Last night Fox entered the late-night animated comedy space with the launch of Animation Domination High-Def, and incumbent Adult Swim had something to say about it. In a stealth move through local buys as it was done without Fox’s knowledge, the Turner network aired two ads: one at 11:30 PM after the two ADHD premieres of High School USA and Axe Cop, and one at midnight, following the encores of the two animated debuts. The stripped-down ads featured words on black screen, with elevator music in the background. “The preceding content has been a work of fiction,” the first ad, which followed the ADHD premieres. (Video below.) “Any resemblance to networks, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Pay close attention to the label. Many suitcases look alike. You may find yourself at a beautiful network with a beautiful suitcase. You may ask yourself: How did I get here? [adult swim]” The second: “Congratulations to the crew at ADHD on the launch of their new shows. We wish you all the best…. Nice place you got here… How are the kids?… Great, Great stuff. We’re going to go home now [adult swim].”
ADHD responded to the stunt via Twitter last night: “@adultswim THANK YOU FOR YOUR MONEY” Said ADHD head and Adult Swim alum Nick Weidenfeld today, “We love Adult Swim and we’re happy to receive both their attention and their ad dollars!”
As for the 11-11:30 PM ADHD debut, it posted a 0.5 among adults 18-49. That was half of the 1.1 rating that the special primetime ADHD preview scored last Sunday and a fraction of Fox’s more mainstream fare in the slot in the last decade, like MadTV. Vs. its new main competitor, Adult Swim, ADHD couldn’t top some of Adult Swim’s strongest performers like Robot Chicken and Childrens Hospital but was roughly on par with the cable block’s average.