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Cartoon Network Looks at Multiple Screens to Woo Kids

Christina Miller knows that you can’t run a kids-TV operation and focus solely on TV.

“We are seeing consumption grow exponentially in totality,l but it’s really coming from other platforms” like video on demand and connected devices, said the president of Turner’s Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Kids want “to consume content on their time in the way that they want, and we need to be there.”

The Time Warner-owned unit is revealing its programming plans as the TV industry focuses on what is known as the “kids’ upfront,” or the advance sale of approximately $800 million in ad commitments to kids’ TV. Cartoon Network competes most directly with Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Walt Disney’s suite of kids-focused networks. In 2017, Cartoon Network won an average of 306,000 viewers between 2 and 11, according to Nielsen, compared with an average of 609,000 for Nickelodeon and 364,000 for Disney Channel. All three shed viewers year over year.

To stand apart from the pack, Cartoon Network will add more than 30 new games and apps to its mobile and web portfolio, which now includes  a series of podcasts, as well as virtual-reality and augmented-reality experiences. The cable outlet is also relying more heavily on a rising generation of creatives, including Owen Dennis and Diego Molano.

“We have done a consistent and really important job of creating a community of artists who do great work on shows and then move on to another show,” she said.

Returning series at Cartoon Network include: “Adventure Time,” “Ben 10,” “OK K.O. Let’s Be Heroes,” “Steven Universe,” “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Teen Titans Go!’ “Unkitty!” and “We Bare Bears.”

New series include”

*”Apple & Onion,”  a buddy comedy created by George Gendi, that made its debut in a limited run last month. The show introduces best friends Apple and Onion who have decided to leave their hometowns to experience big city living. New episodes air back-to-back every Friday through the end of March.

*”Craig of the Creek” follows the precocious Craig as he leads his best friends J.P. and Kelsey on comical journeys at their neighborhood creek, highlighting the importance of imaginative play An episode is available on the CN App and VOD now, with new episodes debuting linearly on Friday, March 30.

*” Infinity Train” is a mystery adventure created by Owen Dennis that follows a precocious young girl named Tulip who finds herself on a train full of infinite worlds and tries to find her way home. The show will debut in 2019.

*” Summer Camp Island” is based on an original Cartoon Network short created by Julia Pott, and unfolds the mysteries that Oscar and his best friend Hedgehog encounter at a magical summer camp. The  series will premiere this summer. (A scene from the series is pictured, above).

*”Victor and Valentino” is a  supernatural adventure comedy that follows two half-brothers who spend a summer with their grandma in Monte Macabre, a small and mysterious town, where the myths and legends of Latin American folklore come to life.

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