Paul Dini on Cartoon Network's Programming Decisions and Why Boy Viewers Are Valued Over Girls

Discussion in 'The Cartoon Network/Boomerang Cartoon Forum' started by cuzin34, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. cuzin34

    cuzin34 @AsapCuzin

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    IGN article

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  2. Daikun

    Daikun Long Live the Fighter! Moderator

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    ...Jesus.
     
  3. Gatordragon

    Gatordragon Browns!

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    Man, and I thought girls were supposed to be boy crazy.

    The executives need to change their thinking. They're ignoring a huge chunk of potential viewers because of their narrow mindedness. Just think at how many viewers they can get if they appealed to both boys and girls.

    And what's with all this toy stuff? Is that really the only thing they can sell to people? I never understood that. Clothes sound like a great thing to sell. Heck, I see people wearing Adventure Time and Regular Show shirts and hats on my campus all the time. Clothes are a much more general appeal than toys anyway.
     
  4. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator Moderator

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    I try to make sense of the business side when it comes to TV animation, but it's downright idiotic for them to completely ignore the value of a female audience. These guys are supposed to maximize profits, yet they insist on ignoring half of the population!
     
  5. The Talon

    The Talon New Member

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    Why don't they just make......toys based on a cartoon, aimed towards girls?
     
  6. Pac-Attack

    Pac-Attack Me every Thursday

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    Wow, just, this is just, I mean.......oh nevermind.
     
  7. ILDC

    ILDC Active Member

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  8. Silverstar

    Silverstar Game On!

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    I usually try to understand how the animation industry works from the business perspective, but this current mindset that CN and others are on right now is so stupid it's disheartening, especially for someone like me, who works predominantly with female leads in my show ideas. Why is it such a bad thing to try appeal to as many viewers as possible, as opposed to just one half of them? And how do these guys know that "girls only buy princesses" when they don't try to sell them anything else? Is it really that girls only buy princesses and pink stuff, or is it that they simply don't have any other choice than to buy pink and princess stuff 'cause that's the only way they get to be represented? It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    And it's not just action cartoons that could use some gender diversity; comedy cartoons too are largely male dominated. There aren't a whole lot of female characters in comedy cartoons who aren't just sidekicks, annoyances, crushes, boring voices of reason or tokens. Would it really be a bad thing to see a Phineas & Ferb or Amazing World of Gumball type comedy cartoon with female leads? I personally think that would be neat to see.
     
  9. Jazz1000

    Jazz1000 The Sleep Eater

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    ... wow this is really a bit... ya
    But what's wrong with girls can't play action figures or anything that's wrong with toys? These day televisions manly target on boys =/ but some are characters part of a show girls but they can't have toys? That's ridiculous
     
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  10. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator Moderator

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    This news has spread across the net, even making the TAG Blog, where the head of the site had this to say.

    Stuff like this is very discouraging.
     
  11. GPRailroad8794

    GPRailroad8794 New Member

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    This is disgusting. What the hell are these executives thinking? How dare pick and choose who should enjoy the channel 's product and alienating fans because they aren't of the intended demographic. Why does an animation channel have an intended demographic anyway? CN needs a facelift of leadership and quickly.
     
  12. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, this is pretty disturbing and downright ridiculous. Their justification for not targeting girls is just weak. Ignoring such a large audience just means that they're potentially losing out on a lot of money. Besides that, targeting just boys doesn't guarantee them money. That didn't really help the toylines for Thundercats and Young Justice. Although I heard that those toyline weren't that good either, but depending on simply boys buying toys and not even bothering to think of merchandise to market at girls to gain more money doesn't really sound like a good business choice. They really need to get with the 21st century here.
     
  13. TheMadSlasher

    TheMadSlasher New Member

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    To be blunt, I'm simply not surprised.In essence, what has happened is that cartoons-where-the-cartoon-is-the-primary-product have died. Now every single cartoon is made To Sell Toys.As boys are the primary buyers of toys-associated-with-the-cartoons, they're the most profitable sector of the audience.Some may suggest that perhaps some effort should be taken to actively appeal to girls, but big media companies are risk-averse; they put large quantities of money behind these shows and would rather deliver consistent shareholder returns than do something risky and face the axe. Boys buying toys are a proven market... girls buying toys associated with an action-centric cartoon are not.One thing I will point out, however, is that the idea that young boys only want goofy comedy with lots of action scenes is clearly false. The early 90's X-Men animated series was popular with young males and it had very little comic relief relative to stuff we see today. Maybe the audience demographic has changed but I doubt that Fox Kids back then had a lower audience median age than Cartoon Network does today.Anyway, let's make the following assumption: as a young male's age increases, he buys less toys (I don't know if this is true or not, but maybe we can see some data on it?). If this assumption is correct, then IF toy sales are the primary way in which a show makes money, the economic incentive is to lower the target age range and make something which essentially functions as an advertisement for the toy line. Ergo, goofy childish potty-humor. So how do we fix the problem? If we want creators to make more mature/serious animated works, then toy sales cannot be the primary money spinner.Basically, viewing of the show needs to be monetized once again. The incentive is thus placed on audience retention and pleasing viewers rather than selling toys.Correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume that a cartoon on CN is advertisement-funded with almost no advertiser dollars going to the show's maker (or a very small amount at most). This leads me to suggest the cutting out of the middle-man.Here's a business model suggestion: an online-exclusive TV series. It can be either watched at the website for free (with advertising) or the viewer can pay a fee to watch it advertisement-free. Perhaps digital downloads of episodes could be sold as well. Maybe DVDs/Blu-Ray disc copies of the whole series could be sold after the whole series (or season thereof) has aired. This means the content-creator's incentive is not To Sell Toys, but rather to maximize viewership and retain an audience over a long period of time. This in turn increases the amount the content-creator can charge for advertising slots. Publication and distribution costs would be significantly lower. The content-creator would not have to cater exclusively to the young boys market in order to be profitable, but rather could cater to a broader set of demographics (since that will in turn increase viewership and thus profits). This means that the content can be more mature, more serious and less goofy. Advertising may be much more difficult though, and viewership probably wouldn't be as large (perhaps, however, a deal could be struck with video game console companies... subscribers to Xbox Live/PSN Plus can stream the whole series ad-free? That's an idea). Not only that, but smaller shows and spin-offs catering exclusively to niche markets could proliferate because of the lower costs of creation, but this is a longer-term suggestion.
     
  14. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Active Member

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    Hearing THIS on top of the announcement of the new Powerpuff Girls special is giving me REALLY bad vibes. I would be VERY disappointed if they made the girls overly girly or worse, have a male protagonist steal the spotlight. With word going around that it might be the Professor saving the girls, I really hope that this isn't the case because it just REEKS of CN's attitude towards girls.
     
  15. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator Moderator

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    Demographics are needed so advertisers know that the right people will be around to see their ads when the show airs. Advertisers pay for the network, thus help fund production for their shows.

    Anyhoo, this is the problem that has plagued all networks. Cable networks used to keep a certain theme amongst them. MTV with music, Cartoon Network with cartoons, TV Land with old classic shows. But for one reason or another, networks have become more concerned about demographics, likely to get more moolah from advertiseres, and possibly because it's easier to find advertisers to support a network as a whole then worrying over individual series (my guess anyway). So Cartoon Network became more boy focused (and why they air live action shows and movies), MTV became more teen focused and getting content teens would like., and TV Land becoming more of a general channel for middle age people.

    So this isn't an issue with just Cartoon Network. All networks are suffering this, and it needs to end.
     
  16. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi Reporter

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    The end is that ultimately it's not going to be traditional networks and cable and satellite where we watch our TV. It's going to be things like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, PSN, Xbox Live, etc. Cable and satellite are dying models.

    I mean just think about this, Netflix just picked up four huge Marvel shows. They just circumvented the network/cable model entirely. They are going straight to Netflix which subscribers will probably able to binge-watch all at once.

    It's not going to happen overnight.

    I think there has been a bit of a resurgence in some quality network shows as of late, but for a while it looked like all these great dramas were popping up all over the place on cable and premium channels because a lot of the great producers and writers were sour on working for shows on the networks. With a network show and ratings it seems they require immediate gratification and are impatient and not willing to let a show grow and find its audience.

    I think the other problem with Cartoon Network was that after a show debuts, they all but forget about it.

    Did anyone see any promos for Thundercats after the show premiered? The premiere was promoted strongly, after that, there was virtually nothing. They almost never replayed the show either. I don't mean to bash Adventure Time and Regular show, but they constantly spam the airwaves with promos, clips, and ads for those shows.

    DC Nation, Beware the Batman, Young Justice, Thundercats did not get that type of promotion.
     
  17. Sparkster24

    Sparkster24 Active Member

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    Now after seeing this (and how cruel that was, especially that some of their audiences are females who watch it!).. this is now making worry on how it'll handle for the new PPG special. :(
     
  18. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator Moderator

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    I think that there were some promos for Thundercats after its premiere. I know that it was included in the general Friday night lineup promo, even though that isn't really much, and there were promos advertising its new premiere slot on Saturday mornings. It definitely didn't get Adventure Time or Regular Show type of promotion and I agree that it is a problem when they don't give much of their shows promotion after their premieres. It's like they expect their shows to do well without giving them enough time to find an audience and promotion on their schedule to get that audience. If Beware the Batman got the kind of promotion Teen Titans Go has, it might have done better in ratings.
     
  19. The ShopSoldier

    The ShopSoldier Wandering about in both ANGER & DISGRACE

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    I don't see CN getting any better and dying by the end of the decade royally because of this noise alone. However, that will require leadership that is more willing to take a chance on this first and foremost - I don't like Disney Channel, but I can almost say I like what they're doing with female characters in their actually good cartoons. Same goes especially with the Hub. That's what we may need most of all - and it'll take more than complaining about it to get it. It may just be up to us to do something, besides fixing a lot of things wrong with this country... The only non-violent solution I can think of that hits CN where it hurts is to support online ventures that are one with the 21st Century and not stuck in the 18th, because hearing how CN is functioning right now is quite pathetic and spells their doom down the road, if the lack of GOOD action didn't do that for me, already!

    And, personally, I don't want to see anime beat us out because of noise like this - otherwise, Western animation can and will die out unless we can get some quality fare on the internet, which, IMHO, isn't the best place to look, no matter how much better it does try to get - Either way...
     
  20. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    I know some girls who loved CN when they were younger, and I'm sure they would have bought some toys if they were available over here. (I actually think those companies are not very interested in Belgium, I've never seen any merchandise of Adventure Time or Regular Show in my whole life... Thus, I can't really discuss anything in this thread...)

    However, I saw something in the newspaper some weeks ago which I want to share with you. I've searched for an English article, and here it is:

    (Source)


    The Dutch articles looked more... positive. It was more talking about how many parents were happy with this. (Like my mother. My sister always played with cars and Knex instead of Barbie (She also had dolls and Playmobile of course, but no Barbie or My Little Pony), and believe me, she is very female now (and has a boyfriend) so it didn't ''destroy her life'' or something...)
     

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