How CBS and Showtime Failed to Cash in on the Comic Book Boom

Three Fools discuss the failed adaptation of a beloved comic book property, and the lessons investors can draw from its unlikely revival.

Jun 24, 2014 at 7:54AM
Chew

Chew has proven popular with comic book fans, but proved difficult to adapt. Credit: Image Comics.

Why did CBS (NYSE:CBS) and Showtime give up on adapting the popular comic book series, Chew? Fool analyst Tim Beyers had a chance to ask series co-creator John Layman at this month's Denver Comic Con. Listen in as guest host Alison Southwick and fellow analyst Nathan Alderman ask Tim about the interview in this episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Tim says that Denver Comic Con now ranks among the nation's largest cons with roughly 86,000 in total foot traffic over Father's Day weekend. Even more amazingly, the show is only in its third year and drew that crowd without help from either of the Big Two comic book publishers. Neither DC nor Marvel was in attendance, leaving plenty of room for indie publishers to show their wares.

Count John Layman among the indie stars there talking with fans about his work on Chewan acclaimed Image Comics title he produces monthly with artist Rob Guillory and which Showtime acquired the TV rights to three years ago. The option has since expired and now the new owners of the cult magazine and media company Heavy Metal are adapting Chew as an animated series with actors Steven Yeun and Felicia Day voicing starring roles.

"Everyone wanted Chew when it was new and it was hot. And then Showtime got it and it didn't really know what to do with us," Layman said. "Every time there was an iteration -- a script iteration -- more notes came back and they got further and further from Chew."

Tim says that has to be disappointing if you're an investor. Showtime is part of the cable networks group that accounts for roughly 24% of CBS' operating profit. That'll be tougher to achieve without Dexter and Californication in the mix. Penny Dreadful appears to be helping, and will get a second season. But Chew also leaves a gap.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Click the video for more about Tim's interview with John Layman, and then leave a comment below tell us what you think of Showtime's strategy and CBS stock at current prices. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

Your cable company is scared, but you can get rich
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple. 

 

Neither Alison Southwick nor Nathan Alderman nor Tim Beyers owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers