Cartoon Network Takes Upfronts on the Road
Armed with record-setting ratings success as the only top kids’ network to achieve across-the-board growth in 2012 and its most-watched year in Prime in its 20-year history, Cartoon Network is jumping ahead of the customary Kids Upfront season and taking its show on the road with the CARTOON NETWORK ROAD TOUR. With more than a dozen new productions and multiple returning hit series now slated for the 2013 and early 2014 season, Cartoon Network brought its road-show presentation directly to key clients and promotional partners at their respective home bases the week of January 21 and will continue into March.
Network, ad sales, marketing and programming executives will travel to more than 15 key cities across the country to visit clients and promotional partners. Along with its presentation, the network also plans to “take over” the building at each of its visits with custom activations that will include the distribution of unique branded premiums to employees.
“As viewers continue to interact with the Cartoon Network brand and content across a variety of screens, our advertising partners look to us for more innovative and engaging opportunities that provide greater reach for their messages,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Entertainment and Young Adults Ad Sales. “This year, we are breaking away from a traditional upfront presentation to engage with advertisers in a series of conversations that will focus on the development of ideas that leverage our brand strength to meet the goals of our partners. As our success and momentum continue to grow across all screens, we believe it’s an ideal time for advertisers to reassess their investments and strategically increase their media budgets with Cartoon Network.”
Cartoon Network will announce an impressive line-up of new original and acquired programming that began last Thursday, Jan. 24, with the premiere of Incredible Crew, a half-hour live-action sketch comedy show from entertainer Nick Cannon. Additionally, Cartoon Network Studios will produce three new original animated comedy series—Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa and Clarence—each developed from its vibrant and prolific shorts program. Also from Cartoon Network Studios, two new original animated specials based on the #1 network series hits Adventure Time and Regular Show, plus a brand new, redesigned and re-imagined CG-animated special starring three of Cartoon Network’s earliest stars, The Powerpuff Girls—which also includes an original song performed by Beatles legend Ringo Starr—will premiere later this year.
Partnering with powerhouse producers, Cartoon Network will introduce two new action-adventure half-hour series based on popular heroes from DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation, Teen Titans Go! and Beware The Batman; a new animated series from LEGO, Legends of Chima; a new animated musical-comedy series, Grojband, from FremantleMedia Ltd.; an all-new series iteration of the world’s most famous cat-and-mouse duo, The Tom and Jerry Show, produced by Warner Bros. Animation; a new season of the hit animated Total Drama “reality” series from CAKE Distribution, Total Drama All Stars; and also from LEGO, three quarterly installment specials of The Yoda Chronicles, a new CG-animated foray into the “Original Saga” world of Star Wars.
“Building upon the success we achieved last year, we have secured even more new programming plus all-new episodes of current hit series that continue to define the global brand vision for Cartoon Network,” said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer, Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM). “With our network branding and content strategy in place and working, we couldn’t see any reason to wait to share it with our partners. So we’re taking our message directly to them to help set the stage for optimum growth into the 2013-14 season.”
Among the network’s returning series, the Monday night line-up (7-9 p.m.) of original animated comedies that has ranked #1 on all television throughout 2012 among boys will return this year with all-new seasons, including the pop-culture phenomenon Adventure Time, the Primetime Emmy Award-winning Regular Show, and additional new episodes of the Web-originated sensation Annoying Orange. Also returning with new seasons/episodes are Cartoon Network’s exclusive animated hit comedies The Amazing World of Gumball, The Looney Tunes Show, MAD, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc. and Johnny Test.
On the action-adventure front, dramatic new seasons of key hit series have been slated, including the action-comedy series DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, based on the critically-acclaimed feature film, How to Train Your Dragon; and Ben 10 Omniverse, from the global franchise powerhouse Ben 10.
In addition, Cartoon Network announced that its successful and innovative shorts program will continue at Cartoon Network Studios, producing a new slate of original shorts in 2013 via its dedicated production unit.
“Our unique approach to animation development has paid off in the form of many successful returning series, each with a giant fan base behind them,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. “These new animated series forge diverse, new ground, and stem from our Cartoon Network Studios pipeline, which continues to cultivate the most talented minds working in TV animation today.”