Will the force help Cartoon Network conquer Friday night ratings? We’ll have to wait for the fall debut of George Lucas’ Star Wars: The Clone Wars to find out, but the net was certainly banking on the series to woo kids ad buyers at its annual upfront presentation held yesterday in New York.
Describing the series as a ‘game changer,’ Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Animation, unveiled a new trailer of the series yesterday, and the LucasFilms project will be joined by a new animated series from Warner Bros. Animation, Batman: The Brave and the Bold; Ben 10: Alien Force; and the previously announced The Secret Saturdays on the new Friday night adventure block.
The net has also designated Thursday nights as its new destination for comedy. Anchored by 2007 breakout hit Chowder, which has been picked up for a second season, Thursdays will also feature Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo and George of the Jungle, and offer a platform for new series launches, including this summer’s The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Sunday nights have been set aside for a new (as yet unnamed) movie block. Launching in June, the network will showcase a film each week, including the world television premieres of big-screen fare Ant Bully, Hoodwinked, Monster House and Open Season.
Additionally, the net’s The Cartoonstitute is up and running and looking to create up to 150 pieces of programming over a period of 20 months. Power Puff and Foster’s executive producer Craig McCracken is spearheading the new in-house, artist-led content hatchery with help from Dexter’s Laboratorycreator Rob Renzetti.
The Cartoonstitute is aiming to foster an in-house, all-star team of artists, directors, storyboarders and writers focused on generating content across a number of platforms, by first launching short toons that can move into series production.