Cartoon Network has given a greenlight to “Mighty Magiswords,” a full-length linear television show developed as a series of interactive short videos on the Cartoon Network Anything app. The linear series is the first project to be developed as a digital-first property by Cartoon Network, then migrate to the company’s linear cable channel.
“Mighty Magiswords” debuted last year as a series of 15-second interactive videos on Cartoon Network Anything. Created by Kyle A. Carrozza, “Mighty Magiswords” tells the story of a brother-sister warrior team who rely on their collection of swords — cheeseburger sword, dolphin sword and mummy sword among them — to complete tasks during their comic adventures.
Alongside the upcoming linear series, Cartoon Network will debut more than 400 pieces of original content across various platforms. That content will include shorts, vlogs and web and mobile games, as well as interactive narratives. Cartoon Network is also developing proprietary technology that will allow fans of the series to collect and trade the various swords.
“Mighty Magiswords” is part of a shift at Cartoon Network toward developing series outside of the normal process.
“We actually asked Kyle to slow-play this, and to start developing this for a series down the line, but in a very different way,” said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer, Cartoon Network. “This started as a 15 second video where you could choose your magisword. So he developed this by doing iterations that were built upon that.”
The interactive element of the digital programming creates an experience that allows viewers to shape the direction of the narrative.
By developing the series first for digital, Cartoon Network was able to achieve proof of concept and gather creative feedback that aided in the development process. Several project are now being developed in a similar way.
“Rather than developing this on paper and holding the bar high for a series, we said, ‘No, let’s just get started,'” Sorcher said. “Let’s start going out in other platforms and find a way that these characters and this world could be created in an interesting way and make it organic to that. That process got us today to the linear series.”
Cartoon Network will begin introducing “Mighy Magiswords” this summer through multiplatform content. The series is produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Los Angeles and is set to debut this fall. It joins a slate of original series at the network that includes “Adventure Time,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Teen Titans Go!,” “We Bare Bears,” “Clarence,” “Regular Show,” “The Amazing World of Gumball” and “Steven Universe.”