Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fox's Animation Perseverence

The L.A. Times profiles Fox broadcasting's cartoon strategies:

... Fox has a bullishness on prime-time cartoons that no other broadcast network has ever come close to matching. In fact, after "Allen Gregory" finishes its initial run of seven episodes in the winter will come an animated version of "Napoleon Dynamite," the 2004 absurdist comedy about an oddball teenager in Idaho that developed a cult following. Both shows will air at 8:30 p.m. Sundays, in the plum slot between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy." ...

"Fox just has faith in the form," said Mike Scully, a former "Simpsons" executive producer who's now helping oversee "Napoleon Dynamite." "They really believe in it; they know how to nurture and launch the shows." ...

"Before 'The Simpsons' came on, animated shows used to be written by one or two people," said Al Jean, the longtime showrunner of the Fox series. "The Simpsons" changed all that. It has a staff of 22 writers — larger than for many live-action prime-time shows — and always has two rewrite rooms running, where scripts are relentlessly tested and revised ...

Maybe the fact that News Corp. has made billions from The Yellow Family has helped it to stay the course. It is certainly the only television network that has put sustained effort into building and nurturing a television animation block.

When FB commences clustering animation series on some other night besides Sunday, then we'll know they are really serious about extending the cartoon empire.

As one Simpsons artist said to me recently:

"Fox has figured out that cartoons have a long shelf life. People still look at Yogi Bear. Kid's don't think "Oh, this stuff is fifty years old." They don't care. Same thing with The Flintstones. There aren't many live-action sitcoms from 1959 or 1960 that anybody is looking at." ...

Thus far, Fox-News Corp. has the animation paying field pretty much to itself. But how long will that last, if they keep making serious money from the cartoons? Everybody else will want to jump into the big paydays as well.

1 comments:

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

Certainly things never last forever.

When FB commences clustering animation series on some other night besides Sunday, then we'll know they are really serious about extending the cartoon empire.

You hit the nail on the head there!

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