It’s perhaps a dark day for animation when the most-watched telecast in Cartoon Network history is a live-action movie, but at least Ben 10: Race Against Time is a live-action movie based on a hit animated series and featuring a healthy dose of CG-animated effects. The 90-minute telepic premiered in prime-time on Wednesday night and drew in nearly 4 million viewers ages two and up, out-performing the network’s 2002 presentation of Dragon Ball Z, which previously held the record.
Directed by Alex Winter, who co-stared with Keanu Reeves in the Bill and Ted movies, Race Against Time stars Graham Phillips (Evan Almighty) as Ben Tennyson, a normal 10-year-old boy who finds a piece of alien technology that allows him to transform into a variety of super aliens. Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man) also stars as Grandpa Max, who uses his past experiences with the paranormal to guide and protect his grandchildren, Ben and Gwen, through their many adventures in fighting evil.
Citing Nielsen ratings data, Cartoon Network says Race Against Time was also the top telecast of the day on all television’both cable and broadcast’with boys 6-11 and boys 2-11. The show also led the Network to post its most-watched day ever in total day delivery with kids 6-11 (785,000), kids 2-11 (1,101,000), boys 6-11 (615,000) and boys 2-11 (840,000).
The first live-action Ben 10 outing tied with the 2002 telecast of Dragon Ball Z as Cartoon Network’s most-watched telecast among boys 6-11 with approximately 1,210,000 viewers in the coveted demographic. The property was also popular on the web, where the network’s sneak peek of Race Against Time garnered 666,000 plays to rank as the most-played video spot on CartoonNetwork.com. In addition, the online game Ben 10: Race Against Time’Savage Pursuit was played 14.8 million times since its Oct. 15 launch.