Already a force to be reckoned with in late-night, Turner’s Adult Swim is making a big play in primetime. Currently airing from 9 PM-6 AM, Adult Swim will add an extra hour to start at 8 PM effective March 31. In part to offset the loss of an hour to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network will be introducing a new portfolio of original content online at CartoonNetwork.com and other branded digital platforms. In another change for Turner’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media portfolio of networks, Boomerang, the 24-hour commercial-free channel airing classic cartoons, will be introducing ads.
The new 8-9 hour of Adult Swim will kick off with back-to-back reruns of King of the Hill, leading to The Cleveland Show reruns at 9 PM. Adult Swim, best known for such animated/live-action originals as Robot Chicken, Childrens Hospital and Rick and Morty, ranks as No.1 in adults 18-34 on basic cable and is coming off its most-watched year ever. “As Adult Swim continues to succeed with record ratings and connects with its audiences more than ever, it is imperative that we find a way to grow this part of the business that keeps the essence of what has made it successful and competitive,” said Stuart Snyder, president and COO of AYAKM. Cartoon Network will continue to run its two-hour “early prime” schedule of animated programming, including Regular Show and Adventure Time, from 6-8 p.m., with on-air messaging inviting kids and families to turn to Cartoon Network’s digital platforms for a new slate of original content that will include shorts, interstitials, short-form and traditional series plus, free gaming opportunities. The initial slate will be announced prior to March 31.