animation domination

Harken back the late 80s/early 90s. The world is a simpler place and animation was, for all intents and purposes, a simple form of entertainment.

Then suddenly, not one, but two explosive events coincided to give the technique the sorely needed kick in the backside it needed. On the one hand, The Simpsons managed to grasp the mantle of prime time animation that had last been held by The Flintstones. On the other, the holy trilogy of original Nicktoons took children's animation by force while mopping up the hipper elements of the adult audience.

All things being equal, it's been an interesting two decades for both types of show. The Simpsons managed to eclipse just about every other show on the planet in terms of quality and popularity and gave rise to other hits such as King of the Hill, Family Guy and Futurama.

Although never able to replicate the level of hysteria initiated by the Simpsons, cable cartoons were more than content to prove their metal through numbers, and diversity. Their quality has stood the test of time quite well; just ask any 90s kid.

That leads us to today's news that the broadcast network most dominant in animation, FOX, has announced that they are ordering a new series from stalwart creator, Seth McFarlane (and Mark Hentemann.)

Bordertown takes place on, you guessed it, the American border and given McFarlane's track record, probably features a nuclear family and at least on talking animal. The series was ordered partly as a result of American Dad moving to TBS.

News of such a move ought to paint a depressing picture in many minds.

If in doubt, just imagine that someone from five years ago watching Animation Domination this year would have no trouble recognizing the lineup. Now think how many new shows he or she would have to grapple with on Cartoon Network alone. Surely that should be cause for thought.

FOX has by far the best record when it comes to animation on a broadcast network and to give them the respect they deserve, they have persisted time and again with animation even if shows didn't quite prove to be hits.

However, with yet another McFarlane-esque show scheduled for the line-up, it's clear that Animation Domination has had it's 'jump the shark' moment.