Cartoon Network Upfront Slate Pushes Digital With 'Always On'
Cartoon Network kicked off its upfront season Monday morning by announcing a lengthy new slate of original and acquired programs and the first digital-only efforts for its new Always On initiative.
The push into multiplatform viewing for the network's younger audience comes as older-skewing Adult Swim moves to the early start time of 8 p.m. at the end of March. Elsewhere on the digital front, Cartoon Network Anything, a micro-network similar to Vine, will debut later in the year. The mobile-targeted effort will feature games, activities, trivia and clips, each lasting an average of 10 to 15 seconds.
On Cartoon Network's slate is another first for the network: an animated miniseries. Over the Garden Wall, a 10-part fantasy series, will include the voice talent of Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey. Read on for the full slate.
New original and acquired programming:
Over the Garden Wall: Headlined by an all-star voice cast that includes Elijah Wood (Lord of the Rings trilogy), Collin Dean (The War at Home) and Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men), Over the Garden Wall is Cartoon Network's first event miniseries, an animated comedy/fantasy story about two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are trapped in a mysterious world. In this 10-part miniseries, Wirt and Greg must travel across this strange land until they find their way home, aided by a wise, old Woodsman who gives them directions and a bluebird named Beatrice. Music plays an important role in the series, with a soundtrack full of Americana-influenced original songs. Over the Garden Wall is created by Pat McHale and produced by Cartoon Network Studios.
Clarence: From creator Skyler Page and premiering Monday, April 14, at 7 p.m., Clarence is a new, original animated series about an optimistic boy who wants to do everything. Because everything is amazing! Clarence was conceived as part of the prolific shorts development program at Cartoon Network Studios, which has resulted in six original series for the network: Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe, Clarence, Over the Garden Wall and We Bare Bears.
We Bare Bears: We Bare Bears is a comedy about three bear siblings named Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. Each episode follows their awkward attempts at assimilating into human society, whether they're looking for food, trying to make human friends or scheming to become Internet famous. Whatever the situation, it's obvious that being a bear in the civilized, modern world is tough -- but at least they have each other. Created by Annie Award-winner Daniel Chong (Toy Story of Terror!), We Bare Bears is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.
The Tom and Jerry Show: The iconic cat and mouse rivals are back in The Tom and Jerry Show, a new, fresh take on the classic series. Preserving the look, characters and sensibility of the original, the all-new series shines a brightly colored, high-definition lens on the madcap slapstick and never-ending battle that has made Tom and Jerry two of the most beloved characters of all time. The Tom and Jerry Show is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and will premiere Wednesday, April 9, at 5:30 p.m.
Be Cool Scooby-Doo!: Be Cool Scooby-Doo! is an all new 22-minute animated comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation. The Scooby gang is back with a modern comedic twist on the beloved classic. With high school over and one last summer to live it up, the gang hits the road in the Mystery Machine, chasing fun and adventure. But monsters and mayhem keep getting in the way.
Wabbit -- A Looney Tunes Production: The hilarious, heroic and mischievous Bugs Bunny you know and love is back! From Warner Bros. Animation, the all new series consists of comedic shorts that find the iconic, carrot-loving rabbit matching wits against (and getting the best of) classic characters like Yosemite Sam and Wile E. Coyote. Along the way, Bugs will encounter brand-new foes -- and he'll have some help from new friends like Bigfoot and Squeaks the squirrel.
LEGO® NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu: Continuing its robust partnership with The LEGO Group, Cartoon Network will re-introduce viewers to the awesome world of NINJAGO: Masters of Spinjitzu with six new half-hour animated specials in 2014, followed by all new episodes of the highly popular series slated for 2015.
Sonic Boom™: Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of the world's biggest gaming icons for over 20 years, and this year a new branch of the Sonic universe debuts, entitled Sonic Boom™. With a new look for Sonic and friends, the franchise's first-ever CG animated television series, an action-packed comedy adventure, will premiere on Cartoon Network with support from an extensive video game release of the same name. The Sonic Boom television series, coproduced by SEGA® of America, Inc. and OuiDO! Productions, will debut on Cartoon Network in the 2014/2015 season.
Total Drama: Pahkitew Island: All new island! All new cast! Same old disregard for human safety! The Total Drama series returns as Chris and Chef put the newest generation of contestants through the craziest challenges yet -- all for a chance to win one million dollars! Total Drama: Pahkitew Island is produced by Fresh TV Inc.
Numb Chucks: Woodchuck brothers Dilweed and Fungus didn't see themselves as mystical kung fu saviors until they stumbled upon an infomercial featuring mega-legend Woodchuck Morris' mullet-fueled motivational kung fu video The Way of the Chuck! With an endless supply of confidence (but a limited supply of brain cells) and countless hours of watching the video, this dimwitted duo transmorph-ified into THE NUMB CHUCKS!
BeyRaiderz: Sho, Jin and Leon find themselves trapped on a strange world once defended by the Six Mythic Beasts who upheld justice and brought prosperity for all through the battling BeyRaiderz tournaments. When the Beasts mysteriously disappeared, the world fell into ruin, and now it's up to Sho and his friends to uncover the hidden BeyRaiderz stadiums, battle to bring the Beasts back and restore prosperity to the world!
Original Always On programming:
Angelo Rules (Season 2): For a kid, life can be a daily battle. There are adults, siblings, teachers and rivals telling them what to do, what not to do, what to say … Well, it's time for kids to take control and Angelo's here to show the way! He observes and then comes up with elaborate strategies to wheedle, sweet-talk, con and work around any adversary. Season two of this new series comes from TeamTo and Cake Entertainment.
Detentionaire: Framed for a major prank and punished with a full year of detention, high schooler Lee Ping sneaks out of detention to try to expose who was really behind the prank and avoid being caught by the school's principal, Barrage. After clearing his name, Lee again attempts to sneak out of Barrage's upgraded detention room, discovering that a strange pyramid under the school has something to do with Lee's key, the parents council and the blue tazwurms. There is more to the school than meets the eye! Created by animators Daniel Bryan Franklin and Charles Johnston, Detentionaire is distributed by Nelvana.
Rocket Jo: Rocket Jo is an inventor-adventurer: His unique goal is to get his jet pack to function and send him flying in the air for good … without effect. But his valiant attempts are false promises to viewers' great delight, as there always are failures, gags, explosions, falls, etc. Produced by Millimages and 2D3D, the show features Rocket Jo working hard and drawing upon all his imagination to make viewers laugh -- both children and parents.