Gephyrophillia | Watch This Space #55

Originally Posted on 03/28/2003 by Jeff Harris

The only thing yesterday's New York Daily News got right was that the budget cuts by AOL Time Warner has hurt Cartoon Network in a big way. Fortunately, the new crew at Turner Broadcasting are going to rectify that, but we already knew that. In yesterday's issue, the Plugged In article basically said that the kid ratings for Cartoon Network has fallen 15% from a year ago and ad buys are going to fall 10% in the kid market. The New York Daily News, a paper somewhere between the prestigious New York Times and the tabloid-trash New York Post, also said that they haven't had a new hit show since 1998 when The Powerpuff Girls premiered (I'm gonna rant about THAT little fact in a bit, so simmer down). The article also said that they no longer pose a threat to Nickelodeon.

Okay, I'm through breaking down the article piece by piece. Now I'm gonna break down the facts. I would like to call it no-spin, but that's just a silly phrase.

One notion that the NYDN kept on repeating was that Cartoon Network is a kids' network. That, Ms. Furman, is FALSE! Cartoon Network has never limited itself by labels, especially that "kids' network" label. And kami knows they didn't embrace it as much as Nickelodeon did. Sure, there are a lot of kids' shows on Cartoon Network, but a large percentage of the viewers are adults, something Cartoon Network finally realized when they launched Adult Swim in 2001. Yes, the article does call Adult Swim (although not by name . . . fools!) a diversion. Funny thing about that is the person that suggested it was in fact an employee of Summit Media.

Fun fact boys and girls. Do you know who owns Summit Media? 4Kids Entertainment, the folks behind Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and the Fox Box. Their business is in kids' programming and ad sales, so you know they'd have a problem with Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. It diverts from their primary interest, which is trying to get CN to buy more of their pap.

And this whole marlarky about Cartoon Network not having a new hit show since Powerpuff Girls doesn't scratch. Cartoon Network's Toonami block has been giving the network much reason to celebrate. Dragon Ball Z is the network's top show (has been for almost four years; now why wasn't that mentioned in the article?) and the other shows on the block are doing well. The primetime block has had a steady increase since last fall, thanks in part to the revamped lineups without a heavy emphasis on Cartoon Cartoon rerun reruns, as had been the case since the turn of the millennium. The article also doesn't pay attention to the fact that the ratings for shows AFTER 9 PM are on the rise. Guess they figure that if they're not talking about kids, ratings are a joke.

I'm not saying that the article wasn't inaccurate about talking about the faults of Cartoon Network. I'm saying that they should have just concentrated on the big picture rather than just the kids. Kids are strange creatures and Cartoon Network already knows that animation isn't just for kids.

Now if only others learned that rule.

Until we are one, later.
Jeff Harris
CNX Creator/Webmaster
March 28, 2003


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