Where has this week gone? It's almost over and I still haven't put up the latest induction into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame!
As we celebrate the Hall's tenth anniversary, we have a new recruit each week. And the third week is dedicated to the Tooniverse. Because September is traditionally the month in which we salute those behind the scenes who have contributed to the expansion of the TV Universe, this week we're giving the "honor" to Michael Ouweleen.
Here's a thumbnail biographical sketch for an article about success stories who were under 40 years old: Senior Vice President of Development and Creative Direction, Cartoon Network
Michael Ouweleen came to Cartoon Network with an eclectic resume, including a double major in English and theology at Georgetown University and a Madison Avenue copywriting background.
As a vice president at J. Walter Thompson Inc., he wrote copy for a wide range of accounts, from Condomania to Kodak. Subsequently, as a copywriter for Korey, Kay & Partners, Ouweleen handled accounts such as Comedy Central.
Cartoon Network is also a particularly apt spot for Ouweleen because he has produced cartoons as a freelancer, including an animated pilot The Voles and an episode of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.
In his current role as Cartoon Network’s senior vice president of development and creative direction, he oversees development and production of all original animated programming aimed at viewers ages 6 to 14; and he directs all on-air promotions, program franchise packaging and on-air operations.
Ouweleen also hasn’t given up on producing cartoons — he is co-creator, writer and executive producer of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, part of the network’s Adult Swim lineup.
“You know how when someone says they’d love to work in a candy factory or ice cream factory because they love that stuff, and then someone else says, 'Yeah, but you’d get sick of it’?” Ouweleen said. “I just don’t think that’s going to happen to me. But I do think the job is making me fatter.”
Ouweleen has created those Cartoon Network bumpers which expanded the Tooniverse dimension by combining characters from different cartoon series. My personal favorite was a spoof of 'Survivor':
Ouweleen also was the creative force behind the rejuvenation of sad cartoon super-hero 'Birdman' as 'Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law'. That series also became a nexus for other cartoon characters: So here's to Michael Ouweleen. Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame! [I wish this picture could have been clearer, but I couldn't resist including it as being representative of the work Ouweleen does - even if he didn't necessarily do this one.....]