Cable television’s growth means cartoon lovers have a few more
choices than when shows like “Top Cat” and “The Jetsons” were in
Networks continue to expand their lineups to remain competitive
and satisfy viewers and advertisers looking for the next hit,
officials said. Cartoon Network recently announced the addition of
three shows and Nickelodeon has two new ones. Both studios are based
“We are looking to green-light more properties faster, and get
more new shows on in a quicker manner,” said Brian Miller, Cartoon
Network senior vice president and general manager.
The three new programs Miller’s network is producing this year are
on par with the number of new shows announced in recent years.
The studio has hired 20 employees to work on “LowBrow,” an
action-comedy series produced in Burbank. The other shows are
produced in Sherman Oaks, Miller said.
Nickelodeon is also maintaining a steady output of new work, with
production underway on “My Life as a Teenage Robot” and “Danny
Phantom” at the Burbank studio. About 50 workers are being added to
the employee roster of 300, Nickelodeon spokeswoman Nicole Mazer
“Danny Phantom” was created by Butch Hartman, who works at
Nickelodeon as creator of “The Fairly OddParents.” New shows pitched
to the network do not come unsolicited, but as in-house referrals or
through agents, Mazer said.
Both networks said the timing of the announcement about the new
shows corresponds to the cycle of selling cable advertising. But
there is another reason for the timing.
“On broadcast, seasons tend to start in September,” Miller said.
“In cable, it’s really not that way. Releasing shows in the summer
works for us because we cater to a kids’ market.”
Because developing original shows has produced successful
franchises like “The Powerpuff Girls,” networks have become more
willing to take risks with untested properties, said Antran
Manoogian, president of Burbank-based ASIFA- Hollywood, the
International Animated Film Society.
"[In the past], most of what you saw in television was based on
pre-sold properties, like a comic book,” Manoogian said. “It seems
like you’re seeing more original properties being developed, [that]
are creator-driven or original ideas.”