Adult Swim To Extend Hours To 8 p.m.

In major strategic moves, Turner Broadcasting beginning in March will start its popular Adult’s Swim’s programming block an hour earlier at 8 p.m. and will for the first time offer ads on its classic animation channel Boomerang.

In addition, Cartoon Network will create new original content to air on digital platforms, according to Stu Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM).

Adult Swim, which currently airs from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m., will begin airing at 8 p.m. starting March 31 with back-to-back episodes of animated comedy series King of the Hill, followed at 9 a.m. by The Cleveland Show.  The additional hour will extend Adult Swim’s already ratings strong block of programming, which features such original shows as Robot Chicken and Childrens Hospital and Rick and Morty.

Adult Swim had its best ratings ever in 2013, finishing atop the ratings chart among adults 18-49 and 18-34 on a total day basis, according to Nielsen. Adult Swim also finished second in primetime viewing among adults 18-34 behind sister service TBS. Turner is hoping the additional primetime hour will boost Adult Swim’s ratings in 2014.

“As Adult Swim continues to succeed with record ratings and connects with its audiences more than ever, it is imperative that we find a way to grow this part of the business that keeps the essence of what has made it successful and competitive,” said Snyder. “An additional hour in primetime answers these needs and gives us the opportunity to develop more original content for primetime that will engage our audiences even further.”

Turner’s commercial free, classic cartoons channel Boomerang will accept advertising later this year as Turner strategically positions the network as a co-viewing opportunity for advertisers looking to reach adults and young viewers. The network, which features such original Cartoon Network shows as The Powerpuff Girls, as well as classic Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Warner Bros. animated cartoons like Scooby-Doo Where Are You and Tom & Jerry, will also be aligned worldwide as a network for kids and parents to enjoy together, Snyder said.

Cartoon Network will offer its target 2 -to- 14 year-old viewers new original series as well, as free gaming opportunities on the network’s website and digital platforms. The network will continue to run from 6-8 p.m. its schedule of original shows such as the Regular Show and Adventure Time, while instructing kids and families to turn to Cartoon Network’s digital platforms for additional content once the network is off the air, according to the network.

 “Cartoon Network will always be on when and wherever our audience wants to experience it,” said Snyder. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.