Cartoon Network Takes Upfront on the Road

Plans Meetings in 15 Cities to Pitch New Lineup

Cartoon Network is taking its upfront presentation on the road, rather than staging a big event for clients and buyers in New York.

Network executives plan to travel to at least 15 cities to visit clients and promotional partners, a process that began last week and will continue into March. They will come bearing gifts in the form a cart filled with network premium goodies.

"As viewers continue to interact with the Cartoon Network brand and content across a variety of screens, our advertising partners look to us for more innovative and engaging opportunities that provide greater reach for their messages," Donna Speciale, president of Turner Entertainment and Young Adults Ad Sales, said in a statement. "This year, we are breaking away from a traditional upfront presentation to engage with advertisers in a series of conversations that will focus on the development of ideas that leverage our brand strength to meet the goals of our partners. As our success and momentum continue to grow across all screens, we believe it's an ideal time for advertisers to reassess their investments and strategically increase their media budgets with Cartoon Network."

In this year's upfront, kids' leader Nickelodeon again is dealing with lower ratings, which rivals hope creates an opportunity to steal ad dollars.

Among the new shows headed for the Cartoon Network lineup include animated series Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa and Clarence, action-adventure shows Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman, a musical show Grojband and Legends of Chima from Lego.

The network is also planning the return of The Powerpuff Girls and Tom and Jerry.

Cartoon Network said its successful shorts program will continue at Cartoon Network Studios, producing a new slate of original shorts in 2013.

"Our unique approach to animation development has paid off in the form of many successful returning series, each with a giant fan base behind them," said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer for Cartoon Network. "These new animated series forge diverse, new ground, and stem from our Cartoon Network Studios pipeline, which continues to cultivate the most talented minds working in TV animation today."