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What was supposed to be the spiritual successor to Cartoon Network's What A Cartoon! Show, Cartoonstitute was intended to be a showcase for new animators to show off their skills, and an alternate way for Cartoon Network to develop new material that had potential for a full series greenlight without the use of focus-testing or any major executive interference. The project was headed by Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends) and Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot), and received its name from Lauren Faust. A total of 39 shorts were meant to be produced, but due to an increase of other in-house productions and a number of financial issues, only 14 were completed. The finished pieces were leaked online in late 2009. They would then receive a legitimate brief showing on the network's online video service the following year, before quietly being removed. The Other Wiki has more details on the full situation.
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Despite its cancellation, Cartoonstitute did achieve its goal, as new shows were born from the group of completed pilots. In August 2009, Cartoon Network announced that they had greenlit 12 quarter-hours of J.G. Quintel's Regular Show to be produced. Regular Show would run for 261 episodes over the course of eight seasons from September 2010 to January 2017, becoming a major pillar for the channel alongside Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time, with both series being credited for the reversal of Cartoon Network's then-decline. In April 2010, a spin-off of the Uncle Grandpa short was announced, entitled Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. While that series saw cancellation after a single series, the network tried again by developing the short proper into a series of the same name; Uncle Grandpa would run for 153 episodes over the course of five seasons from September 2013 to June 2017.

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While the Cartoonstitute project did meet its end, the idea of using methods beyond focus groups to gauge the potential of future content remained. Starting in the mid-2010s, Cartoon Network would begin to regularly upload various pilot episodes online, with popular ones such as OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes and Infinity Train receiving series orders as a result of audience reaction and engagement.

Compare Random! Cartoons, Nickelodeon's own attempt at a successor to a previous animated anthology series (in their case, Oh Yeah! Cartoons).


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Cartoonstitute had the following shorts:


Cartoonstitute contains examples of:

  • After the End: Stockboys of the Apocalypse has a teenage boy fall into a time machine and sent decades into the future, where the world is a nuclear wasteland.
  • Chubby Chaser: In 3 Dog Band, Sly hits on an elephant and a hippo and enjoys it when they start crushing him with their behinds.
  • Deserted Island: Maruined revolves around two kids and a strange animal trapped on a tropical island.
  • Digital Destruction: Cartoon Network uploaded Danger Planet in HD on their official YouTube channel, but the colors are way too bright and there are glitches, such as severe ghosting showing the Danger Planet arcade machine frozen in midair when it falls at the beginning.
  • Funny Animal: 3 Dog Band, featuring 3 dogs.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar/Refuge in Audacity: Cartoonstitute was the network's first experimentation with the TV-PG rating, resulting in a few shorts having some risque content. The "worst" offender of this is Joey to the World, which would be a much better fit on [adult swim] than it ever would be on the main channel, due to a large amount of blatant sex and drug references.
  • The Musical: 3 Dog Band is a about a musical trio, and the short ends with them playing at a nightclub.
  • Odd Couple: The Awesome Chronicles of Manny and Khan
  • The Pollyanna: YES is about a family of these trying to spread goodwill all over the world.
  • Retraux: 3 Dog Band looks more like something Cartoon Network would have aired at the Turn of the Millennium.
  • Spiritual Successor: To What A Cartoon! Show
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: In YES, when the family tries out poetry, the mom comes up with a poem about how weird it is that she has ten toes and only one nose. The dad came up with the exact same poem.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: The children in Maruined. Arguably the titular character in Joey to the World.

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