Youth Impact Report 2012: Channeling Talent

Animated hits weren’t enough for the Cartoon Network last year, which scored live action success with “Level Up.”

The show, about teens who must save the world by winning a videogame that crossed into real life, ranked as the top series in its time period among boys 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14.

Its real winner is Cartoon Network president/COO Stuart Snyder, who gambled that live action could work on a channel dedicated to animation that’s No. 1 for boys 6-11. Helping him make the call: research.

“Our audience told us they like live action and like to see themselves in our shows,” the exec explains.

Its Hall of Game Awards has been another non-toon success. The kids’ sports event grew significantly its second year: Total viewership grew 74% to 2.6 million viewers and HallofGame.com registered triple the votes, racking up more than 100 million.

“We strive to do shows that really surprise and engage our audience, all in fun, unique and targeted ways,” Snyder says. “We are absolutely focused on a multi-platform approach, which is really ensuring that kids are watching our content whenever and wherever they are.”

The net offers episodes on demand and live streaming. More than 10.8 million games have been created through CartoonNetwork.com’s Game Creator.

Impact: Live-action/CG hybrid “Level Up” broke out as a Cartoon Network original movie, series and online game.
Next: Nick Cannon-produced kid sketch comedy show “Incredible Crew
Causes: Initiated the net’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign, as well as the Move It Movement Tour to combat childhood obesity

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