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Cartoon Network Cancels Young Justice, Green Lantern; Launches Teen Titans Go!, Beware the Batman
March 3, 2013

Beware the Batman

Cartoon Network released its 2013 schedule plans, and the cartoon shows Young Justice and Green Lantern weren’t on it. The latter, in particular, was a second chance at trying to make the property a franchise after the failure of the big-budget movie. ICv2 has more speculation about what this means, saying “it brings up the question of whether or not the Green Lantern property will ever be anything more than a niche hit in the comic market with little or no mainstream appeal.”

In place of this two shows are two new DC series: Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman. The former features Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg in “all-new, comedic adventures” with a cute, chibi-style design. It’s coming April.

Character-driven comedy is the order of the day as this new take on the superhero series focuses on the funny business that happens between saving the world and living together as teenagers without adult supervision. The series stars the principal voice cast from the original Teen Titans.

Teen Titans Go!

Beware the Batman will be “a cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise” and is promised to feature “new villains not previously seen in animated form”. It looks very dark.

Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, and Magpie.

It’s CGI and coming next summer as part of the DC Nation block, which launched last year. I like this explanation by a Beat commenter, who blames the cancellations on the lack of toy support.

Also new for the CN is an all-new series for “the world’s most famous cat-and-mouse duo”, The Tom and Jerry Show. Plus, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc. returns.

6 Responses  
James Schee writes:  

I can buy into the toyline idea somewhat. But I think mainly it just comes down to the shows and target audience.

DC’s cartoon shows that had success on CN, Justice League and Batman Brave & the Bold. Came on primetime, where families could watch them together at night and appealed to all ages. Saturday mornings I think tend to just be for youngers kids these days with shows like Spongebob and the like leading the way.

Young Justice’s stories got incredibly complicated in season 2 with the leap ahead of 5 years. Add in a huge amount of continuing subplots, some that have yet to be resolved. If you missed an episode you could not easily follow what was going on, which is not good for Saturday mornings.

The name change of the show, to Young Justice Invasion, causing DVRs to miss it didn’t help much either.

Green Lantern was just ugly to look at, and not very interesting storywise for a while. Then near the end of the 1st season it seemed to find a good look and the story picked up.

Then season 2 was even better looking, and the stories were really fun with some interesting ideas. Of course it still had a major flaw, and it was one I saw the Superman TAS have as well.

They didn’t know how to make their lead interesting, without going outside of their comfort zones. So they filled it was guest stars, many of whom outshone the lead character. (Guy Gardner was more fun & interesting in 1 episode than Hal was in 1 and a half seasons)

Add in that most of the shorts(outside of Teen Titans Go ones) were awful things that seemed to be adults with no kids writing what they think kids like. And it was a disaster that I can see repeating itself even with these new shows that at least have a history of success.

 
Jim Perreault writes:  

I’ve tried a couple of times getting into Teen Titans, and just cannot do it. The characters are just too different from what I am used to.

I enjoy some of the stuff they do with Green Lantern, but I do find the CGI a bit lackluster. I’m dubious as to whether it will work on Batman.

I am curious about the prominence of Katana. I wonder why DC is pushing that character?

 
Thad writes:  

And CN doesn’t even officially cancel shows anymore, it just doesn’t call the producers back. (It’s kinda funny watching sites like thetvdb flail on this without any standard approach; they’ve got Thundercats listed as still ongoing and Green Lantern and Young Justice as cancelled, even though they’re all in exactly the same boat of “not officially cancelled but no longer in production”.)

@James: Seems awfully reductive to me to say JL was successful. CN didn’t know what to do with the hour format, significantly retooled (and retitled) it in season 3, and by the last season it had huge gaps in airing — months at a time, maybe even over a year. And I don’t think YJ’s season 2 plot is much more complicated than the JLU/Cadmus arc.

My recollection is that Batman: TB&TB really came and went in a hurry, too, with frequent weird scheduling decisions and, at both season ends, people wondering if there would be another season coming.

I can see what you’re saying about scheduling on Saturday morning, though, and the title change affecting DVR’s is a wrinkle that wouldn’t have affected previous retitles like Batman: The Animated Series becoming The Adventures of Batman and Robin or Justice League becoming Justice League Unlimited.

I like Green Lantern and I think it hooked me in with Razer’s character right from the beginning. But I got the impression DC had already given it up as a lost cause from day 1 because of the movie. A pity. And yeah, the animation’s pretty lackluster even if I like the writing and (small) cast. And you make a good point about Hal being a boring lead.

I’ve also got a theory on Young Justice’s “5 years later” time jump. Have you ever read an interview with Greg Weisman? He’s always got these lengthy, elaborate 5-year-or-more plans for all his shows…and they always get cancelled after season 2. (He had Gargoyles all mapped out for not just 5 seasons but for multiple spinoffs; technically the show made it to season 3 but he was kicked off it. He also had Spectacular Spider-Man mapped out for a full 5 seasons, leading up to Peter’s graduation, and then a plan to continue the story as direct-to-video movies, targeting a slightly older audience because the kids who grew up watching the show would in fact be slightly older by then.)

So I think Weisman, knowing this history of his shows getting cancelled after only two seasons and cutting off all his long-term planning, decided that this time he was just going to jump right into the “5 years later” plan in season 2 while he had the chance.

 
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[…] the Batman, announced this past spring and planned for a year before that, has gotten a premiere date and time on the Cartoon Network: […]

 
Young Justice on Blu-ray From Warner Archive » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] show wasn’t given a chance to return to finish up its last storyline, but at the San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Young […]

 
Young Justice on Blu-ray » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] knowing exactly how a series played out — in this case, that there was no finale, just cancellation, after only two seasons — can set expectations more […]

 

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