I remember reading some years ago, possible in magazine coverage of MIPCOM where a noted TV network executive said something to the effect that the chances of an independent getting something on the air were slim to none. Part of the reason for this is that the TV networks want to own any IP they put on the air, and take greatest advantage of the merchandizing opportunities commonly associated with such programming. That's only the part of the reason though.
These days, if a network has a slot to fill, it is so much cheaper to fill it with a Japanese or French cartoon, which is already produced and paid for, and has made its money in its own market, than to produce something original. These shows are available at prices cheaper than even the cheapest flash show could possibly be made. Compared to the six figure cost of a half hour episode of traditional animation, it is understandable why we have seen so much of this. This happens far more in other countries I have been to than seems to be the case in America these days.
So where, then, is the market for those really creating something these days? I can imagine that if you could produce and sell animation at a cost near to $1000 per minute, you might have a shot, but who can do that? My understanding is that even an 11 minute flash animated show on Adult Swim costs 4X that.
Does that only leave new markets? Mobile phone networks? The iPad and App Store? BluRay and DVD? What's next?