During its New York City upfront presentation, Cartoon Network announced today several new and returning series to its programming line-up including the world premiere of DreamWorks Dragons: The Series, Annoying Orange, Ben 10: Omniverse and Beware the Batman. Held at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, the presentation included live performances of classic Cartoon Network television theme songs and the creative talent behind the hit animated comedy series Adventure Time and Regular Show.
Announcements included a new sketch comedy show from entertainer Nick Cannon; the world premiere of DreamWorks Dragons: The Series, based on the critically-acclaimed feature film, How to Train Your Dragon; an original series based on Web sensation, Annoying Orange; a brand new animated series from the global franchise powerhouse, Ben 10: Omniverse; and a new CG-animated series from Warner Bros. Animation, Beware The Batman. Also, on the heels of the hugely successful Ninjago launch in 2011—which is currently the #1 show across 1st Quarter 2012 with all boys—a new partnership with LEGO for a second series was announced.
“We are executing a brand vision and content strategy that is fueling tremendous results for Cartoon Network,” said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer, Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM). “Today, with a re-invented and thriving prime time, along with overall double-digit growth in total day, we are building the kind of momentum that is making this a great 20th anniversary.”
CN also announced new upcoming seasons of its original hit animated comedy series Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, MAD and The Looney Tunes Show. A second season pick-up for the live-action comedy series Level Up, which debuted as the most watched live-action series in the network’s history, and a fith season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, also was announced.
Combined with top-performing acquisitions and specials, these programming anchors fueled 2011’s prime time performance as Cartoon Network’s most-watched in five years and set the stage for a record breaking first quarter in 2012. New seasons for more than a dozen additional series also will premiere across the 2012-13 programming timeframe.
Cartoon Network also announced its ongoing commitment to its shorts program with ten original 7-minute shorts to be produced this year with a wholly dedicated production unit at Cartoon Network Studios. With production already underway on many of these projects, this continuing investment in diverse and unique talent has resulted in many of the network’s hit animated series.
Annoying Orange: Boasting more than 1 billion YouTube online views to date, 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. The television series was developed and will be produced by The Collective. Dane Boedigheimer co-created the television series with Tom Sheppard (Emmy Award-winning writer for Pinky and the Brain). Conrad Vernon (director of Madagascar 3 and Monsters vs. Aliens) will serve as executive producer for the series along with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein of The Collective. The series will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
DreamWorks Dragons: The Series: Picking up where the critically-acclaimed feature film, How to Train Your Dragon, left off, this weekly animated series follows the continuing adventures of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless on the island of Berk, along with the band of dragon trainers, all of whom now have dragons of their own!
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. In addition, the talented cast from the feature film—Jay Baruchel (Hiccup), America Ferrera (Astrid), Christopher Mitz-Plasse (Fishlegs) and T.J. Miller (Tuffnut)—will lend their voices to the series, which is produced by DreamWorks Animation and premieres this fall.
Ben 10: Omniverse: In the brand-new animated series, Ben 10: Omniverse, Ben will have a new character design that pays homage to his past, and he’ll have a whole new batch of aliens to battle. 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! With 10 new aliens at his disposal and a brand new lease on life, Ben 10 is back and more fun than ever! Matt Youngberg is supervising producer for the series, which will premiere on Cartoon Network this fall.
Beware the Batman: 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. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this action-packed detective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a “Batman show.” Featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals to match the intricate twists and turns of the narrative, Batman steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight for an entirely new generation of fans. With WBA’s Sam Register executive producing, and Batman Beyond’s Glen Murakami and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated’s Mitch Watson producing, Beware the Batman, based on characters from DC Comics, is coming soon to Cartoon Network!
Total Drama: Revenge of the Island: 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. Total Drama: Revenge of the Island is produced by Fresh TV and will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
Returning series to the CN lineup include Adventure Time, Regular Show, MAD, The Amazing World of Gumball, The Looney Tunes Show, Ninjago, Level Up, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Young Justice, Johnny Test, Pokémon, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Almost Naked Animals, Casper’s Scare School, Hero 108, Scaredy Squirrel and Sidekick.