Lucasfilm Animation is charting a new direction for its television programming, one that doesn't include the Cartoon Network series Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- at least not on the Turner-owned network.
On Monday, the studio said it was no longer producing new episodes for Cartoon as it looks to explore a new Star Wars series set in a time period not previously covered in the franchise's film and TV titles.
"After five highly successful and critically acclaimed seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, we feel the time has come to wind down the series," the company said in a statement. It added it is continuing production on new Clone Wars story arcs, but provided no details as to where that "bonus content" might air. Lucasfilm's statement, including a preview of the bonus content, can be found at this link.
One likely destination is the male-skewing cable network Disney XD. Last October, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion and announced plans to release a new feature film Star Wars Episode VII in 2015. At the time, Disney CEO Robert Iger said, "We really like Star Wars' potential on TV as well and we think Disney XD will be a great home for that."
Cartoon Network, through a spokesperson, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Lucasfilm on Star Wars: The Clone Wars over the last five years and introducing a whole new audience to this great iconic brand.” Earlier, it had said that the show's season finale, the morning of March 2, drew 2.18 million P2+ viewers. It "ranked #1 in its time period among boys 9-14, growing by double-digits across kids and boys demos vs. the same time period last year."
Lucasfilm has also decided to postpone the release of animated comedy series Star Wars Detours until a later date.
"Detours was conceived and produced before we decided to move forward with the new Star Wars trilogy, and in the wake of that decision, Lucasfilm has reconsidered whether launching an animated comedy prior to the launch of Episode VII makes sense."