Explaining Cartoon Network’s Scheduling Tactics (as it relates to Steven Universe)
First, the hiatuses, namely this one:
In order for CN to keep using the Steven Bomb format, they need to have a somewhat sizable backlog of finished episodes built up, so we don’t end up having unreasonably huge breaks in between every event.
The last time we had a major hiatus like this was in between Log Date 7 15 2 and Super Watermelon Island, which lasted 124 days. After that hiatus ended and we got In Too Deep, we found ourselves in another hiatus that lasted 63 days. You know what we got after that? THE SUMMER OF STEVEN. 2-3 months of nonstop episodes. While it was super-enjoyable to have Steven everyday, we pretty much *breezed* through most of season 3 that summer, so it’s no wonder we got a bunch of hiatuses after that.
So, let’s say for instance that season 5 is all completed and season 6 is well underway. If CN wants to do another big event like that, they need more time so they can do what they did with season 3 with season 5, without having to have another massive hiatus afterwards.
The Steven Bomb Format:
And why not just air them weekly, like a normal TV network? Because, while that is more convenient, making every premiere a “special limited-time event” tends to bring in more ratings.
Remember, television is competitive. Nick, CN, and Disney all want a slice of every child’s afterschool TV time, and even more of their weekend time. They will do *anything* to get them tuning into one channel over the other.
The Big Four (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX) have it easy. They have a much larger target demographic, and therefore can afford to air episodes of their shows weekly on a regular basis. CN can’t, because instead of 18-49 year olds, they’re targeting 7-13 year olds, who have a million other distractions that they have to compete with besides TV.
“Special One Week Event” gets their attention a bit more than “Every [Day of the Week] at [Time of Day]” because, quite simply, one is “special” and the other is normal.
Airing TTG Nonstop:
A show like TTG is easy to air in big marathons because it’s episodic, so kids can tune in whenever and can easily enjoy it. And, judging by the number of views on TTG videos on CN’s YouTube, kids do enjoy it. They wouldn’t be airing it nonstop if kids didn’t like it. (Which, by the way, is why all your “End Teen Titans Go” petitions will go absolutely nowhere)
SU, on the other hand, is a much more difficult beast to put down. Many episodes are standalone, but many more tie into each other. It’s hard to have that “sit-down anytime” format when the best episodes to air are the ones that require the most backstory.
And besides, most people just watch them online anyway.
The Lack of Promos:
With SU’s huge online presence, it’s figured that most of the viewers are going to come from word of mouth. Therefore, it’s not seen as feasible to have promos made for a show that gets just as much advertising for free from fans talking to fans in the presence of nonfans, who then check it out and do the same.
Regular reruns and promos would just be a waste of airtime, when all you have to do is post a couple of memes to the Twitter feed every now and then.
Why No Word of a Release Date Yet?
No seriously, it all has to do with timing. You see, when you announce something, you have to make sure people are going to be listening. And not just any people, the *right* people. As in, the target demographic, which, spoiler alert, is not us.
If they announced the airdate long before it actually came, I doubt the children watching CN would remember long enough, especially considering how close we’re getting to school beginning.
If they want the kiddies to tune in for whatever special event they’re cooking up, they need to do it close to the airdate rather than far away from it.
And, for the sake of everyone being on the same page, it’s easier to just announce it everywhere at the same time, which is why they haven’t put the release date online for us and then on TV for the kids.
Hype is a precious thing. One has to be careful with it.
In each of these, all CN really sacrifices is the viewing convenience of a relatively large but comparatively small internet fandom, who were all going to watch it anyway.
I don’t know about you, but I’d consider that a bargain.
Three times Joan walks away from Sherlock and one time he walks away from her
The episode left me sad. Sad for Shinwell, sad for Joan, sad for Sherlock. We all knew Shinwell was not going to survive the season, but letting him exit with more of a victory than finding him dead in the Elementary trademark pool of blood would have been nice. If one is looking for patterns, it perhaps sets Joan up in the role of avenger.
What left me sadder is the partnership, the relationship of Holmes and Watson, getting icier with each scene. Sherlock looks weary, scared, and after explaining his feelings and fears, Joan once again walks away. He seems to give up…. “You know a lost cause when you see one see one” - I hope we get to see whatever the motivation for her evading talking about their relationship with him is because this is just painful to watch….. I fear losing you. I’ll go make coffee.
That whole finding him asleep scene was disconcerting. He doesn’t sleep when there is a case afoot. He solved the case and didn’t bother to wake her up to tell her! And he presents the evidence to her with none of the usual zeal or enthusiasm. And most importantly (and I’d be willing to bet this is an LL director detail), his collar is undone, he is not himself … to be rather grossly literal- he is undone. He has given up as is dramatically illustrated by his walking away from her in the next to last scene of the episode.
I’d write about what Joan went through in the episode but other than ending up with one more death on her hands, I’m not really sure what she’s feeling.
“Dragon racing?” Merida questions, very much intrigued. “Is that some kind of sport you play at Berk?” “You could say that,” Hiccup shrugs, failing to be nonchalant as he utters his next few words, “And you’re talking to the champion.” “Oh, really? I’ll bet it’s not that hard.” “Tell you what. You join the next game - go against Ruffnut, Tuffnut and the bunch - and if you win, I mayconsider a one-on-one with you.” “A little cocky there, aren’t ya, Hic? Fine, just don’t go runnin’ off after I win!” “A little cocky there, aren’t ya, Mer?”
She turned out to be a lot better than he thought.