasts who upheld justice and brought prosperity for all through the battling BeyRaiderz tournaments. When the Beasts mysteriously disappeared, the world fell into ruin, and now it’s up to Sho and his friends to uncover the hidden BeyRaiderz stadiums, to battle to bring the Beasts back and restore prosperity to the world!

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Beyraiderz continues the Beyblade franchise that CN acquired a ways back. The Total Drama family of flash animated series parodies reality shows such as Survivor, and as long as that series sticks around, so will Total Drama. Numb Chucks looks like a funny animal take on MTV's Beavis & Butt-Head, whose own comeback was short-circuited by the network 2 years ago. Note that only Clarence & The Tom & Jerry Show have firm start dates. Expect Be Cool Scooby-Doo! to be, because of the theme, a summer debut. I realize that the previous series for both Scooby and Bugs Bunny have not yet become distant memories, but CN also realizes that they screwed both the franchises and their respective fan bases with the way they handled the last series, especially Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, which was burned off in weekday chunks without benefit of replays. We Bare Bears? I'm not sure about this one yet.

For what it's worth, it shouldn't surprise anyone that The Tom & Jerry Show has already bowed overseas before its US premiere. They did the same thing with SDMI &, I think, The Looney Tunes Show. Don't ya think the American viewers come first to CN? Apparently not. At least now we've got something to look forward to for the spring & summer.

2 comments:

magicdog said...

I've seen the initial sketch of "Be Cool.." and I'm not feeling hopeful. It looks like a Scooby version of "Teen Titans Go"! NOT what I wanted to see in a Scooby series.

The T&J toon might have promise - especially if they go back to basics.

hobbyfan said...

If they're using flash animation for Be Cool Scooby-Doo, they're making the same mistake they made before (Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue), and that doesn't bode well.

Well, what would you expect from a company that employs morons?