Upfronts 2011: Cartoon Network Focusing On Franchises With New ‘DC Nation' Block

Cartoon Network is putting the focus on building global franchises in 2011-12 it said at its annual advertising upfront presentation in New York Wednesday, with plans to debut 13 new animated series and a new live-action scripted comedy over the next year.

That effort includes a partnership with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. to form "DC Nation," a multi-platform block of branded original content. DC Nation will launch in 2012 with Green Lantern: The Animated Series (following the theatrical release of the Green Lantern film this summer) and a revamped Young Justice.

The network is also developing a half-hour series with DreamWorks Animation SKG based on the popular film How to Train Your Dragon. "DreamWorks Animation recognizes the importance of building brands around great franchises, so you can imagine how thrilled we are to be joining forces with Cartoon Network to bring our newest franchise -- How to Train Your Dragon -- to television audiences around the world," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation CEO and co-founder.

Cartoon will also debut a new live-action scripted comedy called Level Up, about three high school gamers who mistakenly unleash the world of an online video game into the real world. Level Up will launch with a 90-minute original movie in late fall, with the half-hour series slated for a spring 2012 premiere.