Warner Bros. has promoted Adult Swim exec Jason DeMarco to SVP of anime and long-form action series for Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios.
In this newly created role DeMarco started on August 1, he reports to Sam Register, president of both Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios, and Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim. DeMarco will continue to work as SVP and head of anime and action series for Adult Swim.
DeMarco is responsible for identifying and developing animated action and anime projects for all ages. He will create original content, give library content an anime and action twist, and produce third-party projects to build a slate of long-form programming. He will also guide the creative direction, development and promotion for Adult Swim’s Toonami block, which broadcasts anime and animated-action programming.
The first new project on the anime slate is feature film The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim, which Warner Bros. Animation is producing with New Line Cinema. On the TV side, DeMarco is overseeing production on the new anime shows Fena: Pirate Princess, Uzumaki and Blade Runner: Black Lotus.
DeMarco has been at Adult Swim and Cartoon Network for more than two decades, and in that time has served as EP on anime series FLCL Alternative and FLCL Progressive; co-created and managed Toonami; and founded Adult Swim’s William Street Records.
Cartoon Network is no stranger to anime having greenlit Samurai Jack and picked up shows such as Bakugan: Battle Planet in the past. Last year, it teamed up with anime SVOD Crunchyroll to relaunch Toonami on Cartoon Network LatAm and stock it with known and fresh IP, including Dragon Ball Super and Mob Psycho 100.
Anime is a popular genre among kids—on Netflix in the US anime shows Avatar: The Last Airbender, Naruto and The Legend of Korra topped the SVODs most-watched kids series, according to the NPD Group. The demand for anime content is also on the rise, jumping 32% in the US during Q1 2021, compared to last year, according to Parrot Analytics.