With lots to celebrate on its 20th anniversary, including its best first quarter with kids six to 11 in primetime in five years (up 28%), Cartoon Network US made its annual upfront presentation to advertisers yesterday afternoon in New York, announcing seven new series and 17 returning shows.
Included in CN’s lineup is a new animated series based on hit feature film How to Train Your Dragon. The previously announced show has been named DreamWorks Dragons: The Series and will bow worldwide this fall.
A new half-hour sketch comedy series for kids starring entertainer Nick Cannon will also join the sked. This live-actioner is being produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with NCredible Entertainment.
Making its debut as a television series this summer will be viral sensation Annoying Orange (The Collective), followed in the fall by new animated series Ben 10: Omniverse, based on CN’s high-mileage hit property for boys.
CN and Lego are also planning on developing a new Lego-based series for 2013, looking to extend the success they experienced with martial arts-themed Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu.
Rounding out the lineup of new content is a CG-animated series from Warner Bros. Animation entitled Beware the Batman, plus Fresh TV’s spin-offTotal Drama: Revenge of the Island, premiering this summer.
For specials, a third Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards will air in 2013, created and produced in association with IMG Media.
Along with renewing its shorts program by committing to produce 10 original seven-minute shorts this year, CN also announced plans for a worldwide rollout of new online racing game Formula Cartoon, which will let users play against their friends and favorite Cartoon Network characters.
Meanwhile, returning series to the US network include Adventure Time, Regular Show, MAD, The Amazing World of Gumball, The Looney Tunes Show, Ninjago, Level Up, Star Wars: The Clone Wars 9,Young Justice, Johnny Test, Pokémon, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Almost Naked Animals , Casper’s Scare School , Hero: 108 , Scaredy Squirrel and Sidekick.
Picture from yesterday’s upfront courtesy of Cartoon Network. From left to right: CN sales, marketing and enterprises EVP John O’Hara, CN chief content officer Rob Sorcher, CN president/COO Stuart Snyder, and Turner Broadcasting sales EVP (AYAKM/truTV) Joe Hogan.