1963 (age 52)
|Known for:||General Manager and Senior Vice President of Cartoon Network Latin America (2000—2001)|
General Manager and Senior Vice President of TNT Latin America (2000—2001)
Designer and general manager of CN Online (1998—2001)
General manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network Worldwide (2001—2007)
President of HGTV (2007—2011)
President of Scripps' International Division (2007—present)
|Preceded by:||Betty Cohen|
|Suceded by:||Stuart Snyder|
James "Jim" Samples (born 1963) was the former general manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network from 2001 to 2007. The eras under him were Powerhouse (2001–2004), CN City (2004–2007), and Yes! (2006–2007). Under Samples, many different changes occurred at CN, such as the introduction of Miguzi and Adult Swim.
After Samples's resignation following the 2007 Boston Bomb scare, Stuart Snyder took over his position as being in charge of the network. Samples then went on to work at HGTV, and later Scripps International Division.
Samples came to Turner Entertainment in 1993, working in international business development. He was promoted to head of Turner International Argentina that year, serving as such until 1999. "I did affiliate sales and marketing," he noted. "You're kind of the regional representative so you end up doing all sorts of things. My favorite part of the job always was the marketing." Since it was all affiliate marketing, "going in and working with cable operators," Samples ended up as an event marketer for Cartoon Network/ CN.
Upon returning to Atlanta in 2000, Samples became Senior Vice President and general manager of TNT and Cartoon Network Latin America, serving as such until 2001. This led to him becoming the general manager of cartoonnetwork.com in March of that year, a job that "appealed to Samples' inner technophile."
On August 22, 2001, Samples was appointed general manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network, replacing former president Betty Cohen, who had left due to creative disagreements with Jamie Kellner (the head of Turner Entertainment at the time). Shortly thereafter, he created the Adult Swim block.
On June 14, 2004, a new era of CN started called CN City, replacing Powerhouse. It combined several of Cartoon Network's former and current shows and placed them into one big city, using little parts of other shows' place and putting them in the city.
On April 3, 2006, a new era began called Yes!, and it became the primary look of the network on April 10. It featured Fred Fredburger and Cheese as the spokespersons. CN City bumpers were still being shown during this era, though not as much as the Yes! ones. This era ended on June 1, 2007.
These are the shows that Samples greenlit while running Cartoon Network:
- Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?
- Codename: Kids Next Door
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
- Evil Con Carne
- Star Wars: Clone Wars
- Megas XLR
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
- The Life and Times of Juniper Lee
- Camp Lazlo
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey
- Ben 10
- Squirrel Boy
- Class of 3000
- Out of Jimmy's Head
- Teen Titans
Contrary to popular belief, it was Samples, not Stuart Snyder who introduced live-action programming to CN. In November 2005, Cartoon Network began airing live-action films for the first time in their history. Some of these films, such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Osmosis Jones, and The Pagemaster, combined 2D animation and live actors, while others, such as The Goonies, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Batman, and Men in Black, were fully live-action but "cartoony" in tone.
Zixx, a Canadian live-action series with CGI-elements, briefly aired on Saturday mornings beginning on January 21, 2006. In April, teen sitcom Saved by the Bell aired on Adult Swim for two weeks. During the weeks of the airings, the 1980s Saturday morning program Pee-wee's Playhouse began airing Mondays-Thursdays on July 10, 2006.
On December 8, 2006, Cartoon Network produced their first live-action television movie called Re-Animated, a collaboration between both live-action and animation. When asked about the project, Cartoon Network executive Michael Ouweleen (co-creator of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law) stated: "[E]ven though we are featuring live-action characters, it still had to be done the Cartoon Network way." In 2007, once Stuart Snyder had taken over, the film was spun-off into its own half-hour series entitled Out of Jimmy's Head, which continues the events of the film.
Shortly before Samples resigned, shows that were either fully live-action or a combination between live-action and animation were in the pipeline. When asked about the shows, Samples responded “Most of the stuff coming through the pipeline is animation. But you shouldn't be surprised to see more live-action programming, but we're predominately an animated network and that's not changing anytime soon.” None of these shows saw the light of day, thanks to the 2007-2008 Writer's Guild strike.
2007 Boston Bomb scare
On February 9, 2007, Samples resigned from Cartoon Network, following a bomb scare in Boston caused by packages left around the city that were part of an outdoor marketing campaign promoting the Adult Swim series Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Following Samples's resignation, Stuart Snyder was named his successor.
During his journey Samples also spoke with Scripps Networks President John Lansing and Executive Vice President Burton Jablin and outgoing HGTV President Judy Girard every three or four weeks. "I met them before I left," he recalled. "Frankly, it was the only job interview that I went on. They continued their search, but we had a great meeting in New York just before my trip and we stayed in touch over the summer. Burton had done a long hike, too. We had that in common." Samples started at HGTV shortly after his return from Europe.
"There is probably not a more perfect job for me in the industry," Samples smiled. "I said at the upfront, when I was at Cartoon Network I was a rock star among my kids' friends. Now that I'm at HGTV I'm a rock star among my wife's friends."
In 2011, Samples resigned from HGTV and moved up to being President of Scripps' international division. Scripps is known for running channels such as HGTV, Food Network, GAC, and much more.
- ↑ Cartoon Network (2006-10-03). "Cartoon Network Completes Production on First Original Live-Action Movie Re-Animated". Yahoo. http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/061003/20061003005962.html?.v=1. Retrieved on 2006-12-05.
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20070514001546/http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6394544.html
- ↑ Ryan, Andrew. Cartoon Network head resigns after Boston bomb scares. boston.com News. Retrieved April 29, 2007.
- ↑ "Two held after ad campaign triggers Boston bomb scare". CNN. February 1, 2007. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/31/boston.bombscare/. Retrieved on July 30, 2010.
- ↑ "Cartoon Network Boss Quits Over Bomb Scare". CNN. February 9, 2007. http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/09/news/newsmakers/cartoon_network/. Retrieved on 2009-05-05.
- ↑ Romano, Allison (October 21, 2007). "Stuart Snyder: The Perfect Combination". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/110859-Stuart_Snyder_The_Perfect_Combination.php. Retrieved on 2010-08-13.