Television’s latest animated superhero sports a purple skirt and cape, pink gloves and white go-go boots – and is, you might say, a transformer.
She is also a he.
“Meet SheZow, the star of a cartoon debuting Saturday on the Hub, a kids’ cable channel co-owned by cable programming giant Discovery Communications and toy manufacturerHasbro Inc. The story is being reported widely. Below is coverage from the LA Times.
“In “SheZow,” a 12-year-old boy — named Guy — uses a magic ring to transform himself into a legendary crime fighter. When evil lurks, Guy says, “You go girl!” and becomes SheZow.
“When I first heard about the show, my reaction was ‘Are you out of your minds?'” said Margaret Loesch, chief executive of the Hub. “Then I looked at it and I thought, ‘This is just funny.'”
“The Hub is hoping some of SheZow’s magic powers rub off on it so it can better battle the giants of children’s television:Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.
“Launched in October 2010, the Hub has barely registered a blip in the highly competitive kids’ TV marketplace. It has a few minor successes including “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic” and “Transformers,” but overall its ratings are tiny. Among kids 2 to 11, the Hub’s primary target, it averages 56,000 viewers a day, according to Nielsen. Disney and Nickelodeon each average 934,000 kids in that group.
“Obviously they have not grown as fast as we’d hoped,” said Darcy Bowe, a media director at Starcom, an advertising firm whose clients include kid-friendly brands like Kellogg Co.,Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Crayola. “They have a long way to go.”
“Executives counter that although the ratings are small, they are on the rise. Its ratings among kids 2 to 11 is up 45% from last year and 75% from launch. The Hub is even within striking distance of Nicktoons, which averages 80,000 kids 2 to 11.
“We’re making a lot of progress,” said Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav. “Launching a cable channel in America is never a sprint.”