The Amazing Mark Lazzo Story

May 14th, 2009 - 12:03 am ICT by GD  

Great ideas are often sprung out of complete boredom. Agrees Mark Lazzo who thought he would completely blow his top if he had to air yet another “Flintstones” back to back series. He thought he would take a 1960s cartoon strip from the Hanna Barbera collection and reanimate it to get the zing back.

So in April 1994, “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” signaled the beginning to the painfully slow, cheap but rich-in-creativity transit to the all night alternative service that is today called Adult Swim. Lazzo promised that he could rule the ratings if he was just given enough leeway to turn around Fish Police and some animated shows for adults. He said later, “Sales kept saying, ‘We don’t need it, and we don’t think you’ll make money. But by 1998, ‘99, we were pretty much, ‘C’mon let-us-let-us-let-us,’ and we did that every minute until they said yes.

Adult Swim was launched finally in 2001 with “Futurama” and “Family Guy”, both shows that Fox had earlier given up on. It renewed both shows after they began to be tremendous successes in the hands of Mark Lazzo.

And then Adult Swim ruled Cartoon Network for three evenings every week, then it went up to six nights, and now stands at seven. It is now aired eight hours every night, beginning with reruns of “King Of The Hill”. Fox has realized that Adult Swim is the cash machine for Time Warner, which owns Turner Broadcasting. And Lazzo says, “I still think you can do a show with six people. The first thing I learned was if you kept it inexpensive enough, they would let you do things. You would generally get a ‘yes.’ Once.

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