Adult Swim is one of the longest-running purveyors of adult animation and President Michael Ouweleen talked up the medium’s ability to produce new content during Covid.
But the Turner veteran also warned that broadcasters and platforms may face a drop in viewing once the pandemic is over as a result of increased social activity.
“Coming out of this [pandemic], I think it’s going to be the 1920s again and people are going to go off and be out in the world in a very serious way. I think it will be gradual rather than sudden. But we will see a time where we’ve gotten really good at producing animation in all these flexible ways, but we might see a dip in content consumption in the future, once everyone’s safe and we have to be ready for that,” he said during an animation panel session at SXSW.
Ouweleen added that networks will need to meet the consumer where they are, hinting at potential live events to promote their shows. “[People are] going to be outside, drinking with their friends, so I’m trying to plan for that, I’m not sure what to do but I’m excited”.
Adult Swim has Birdgirl, a spinoff of Harvey Birdman: Attorney At Law, coming on April 4 with Paget Brewster, Rob Delaney and Tony Hale voicing characters as well as a four-part black-and-white remake of Japanese horror manga Uzumaki and Blade Runner: Black Lotus, a co-production with Crunchyroll.
This is in addition to more Robot Chicken, Rick & Morty and Squidbillies. “We have a lot of new titles this year, despite Covid and production hurdles. It’s a banner year for us,” he said.
However, he joked that adult animation can stop being called a new discovery now. “Because we could keep making shows and because people are so desperate for content right now, adult animation is finally recognized as a main content type for adults. For 40 years, you’d see articles every year saying ‘Is adult animation a thing?’ Of course, it’s a thing, it’s been there since the beginning since Betty Boop or certainly The Flinstones and The Simpsons. Because there’s less new content is other production methods, animation is now ‘we’re good’, we don’t need that article anymore and they recognize it.”