I am not going to waste my time quoting Santayana again to open this post, but his words need to be relayed to the morons in charge of Cartoon Network.
One year ago, CN suits pulled Young Justice & Green Lantern out of the DC Nation Saturday block, holding them off until the early part of this year before cancelling them outright. Now, the same fate may befall Beware The Batman, as it was reported yesterday that the series will not air this Saturday, and will return in January. As was the case last year, CN refused to offer a tangible explanation for the change, which means that DC Nation, aside from the quickies in between shows, will be a full hour of the inferior Teen Titans Go!, a comedy series that seems to appeal more to the target audience than the high impact drama of Beware.
Those of us who learned about CN's lame practices from the last few years can speculate on the two likely reasons for Beware being pulled.
1. Ratings apparently aren't strong enough. Well, if that was the case, why not flip the two series over and let Beware air at 10:30 (ET)? Because CN honchos Stuart Snyder & Rob Sorcher, who don't know a good idea when they see one, see little or no value in action cartoons these days.
2. Merchandising. DC just launched a comics version of Beware yesterday. I cannot state any sales figures on the action figures because I haven't been at Toys 'R' Us or checked the toy department at Walmart. One must imagine that the figures ain't moving because of a 3rd, even more likely reason among even long time Bat-fans:
3. Bat-fatigue. WB Animation has produced Batman cartoons on a steady basis for 21 years. Even Scooby-Doo needed a break every now and again, which is why it took 4 years between Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue and Mystery, Incorporated. Mitch Watson is one of the show runners on Beware, and so that leads to a 4th reason:
4. Backlash on Watson. A lot of people were turned off by Watson's reimagining of the Scooby-Doo franchise, but CN turned their backs on Watson by burning off Season 2 of Mystery Incorporated in 2 chunks of daily episodes and refusing to air repeats. Still, WBA gave Watson the assignment on Beware to see if he could handle another icon. The low ratings would suggest that there is little patience with another gradually developing storyline. Add to this the fact that Watson and his staff chose to avoid using the traditional Batman Rogues Gallery (Joker, Riddler, et al) right away and giving some shine to lesser known characters. If Beware The Batman ends up getting the hook for good from CN, I'd say Watson would be well served to follow fellow creators Craig McCracken and the Man of Action studio out of CN and move elsewhere.
Make no mistake, I think Watson did the right thing in this case by opting for more obscure characters and getting people to care about them. He knew, just like we all did, that Joker, Catwoman, etc., had been in need of a break from being in every Bat-series, so he sent them on vacation for now. If he can convince the suits at DC that, say, Magpie would be worth resurrecting in the New 52 Universe, well, more power to him.
Because of the severe disconnect between WB & CN, I'd say also that WB would be well served to shop around their properties to other cablers going forward, given CN's lack of respect under Snyder & Sorcher. You know Nickelodeon, the Hub, and maybe even Disney Channel would take a shot in a heartbeat to pick up a fresh take on the Justice League.
What do you think?