Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Film Studies

First Advisor

Kelli Fuery

Second Advisor

Patrick Fuery

Third Advisor

Dawn Fratini


As a capitalist organism the television program, as explained by Todd Gitlin, uses its slant to sell itself to advertisers with similar leanings on contemporary social issues to maintain its flow of revenue. However, this concept of slant does not account for the broader network, which, like the singular program, cultivates a catalog of programming into a singular slanted message becoming an ecosystem of shows relying on each other to maintain viewership. The successful televised ecosystem will then be home to programs who enjoy long runs and display an easily recognized shared slant. As an example of the televised ecosystem, this thesis explores seven animated programs from Cartoon Network including The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack,Regular Show, Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Steven Universe,We Bare Bears, and Craig of the Creek.Recognizing the programs ranging in release from 2008 to 2018, Cartoon Network’s ecosystem is highlighted for its evolving display of progressive representations of race and gender and presenting them to a child audience.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.