Upfronts 2015: Cartoon Announces Slate as It Begins Upfront Talks

Cartoon Network unveiled a slate of new programming including the return of The Powerpuff Girls and Transformers as it began its upfront roadshow, visiting clients and agencies around the country through February and March.

The Turner Broadcasting-run kids network also said that many of the shows that helped it generate higher ratings in 2014, have been renewed. Returning to the network are Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Clarence, Regular Show, Teen Titans GO!, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe, Mixels, Lego Ninjago: Maters of Spinjitszu and Pokemon the Series.

To reach a new generation of viewers —the plurals— Cartoon is offering advertisers the chance to sponsor its content on a variety of digital platform, including mobile and tablet apps.

"We are seeing great results with our platform-inclusive strategy to expand the definition of programming across all screens" said Christina Miller, president and general manager, Cartoon Network-Boomerang-Adult Swim. "Whether in short or long form there are no walls for how Cartoon Network can be consumed. Digital, mobile and TV have all come together for this new generation of kids, who are very comfortable with the sheer volume of choice; and when you deliver compelling original content and innovative ways of experiencing it, they will find it, engage with it, and share it on every platform."

This is the third year Cartoon Network has been doing individual upfront presentations for clients and media buyers instead of a single higher profile event. Kids' market leader Nickelodeon will have it big upfront presentation next week in New York.

Here's how Cartoon Network describes its new original and acquired programming:

  • We Bare Bears is a comedy about three bear siblings, named Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear. Each episode follows their awkward attempts at assimilating into human society, whether they're looking for food, trying to make human friends, or scheming to become internet famous. Whatever the situation, it's obvious that being a bear in the civilized, modern world is tough— but at least they have each other. Created by Annie Award-winner Daniel Chong (Toy Story of Terror!), We Bare Bears is produced by Cartoon Network Studios.
  • Slated for a 2016 launch, ThePowerpuffGirls reboot will include an all-new television series produced by Cartoon Network Studios and a full licensing program slated to roll out across all regions. One of the network's most enduring original series, ThePowerpuffGirls, which debuted on Cartoon Network in 1998, earned two Emmy(r) Awards, five nominations and countless animation honors throughout its 78-episode run. ThePowerpuffGirls centers on three sugar-coated superheroes —Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup— whose mission in life alternates between going to school, fighting crime, winning at hopscotch and saving the world before bedtime.
  • Total Drama Presents: The RidonculousRace is an action-filled, outrageous buddy comedy in which 18 pairs of contestants are put to the mental, physical and emotional test in a frantic race around the world. They'll push themselves and their partners to the limit, but only one team will arrive at the mat first and become the winners of one million dollars.
  • Transformers: Robots in Disguise follows Bumblebee, who was ummoned by Optimus Prime to save Earth from a new Decepticon threat, as puts his light-hearted mettle to the test after assembling a rouge team of young Autobot action heroes. Bumblebee must balance his job fighting off evil with being equal parts squad leader and coach to a rascally band that needs constant coaxing to learn how to work together.
  • Supernoobs is from creator Scott Fellows (Johnny Test) and DHX Media, Supernoobs chronicles the misadventures of four nerdy friends, who are mistakenly tasked with saving the world from an evil space virus.
  • The network also has a new show called Magicwords, but no information about it was provided.

Cartoon Network also plans some specials and movies:

  • The Royals Mini-Series: Hear Ye, Hear Ye!: Come join the royal family as they celebrate the yearly Yule Hare Festival. Parties and feasts will be a plenty as they struggle to balance ruling a kingdom and life as a typical family.
  • Steven Universe/ Uncle Grandpa Crossover special Say Uncle: Two of your favorite Cartoon Network series, Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa, are joining forces for a special crossover episode! Watch as a long lost relative of Steven's comes to town to aid him in unlocking the power of his mother's gem!
  • The Regular Show: The Movie: From the creators of the hit Cartoon Network series Regular Show, comes a time traveling long-form special.  After accidentally creating a "Timenado," slacker groundskeepers Mordecai and Rigby go back in time and battle an evil volleyball coach in order to save the universe... and their friendship.
  • Adventure Time special miniseries: In this multi-part series, Finn and Jake face a new threat to Ooo when Princess Bubblegum's experiment unleashes ghosts from Marceline's past.
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.