Can an Animated Action Series Do Better on a Network Targeted Towards Adults?

Discussion in 'The toonzone - General Animation Discussion' started by Trombone77, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. Trombone77

    Trombone77 Member

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    I know we all have noticed the recent trend of kids networks making more time for comedy series and action series (especially more serious action series) either getting poor time slots, cancelled, or pushed to the internet. However, I was wondering if airing action series on networks like TNT, Spike, and even MTV could remedy this problem.

    Possible Advantages:

    1) Less dependence on toy sales: Since they are airing on these network, toy sales may not be a factor since a network like TNT or MTV won't be selling toys.

    2) Targeting the right audience: There is nothing wrong with kids networks airing serious action fare, but it seems like they are reluctant to do so since it targets older demographics than their target demo. Since it seems like viewers who are 12+ do enjoy these series, putting them on networks like TNT and MTV that target these groups make work to the series' advantage.

    Possible Disadvantages:

    1) Aversion to animation: It seems that people's complaint about "cartoons being just for kids" is dissolving. However, I am not sure if this holds up for networks that target teen and adult audiences.

    2) Dependence on merchandising: While it may not depend on toy sales, the series might still have to depend on some merchandise sales to get through and fund further episodes and seasons.

    I know there are more pros and cons to this idea, but I wanted to hear what you guys think about this, whether it will work or not, and even what you predict the landscape for action series will be in the future.
     
  2. Darissa Townes

    Darissa Townes Active Member

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    While this could work, it would take a lot of time before anything groundbreakingly new would happen.

    If you look at some of the most popular action cartoons today, like Legend of Korra, TMNT, Marvel's material, and Ben 10: Omniverse, they're all based off an established franchise. Any action toon coming out these days is either a sequel or a reboot of something. Action cartoons are a big risk already, but an even bigger one is an action cartoon based off nothing. If MTV or Spike wanna dabble in animated action shows for adults, they're more than likely going to ask Warner Bros. for a Batman show, or Marvel for a Wolverine show, because familiar faces bring more viewers in. It's why a superhero comedy can do so well; you'd have fans of the superhero interested in another re-telling, and the little kids who've never seen them interested in the funny parts. SOMETHING'S gotta bring the big bad adults in, and networks would rather spend money on a franchise than bet on some new project. It's a safe decision, but everyone is doing it.
     
  3. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator

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  4. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator

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    I could see this maybe happening if an action series is based on a well known character like Batman or Superman, but I don't think that we'll be seeing some brand new animated property with an action series that is aimed towards adults. That would be seen too much as a risk. Not to mention an animated series aimed at adults that isn't a comedy series is pretty rare in itself.
     
  5. The Talon

    The Talon New Member

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    The only way an action cartoon that was TV-14 or higher would work would be if it was an adaptation of a comic or something.

    C'mon, DC. Watchmen, Sandman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing. These are all at your fingertips, waiting to be adapted.
     
  6. Mostezli

    Mostezli Member

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    Glad this exists.
    Anyways, what better way to realize you're living in a recession and/or in a time when tv is becoming more & more obsolete
    than reflecting on the current action toon trend?

    I assumed this was temporary, since just a few years ago, we seemed to have had reached the peak of quality-driven action shows per network.
    If we are headed into this continued drought for a decade or so, I'd like to think "going digital" is the most viable investment even for just a trial run with pre-existing franchises.

    Another factor would be to restrict the animation budget, especially if they're not tied down to any of the many famous toy brands.
    I'd prefer animated dramas if action can't be implemented enough.
    If it does stay on tv, appropriate time-slot and advertising really needs to be thought through.
    Most important of all, getting a large enough pool of interested viewers/consumers...reason why this works so well in Japan
    A few pilot episodes/webisodes might be required & also very advertised if they happen to not go viral.
     
  7. Mandouga

    Mandouga Active Member

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    It can do just as well on a family network is it can on networks meant for older viewers.

    Sent from my iPod touch using toonzone
     
  8. Gatordragon

    Gatordragon Fiery Felon

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    Man, that stinks. I understand that adaptations are safer, but I'd rather have an original series. That way there's no baggage and the series can be judged on its own merits.
     
  9. ABrown

    ABrown Active Member

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    MTV tried Spiderman, Spike tried Stripperella, and they didn't really work out. I think one of the reasons might have been because...

    You list the lack of a toy line as an advantage. I would consider it a disadvantage. I would say that one of the reasons that the MTV Spiderman and Spike's Stripperella didn't last was due to a lack of toy lines. Toy sales are almost an absolute necessity for an action cartoon. But toy lines or not, I just don't think that those networks are the best place for action cartoons. I think that Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney/Disney XD, Nickelodeon/Nick Toons, and The Hub would probably the best options for action cartoons.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2014
  10. dumbfoolkid5

    dumbfoolkid5 New Member

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    I always wanted to see a more mature and intense version of The Super Friends you know The Justice League vs The Legion of Doom. But I want and even number of heroes and villains meaning put in Shyera Hall and replace Dick Grayson with Damien Wayne as Robin. Not only will there be action in the show but a look into the personal lives of both heroes and villains. I like that.
     
  11. The Talon

    The Talon New Member

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    Justice League: Doom was pretty much what you're describing, only without Robin or Nightwing. But it's not actually that good.
     
  12. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator

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    Also one has to consider the quality of the animation. Very few studios are willing to spend as much money on animation production for online content as say, Frederator does for Bravest Warriors (and they received a little boost from YouTube to pull that off).
    When it comes to animation production, studios might have to resort to Flash animation or CG motion capture, so they can afford to produce the content. And I know a lot of people aren't thrilled about that. In fact, networks targeted towards an older audience will likely animate it the same way.

    Whether it's produced for kids or adults, on TV or online, cartoons are expensive and need multiple streams of revenue. The main three common ways are ad revenue, distribution sales (including DVDs and digital sales) and merchandise. Of one of those do poorly, the other has to make up for it.
     
  13. Gatordragon

    Gatordragon Fiery Felon

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    Isn't CG real expensive?
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Fight the darkness all around

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    There's been attempts at this like Afro Samurai and even Hasbro with GI Joe Resolute on Adult Swim. I suspect there's a reason why we haven't seen more.
     
  15. Mostezli

    Mostezli Member

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    Most definitely is, especially in the way studios use it.
    The only other shows, apart from TF Prime, TMNT, & Pac-man Ghostly Adventures, that have seem to lasted in this medium have been done by Nerdcorps (Slugterra & Max Steel)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2014
  16. Trombone77

    Trombone77 Member

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    Hey, guys, thanks for all the response so far.

    I know a lot of you addressed the fact that if such a venture were to happen, it would have to be an established franchise. I completely agree on this. An original idea is nice; however, it will require the painstaking process of creating a mythos that doesn't rely too much on the action tropes or cliches (e.g, fatherly figure dying; token minority in team). It will also require a lot more promotion than, say, a Superman or Batman animated series. However, if a supposed hour-long block of animated action series on one of these networks does become popular by way of an established franchise, then maybe will it be safe to try an original idea, but have a very strong lead-in as well.

    I always thought that an action cartoon just had to bring in revenue. I know that toy sales are an integral part to this, but I thought that merchandising like clothing, accessories, and figurines, as well as media such as comic books and DVDs, could also contribute. I guess I was thinking that these two areas could pick up for this one area. While those two series didn't last (but had favorable iMDB scores), I know that HBO's Spawn lasted three seasons and was lauded. Plus, some of the movies Cartoon Network featured on its Action Flicks block around 2008-2009 were praised (although I don't know their ratings). I don't know of any other examples, which may be another disadvantage to this idea.

    I also have another question: If this idea were to come through, do you think that the action programs would have to be more risque than what you would see in series like Young Justice and Sym-Bionic Titan? I know that some of you mentioned TV-14 rating. I know that series like the ones I mentioned did have many older fans, but I wonder if they would survive on networks like TNT, MTV, or AMC. I wouldn't mind seeing TV-PG action series; however, I also wouldn't complain if the series were TV-14.

    Finally, I know some of you mentioned the internet being the next medium for action series. I also agree that this will happen, especially with the recent moves of Legend of Korra and Dreamworks Dragons to online video service providers. However, this brings up another question: Is the bias animated comedy series on kids network a fad or the new normal? I want to believe the former seeing that before this phase, we had a heavy prominence of action series. From Jetix eating up Toon Disney to Cartoon Network having 2 or 3 action blocks, it seemed like action was really big then. I know that the preference for comedy series is because it costs less and it is easier to rerun, but I'm hoping that it takes one network standing out and trying an action show to maybe bring the content on networks back to equilibrium. It's kind of why I place a lot of hope on Star Wars Rebels, despite not looking at Star Wars media before (although I did catch a few glimpse of TCW, and they were pretty good episodes). It might not be a good Star Wars, but I hope it is at least a good action series.

    Anyways, thanks once again for commenting and leaving your thoughts. I really enjoy all of them, even the ones that disagree with such an action.
     
  17. Mostezli

    Mostezli Member

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    It will be a while til we get to the greatness that was 2010-2012. Until then, you can expect more action comedies at the very least. Some of which might rekindle the magic of ATLA. =)

    Star Wars Rebels and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero are coming to Disney XD.
    Sonic Boom for CN.
    Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) and Stan Lee's Mighty 7 on the Hub.
    I don't exactly know where Ladybug (3D reboot/remake of the anime), Mighty No. 9: TAS, Pacific Rim TAS, and Urbance will end up.

    The internet thing, for me, has to do with the fact that Amazon, Hulu and Netflix are actually creating & airing original animated content.
     
  18. Trombone77

    Trombone77 Member

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    Oh, is Mighty 7 going to have more to it? I know they said it was a pilot movie, but I didn't know if the movie did well enough to warrant a pickup of a series or another movie?
     
  19. Mostezli

    Mostezli Member

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    Wiki page states "pilot movie", so I just assumed there would be more.
     
  20. Mister Mayhem

    Mister Mayhem Active Member

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    Compatriot,

    i don't know what kind of ratings they got on tv but the two afro samurai series were on the list of top ten selling anime dvds in north american in 2009. samuel jackson being attached was probably the biggest factor to its success but some adults may have genuinely enjoyed the series.
     

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