Super Mario Bros. (2013 TV series)/Adored by the Network
Super Mario Bros. fell into this rather fast and quickly became the new SpongeBob SquarePants in terms of overexposure. Unsuprisingly, this over exposure led to the series becoming one of Cartoon Network's most popular shows. By 2015, ratings were extraordinarily high, often surpassing that of Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. So of course the network went on to give it lots of attention. Later on, it became something of the default "filler" show whenever there wasn't a new episode of another series (which is quite often), or when Adult Swim wasn't on, quickly pushing other popular shows off the schedule almost completely (resulting in a few such as Uncle Grandpa and Clarence being unceremoniously cancelled due to poor ratings, and spawning conspiracy theories that Cartoon Network was run by Moral Guardians who deliberately sabotaged any series they found inappropriate for kids by using SMB to artificially manipulate ratings to justify cancellation). During the summer of 2015, the show was practically the only thing that was played aside from what few live-action movies CN still held the rights to, new episodes of acquired series, and the Adult Swim block. It has been given its own page here because it is one of the most noteworthy and conspicuous examples of any TV series, animated or otherwise, being overexposed by its network.
The history of SMB's status as this below is in rough chronological order unless otherwise indicated:
Holiday and No-Hoper Repeat marathons
One major way that the US feed of Cartoon Network has shown their obsession for their show is by airing episodes or unannounced marathons to compete with other nationwide channels, usually around the holidays. Since there have been many, many instances where this happened, it has its own section. The marathons of this type, in chronological order, have included: (TBA)
US Cartoon Network
- The show's Super Nintendo World slot was a rerun, with a primetime slot showing new episodes. Ads for it were shown constantly (in contrast, another Nintendo-related property, The Legend of Zelda, had Invisible Advertising), and CN even ran marathons of it to fill up the daytime schedule. In just a few episodes the Network had already ordered a second season, while Zelda got pulled from SNW entirely (supposedly scheduled for a January return, until CN pushed it to an unspecified "first half of 2014" return), all but guaranteeing the latter would get the axe considering how little CN thinks of action cartoons not aired by Adult Swim or Toonami. By August 2014, SMB was airing six times a day on the weekdays, despite only having 29 half-hour episodes at that point, and a little over a year later, the show would air 15 times a day. Even CN's other network favorites don't receive that many airings in one day.
- On October 26, 2013, SNW became 100% SMB, due to Zelda being pulled from the schedule, before the block disappeared entirely. Zelda was later written off for taxes, meaning Cartoon Network can't legally air it anymore, forcing Toonami to burn off the remaining seven episodes in one night.
- In late-2014, it got to the point where half of Cartoon Network's airtime was divided between it and The Amazing World of Gumball.
- By June 2015, the show aired at least 4-5 hours a day. This forced Sonic Boom and Transformers: Robots in Disguise into premiering in the graveyard slot so reruns could air in the prime time slot (in fact, the former's first advertisement didn't air until right after the show premiered). Some series, such as the then-upcoming Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! and Wabbit, were moved to Boomerang, while the DreamWorks Dragons series was moved to Netflix (though this move wasn't without precedent, due to an exclusive deal between Netflix and DreamWorks to air exclusive series based on DreamWorks properties).
- The popularity of the show has led to Cartoon Network devoting several programming blocks to the show:
- The earliest of these blocks is the weekend morning block Super Mario Bros. Top 5, a rebranding of the original Top 5, where fans of the show pick the top 5 episodes that fans would like to see on TV online. The length of this block (running from 8AM to 1PM) has caused shows like Pokémon, Sonic Boom and Justice League Action to be put in poor timeslots on weekends, which eventually resulted in Pokemon moving to Disney XD, where it is treated much better. In late 2015, this block would usually be followed by an all-day block of SMB. In the fall of 2017, the block was shortened to be from 9 to 12 to play one hour blocks of Ben 10 and OK KO! Let's Be Heroes before and after the block. Usually, the modern incarnation of the block has all the episodes tied in to some sort of theme (for example, one day will have episodes focusing on villains and another day may have episodes that are parodies of pop culture.) In January 2018, this block's Sunday run ended. To compromise, Cartoon Network made nearly the entire Saturday schedule (with the only other shows on that day's schedule being Unikitty! and the original SMB Super Show) comprised of SMB re-runs.
- In October 2015, the "New Thursdays" block they had for over a year was renamed the "New Mario Thursdays" block. Ironically, as of the rename, new episodes of the show didn't start airing until 3 weeks after it started. It reverted back to its original name in 2016, before becoming "Yoursdays" in April 2016, a block centered around viewers sending in videos of themselves.
- In late January 2017, Cartoon Network added a block called the Super Mario Bros. Friday Party, which is basically a 9-hour marathon of SMB done to premiere new episodes of the show. Sometimes, during this block, other shows will have new episodes, like PPG 2016.
- After the Friday Party block was done away with, Cartoon Network made a block called Summertime Bros. in June 2017. Headed by seven hours of SMB, the block aired on Fridays and had new episodes of SMB and Ben 10 (2016). New episodes of We Bare Bears and the premiere of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes were expected to premiere sometime within the next couple of months. However in July, the block was ignored due to a month long bomb of Mighty Magiswords episodes, where viewers can use the MagiMobile app to collect swords based on Cartoon Network shows such as SMB, Steven Universe, Gumball, We Bare Bears, and Ben 10 2016. By the time Bears and K.O. finally premiered the new episodes, the block was discontinued.
- In September 2017, Cartoon Network shifted its night of major premieres to Friday, consisting of new episodes of Super Mario Bros., The Amazing World of Gumball, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, and We Bare Bears. More emphasis is put on SMB than the other shows, with nine hours of the show playing before the start of the block. The commercials for the block also say "It all starts with a new Super Mario Bros. at 6:00!", and the new SMB episodes are always promoted outside of the block.
- To promote the four-way crossover amongst this show, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, Steven Universe, and Ben 10 (2016), Cartoon Network aired a block called "Toadette Domination", which featured episodes of the show all about Toadette, since she was in the aforementioned crossover.
- The show has a Blu-ray release, making it one of the handful of CN cartoons to get this treatment.