It’s getting hard out there for a TV show based on superheroes. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stumbled after two seasons and was canceled in favor of a relaunch to put all of Disney’s Marvel cartoons in one continuity. Tron: Uprising was sent to the slot of death for having an adult audience. And now Vincent Vega on that thread has word that both Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series have been “canceled” in the crappiest way possible: By just not talking about them.
Essentially, Cartoon Network’s big pitches to advertisers, called upfronts, for 2013-2014 were this week, and the two shows were conspicuous by their absence.
We’d like to pin this one on not selling enough merchandise, but frankly, that doesn’t quite fit here, and fear of an adult audience doesn’t make much sense either. Cartoon Network has Adult Swim and it also voluntarily airs Adventure Time, which is hugely popular but is also dark, experimental, and often aimed squarely at adults; and MAD, which is an often surprisingly good and experimental sketch show much truer to the spirit of the magazine than you might expect.
Then again, it is worth noting that neither show was particularly beloved by the network, as they both suffered long hiatuses, repeated schedule changes, and other indignities that tend to kill even the hardiest shows. One wonders if airing these shows were something embraced by Cartoon Network, or something they were ordered to do from on high.
So, honestly, this one leaves us absolutely baffled. Young Justice in particular is confusing, because it landed critical acclaim and even won an Emmy despite the best efforts of everybody at the network to kill it.
It’s also odd because the replacements on the DC Nation block, Beware The Batman and Teen Titans Go!, are a police procedural and what amounts to a sitcom, respectively. True, the return of the voice actors from the 2003-2006 series will probably be greeted with nerd joy, but it’s hard to see in these what Cartoon Network apparently couldn’t find in their predecessors.