Cartoon Network teams with NBA

BasketballCartoon Network is partnering with the NBA to develop basketball-themed programming, with one series already in development. 

Expanding Cartoon parent company Turner's 25-year-old relationship with the sports organization, the new arrangement calls for the network to create new content on-air, online and for mobile devices. First in the pipeline is a shortform series called "My Dad’s a Pro," following the children of NBA players that will debut at the start of the NBA season this fall.

You have to feel for the writers who get saddled with an assignment to create shows for this kind of corporate maneuver. It's like in "Barton Fink" when the studio executive wants a wrestling movie. "Write me an NBA-themed cartoon and make it funny to our audience of cartoon fans who don't watch basketball and don't make any jokes that offend the NBA." Yikes. 

Here's three executives fighting with each other to see who can give the least substantive press release quote:

"We’re thrilled to be teaming up with one of the world’s most preeminent sports brands," said Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media. "This partnership with the NBA is part of the ongoing sports strategy at Cartoon Network and is a perfect extension of our brand that will allow us to continue to create even more relevant and compelling content that speaks directly to our audience."

"Cartoon Network represents the best in entertainment for kids and families, and new shows like 'My Dad’s a Pro' demonstrate the kind of innovative programming we hope to produce in this new partnership," said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Adam Silver.

"This collaboration is a further extension of the strong business relationship and long-term partnership we have developed with the NBA," said David Levy, president of Turner Sports and Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc.  "The expansion of our partnership with the league speaks to the strength of our company.  Whether it’s sports, kids’ entertainment or news programming, Turner delivers strong content on a multitude of platforms."

Turner's TNT airs NBA regular season doubleheaders on Thursdays, covers the NBA All-Star game and will air more than 40 playoff games this year.

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