Adult Swim Sees Gains From May Expansion, Continues To Add Programming Real Estate With Launch Of Nostalgia Block ‘Checkered Past’
EXCLUSIVE: Adult Swim’s one-hour expansion of its daily programming last month has gained enough traction with viewers that the Warner Bros Discovery network is adding another hour to its schedule heading into the fall.
A new block, “Checkered Past,” will debut under the Adult Swim banner — on the channel it shares with Cartoon Network — starting August 28 on Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. It will be a showcase for Cartoon Network throwback titles like Dexter’s Laboratory, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Ed, Edd, n’ Eddy, replacing a rotation of Cartoon shows like Teen Titans Go!
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On Saturdays, the new 6 p.m. hour will feature reruns of current TV-PG originals like Unicorn: Warriors Eternal and My Adventures With Superman. Sundays will continue to see “Acme Night” broadcasts of family-friendly films from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The rest of the schedule is projected to stay intact.
The push into 6 p.m. for Adult Swim comes after the first two weeks of its new 7 p.m. hour lifted tune-in among viewers 18 to 49 by 24%, with a 38% upswing in the 18-to-34 demo, compared with the previous Cartoon Network-branded schedule. Increases in the 18-to-49 bracket reached a peak of 66% on Mondays and 87% on Tuesdays, and the overall gains at 7 p.m. have carried over into the 8 p.m. hour. The network has risen to sixth place among ad-supported networks in prime-time compared with 12th in the weeks leading up to the expansion.
Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Discovery Kids, says the new nostalgia block plays to the inherent strengths of the art form. “Animation can both speak to multiple age groups in the moment, and also find new audiences across decades,” he said in a statement provided to Deadline. “The early Cartoon Network originals—like Dexter’s Laboratory or Courage the Cowardly Dog are examples of shows that do both.”
Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, the new series anchoring the 7 p.m. hour, is Adult Swim’s best launch in more than a year and the top-rated new animated show in the demo, according to the network.
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