Remember this past Christmas, when Cartoon Network temporarily extended its’ children’s programming an extra hour? We all thought the Stuart Snyder, the man in charge of CN, had finally seen the light and was making a genuine effort to bridge the disconnect he has with CN’s audience. Well, it turns out….
Yeah, I hope you enjoyed that bone you got tossed, ’cause that’s gonna be it for a while. This week Snyder announced that starting March 31st, CN’s Adult Swim block will be expanded yet another hour, beginning at 8 P.M. Viewers’ reaction was swift and concise:
The irony here is so delicious that it must be fattening. We all thought that after December, Cartoon Network would be GAINING an hour of programming back, but it turns out CN will be LOSING another hour. Call it Jetix Disease.
For those who don’t know, Jetix was a programming block of new and original shows (mostly action cartoons) which was implemented onto Toon Disney in 2004. In short order, the Jetix shows began scoring higher ratings than anything on Toon Disney (largely because the Jetix shows were new and the rest of TD’s schedule consisted of canceled reruns tying into TD’s nostalgia channel theme), and as a result, Jetix gradually began taking up more and more air space, spreading across the channel like some sort of virus, to the point where 85% of the channel’s programming was Jetix shows and Toon Disney seemed like a tiny block on the Jetix channel, leading the Mouse House to rebrand the entire channel as Disney X-D. It’s looking like Adult Swim is the new Jetix.
Why is Snyder doing this? According to the man himself, it’s because 6-14 year old boys are watching less TV and spending more time online, and he wants expand Adult Swim to garnish more appeal for young adults. OK, 2 things: one, I think it’s truly sad that 6-14 year old boys are the only audience Snyder cares about (talk about a 1-track mind) and two, he doesn’t think that CN’s current hits Adventure Time and Regular Show, both of which have proven to have crossover appeal to young adults, fit the bill at 8 P.M.?
I admit that my opinion isn’t an unbiased one, as I’m not the biggest Adult Swim fan there is. I’m not even a medium-sized fan. Aside from The Venture Brothers, The Boondocks and China, IL., I don’t watch anything on Adult Swim. I don’t even think AS should be on 7 days a week, since the current block is not only a dismal shadow of its’ former self but it barely has enough shows to stretch across 9 hours, forget giving them a 10th, but that’s just me. If we were going to to get decent shows like Home Movies, Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, The Oblongs, Mission Hill, Daria, Dilbert, Duckman and Liquid Television (BTW, I know some of these shows would never air on a Turner owned station, but I mean shows of this nature) during the 8 P.M. hour, then I probably wouldn’t mind this so much, since I only watch a show or 2 on CN right now anyway, but you and I know what this extra hour will contain: more FOX Animation Domination leftovers. Another hour of King of the Hill and American Dad reruns. Yay. Some are hoping that AS’ new hour will consist of an expanded Toonami, but since viewers would actually enjoy that, it’s most likely not going to happen.
(Some of the DC Nation shows would’ve also been choice to see at 8 P.M., but sadly, thanks to more CN mismanagement, DC Nation is a joke now, showing nothing but–gag!–Teen Titans Go! and filler material.)
Ironically, the 1 channel that may actually benefit from Snyder’s dumb-assery is CN’s less popular little sister, Boomerang. In the midst of all of this, Boomerang is apparently going to be remade into an ad-supported kids and family channel said to consist of both classic and contemporary cartoons. Da Boom has already began airing corporate sponsored ads. That description sounds like they’re planning to make Boomerang into a Hub Network type of channel, the prospects of which are making my mouth water. The only hiccup here is that the presence of ad support means that the channel will now depend on ratings to survive, and this will inevitably lead to the addition of new and original programming; not surprisingly, many retro fans fear that this will mean that the classic cartoons are going to be shown a lot less love, and sadly, that is a likely prospect. However, we have to keep in mind that that if things were to stay as they are now on Boomerang, we’d only ever see the same 10 to 20 episodes of the same 4 or 5 Hanna-Barbera shows aired over and over again. Forgoing this for the relaunch of Boomerang into a potentially fresh, diverse and awesome network is a sacrifice worth making in my opinion. I hope that the classic cartoons have a place somewhere on this new channel, because based on what I’m hearing this new Boom has the potential to be a mix of Hub Network and the Powerhouse era CN, and that could be great if The Powers That Be don’t drop the ball on it.
We asked Snyder himself to comment on his mode of thinking, and here’s what he had to say: