Adult Swim to Start Another Hour Earlier Because No Child in the World Watches Cable
At yesterday’s Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront event, Cartoon Network executives announced a time extension for their adult-oriented dedicated programming block. The announcement comes just weeks after the network pushed up the start time from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 1 – Adult Swim will now begin at 6 p.m. EST, so us grown adults can now watch our cartoons right when we get home from schoo – uh, work.
The reason behind the shift is pretty simple: children ages 6 to 12, Cartoon Network’s former bread and butter, don’t actually watch TV on TV. They stream kid-oriented content from any number of sources on peanut butter-smeared iPads while us dinosaurs desperately cling to cable like we’re holding onto the last LaserDisc player on the planet.
According to the consumer data platform Statista, 75% of current Cartoon Network viewers are older than 18, and 43% are over the age of 30. The former primetime of kids’ TV, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., is now dominated by adult viewers, with 68% of the after-school audience old enough to enlist.
With kid-targeted content available on every screen with an internet connection, Cartoon Network seems to be starting to cut its losses when it comes to cable and focus on the old fogeys – case in point, the newly extended Adult Swim block will begin each early evening with a rerun of American Dad!, a show so foreign to the average child that even its title warns them that it’s only really aimed at their father's generation.