Nickelodeon may be in trouble.
Yesterday, Cartoon Network unveiled a look into their future programming during their upfront event at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City and–for the most part–we liked what we saw.
The kids’ network is aligning with Nick Cannon, DreamWorks, a hit YouTube star, a box office blockbuster and continuing its successful Lucasfilms partnership.
Cartoon Network will launch six new series including two that are spinoffs of previous popular franchises “Ben 10” and “Total Drama Island.”
Among the returning shows are 16 series consisting of “The Looney Tunes Show,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Pokémon” (yes, that’s still around) and “Johnny Test.”
Premiering: This Summer
After garnering more than 1 billion YouTube hits, it was only a matter of time until the Orange made its way to television. We've never found the fruit and his comrades anything albeit what the headline offers, but we can't argue the numbers, yet.
Conrad Vernon (Madagascar 3, Monsters vs. Aliens) will act as executive producer with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein.
'Annoying Orange' is the Web sensation transformed into a new television series that follows Orange and his buddies as they go on a wide range of adventures that take them from the fruit stand to parts unknown and everything in between.
Premiering: This Fall
The name probably sounds familiar because your kids may have his action figures or cards. And now Cartoon Network's most successful original show about alien hunter, Ben, is getting a spinoff.
Beating the bad guys is just part of the superhero gig. With a little help from his new, by-the-book rookie partner, Ben explores the quirkier side of things in the alien underground and discovers enemies from his past looking for a re-match, all while a mysterious hunter is hot on his trail!
No premiere date given.
We're never fans of any Batman cartoon that isn't Emmy-nominated but we're willing to give 'Batman: The Animated Series' a chance. Cartoon Network had another Batman cartoon flop--'Batman: The Brave and the Bold.' Hopefully, this one lasts a bit longer. The description held our attention until we arrived at Mister Toad and Magpie.
A cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise, Beware the Batman incorporates Batman's core characters with a rogues 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.
Premiering: This Summer
Think 'Survivor' but for your kids. They even fight for a fake million dollars. When you ask your kids why they're watching this, don't be surprised if they throw 'Survivor,' 'Big Brother' and 'The Amazing Race' in your face.
It's back to the island where Total Drama began with an all-new cast! Since the series' host Chris took the show worldwide, Camp Wawanakwa has been abandoned and turned into a toxic nuclear waste dump--the perfect place for new and painful, cringe-inducing challenges! Fighting for the million dollar prize are thirteen wild new players.
No premiere date given.
Nick Cannon directed and wrote the lyrics for this comedy series. Cartoon Network screened the short clip entitled, 'Runnin' Errands with my mum' in which lead actor Jeremy Shada and his family--including his mum--rap about chores. It seemed like the entire rap was occurring in the lead character's mind. We hope so; otherwise, it would be sort of weird if his mother was actually rapping all the time. If there's more rapping, the show should do fine both on TV and with viral videos.
The series is a live-action, half-hour, sketch comedy show rooted in raw mischief, high energy and slapstick humour. You'll never know what will happen next!
Premieres: This Fall
This is what we're most excited about--and what your kids will love, too. Based off of DreamWorks' 'How to Train Your Dragon,' Cartoon Network will release a weekly show picking up where the first film ended to build anticipation for the 2014 sequel. The best part is that the original cast from the film returns to voice the characters which is always a crowd pleaser. Disney animated crossovers have done this with the Genie. However, we couldn't have imagined Iago being played by anyone but Gilbert Gottfried.
Through their training, the kids are finding out the cool things dragons can do. Not only will they learn more about their dragons, they'll also discover new ones and battle against enemies as they explore worlds they never dreamed existed.
The network can only air reruns of 'The Fairly Odd Parents' and 'Spongebob Squarepants,' two of its biggest money earners for so long.
The channel seems to know this. At their Upfront earlier this month they claimed to have 650 hours of new programming, more than doubling the amount they offered last year. 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' (to complement the already heavily criticised Michael Bay film), an Avatar spinoff and a project with an 'X Factor' contestant (Wait. 'X Factor' is geared towards kids?) are all in the line up. Despite this, they're still betting on the sponge under the sea with a season renewal.
Nickelodeon has always faired well with band shows, one of their big money earners may be in a future project with pop group, 'One Direction.'
Despite their new line ups, Nickelodeon's lineup feels stale where Cartoon Network seems fresh and inviting. Nickelodeon could take a cue from its competition. There's a reason why its '90s segment does so well (their time slot had about an 850% ratings boost) and why there are countless pages on Facebook devoted to '90s Nickelodeon programming. Your fans are trying to tell you something.
Nickelodeon may need to take advice from one '90s show it's rebooting and 'Figure it Out.'
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