In a surprising turn of events to everyone, especially to those who work at Genius Brand, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten was a smash hit with record viewerships for the Kartoon Channel, with over 9 million views to date, on the weekend it aired on April 23rd.
“Superhero Kindergarten analytics from Kartoon Channel! from the first weekend, exceeded all expectations, with traffic up across every metric we track,” said Kartoon Channel! General Manager, Jon Ollwerther.
“Network hours watched went up 941% week-over-week to 349,735 hours. Unique users went up 1,841% week-over-week to 1,858,434 uniques. New application installs went up 465.9%, as we saw growth across all viewing outlets including televisions, tablets, mobile phones, computers, and game consoles, as well as growth across all the viewing platforms of Kartoon Channel!, including Apple, Android, Roku, Amazon, You Tube, Samsung, LG, and others, with full episode viewing exceeding industry norms as well. We can already see the 2nd weekend dramatically building on the 1st.”
Celebrating the Superhero Kindergarten milestone, Schwarzenegger stated: “Over 9 million views is an incredible start in this wonderful adventure, and I know that Stan would be extremely proud. I’m personally quite pleased, because it is positive content, for both kids and their parents. As Kelly Clarkson said this week on her show after airing a clip, ‘I love when a program comes out that my kids want to watch, and I want to watch as well.” (Click to view Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent appearances on The Kelly Clarkson Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!)
We (Stan Lee and Arnold) would get together every so often and talk about ideas and projects. And he asked me, “What is your ultimate dream project?” And I said beside doing more “Conan” and “Terminator” movies, the movie that I always wanted to do a sequel of was “Kindergarten Cop.” And he said that he loved that movie. I told him I would love to do more shows for the kids.
In an interview with Business Insider from 2019, Arnold said, “One day he called me back and he said, “I have an idea that’s exactly what you’re talking about, but how about putting my spin on it?” And I said, “What’s that?” And he went, “Arnold, c’mon, you know, superheroes!” And he told me how I would play someone that no one knows was a superhero and I’m a teacher, just like in “Kindergarten Cop,” but my kindergarteners have superpowers and they are going to grow up and be the protectors of the planet. My character has to teach them all the important lessons. I told him it was fantastic, and he said, “Well, you’re talking to Stan Lee.”
Stan Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger. POW! Entertainment
“The world is migrating to streaming, and being free and family friendly, are distinguishing factors to drive Kartoon Channel! success,” said Genius Brands CEO, Andy Heyward. “Warren Buffett calls this type of differentiation a ‘moat,’ where an economic castle enjoys a material competitive advantage. There is no monthly subscription fee on Kartoon Channel!, as is required by many streaming services, because we are ad-supported. No less important is that we are producing very cool original content of the highest quality, which today’s kids and families want to see.”
“The importance of the Superhero Kindergarten performance is that successful viewership drives advertising revenue to the Kartoon Channel!, making the channel the valuable asset for Genius Brands we have been aiming towards from its launch. Second, retailers, toy companies, and consumer product licensees track series performance closely, as they determine what brands they go after and devote shelf space to. Though we can’t compare apples to oranges, the most successful animated series on television for many years has been the Simpsons. It is broadcast on linear television, and averages about 3.1 million views per episode. While, Superhero Kindergarten is streaming, not linear television, we couldn’t help but notice that by the end of the second weekend, the series has amassed more than 9 million views with only 3 episodes released so far.”
Genius Brands will continue rolling out new episodes each week with episode four debuting this Friday! The series is available by downloading the free Kartoon Channel! streaming app on Apple and Android devices; on Amazon Prime, on connected TVs and devices by Samsung, LG, Roku, Tubi, Amazon Fire Stick; on YouTube; and more; or by visiting www.kartoonchannel.com.
This is not the first time Arnold and Stan Lee have collaborated on a project for kids animation. In 2011, it was announced a planned superhero franchise for children co-created by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stan Lee. And of course, starring Schwarzenegger as himself… as a superhero. The series was called The Governator. The story would have been that after leaving the governor’s office, Arnold decides to become a crime fighter and builds a secret high-tech crime-fighting control center under his house. Unfortunately, it never aired because, later that year, news of the actor’s infidelity came to life and took over the news.
You can watch the trailer here (begins at 20 seconds in):
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