Post #4: Changing Demographics

Seven years after the end of Teen Titans, the show was brought back on air, this time titled Teen Titans Go! While the original voice cast was brought back, there were many other changes made. The changes made to Teen Titans were made to ensure the successful change of the targeted demographic. The new version of the show was never intended to be a continuation of the old series but rather a new one just keeping the dynamic of the interactions between the five main characters. According to one of the producers, Michael Jelenic, one of the main points of having him work with the other producer, Aaron Horvath, was that he was not previously involved with anything comic book related. Jelenic went on to say that, “They want to stay away from being too loyal to these old shows. They don’t want someone from the old show to put in a joke that only they would get. Aaron has no loyalty.”

Intros from Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!

 

 

 

At first glance, the revamped show does not appear like a success, especially when comparing it to the first. However, if you view it with the intention behind it being a younger demographic this changes. The episodes split from one 22 minute episode to two individual, shorter episodes. There is no overarching plot throughout the season. The show is much more colorful and has quite lighter plot lines. Even the changing atmosphere of the show helps to show how the targeted audience is much younger.

According to Common Sense Media (a website that rates and reviews all types of media targeting children for parents) the original series was all about the fight scenes. The new version has a much more positive review reading: “. . . the characters’ secondary personas as “normal” teens living together in their home/command center is the show’s focus, so the stories center on how they deal with everyday troubles like divvying up chores, jealousy, and trying to be a good friend. Of course, the fact that they have superpowers (and live on their own) always complicates matters since there’s so much potential for comical mayhem. There are some exchanges of blows and weapons (swords, a staff, gunfire from a robotic arm), but it’s not central to the stories’ themes, and it’s very short-lived. Positive themes of friendship, compromise, and resolving differences are tangible in some of the stories as well.” From these ratings you can see how the the changes made the show go from a show which targeted older teens to one made for younger audiences.

The proof of their success is clear as day. The premier of Teen Titans Go had 2 million viewers, and according to the same source went on to become the number one kids program in the 2-14 years old demographic.

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12 thoughts on “Post #4: Changing Demographics

  1. Although I have never seen either of these shows, I think it is smart of the creators of Teen Titans Go! to appeal to a younger audience. Older teens have so much more to in this day and age and commanding their attention is probably difficult. Kids shows however, are often downright stupid (hint, hint, Small Potatoes…) and yet get great ratings. Shows for much younger viewers seem to be easier to market and are more likely to become a ratings success.

  2. I guess that I understand the purpose behind revamping the series to skew younger, but I would argue that the original Teen Titans had a fairly young audience to begin with. While there are always going to be the occasional comic book-obsessed adults watching, the original had all the makings of a television show for a younger audience. It played on Cartoon Network, the opening theme song was youthful in musical style, and there were jokes abound with funny animation sequences to accompany the humor. I’m glad that the reboot has a clear objective with the themes they are trying to present for children, but I still argue that the original Teen Titans was not all about the action.

  3. I had no idea Teen Titans Go was such a huge success. I was very skeptical of it because I loved the original so much as a kid. It’s funny because when my siblings and I watched Teen Titans I was the oldest and I was 9 or 10 years old. The youngest one watching was 5 or 6 so even though this new show is aimed at younger kids there were still young kids watching the original too.

  4. Being the die hard Teen Titans fan that I am, I rejected Teen Titans Go! when it first came out. However, it never crossed my mind that its creators were trying to create something different from Teen Titans or that it was trying to appeal to a younger audience. From the few episodes that I watched, it has toned back a lot of the elements of fighting and story arcs that made Teen Titans successful–instead having more simplistic problems that can be solved in an episode or two. And kids have a knack for taking on multiple animated shows at a time. If I had to look at the show while putting my love for Teen Titans aside, the colors and more cartoony style are kind of appealing. Depending on the age of the child, they might really enjoy it.

  5. I have to say I am of two minds on this. (Notice the subtle Two Face reference) On one side I like animated series to have the same continuity as the comics they are based, but then again I see the need for animated series to be revamped for a new target audience. This has been a fact of life for comics since the 80’s when DC and Marvel realized they would have to eventually revamp the story lines of their comics to appeal and make sense to their new generations of readers. This is also the case for all the animated comic series out there. You may not be able to have the same serial story line, but you can still simply enjoy it for what it is. An animated story of interesting super powered people.

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