Walking the Line between Kids and Adult


by Marcus Luera

In the last few weeks, we have  lost some great animated shows, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Young Justice, and Tron: Uprising. The reasons for cancellation  varied: It seems Star Wars fell victim to the sale to Disney, Green Lantern was too expensive, and in the  case of Tron, an executive said the show  was to adult for the network. These shows have a few things in common,  but the biggest is that they were targeted more toward adults than kids  and are now front-and-center in a struggle over what direction animated  series should take.

A handful  of new shows coming soon may find it harder to walk that line as fan  resentment grows, but a kid-friendly reboot of Teen Titans called Teen Titans  Go could hit  the mark. Another good sign is that, despite getting slapped with the  “too kiddie” label from adult Spider-Man fans, Ultimate  Spider-Man is showing  signs of maturing.  Look at the great shows that came before. X-MenSpider-Man, Batman, and Justice League are great examples of shows that  kids can enjoy with their parents.  Remember when adult-targeted  shows aired at times adults typically watch TV? Justice  League used to  air at night!

Some shows  have found the proper balance; for example, Teenage  Mutant Ninja Turtles.   The current incarnation blends elements of the comics and the original  series to make a show that appeals to everyone.  Not an easy task.  Even better is that it has been renewed for a third season.  This  proves that an animated show with a broad appeal can be successful.

The goal  is to create a new generation of viewers without alienating your long-time  fans, and with many talented people working on some great upcoming shows,  this may become a moot point.

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