CN Real was a block of Cartoon Network that lasted from 2009-2010, focused on live action programming. Throughout the mid-to-late 2000s, Cartoon Network began integrating live action shows into their mix in order to compete with Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, which both integrated live action shows along with animation. This escalated after head of Cartoon Network Jim Staples resigned in the aftermath of the Boston Bomb Scare, replaced by Stuart Snyder. The result of this was the creation of a block dedicated to original Cartoon Network live action programming. Thus, CN Real was born.
As most live-action series on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel at the time were sitcoms, CN Real hoped to take advantage of the 2000s reality show craze to differentiate itself from the competition.note The shows were typically inspired by other popular reality shows of the time: BrainRush, for example, was similar in concept to Cash Cab, while The Othersiders was basically Ghost Hunters for kids.
However, most of the new shows couldn't gain traction in ratings; none of the shows came close to matching the network's animated shows.
The block only lasted one year, ending May 28, 2010, with only Destroy Build Destroy and Dude, What Would Happen? surviving the end of the block. Cartoon Network eventually found more success in its animated offerings, with shows like Regular Show, Adventure Time, and The Amazing World of Gumball paving the way for what fans call Cartoon Network's Renaissance era. The network would create a few more live action shows, but their last ones, Level Up and Incredible Crew, aired their final episodes in 2013.
Shows that aired on CN Real:
- The Other Siders (June 17, 2009 to October 30, 2009)
- Survive This (June 17, 2009 to August 19, 2009)
- Brain Rush (June 20, 2009 to July 22, 2009)
- Destroy Build Destroy (June 20, 2009 to May 28, 2010)
- Dude, What Would Happen? (August 19, 2009 to May 28, 2010, with episodes produced outside the block until September 21, 2011.)
- Bobbe Says (August 19, 2009 to September 23, 2009)