Animation Elite 2012: Rob Sorcher

Cartoon Network chief content officer Sorcher calls animation “a gigantic leap of faith.” Sorcher spots that jump by creating an environment for risk-taking at Cartoon Network, bypassing tradition by getting directly involved in series development through the net’s creative shorts initiative. Cartoon Network recently greenlit two projects coming out of that project: “Steven Universe” and “Uncle Grandpa.”

“Visual artists drive the process. We aren’t looking for the big idea and the packaged pitch,” the exec says. “We are looking for brilliant artistic talent and have a system to nurture that talent into major franchises.”

Sorcher was on the ground floor 20 years ago when Turner Broadcasting created the animation channel, but left in 1999 to work at other cable nets before returning in 2008. Sorcher is now responsible for developing all of Cartoon Network’s original series. Ranked the top TV network among boys 6-11, Cartoon Network is up over last year in primetime among kids 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14.

“The success of today comes from the remaking of the Cartoon Network Studio when I returned,” Sorcher says of the network’s progression to contemporary, edgy fare including “Adventure Time” and the 2012 Emmy winner “Regular Show.”

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