YOUNG JUSTICE, Firebreather, More at Cartoon Network Upfront
YOUNG JUSTICE, Firebreather, Announced
It’s not just about the ‘toons anymore.
Cartoon Network continues its gradual reinvention by announcing a variety of new programming initiatives in all shapes, sizes and formats at its annual upfront presentation to advertisers Wednesday in New York.
That includes a 21st-century relaunch of Looney Tunes. The legendary cartoon is getting a CGI overhaul for a new generation. The Looney Tunes Show debuts in the fall.
DC actually had a strong presence at the upfront, which is geared to get advertisers excited about the upcoming schedule and get them to buy ad time early.
DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns was also in attendance, as overseeing the various adaptations of DC’s heroes falls under his wide-ranging new responsibilities.
The other quarter-hour shows besides Mad are Regular Show, Robotomy and Secret Mountain Fort Awesome.
Other new animated shows coming later this year include:
Ben 10: Ultimate Alien – The latest series in the ‘Ben 10’ franchise, the title hero is now a teenage worldwide phenom.
Sym-Bionic Titan – Mix Transformers with Glee – and subtract the singing -- and you may be in the ballpark of the theme of this show, which features some impressive animation. Three alien teens crash land on Earth and disguise themselves as high schoolers so they can protect us from alien invaders.
Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated – It wouldn’t be a new Cartoon Network season without Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the gang. This time, they’ve set up shop in creepy Crystal Cove, solving whatever mysteries pop up.
Scenes from the upcoming animated movie Firebreather were also shown. The film marks the channel’s first-ever foray into original feature-length CG-animation, and comic book stalwart Phil Hester has a strong hand in the production.
Cartoon Network also continues to diversify its content into the live-action arena.
Several live-action specials were also unveiled, including KROG, a half-hour comedy pilot about a monster rock band from Middle Earth trying to take over the surface world. Too bad no one believes them.
Hall of Game will mark the network’s first-ever awards show. Called a multi-platform experience, the show will give the viewers the chance to decide which sports stars have the most game. Expect lots of celebrities from film, TV and obviously, the sports world to take part in the event, which is set for February 2011.
If you’ve been watching Cartoon Network recently, the move toward non-animated programs is no big surprise. Destroy Build Destroy and Dude, What Would Happen have turned into big hits for the cable channel. The upcoming slate of projects – a mix of animation and live-action -- would seem to reinforce the channel’s efforts to evolve into an older-skewing version of Nickelodeon.
At the end of the day though, it was a sneak peek at the revamp of a classic cartoon that scored the loudest response.
The new Looney Tunes will star Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck along with familiar characters like Yosemite Sam, Tweety and Sylvester. Each episode will feature a main story and several music videos (Merrie Melodies) warbled by the likes of the Tasmanian Devil. There will also be shorts in which Wiley Coyote chases the Road Runner.
They screened a brief clip from one of these shorts. And while the Coyote and Road Runner look a little different in CGI form, one thing hasn’t changed:
Wile E. Coyote still gets squashed.