Monday, October 10, 2016

Ben's 10 again: Turner Africa's Cartoon Network on DStv debuts the brand-new Ben 10 series in South Africa and across Africa 6 months before America.

There's only two animated, forever 10-year olds and while yellow Bart Simpson will arguably always be the funnier one, Ben Tennyson who is getting a reset in a whole new series of Ben 10 starting on Cartoon Network (DStv 301) from today at 17:05, will always be the one having the bigger adventures.

As a worldwide animation hit with kids and their parents, the rebooted Ben 10 will kick off today - on 10 10 2016 - exactly 10 years after the Emmy Award winning series started on Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network.

The show that went on to spawn not just various alien creatures from Ben Tennyson's Omnitrix, but 4 follow-up series as well as animation and live action series, grew a cult following with the term "Ben 10" in South Africa even coming to denote a romantic entanglement between a woman with a much younger man.

The moniker is indicative of how Ben 10 not just became an entrenched viewer phenomenon outside of America but of how deeply it infused itself over the past decade into the pop culture zeitgeist - especially in South Africa.

That viewer fevour is part of the reason that Cartoon Network decided to roll out the reset Ben 10 in specifically South Africa and other countries months before the new animated series will start in the United States in April 2017.

In the new Ben 10 produced by Cartoon Network Studios, Ben Tennyson - slightly updated but all the original fun intact - is back to the 10 year old boy who can transform into various alien creatures aided by his Omnitrix to not only save Earth but the universe.

"We have an unrivaled joy and passionate love for animation," says Colman Murray who was just appointed as Turner's business development director for Turner Africa - the first African-based appointment for Turner Africa where Turner Broadcasting runs channels like Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Boing among others.

"Ben 10 along with our other superstars, The Powerpuff Girls, are all superstars in their own right. And they're squeaky clean and they love Cartoon Network."

"Ben 10 is a global phenomenon," says Colman Murray. Since its launch in 2006, Ben 10 has been a top-grossing franchise for the Cartoon Network as viewers bought toys, DVDs and video games.

"Ben 10 is also the most downloaded Cartoon Network app, generating 283 million plays in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region alone and 400 million page views."

Ben 10 has been seen in 170 countries in 30 languages, reaching over 312 million homes worldwide.

"Such is Cartoon Network's commitment to South Africa, that we're launching Ben 10 on DStv six months ahead of the United States," says Colman Murray.

"The 10-year old Ben Tennyson discovers an amazing alien watch called the Omnitrix. He's on holiday with his grandfather Max when he gets this awesome device that gives Ben the ability to transform into any of 10 spectacular and powerful aliens."

"With this watch he can control time, he can control water, he can change his size, he can become extendable like chewing gum. This watch fundamentally changes Ben's life from being a normal 10-year old dealing with bad guys to a lot of opportunities," says Colman Murray.

"In the new Ben 10 starting on Monday on Cartoon Network at 17:05, the re-imagined Ben returns to the 10-year old where the story started, travelling the country with his grandpa Max and cousin Gwen."

"Ben finds the Omnitrix and a world of extra-terrestrial superpowers open up to him. And this mysterious watch transforms him into 10 different aliens."

"We are seriously excited at Cartoon Network about this new series," says Colman Murray.

"Kids will meet a more modern, relatable Ben 10. Ben 10 is relateable because everyone wants to be and can be a hero in their own right - but only if they believe in themselves".

"Ben's character is timeless, so we felt the time was right to bring him back. Our South African audience can now look forward to brand-new episodes with a brand-new look and feel. With this new series there's action and comedy content aimed at the core audience of 6 to 7-year olds."

"One young South African fan had the following comment about Ben 10: Other superheroes are born with powers. But Ben 10 is like us, he's like me. I really want to be his friend," says Colman Murray.