The Darker The Kids Show, The Worse It's Screwed Over?

SweetShop209

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There are plenty of kids shows that go into some really dark places, whether it's showing gruesome deaths, not holding back in showing trauma, or getting into some pretty heavy topics with no vague symbolism. However, does anyone think that the trade off to show off this darker material is poor treatment by the network? For example:

1. Our first example is Infinity Train. While books 1 and 2 had a good amount of dark content, book 3 kicked it up a notch with some surprisingly brutal deaths. Topics like divorce and cult mentality are treated very seriously. While the show was originally meant to be on HBO Max from the start, only recently did Owen Dennis reveal that they only had the greenlight for 3 books, with fans having to petition for more episodes.

2. Next up we have Legends Of Korra. While its parent series Avatar The Last Airbender had plenty of dark material, this show kicked it into high gear with multiple on screen deaths (including a murder suicide), a more noticeable political edge, and not holding back in showing dysfunction and post traumatic stress disorder. As such, the remaining episodes of season 3 and all of season 4 were put on Nick.com.

3. Next up we have The Lion Guard. In comparison to most other Disney Junior shows, there's a good deal of darkness, particularly when Scar is involved. He and Ushari also die horrible deaths in the season 3 premiere. The show also goes into Kion's torture quite a bit as he struggles to maintain his humanity. The show already had poor treatment since the middle of season 2, but it really took off in season 3. There were much less reruns and almost the entirety of season 3 was put on Disney Now before airing on tv.

4. Lastly, we have Elena Of Avalor. While Sofia The First had light enough elements that it was only really treated poorly in season 4, Elena's more mature nature made its poor treatment crop up during mid season 2, particularly with mainly airing only new episodes. The show doesn't hold back in showing the trauma Elena goes through because of her parents'deaths, particularly in season 3. The onscreen deaths of Shuriki, Elena's parents, Alakazar, and Hetz (the series finale for the latter) are of particular notice.

That's all I have. What do you think?
 

Rabbitearsblog

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This seems to be the case. Like some early examples of this were Invader Zim and Ren and Stimpy. Both shows had some pretty dark content (Invader Zim had the episode "Dark Harvest" where Zim stole the kids' organs and put them inside of his body and the episode "Bestest Friend" where Zim rips out a kid's eyeballs and Ren and Stimpy had gory violence). Therefore, both of these shows were screwed over by Nickelodeon as a result.
 

Dantheman

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I remember Justice League/JLUnlimited and Star Wars The Clone Wars eventually only having it where only new episodes aired, but I don't think that was because of content, but more that reruns went over like a lead balloon. I could be wrong, though.
 

Mostezli

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Honestly, better examples would be shows that got dark, thus were forced to reel it back in later seasons/sequels/entries.
  • See The Batman and TMNT 2k3.
  • Transformers went from Prime to Robots in Disguise to splitting their demo's between traditional cable and Machinima
  • DC, went from 4 consecutive/simultaneous reboots on Cartoon Network (two of which got cancelled whilst the other was revived on streaming) to just TTGo! to try again with the short-lived JLAction to eventually just add on a revamped DC Superhero Girls. All the while, they were doing all the mature / once suitable for the 90s & early aughts stuff for VoD.
  • On Disney (not Star Wars/Marvel), I'm not aware of any series that pushed the "darkness" since Star Vs ended.
I remember Justice League/JLUnlimited and Star Wars The Clone Wars eventually only having it where only new episodes aired, but I don't think that was because of content, but more that reruns went over like a lead balloon. I could be wrong, though.
Yeah, I thought it had more to do with the more serialized the content, the more likely the show would be screwed over aka burned off at a time when no one would be up to watch OR be shown on an on-demand platform for proper viewing.
 

Dr.Pepper

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This seems to be the case. Like some early examples of this were Invader Zim and Ren and Stimpy. Both shows had some pretty dark content (Invader Zim had the episode "Dark Harvest" where Zim stole the kids' organs and put them inside of his body and the episode "Bestest Friend" where Zim rips out a kid's eyeballs and Ren and Stimpy had gory violence). Therefore, both of these shows were screwed over by Nickelodeon as a result.
I think in the case of Ren & Stimpy, it had more to do with issues from the creator. It was incredibly popular at first.
 

SoundDestroyer

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Maybe,but again,it depends on Network's decision. Cartoon Network is notorious for screwing up shows with dark nature,ESPECIALLY action shows. Mostly notably,shows like Megas XLR,Green Lantern/Young Justice (Before the Un-Cancellation),Sym-Bionic Titan etc. Ben 10 didn't avoided the punishment either.
 

TheVileOne

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The ones in the OP weren't as egregious because they at least got renewed or got to end in Korra's case.

Look at the 2011 Thundercats animated series. It didn't even get a second season, and Cartoon Network reps lied to my face that it was getting back. That show got incredibly screwed over and they replaced it with a LEGO KNOCKOFF.

Thundercats had no marketing at all after the premiere. Secondly, they never gave the show any reruns at all, but they would constantly spam Adventure Time and Regular Show all day long. Yes, I like Regular Show a lot, but they were spamming certain shows at the expense of others.
 

Dantheman

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Yeah, I thought it had more to do with the more serialized the content, the more likely the show would be screwed over aka burned off at a time when no one would be up to watch OR be shown on an on-demand platform for proper viewing.

Season 5 of The Clone Wars being moved to Saturday mornings from Friday nights was probably a victim of the Disney buyout, more than anything. It was only a matter of time; CN wasn't going to give an competitor's IP a prime viewing spot.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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I would like to point out that Wolverine and the X-Men was quite dark and didn't renewed for season two as it was screwed by the Disney acquisition of Marvel.
 

TheJLeeTeam

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That’s understandable that darker kids shows like would get screwed over especially in recent years.

But alternatively it seems that the more wholesome and cheerful a cartoon is it gets screwed over unless it’s on PBS Kids or something. For Example Harvey Beaks and Summer Camp Island as if Nick or CN doesn’t want to air cartoon equivalent of Animal Crossing.
 
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