First, the good news: More new DC Nation, including new episodes of Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and DC Nation shorts are coming.That's the confirmation Newsarama received from a Cartoon Network representative Tuesday, as all three, Young Justice, Green Lantern, and shorts including Amethyst that was due to premiere October 13, 2012, will return to the network. Now, the bad news: They won't air again until January, 2013. Despite being a mere three weeks into the schedule of new episodes, and both series ending their second episodes on cliffhangers, the erratic presentation of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros Animation's superhero themed television programs by Cartoon Network continued Saturday, October 13, 2012 when the network suddenly and without warning pulled the programs from air, airing an hour of How to Train Your Dragon spin-off Dragons: Riders of Berk in place of the hour-long DC Nation block.
Interestingly, the new episodes of both series went up on iTunes and Amazon as planned, before being pulled later in the day. Young Justice made it all the way to #2 on iTunes' most downloaded list for television - not for kid's television or animation, but for television overall, proving there is a demand for the series. Likewise, a fan petition is fast approaching their initial goal of 10,000 signatures - a number that likely means far less to CN than the iTunes stat, as it represents only a tiny fraction of the viewers needed to successfully produce and air a network television program.
While there has been some speculation that Stephanie Brown's presence, a character that is currently non-existent in the DC Comics universe and reportedly is being kept that way by editorial mandate, could have precipitated the pull, it appears to be a Cartoon Network decision, not a DC Entertainment or Warner Bros decision, as it's scheduling. Likewise if the problem was with the Milestone characters that appear on the show, especially since animation and publication rights are separate.
It would also be odd to pull the entire block, as Liu said of that theory. In addition, the show currently features Wally West, Tim Drake as Robin, a heroic Superboy, Miss Martian, Billy Batson as Captain Marvel, and more that doesn't align with the current DC Comics publishing plan.
Both Young Justice and Green Lantern have had strange releases for their episodes leading to this time already. Rather than the traditional half-season in the fall, 4-6 week hiatus, remaining half in the late winter and early spring airing schedule that most television programs have, the series have both had erratic airdates.
Young Justice teased the series with an early premier of its first two episodes, followed by episode three two months later. After two months and 9 total episodes of Season One, the series took a hiatus for six full months, then picked back up for only three. The remaining Season One episodes aired four months later, with Season Two starting the week after Season One's completion, with the five-year jump in story time. Seven episodes aired before a three-month hiatus, followed by two episodes and now the new four-month hiatus.
Green Lantern's has not been as severe, but the 18 episodes listed as Season One on IMDB started, again, with a November tease of the first two episodes, followed by episode three four months later. After reaching episode 13, the end of a storyarc, the series went on summer hiatus. Again, two episodes aired, and the remaining three currently listed are pushed back to beginning January, 2013.
Vietti did give fans some hope, saying the team had put their all into "the last ten" episodes that have currently been produced of Young Justice, and said that while they haven't received a third season pick up, he is hopeful. Volpe likewise advised fans to keep hope alive like "Saint Walker would want," using the Blue Lantern to try to cheer up fans.
Neither Warner Bros nor Cartoon Network provided further comment on exactly why the block was pulled, keeping their statement to the January 2013 return and the clarification we received above.