Coming SoonPerhaps you didn’t know it was happening. Maybe you don’t follow the FOX friendly line-up littering the Cartoon Network’s airwaves from 9:00pm until… seven days a week. Whatever the situation is, Adult Swim remains one of the cable channel’s most effective programming blocks. Preferred demographics, usually relating to age groups between 14 and 45, make it a hotbed for potential advertisers. Thanks to the constant repetition of King of the Hill, American Dad, and Family Guy (No Simpsons, though they will soon add The Cleveland Show to the line-up), as well as their own unique blend of in-house, Williams-Street hits (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, The Venture Brothers, Children’s Hospital), it remains a ratings and marketing given.
So it makes sense that Hollywood would hop on the ballyhoo bandwagon and use the block as a means of getting the word out. But unlike your standard, straightforward approach (clips, cut-down trailers), Adult Swim appears to be the beneficiary of content specifically molded toward its membership. Instead of giving viewers the typical “coming soon” pitch, the studios have come up with compelling, often clever ways of circumventing the standard preview. In their place have been mini-interview featurettes, strange animated sneaks, quirky takes on the tired old conventions, and in some cases, efforts that appear to have nothing to do with the film focused on.