YOUNG JUSTICE/GREEN LANTERN: A Response to the Official Response

Although the word cancellation has never actually been used, it's pretty apparent that both Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series are coming to an end. We've received one non-confirmation on the subject, and what follows is a response to that lack of response.

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By EdGross - 2/5/2013
youngjustice

Last week when Cartoon Network announced its 2013 schedule, it was pretty apparent that the Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series portions of DC Nation were nowhere to be found. Around the web fans began to wonder if the shows had been cancelled. There was almost instant outcry over the possibility, followed by online petitions. Finally, an official statement was made on DC's Facebook page: "Thank you to all our fans for expressing just how much they love DC Nation on Cartoon Network. There's still more new Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series to enjoy in the coming weeks. And DC Nation isn't going anywhere - There will be plenty of new adventures coming your way later this year."

That's all fine and good, but, to be fair, this really was a non-response to the fans who have been proving themselves so loyal to both series. To begin with, not one person expressing their anger said anything about the possibility of losing DC Nation. The fact that the same original announcement that didn't mention YJ or GL did include the CG Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! pretty much establishes the fact that DC Nation itself will be back. No, the frustration comes from lack of real information about the fate of the other shows. And the truth is, neither show is in production at the moment and haven't been for quite some time. In the world of animation, and given the long lead-time for episodes to be produced, it's impossible for a show to go forward if it isn't constantly in production. So, yes, there will be more Young Justice and Green Lantern in the weeks to come, but whenever the current string of episodes of both run out, then that will be it.

GL

The real question, of course, is why? While we're not aware of what the ratings are, it would seem that they couldn't have been very high or we wouldn't be having this conversation. That being said, the truth is - especially in the case of Young Justice - there were sometimes ridiculously long hiatuses (up to several months) between episodes, and no show - whether animated on Saturday mornings or airing in primetime - can hope to sustain an audience if the show isn't around to be viewed. Additionally, marketing for these shows simply wasn't there, official announcements of upcoming episodes sometimes being posted on the Friday afternoon/early evening before the episodes were going to air, leaving virtually no time for the word to spread.

Two other issues likely came into play: first, if the merchandise based on an animated series doesn't sell, you can be assured that that show will not be on the air for a long time. For instance, the Star Wars animated series Clone Wars in its first or second year had reportedly moved over $2.5 billion in merchandise, assuring that that series isn't going anywhere. The other - and this is pure supposition - is the fact that it seems animation is in the midst of youthifying itself. Marvel has certainly done it with Ultimate Spider-Man, the cancellation of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and its replacement by the (presumably) more kid-friendly Avengers Assemble, and the forthcoming Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. And with DC, when DC Nation was announced it was heralded with young kid-skewing shorts between episodes of YJ and GL. Plus the aforementioned new Batman and Teen Titans will no doubt not be nearly as "edgy" (all things being relative) as the shows that they are replacing.

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Again, we ask why? Obviously cartoons are designed with kids in mind, but since the 1992 debut of Batman: The Animated Series, the DC Tooniverse has been designed in such a way as to appeal to the young and those young of heart no matter what their age. Over the past twenty-plus years what could have changed so much that the craft of writers like Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti on Young Justice, and Giancarlo Volpe and Jim Krieg on Green Lantern are somehow not in vogue? How can shows with such interesting storylines and characters in evolution as they are on those shows be treated as they have been and unceremoniously dumped with no explanation? If nothing else, the fans who have kept them alive via their blogs, forum posts and overall support deserve a more detailed explanation rather than a carefully-worded press release that does its best to walk a line without actually saying anything.

For over two decades, Warner Bros. Animation has been the gold standard of superhero animation on television. Let's hope that that era is not coming to an end.

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Ceejay - 2/5/2013, 4:42 AM
It's quite simple, if your show does not meet production deadlines on a consistent basis to form and nurture a loyal audience then everything will suffer from the rating to the merchandise.

Young Justice failed to deliver just that despite being quite excellently produced.

Green Lantern failed because once again, nobody but die-hard comic geeks gives a flying-[frick] about a guy with a magic ring, colour coded emotions and his goofy alien buddies.
JLU51306 - 2/5/2013, 4:43 AM
It's coming to an end, at least for me.
Thelastdalek - 2/5/2013, 4:45 AM
Im pissed about the cancelation of YJ Im not going to boycot DC nation. I personaly enjoyed alot of the shorts and I feel it would be a shame for the makers of the shorts to be punished for somthing thats out of there hands.

I would just like to make one minor corection to the artical but the upcoming Avengers Asemble is aprantly not going to be more kiddy acording to people who have seen it.
DoodPool - 2/5/2013, 4:46 AM
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why these shows bit the dust.
ReynMan - 2/5/2013, 4:53 AM
i hope the suits at DC/ WB for once take their heads out of Batman's butt and strap on a pair of fricking balls. they've only concentrated on merchandising for a long time now, what with their approach for Superman Lives and what not. now they're doing it with a watered down, kid-friendlier version of YG - Teen Titans Go! and replacing GL with yet another version of an animated Batman series. it always has to be more toys and Batman in some form for them. the loyal fans can go to hell.
marvel72 - 2/5/2013, 4:53 AM
oh well time to move on,there is nothing we can do about it.

so f*ck it.
EdGross - 2/5/2013, 4:53 AM
If I'm wrong about the new Avengers series, then I will happily stand corrected.
blazingkidtes - 2/5/2013, 4:57 AM
Oky im done with dc and their crap the only thing they got going now is wb new amazon show justice league new 52 the planned justice league movie finally at last and their animated direct to dvd movies allthough their getting whack to all because they used sups and bats to much their running them to the ground you got other Heroes so focus on them dc
EdGross - 2/5/2013, 5:03 AM
The problem with the made for Blu-ray/DVD films is that whenever they've tried other characters, the sales simply weren't there (if they were, we'd see more adventures of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc.). Even Superman isn't selling the way they want him to. It seems that films featuring Batman and/or The Justice League are the best selling ones.
fedup - 2/5/2013, 5:15 AM
Here's the thing: if your property doesn't make money then there is no point in continuing to pump money into it. It's not about just being a suit or a slave to money (though I will acknowledge the lack of good promotion to these series in and of itself is bad business as well), it's about balancing the books. If you're putting money into something that isn't selling, you pull the product. The problem for most of us is that we develop emotional connections to these properties which makes it hurt more when they get cancelled. You want more Young Justice and more Green Lantern? Then go buy some toys and dvds because it's the only way you'll get more. It's sad that it has to be that way, but it's how a business of any kind works and make no mistake DC Comics/WB is a business.
malschla - 2/5/2013, 5:25 AM
@EdGross: Probably because they aren't willing to take risks. Other than Superman and Batman, the only DC hero to get a feature film is Green Lantern.

On the other hand, look at Marvel (as a whole, not just Marvel Studios); They've pushed out X-Men and sequels, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Hulk a couple times, etc, etc... all trying to get more of their characters in the public eye. Heck... at the time of the Iron Man film, though he was important in the comics, he was second/third tier as far as a non-comic fan is concerned.

The point is... you need to take risks, and sometimes they don't pan out. But, you have to keep trying.

In fact, if Marvel Studios is smart, they should "end" the story they are telling at the end of Phase 3. Reboot. Because, by 2019-2020, people's tastes will have changed, and you will need a new story, and you don't want to be too bogged down by back-story.
marvel72 - 2/5/2013, 5:26 AM
@ ed gross

i found this on dc animated movie wiki so i don't how accurate this is.

this is how much money their animated movies grossed,its not all of them but some are quite interesting.

batman gotham knights $8,072,687

superman/batman public enemies $8,432,311

WONDER WOMAN $7,519,443

batman under the red hood $7,076,637

superman/batman apocalypse $6,256,474

GREEN LANTERN FIRST FLIGHT $6,250,542

batman year one $2,701,458

batman the dark knight returns $1,180,654

maybe dc need to be adapting some of the classic's to sell more i.e the sinestro corp war & kingdom come.
RobLiefeldFan - 2/5/2013, 5:27 AM
It failed to meet it's core demographic, if young justice had the effect Ben 10 had when it was just brand new it would have still been on the air, Just look at Ultimate Spider-Man it did it's job getting it's target audience and it's doing very well among children something those two shows failed to do example i just traveled to turkey to visit my brother over the past holiday and they were airing a Turkish dub of Ultimate Spider-man on tv and virtually all the neigbour kids came over to watch it and they were predominantly male children, That means the show is doing something right which is getting it's target audience, DC Nation does not really care about it's older fans it's sole purpose is to expose the characters to it's SPECIFIED!!!! target audience and SELL TOYS AND MERCHANDISE, sometimes it's not always about us older fans but younger kids getting their parents to get them buying their toys


Ultimate Spider-man did it's job perfectly which is to make a show for young fans to get into and i would have to admit even my younger brother loves the show i'm not really into it i stopped after the dr strange episode because it was stupid, but forgetis just my torment but that the deal man we have to deal with it today's cartoons are not aiming anything at us if you want quality cartoons for our demographic i advice you to watch some anime because that is what i recently switched too and i'm enjoying it so dude i feel your pain and i know you want more, me to but we just have to deal with it
EdGross - 2/5/2013, 5:30 AM
I'm not sure how accurate those figures are, but I have to believe that if Wonder Woman and Green Lantern sold so well, they'd be back in new movies. The other thing is that, like anything else, the longer something goes on, the more of a "diminished return" there is. Just as is often the case with a long-running TV show, people tend to start moving on and perhaps the same thing is happening with these films so that even the Batman films are earning less than they used to, but remain the most popular among the current crop.
RaleighAntrobus - 2/5/2013, 5:47 AM
Good grief some of you nerds are so misinformed... Read between the lines, I mean, bullshit - THIS is why it was cancelled:

http://blog.newsarama.com/2012/10/17/why-did-dc-nation-disappear/#comments

"So, I spoke to one of the former Producers of “Adventure Time” at the Alternative Press Expo this past weekend (won’t name names). Mainly because I knew he worked at Cartoon Network & I wanted to complain to someone about them cancelling “Thundercats”. He said that whenever comedic cartoons, such as “Adventure Time” are the most popular (like now), CN pulls the plug on their action shows (and vice versa when action shows are more popular). What they do is pull the show off air for a few months, & then return it to the air without announcing or promoting it. Naturally, the viewers will have dropped off (no one knew it was coming back). CN then uses this rationale to drop the shows completely: “Well, we brought it back, but no one was watching.” That’s exactly what they did to the new He-Man show back in 2003/2004. That’s exactly what they did to “Thundercats” last year. And this is exactly what is going on with the DC Nation block right now."

Thelastdalek - 2/5/2013, 5:57 AM
To be fair to CN it's nowere near as bad as Bandai treated the western Gundam fanbase. Regardless of you like or hate Gundam (or anime in genreral) you have to admitt the way Bandai treated the western Gundam fans is downright disgraceful
EdGross - 2/5/2013, 5:58 AM
One of my complaints in the main piece was exactly that - pulling the shows off for months at a time, and failing to promote them properly.
orpheus - 2/5/2013, 6:07 AM
Why are comic/cartoon fans such pussies that they need huge apologies and explanations for every decision? You all take everything as a personal slight, and no, you have no idea why the show was canceled, so stop uselessly speculating and making excuses.
ShadowOfTheWeb - 2/5/2013, 6:23 AM
Well written Ed!
It's so frustrating there is no longevity in toons anymore. DC and Marvel toons nowadays seem to thrive on bursts of awesome shows that continue to skew younger and younger while alienating the older. All just to shift lunchboxes and action figures. I guess that's hollywood huh
Wingding - 2/5/2013, 6:29 AM
Sorry, but I'm not watching that Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! crap. They've taken a great character and made a show that looks horrible (Katana as his sidekick, really?! And don't even get me started and that ridiculous CGI trash). They've also taken a show that I thoroughly enjoyed when I was younger (it was a good show, come on), and made it into a kiddy show for 6 year olds. They could've (should've) just brought the original Teen Titans show back! Not to mention they cancel the shows that were actually any GOOD...*sigh*

Thanks CN, thanks -__-
marvel72 - 2/5/2013, 6:33 AM
@ ed gross

green lantern did get another dvd "emerald knights",here is the link to that list so you can judge it for yourself.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_Universe_Animated_Original_Movies
HavocPrime - 2/5/2013, 6:49 AM
Shame was hoping to actually see The Sinestro Corps War finnally adapted to the screen
SWelch - 2/5/2013, 6:52 AM
GL and YJ are some the best animated series on TV. With their more mature story lines maybe they would have done better at a later time slot. Like 7 pm or later.
toocool - 2/5/2013, 7:18 AM
Here's the petition they have spoken about https://www.change.org/petitions/cartoon-network-continue-young-justice
MJPETTY7 - 2/5/2013, 7:20 AM
@Ceejay You do realize you're dead wrong right? YJ & GLTAS BOTH met production deadlines, but Cartoon Network kept pulling the shows on and off schedule on a consistent basis. It's their fault the ratings weren't as good. But honestly, the ratings have been pretty good. Not as good as they could've been, but enuff that they should still be on the air.
ninjahulk - 2/5/2013, 7:22 AM
it feel good to be back on here gl and yj is one the best show cn had they should took knowledge it was getting a good rate to ther network but for dc should at least knowledge if yall self dc nation let it stand to be dc nation keep both show and on the other two and more dc animation to come be smart about it if yo don want to do that dont call yall self dc nation there no point at all dc and wb dont now how to market these charcter at all they still will alway superman and batman animation show forver because that all the world known is these two icon until then dc and wb need to grow up and learn from where they fail at, at this point dc nation not.
himynameisnik - 2/5/2013, 7:40 AM
https://www.change.org/petitions/cartoon-network-warner-bros-bring-back-young-justice-and-green-lantern-the-animated-series

This petition is going so sign it!
KrazyForKomix - 2/5/2013, 7:46 AM
@ FEDUP
Look, your matter-of-fact economic argument is, of course, as obvious as air is needed for breathing. We live in a capitalist society. And yes, that's a good thing.
But what doesn't seem to be fair (also a good thing) is that animation is held to a different standard than other shows. Only cartoons are forced to live or die by how many toys they sell. When was the last time you bought a Greys Anatomy lunch box? Or had to have a Biggest Loser t-shirt?
What the fans see is that the rules just aren't the same?
My 12 year old loves YJ. I've yet to tell her that it's getting replaced by Screeching Titans Go!

@RaleighAntrobus
Yes. That is what they do. It's a tactic. It's a method. It is how they rationalize dumping a show. What I don't get from reading between the lines is WHY they want to dump it. Why do they want to use the subterfuge you descibe to dump a well received show, that could be a springboard to more advertising revenue?


SUPERSHADOWBAT - 2/5/2013, 8:12 AM
Good article Ed. It's a shame that good shows like GL and YJ get treated the way CN treats them pull them whenever they want and then bringing them back without proper promotion. This leads to a lack of a interest in viewers and confusion as to the show will ever come back. One of the problems may be that CN is a "kidcentric" channel and most of the animated DC projects are targeted to older youths and adult viewers, the new shows Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go seem targeted to a younger audience and will probably do well on CN. I stated before on another thread that the solution to this may be for WB/ DC to have their own cable channel to showcase their other properties like YJ and GL , which appeal to their older target audiences. This can also lead to other heroes and DC properties to be developed and have different programming blocks that appeal to different viewers. Again, kudos on an excellent article Ed.
TheAbomination - 2/5/2013, 8:24 AM
F*uck this shit. I'm out.

 photo LateShowPesci_zps4098d8b2.gif
EdGross - 2/5/2013, 8:24 AM
Young Justice used to air on Friday nights along with Clone Wars. THAT was a good line-up and it's unfortunate it was shifted to Saturday mornings and THEN all but abandoned in the sense of it being on the schedule, off the schedule, back on, etc.
tmeadows34 - 2/5/2013, 8:34 AM
As a huge GL fan I've been pretty happy with GLTAS and really hope to see the show continue in the form of direct to dvd features. Hats off as always to Bruce Timm for producing such a great animated representation of the DC universe. Despite it's horrid live action outing GL is one of DC's best selling properties currently save for Bats.
EdGross - 2/5/2013, 10:01 AM
There's a significant difference between not moving on - or as you stated, having a hissy fit - and being disappointed that series you enjoy are being cancelled. What's wrong with discussing where things may have gone wrong that could have factored into those cancellations? And you're right, there IS more to life than watching television, but it's nice to have entertainment that you can escape in to when necessary.
DoctorAlgernopKrieger - 2/5/2013, 11:09 AM
I have no idea why they're bitching merchandise wise, you gotta actually sell product and outside the crappy Happy Meal Toys I haven't seen jack shit of Green Lantern Animated Series merchandise.

This mean the Young Justice game is history?
KennethG - 2/5/2013, 12:09 PM
With the way the announcement was handled, I think it was obvious that the decision had been finalized before the fans ever got wind of it, and unless you're on the board of directors, we'll probably never know the reasons behind taking off two popular shows. If I had to guess, it's simply because the shows weren't appealing to network's target demographic, which is certainly NOT most comic book fans these days.

In any case, I'll probably give the Bat-Man show a try, but I could care less about the Chibi Titans.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 2/5/2013, 1:48 PM
Cartoon Network will soon see how bad of a mistake they made when no one watches Beware the Shit show and Teen Shit Go!
dnno1 - 2/5/2013, 3:09 PM
I am just hoping that these two shows eventually get picked up by another cartoon block like Toonami, Toonzai, Vortex, or even Disney-XD. I know they are planning to make another GL film or a film on the Teen Titans anytime soon, so that isn't the reason why they were discontinued, so I can only think that they were done so because they want to move them to a different time slot.
PeterParker1991 - 2/5/2013, 3:46 PM
So done with CN.
kemuael - 2/5/2013, 3:53 PM
hence why ill stick with Marvel even though they brought ultimate spiderman and cut AEMH.

ill see if this HULK S.M.A.S.H and Avengers Assemble are good and if they arent crap at least i have the Live Action movies like Iron man 3 coming etc.
Kyos - 2/5/2013, 6:04 PM
As much as I mourn the loss of YJ - at least Adventure Time is still on! Best damn cartoon atm! :D
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