4 thoughts on “The Original Batman: The Animated Series Was Produced by Warner Animation for Another Network

  1. Makes sense, it’s a good reminder. I wonder if it’s a sure thing that the new Batman show will land somewhere or if there’s a risk it won’t sell? I know many shows in the past were produced for syndication without an express network/content partner in mind, not sure if that model is still feasible now.

    I assume Cartoon Network may also not work for the same internal accounting reasons that might’ve contributed to HBO Max cancelling the show?

  2. I agree that this sort of thing would never happen this way normally, as they’d have a sale worked out with a network/streamer before even beginning production. However, I think that these projects are all commercial enough that they’ll make sense for one of the streamers, especially as places like Netflix lose out on the superhero content due to Disney+ and HBO Max (and I think that Cartoon Network isn’t out of the running overall. I believe Cartoon Network already picked up one of the shows that HBO outright removed from HBO Max, so I think that they could be in the running for the Gumball special).

  3. The thing of it was that BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER was implied to actually be darker and a little more “grown up,” on par with YOUNG JUSTICE (at least as of their third and fourth seasons) entirely because of the allowances to content that HBO Max or any streaming service offers animation. Cartoon Network has almost entirely abandoned adult, mature animated products in favor of zany comedies ever since “ADVENTURE TIME” got popular and that has never changed. Look at how THUNDERCATS: ROAR had to be shaped to fit that mold to even get scheduled on Cartoon Network (and how the fandom reacted). TITANS GO! has lasted on CN entirely because it is in that mold. Remember, the last Batman cartoon to air on Cartoon Network was 2013’s BEWARE THE BATMAN, which CN lost interest in almost immediately and only burnt off the one and only season because they’d already been paid for. There is no way BATMAN: CAPED CRUSADER fits CN’s current model and if they do air it, they will lose interest faster than most of us lose interest in a pair of socks. It will guarantee the show airs maybe 2-3 episodes before being burnt off at odd hours (i.e. 3 a.m. ADULT SWIM hours), then canceled. The entire reason why DC started moving all their shows off CN aside for TITANS GO! or various SUPER HERO GIRLS style stuff is entirely because of this.

    Once upon a time, HBO aired the SPAWN cartoon for 3 seasons and 18 episodes. So it wasn’t as if “grown up” cartoons about comic book characters were a rarity for the network. Heck, the last season aired on HBO the same time THE SOPRANOS did.

    The reality is that WB is desperate to cancel a slew of content to take advantage of one time tax breaks because their financial situation is a bit desperate in combination to absorbing tons of debt from mergers and/or some of their summer tentpole films underperforming. I’d argue the only difference between what WB is doing and when a mom-and-pop business burns themselves down for the insurance money is semantics and technical legalities. While I am not saying WB’s reasons for ending many of these shows post-production are lies, I am suggesting that it is “spin,” which I am sure Brian would agree, is often a self interested “retelling” of the truth.

  4. That was a hell of a time for animation on Fox. I remember coming home from school to watch Animaniacs and Batman.

    I understand what Alex is saying, but I think it might be good for WB to go back to licensing their characters for shows. To be honest, WB has never been good at creating cartoons for themselves. Animaniacs took a dip in quality for its last season on Kids WB, and the less said about Pink and the Brain and Elmira the better. Also, none of the Batman cartoons on WB were as good as Batman: The Animated Series.

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