ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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 NETWORKING 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.
- Steven Universe: Slated to debut in 2013, Steven Universe is a coming-of-age story told from the perspective of Steven, the youngest member of a team of magical Guardians of the Universe. The animated series was conceived as part of the shorts development initiative at Cartoon Network Studios, and is created by Emmy® and Annie Award-nominated writer and storyboard artist Rebecca Sugar (Adventure Time). Sugar is Cartoon Network’s first solo female show creator.
- Uncle Grandpa: Also slated for 2013, Uncle Grandpa is based upon the Emmy®-nominated short of the same name and follows the exploits of Uncle Grandpa—everyone in the world's “magical” uncle and grandpa. Created and executive produced by Pete Browngardt (creator of Cartoon Network’s Emmy®, Annie and Annecy Cristal Award-winning Secret Mountain Fort Awesome), Uncle Grandpa was conceived as part of the shorts development program at Cartoon Network Studios.
- Clarence: From creator Skyler Page, 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 shorts development program at Cartoon Network Studios.
- Teen Titans Go!: Featuring the return of Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg in all-new, comedic adventures, Teen Titans Go! will premiere in April 2013. Character-driven comedy is the order of the day as this new take on the superhero series focuses on the funny business that happens between saving the world and living together as teenagers without adult supervision. The series stars the principal voice cast from the original Teen Titans, and is produced by Warner Bros. Animation.
- Beware the Batman: A cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise, Beware the Batman incorporates Batman’s core characters with a rogue gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad and Magpie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this action-packed detective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a “Batman show.” Featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals, Beware the Batman, based on 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 Lion and Cragger the Crocodile are the best of friends. An innocent escapade results in Cragger getting his first experience with the CHI, a powerful and sacred resource important to the delicate balance of CHIMA. The CHI gives awesome power to the user but needs to be managed carefully and certainly not by young adventurous animals. From LEGO, creator of Cartoon Network’s powerhouse action-adventure series Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, Legends of Chima will premiere in Summer 2013.
- Grojband: 12-year-old Corey is the front man for a rockin’ garage band. There’s just one problem: Corey’s lyrics stink. He just can’t think of anything cool to write about, until…he finds his sister’s diary that’s full of “teen angst and junk” and decides to use each diary entry as inspiration for crowd pleasing, heart stopping, foot stomping hit songs. Grojband is distributed by FremantleMedia Ltd. and produced by Fresh TV, creator of the hit animated reality franchise Total Drama Island.
- The Tom and Jerry Show: The iconic cat and mouse rivals are back in The Tom and Jerry Show, a 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.
- Total Drama All Stars: Total Drama is back, but this time the team at Fresh TV have assembled the best loved and most hated contestants from seasons past to compete - Heroes vs. Villains style! Total Drama Island is produced by Fresh TV and distributed by CAKE Distribution.
SPECIALS AND MOVIES
- Adventure Time Special: Highly-regarded comedic actors Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) and Donald Glover (Community) will be featured in a special episode of Cartoon Network’s hit animated series Adventure Time. The episode, “Bad Little Boy,” is slated to premiere February 18 as part of the series’ fifth and current season. Reprising his role as Prince Gumball from season three’s much-loved gender switch episode “Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake,” Neil Patrick Harris will join Donald Glover, as Marshall Lee, the musical male counterpart to fan favorite Marceline the Vampire Queen in this second installment of the Fionna and Cake (derived from Finn and Jake) saga. In this special episode, the princesses are sick and tired of Ice King’s crazy Fionna and Cake stories, so Marceline stops by the Ice Kingdom to show him how it’s done.
- Regular Show Special: Regular Show, Cartoon Network's Emmy® Award-winning animated comedy featuring best friends Mordecai, a six-foot-tall blue jay and Rigby, a hyperactive raccoon, is slated for a 30-minute Thanksgiving special, Regular Show style. Mordecai and Rigby accidentally ruin Thanksgiving and must find a way to save it before their families arrive for dinner. The gang pulls together to help make it the best Thanksgiving ever! Regular Show, currently in its' fourth season, has become an instant hit continually ranking #1 in its time period among all key boy demos across all of television according to Nielsen Media Research.
- The Powerpuff Girls Special: “Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice…plus a dash of mysterious Chemical X” were the essential ingredients that created Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup—also known as The Powerpuff Girls. This groundbreaking and Emmy®-winning series, created by Craig McCracken, ran on Cartoon Network from 1998-2005 and will soar again as a brand-new, redesigned and re-imagined CG special coming in 2013 where the trio of pint-sized super heroines will be called upon to rescue not just the city of Townsville, but the USA and the world! Featuring an original song “I Wish I Was A Powerpuff Girl” performed by Beatles legend Ringo Starr, who also portrays Townsville’s most famous flamboyant mathematician, “Fibonacci Sequins,” this all-new original special comes from a powerhouse creative team featuring animation talent from around the globe including acclaimed director Dave Smith and award-winning art director Kevin Dart and is produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with UK’s Passion Pictures. The special also features the original voice cast reprising their iconic roles and will premiere later this year.
- The Yoda Chronicles: LEGO Star Wars returns in epic style with THE YODA CHRONICLES, a thrilling, funny and action-packed new LEGO Star Wars story told in three animated TV specials! Set in the “Prequel” Star Wars timeline, THE YODA CHRONICLES stars the one and only Yoda—the Jedi Master who has seen it all, done it all, and taught generations of Jedi Knights—in an all-new adventure. With the help of a fresh class of Padawans, Yoda leads the Jedi in a desperate fight to stop Darth Sidious and his minions from creating a new super-weapon that could crush the Republic and win the war for the forces of Evil.
- Adventure Time
- Regular Show
- Annoying Orange
- The Amazing World of Gumball
- The Looney Tunes Show
- Ben 10 Omniverse
- Dreamworks Dragons: Riders of Berk
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc.
- Johnny Test
- Pokémon Black & White: Adventures in Unova
- Beyblade Metal Fury
- Almost Naked Animals
- Scaredy Squirrel
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) is the #1 U.S. television network among boys 6-11. Currently seen in 99 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.