CN Real was a short-lived programming block featuring live-action reality shows usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays that aired on Cartoon Network in June 17, 2009, promoted by rock musician Andrew WK. By early 2010, CN Real and its shows (with the exception of Dude, What Would Happen and Destroy Build Destroy) were prematurely cancelled for good due to the overwhelmingly negative receptions by critics and viewers for its place on Cartoon Network, a day before its rebrand.
Shows That Aired on the Programming Block
- Dude, What Would Happen?
- Destroy Build Destroy
- The Othersiders
- Bobb'e Says
- Survive This!
Why It Sucked
- First of all, it didn't belong in a channel that's called Cartoon Network! That's like airing cooking shows on Animal Planet, soap operas on Comedy Central, history shows on HGTV, movies on a news network, or worse, pornography on channels aimed towards young audiences!
- This was basically Cartoon Network's poor attempt at trying to copy Disney Channel and Nickelodeon (due to the popularity of their live-action programs) formula in order to stay relevant ignoring the fact that unlike their competitors, Cartoon Network is more of a specialty channel.
- Many good shows ended around the time the block was launched (e.g. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Ed, Edd n Eddy), although this example is downplayed, as the shows didn't necessarily end because of the block, rather, they had coincidentally finished production around the time the block debuted.
- This is where Cartoon Network was at the height of its first dark age in the late 2000s, because they did not release any new original animated programs that year despite the network's name and aired this instead, as well as the fact that many of the original animated programs and programming blocks (such as Toonami in 2008) were cancelled prematurely in favor of this and the live-action shows. As a result, the only original animated shows that were running during the time was Ben 10: Alien Force, Chowder, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and The Secret Saturdays, while Ed, Edd n Eddy, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Transformers: Animated had sadly ended that same year, whereupon the network only focused on Canadian-based cartoons such as Johnny Test and Total Drama.
- This, along with Cartoon Network hosting mostly live-action shows at the time, was the main reason both Craig McCracken of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and the original Powerpuff Girls fame and his wife Lauren Faust resigned from Cartoon Network for good after working there for 17 years (see the former's reaction to the block in the Reception section).
- Despite CN Real being cancelled for good in 2010, Cartoon Network still continued to air live-action shows, such as The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange and Incredible Crew, up until 2014.
- Many of the block's shows like Dude, What Would Happen?, Survive This! and The Othersiders were rip-offs of shows such as Survivor, Man vs. Wild, Ghost Hunters, Mythbusters, etc.
- One of the block's shows, Dude, What Would Happen?, was not only a rip-off of Mythbusters, but it lacked the charm and scientific integrity Mythbusters had, as well as the fact that the show spits in the eyes of science just to appeal to dumb thrill-seekers. In fact, it actually felt more like a Jackass rip-off than anything.
- Following CN Real's cancellation in 2010 came the release of Adventure Time, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Generator Rex, Regular Show, Robotomy and Sym-Bionic Titan, thus leading into the start of what's known as Cartoon Network's "Renaissance Era".
- After leaving Cartoon Network, Craig McCracken would eventually move on to create the hit Disney Channel series Wander Over Yonder, while Lauren Faust would create My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- At least the title makes sense.
- Some live-action shows during this era (the most famous examples were Tower Prep and Unnatural History) could've worked better if they were either animated, or on a different channel that isn't dedicated solely to cartoons.
- Though 2009 may be considered Cartoon Network's darkest year, there were still some good moments during that year, such as the series finales of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends ("Goodbye to Bloo") and Ed, Edd n Eddy (Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show) happening that year.
CN Real was mostly negatively received by critics and viewers, including Cartoon Network fans, for its place on Cartoon Network and most of the shows received horrible ratings and views. However, Dude, What Would Happen? and Destroy Build Destroy did receive high ratings despite the negative reception and they were the only CN Real shows that survived the block's cancellation and were renewed for additional seasons, both of them ended on September 21, 2011. Tim Surette, a user of TV.com, created a blog about the block with over 230 supporters. Craig McCracken, a former Cartoon Network employee and creator of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and the original Powerpuff Girls, was unhappy about this and even stated to The Los Angeles Times in 2009, "It's a little sad. Cartoon Network 'had' something unique..."