I do think CN at least deserves props for trying different programming than Nickelodeon or Disney. For the past 3-4 years all they have been doing is trying to mimick Nickelodeon, and they’ve been failing pretty epically at it. The reality shows are hardly original, but at least they are different than iCarly or Hannah Montana. The live action programming they tried before just sucked. At least iCarly is watchable. The live action shows CN tried were pure garbage, unoriginal, and poorly acted.
Disney has been able to make millions copying Nickelodeon, but there just isn’t room for three Nickelodeons, so I actually think reality programming may be better for CN in the long run. It may take a while to catch on though. And like all programming, not every show they launch will catch on. When FX switched formats a few years back, only one of it’s new shows remained after 1 season.
And sadly, I don’t think original shows will work for CN the way they worked for AMC. AMC launched higher caliber, brilliantly scripted and acted shows, while that just won’t work on a children’s network. Nickelodeon and Disney are dominated by children and teen comedies. Anytime they have tried more serious programming, like Animorphs for instance, they’ve failed. And in the comedy department, I think CN will just have too much competition.
I’m not even going to address the question of an all anime channel, because it’s been proven repeatedly that there aren’t enough ratings out there. TAN killed it’s 24 hour channel, and the Funimation linear channel has been a financial drain and has even less carrier support than 24 hour TAN. And without ratings, you’ve got no financial support from advertisers.