Steven Universe’s airing schedule is terrible, and that’s because Cartoon Network has faith in it and its audience.
Listen to me. I hate the scheduling Cartoon Network does with Steven Universe. It does not make for a good audience experience. It does not enhance the show.
They are not doing it because they don’t like the show, are trying to kill the show, don’t like the audience, etc.
In fact, the exact opposite is the case.
With Steven Universe, Cartoon Network knows they have a devoted (and internet savvy) audience, and they know they can try new things and that won’t kill the show.
The internet is breaking TV. I, for one, welcome this new on-demand binge-ready existence, but it is a huge change. “What is the best way to reach audiences now?” is a great big question all the old traditional networks are grappling with.
And the safest way to grapple with that question is to test ideas with stuff you know isn’t going to be killed by some experimentation.
So, what if we put in on the streaming sites a month before air? If we release episodes in bundles all at once, will that deter ratings loss to leaks and/or time-delayed viewers? Does that make it easier to quickly move it to streaming sites where it can start gathering ad revenue there? What ensures the best TV ratings while also building/retaining the best online audience? What splits viewership the least? What makes targeting ads the easiest?
None of this is for a good audience experience. I want to be clear. It is all cynical as hell, and it’s Cartoon Network learning how to make the most money off their shows, and this one show in particular. And while Steven Bombs suck, they also have worked. And that, for the continuation of the show and creative freedom of its team, is a good thing.
I don’t say this to say “be grateful for what you have” or “this schedule is good”, continue hating it to your heart’s content. What is the best capitalist enabler is not always to best user experience, and that sucks for us.
What I am saying is that people keep talking about the SU schedule like it’s CN actively hating the show, trying to kill the show, or a sign the show is gonna be canceled and like, nah. That’s not happening. SU is very successful and CN is really obviously banking a lot on it. The schedule in no way indicates sinister plans for your favorite shows, in fact very probably it indicates the opposite, so y’all can chill. If the Crewniverse wanna keep making SU post season-five they will, I’m sure, be invited to do so.
((That doesn’t mean that nothing is going to go wrong. Things go wrong in TV all the time - maybe someone will buy the network and decide to cancel all original programming, maybe there will be a different sort of executive/creative conflict or drama that can’t be negotiated through, etc, etc. That can happen suddenly to any otherwise healthy show. But, this is to say, there are not currently ANY warning signs, as far as I can see, that SU isn’t going to be renewed for as long as Sugar wants to keep making it. So we can all stop assuming it’s on the brink of cancellation now. It’s one of the safest shows on the entire network.))
Thank you, Allie for being such a genuine person. You’ve brought such a positive light to the CTFxC community. You’re a very sweet person & us, the CTFxC love you very much. You’re such a goofball & you can always much us laugh. Thank you for being there for Char & taking care of him. You two are perfect for each other!