What the Warner Bros. Animation merger means for fans
Recently there was a huge outcry on Twitter about the end of the legendary TV channel, but cartoon network is not going anywhere. Their animation department merges with Discovery of Warner Bros.. While it’s not as big of a news as Cartoon Network’s ending, it’s still a big deal. When Twitter started hyping it up, memes popped up stating Cartoon Network‘s lifespan from 1992 to 2022, and they responded, surprised to find they were dying. But after a few quick tweets, Cartoon Network shut down those intense rumors.
Warner Bros. Discovery is still making controversial choices with the animation station. The company is going through a lot of restructuring under the new leadership of David Zaslav, and Cartoon Network hasn’t been spared the accountant’s shears. With major layoffs and a changing animation department, the producer of youth and adult cartoons is about to see some major changes.
The influence of Warner Bros. Discovery on the channel will likely change the way Cartoon Network produces TV, which means you might see fewer original programming from the channel in the future. But the good news is that Cartoon Network is not dead. However, their merger with Warner Bros. Discovery will mean significant changes in the future.
Cartoon Network will always create content
It was announced last Monday that Cartoon Network Studios’ animation department would be consolidated with Warner Bros. Animation. They are two of the three major animation studios owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. The announcement follows a series of controversial changes from the entertainment giant. The company sent mass layoffs through its marketing department and canceled its famous bat girl film. Now Warner Bros. Television Group has laid off nearly 82 of its employees and will cut 43 currently vacant positions, cutting more than a quarter of its staff in preparation for the merger.
Cartoon Network Studios will still produce animation for Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and HBO Max, and Warner Bros. Animation will still work for their own respective stations. The companies had already shared the same programming, casting, legal relations and artist teams, so there was already cooperation between the two. But now the two art studios will be one, producing content for their separate channels. That is, there will be no changes to the actual Cartoon Network or WB platforms. They will rely on the same studio for their animation needs.
While this job shakeup comes with a change in management, Variety reports:
Under the new setup, a kids and family series development team will be led by Audrey Diehl, adult animation development will be led by Peter Girardi, and long-form animated series development will be led by Sammy. Perlmutter, with Bobbie Page heading main production.
But aside from these executive developments, things will largely remain the same for viewers. Cartoon Network responded to the rumors on Twitter by posting their own tweets saying things like “Y’all, we’re not dead, we just turned 30,” and reaction memes like these:
Does the merger mean more reboots?
Although there was a huge reaction from fans, Cartoon Network promises that they won’t experience much change. But people have noted that David Zaslav has a different philosophy about the content his companies have been churning out in recent years. Zaslav is a competent businessman and can see trends in modern media. Specifically, those that show reboots of older IPs are a safer bet than original programming. And for all intents and purposes, he plans to follow these trends. People are worried that this is the big change they could see to change their TV programming as they know it.
Cartoon Network is widely known for producing original television shows, creating shows like Over the garden wall, Stephen Universeand adventure time. And Warner Bros. Animation generally continues to make shows that stay within the spheres of things like DC and mortal combat. While Warner Bros. Animation probably won’t see much change, viewers might see different content from Cartoon Network.
It’s entirely possible that Cartoon Network Studios is working on fewer original shows and leaning more towards reboots and remakes of old shows. For example, there is already a new Powerpuff Girls scheduled restart. The thing is, these animation companies will shift to creating more familiar TV shows. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
The past few years have proven that viewers prefer shows that feel nostalgic and give them new versions of old shows they loved when they were kids. When it comes to a business decision, Zaslav is making a safe bet by making television for an audience that already exists. This motivates Cartoon Network to sell the ’90s nostalgia that many millennial viewers crave, but it means we might get less creative programming. It’s not a choice an artist would make, but Zaslav is not an artist.