NEW YORK — Super dogs, adventurous garden gnomes and talking monkeys are just a few of the characters that will appear on skeins for the Cartoon Network this year.
Net has unveiled a number of shows as well as a hosted preschool-aimed programming block, “Tickle U,” on the heels of creating a separate Nielsen ratings reports for latenight franchise “Adult Swim.”
Net will launch “Tickle U” in August. Airing weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m., the franchise will feature shows including “Gerald McBoing-Boing,” based on the Oscar-winning short, and “Gordon Gnome,” about a busy garden gnome.
Five other shows will preem on Cartoon throughout 2005-06, including “Krypto the Superdog,” “The Life and Times of Juniper Lee,” “Camp Lazlo,” “My Gym Partner Is a Monkey” and anime “IGPX,” which will air during Saturday’s “Toonami” block.
Starting March 28, the “Adult Swim” block, airing every day but Friday from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., will be listed as a distinct basic-cable net alongside Cartoon in Nielsen ratings. Parent company TBS requested the separation to focus advertiser attention on the block’s strong ratings among young men.
“Adult Swim” will feature new programs, such as Seth Green’s stop-motion animated “Robot Chicken,” a skewering of entertainment and celebrity that bows Sunday. “The Boondocks,” based on the cartoon strip by Aaron McGruder, will launch in November.
New episodes of such staples as “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Harvey Birdman” and “Family Guy” will bow throughout the year. In the case of the recently revived “Family Guy,” episodes will preem on Fox and air later in the same week on “Adult Swim.”
Net also is set to begin a healthy lifestyle campaign on-air, online and in print. It will include on-air and online promos encouraging kids to “Get Animated” and feature spots such as one in which a beer-bellied Superman is unable to save the world because he has abandoned exercise.
Over at sister net Kids WB!, plans were announced for “Loonatics,” a skein focused on the descendents of famed Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote set 700 years in the future. Kids WB will also launch “Johnny Test” and “Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island.”
Cartoon has posted double-digit gains in season ratings to date across all targeted demos — kids 6-11, 2-11 and tweens 9-14. In primetime, 2004’s ratings were its best annual numbers ever, and last month was its best-ever January.