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Cartoon Network launches late-night block for adults

Cartoon Network launches late-night block for adults
Posted Monday, June 11, 2001, 1:23PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: ATLANTA --(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)-- June 11, 2001 -- On September 2, Cartoon Network extends its mission as the world's leader in animated entertainment when it splashes down with ADULT SWIM, a new block of animated programming aimed at adults ages 18-34.

The block will air only on Sunday and Thursday nights from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (ET, PT) and current plans include five new series and new episodes of the beloved talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

"Almost one-third of our viewers are adults over 18, so it's a natural extension of our programming to create new shows specifically for the adult audience," said Betty Cohen, president of Cartoon Network Worldwide. "The humor in ADULT SWIM will definitely be aimed at a more sophisticated audience than our other programming. Our mission for these shows will be the same as for the network at large - to create shows that are enduringly smart, fun, funny and fearless but never antisocial or mean-spirited. ADULT SWIM will truly complement what we already do so well - present the best in animated entertainment."

ADULT SWIM's rotating line-up will be anchored by new episodes of Home Movies, the story of a socially awkward third grader named Brendon Small. A budding auteur, Brendon writes, directs and acts in short films with neighborhood friends as a way of overcoming his shyness and dealing with the recent divorce of his parents. Brendon provides telling insight on the dysfunction of the adults in his life using his third grade lens. Home Movies was originally developed for UPN by Soup 2 Nuts (formerly Tom Snyder Productions).

ADULT SWIM will feature the return of television's crankiest talk show host, Space Ghost. Space Ghost Coast to Coast is the planet's only late-night talk show hosted by a cartoon superhero. Fully costumed and on the scene with an array of superpowers, Space Ghost is joined by archenemies Moltar and Zorak, whom he has enslaved as unwilling members of his late-night crew. The bossy inquisitor grills pop culture luminaries ranging from Al Roker to Beck. And when Space Ghost is really feeling testy, he vaporizes them with a blast from his power bands.

Also pulling up a chaise lounge for ADULT SWIM will be a number of new shows developed at Cartoon Network's Williams St. facility, the launching pad for Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Sealab 2021 is a kitschy update of a Hanna-Barbera production about an undersea city, featuring the voice talents of Eric Estrada. Aqua Teen Hunger Force tells the story of an elite group of detectives who happen to be human-sized food products. Harvey Birdman is the world's first animated courtroom drama, trying the crimes and misdemeanors of the cartoon world, like when Shaggy gets pulled over in the Mystery Machine for "possession." Finally, demented space alien Brak returns in Leave It to Brak, which parodies the beloved tenets of classic family sitcoms but with a wry sensibility and plenty of catchy songs.

"From a programming perspective, we wanted to expand our line-up to offer some innovative new shows for our adult fans," said Mike Lazzo, senior vice president of programming and production for Cartoon Network. "Animation has never been an art that was solely geared toward kids. Space Ghost Coast to Coast was created for an adult audience - and it has developed a loyal cult following. Now, we've created a group of shows that we think will become appointment viewing for fans of smart, funny television."

ADULT SWIM shows will carry ratings of TV-PG and TV-14. The block will be packaged differently from other Cartoon Network programming, and will contain bumps at every break to notify viewers of the adult-targeted content. ADULT SWIM will only be promoted on Cartoon Network late at night.

"We're being very careful to delineate ADULT SWIM from the rest of Cartoon Network's programming. We'll make it very clear that this block is for adults," said Tim Hall, executive vice president of Cartoon Network. "We learned that parents and adults were very receptive to this type of programming from Cartoon Network, provided it was appropriately marketed and differentiated from our other programming. With ADULT SWIM, Cartoon Network is taking a step in a new direction we think both adults who love animation and advertisers will enjoy."



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