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Cartoon Network Takes Upfronts on the Road

Cartoon Network is jumping ahead of the customary Kids Upfront season and taking its show on the road with the Cartoon Network Road Tour.

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.” 

Further details of Cartoon Network’s programming announcements include the following:

Cartoon Network New Series

  • Incredible Crew: Incredible Crew, is a live-action, half-hour, sketch comedy series from producer and entertainer Nick Cannon. Every episode of this high-energy, fast-paced show delivers hilarious comedy bits, outrageous hidden camera pranks, original music videos and commercial parodies all with a distinct attitude—a contemporary blend of internet sensibility mixed with kid imagination. Incredible Crew showcases six up-and-coming young comedy stars featured in diverse roles in every genre Shauna Case (American Horror Story), Shameik Moore (Joyful Noise), Tristan Pasterick, Chanelle Peloso (Level Up), Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time) and Brandon Soo Hoo (Enders Game, Tropic Thunder). Nick Cannon serves as executive producer of Incredible Crew along with Michael Goldman and Scott Tomlinson. The series is produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with NCredible Entertainment.
  • StevenUniverse: Slated to debut in 2013, Steven Universe isa coming-of-age story told from the perspective of Steven, the youngestmember of a team of magical Guardians of the Universe. The animated serieswas conceived as part of the shorts developmentinitiative at Cartoon Network Studios, and is created by Emmy and AnnieAward-nominated writer and storyboard artist Rebecca Sugar (AdventureTime). Sugar is Cartoon Network’s first solo female show creator.
  • UncleGrandpa: Also slated for 2013, Uncle Grandpa isbased upon the Emmy-nominated short of the same name and follows theexploits of Uncle Grandpa—everyone in the world's “magical” uncle and grandpa. Created and executive produced by Pete Browngardt (creator ofCartoon Network’s Emmy, Annie and Annecy Cristal Award-winning SecretMountain Fort Awesome), Uncle Grandpa was conceived as part of the shorts development program atCartoon Network Studios.
  • Clarence: From creator Skyler Page, Clarence is a new original animated series about an optimistic boywho wants to do everything. Because everything is amazing! Clarence was conceived as part of the shorts developmentprogram at Cartoon Network Studios.
  • Teen Titans Go!: Featuring the return ofRobin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg in all-new, comedicadventures, Teen Titans Go! willpremiere in April 2013. Character-driven comedy is the order of the day asthis new take on the superhero series focuses on the funny business thathappens between saving the world and living together as teenagers withoutadult supervision. The series stars the principal voice cast from theoriginal Teen Titans, and isproduced by Warner Bros. Animation. 
  • Bewarethe Batman: A cool, new take onthe classic Dark Knight franchise,Beware the Batman incorporates Batman’s core characters witha rogue gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form.Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstressKatana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’scriminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toadand Magpie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this action-packeddetective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a “Batmanshow.” Featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals, Beware the Batman, basedon characters from DC Comics, is coming to Cartoon Network’s DC Nation block in Summer 2013.
  • Legends of Chima: In the mystical land of CHIMA, Laval the Lionand Cragger the Crocodile are the best of friends. An innocent escapaderesults in Cragger getting his first experience with the CHI, a powerfuland sacred resource important to the delicate balance of CHIMA. The CHIgives awesome power to the user but needs to be managed carefully andcertainly not by young adventurous animals. From LEGO, creator of CartoonNetwork’s powerhouse action-adventure series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, Legends of Chima will premierein Summer 2013.
  • Grojband: 12-year-old Corey is the front man for arockin’ garage band. There’s just one problem: Corey’s lyrics stink. Hejust can’t think of anything cool to write about, until…he finds hissister’s diary that’s full of “teen angst and junk” and decides to useeach diary entry as inspiration for crowd pleasing, heart stopping, footstomping hit songs. Grojband isdistributed by FremantleMedia Ltd. and produced by Fresh TV, creator ofthe hit animated reality franchise TotalDrama Island.
  • The Tomand Jerry Show: The iconic catand mouse rivals are back in The Tom and Jerry Show, a fresh take on the classicseries. Preserving the look, characters and sensibility of the original,the all-new series shines a brightly colored, high-definition lens on themadcap slapstick and never-ending battle that has made Tom and Jerry twoof the most beloved characters of all time. The Tom and Jerry Show is produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
  • TotalDrama All Stars: Total Drama isback, but this time the team at Fresh TV have assembled the best loved andmost hated contestants from seasons past to compete - Heroes vs. Villainsstyle! Total Drama Island isproduced by Fresh TV and distributed by CAKE Distribution.

Specials and Movies

  • AdventureTime Special: Highly-regardedcomedic actors Neil Patrick Harris (HowI Met Your Mother) and Donald Glover (Community) will be featured in a special episode of CartoonNetwork’s hit animated series AdventureTime. The episode, “Bad Little Boy,” is slated to premiere February 18as part of the series’ fifth and current season. Reprising his role asPrince Gumball from season three’s much-loved gender switch episode“Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake,” Neil Patrick Harris will joinDonald Glover, as Marshall Lee, the musical male counterpart to fanfavorite Marceline the Vampire Queen in this second installment of theFionna and Cake (derived from Finn and Jake) saga. Inthis special episode, the princessesare sick and tired of Ice King’s crazy Fionna and Cake stories, soMarceline stops by the Ice Kingdom to show him how it’s done. 
  • RegularShow Special: Regular Show, Cartoon Network'sEmmy Award-winning animated comedy featuring best friends Mordecai, asix-foot-tall blue jay and Rigby, a hyperactive raccoon, is slated for a30-minute Thanksgiving special, Regular Show style. Mordecai and Rigbyaccidentally ruin Thanksgiving and must find a way to save it before theirfamilies arrive for dinner. The gang pulls together to help make it thebest Thanksgiving ever! Regular Show,currently in its' fourth season, has become an instant hit continuallyranking #1 in its time period among all key boy demos across all oftelevision according to Nielsen Media Research.
  • The Powerpuff GirlsSpecial: “Sugar, Spice andEverything Nice…plus a dash of mysterious Chemical X” were the essentialingredients that created Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup—also known as ThePowerpuff Girls. This groundbreaking and Emmy-winning series, createdby Craig McCracken, ran on Cartoon Network from 1998-2005 and will soaragain as a brand-new, redesigned and re-imagined CG special coming in 2013where the trio of pint-sized super heroines will be called upon to rescuenot just the city of Townsville, but the USA and the world! Featuring anoriginal song “I Wish I Was A Powerpuff Girl” performed by Beatleslegend Ringo Starr, who also portrays Townsville’s most famous flamboyantmathematician, “Fibonacci Sequins,” this all-new original special comesfrom a powerhouse creative team featuring animation talent from around theglobe including acclaimed director Dave Smith and award-winning art directorKevin Dart and is produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association withUK’s Passion Pictures. The special also features the original voice castreprising their iconic roles and will premiere later this year.
  • The YodaChronicles: LEGO Star Wars returns in epic style with THE YODA CHRONICLES, a thrilling, funny andaction-packed new LEGO Star Wars story told in three animated TVspecials! Set in the “Prequel” Star Wars timeline, THE YODACHRONICLES stars the one and only Yoda—the Jedi Master who has seen itall, done it all, and taught generations of Jedi Knights—in an all-newadventure. With the help of a fresh class of Padawans, Yoda leads the Jediin a desperate fight to stop Darth Sidious and his minions from creating anew super-weapon that could crush the Republic and win the war for theforces of Evil.

Source: Cartoon Network