Amidst criticism from the Rev. Al Sharpton for one of its episodes, Cartoon Network has renewed Aaron McGruder’s edgy political and social-satire cartoon The Boondocks for a second season.
Cartoon announced it has ordered 20 new episodes of the series, the day after Sharpton demanded an apology from the network for a Jan. 15 episode which featured the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. uttering the n-word.
“Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures,” Sharpton, the civil-rights activist, said in a statement Tues.
The episode, which ran Jan. 15, the day before Martin Luther King Day, showed King waking from a coma and using the n-word in an angry speech on a number of things, including racy hip-hop videos.
Cartoon Network’s nighttime block, Adult Swim, which debuted the show in November, issued a statement yesterday saying the episode “in no way was meant to offend or desecrate the name of Dr. King” and calling the episode a “thought-provoking way” of showing King’s bravery.
Regardless of the skirmish, the series, about two black children and their grandfather living in a middle-class, white suburb, has been a ratings homerun for Cartoon, nearly doubling Adult Swim’s average audience with new episodes at 11 p.m.
Cartoon has aired 10 of the first batch of 15 episodes of the show, based on McGruder’s 1997 comic strip of the same name, averaging 2.2 million total viewers for their premiere runs. The second season is slated for late 2006.
Adult Swim averaged 1.17 million during prime in 2005.