I don't think we can say it's Cartoon Network's fault, it makes about as much sense as blaming everyone who didn't watch Gundam on TV. Cartoon Network is doing nothing without reason. Cartoon Network is nothing but another group out trying to make money. Their money comes from ratings and things like that. If you were in charge of Cartoon Network can you honestly say you'd air a show like Gundam again when it has a history of poor ratings? Why air Gundam when you can air more profitable series A?
While I personally despise the show, I view Seed as where CN/Bandai had the huge potential, and they absolutely killed themselves. The manner in which Seed was aired on CN essentially killed the franchise, in terms of television airings. Now whether that was just CN's fault, Bandai's fault, or both their faults is the mystery (maybe someone more 'connected' than I can provide more back info on just who was making the decisions), but I view that as the major factor in why Gundam no longer airs on CN and probably won't again.
Seed could have been their next Wing, a huge hit. It had the flashy animation. It had the pretty boy main characters. It had certain levels of maturity to a point like Wing where it could attract some older fans too. Yes, original Gundam was a complete failure, but it is completely illogical to compare a 1979 TV show with a show from the early 2000's. People didn't tune out on Gundam because they disliked the themes and plots, they tuned out on Gundam because the animation sucked, it was viewed as too old. Seed did not have that problem. CN had a clear, documented success with Gundam Wing, a show that targetted a very similar audience as Seed. It's completely illogical in my mind to view MS Gundam's failure as meaning that Gundam Seed was gonna fail and hence they shouldn't give it a legimate shot.
What was so important in the success of Wing? The way CN treated it. They aired it EVERY weekday. I can't stress how important that was. And not only that, they aired two versions, one edited, and one unedited so both older and younger fans could appreciate it. And in the end while there were quirks that certainly bugged me (I will "destroy" you! -_-) the editing on the edited version certainly didn't kill the show.
Seed was treated with no respect whatsoever. It was doomed to fail from the very beginning. Rather than air it every day, CN aired it once a week. Seed's big flaw (in my eyes anyway) is that it is a very slow moving show. Airing it only once a week rather than 5 days a week like Gundam Wing meant it would take a full year to complete the show just once. No way was a large amount of people gonna stick around that long. And that one night a week was a saturday night, the night least likely for people to stay home and watch cartoons. And not only that, they aired it so late at night that the core audience of younger children almost certainly were not gonna be up that late to see it. As a clincher, despite its late timeslot, it was edited as if it aired at 3PM in the afternoon driving away even more viewers.
I'm not saying Seed would have been a hit on the level of Gundam Wing. But I think it definately had potential, and the way in which CN aired Seed, it was doomed from the start. They treated it so horrifically it was never gonna succeed. It obviously failed, and because of that we're likely not gonna see another Gundam series on CN again. CN/Bandai bumbled their way out of any possible success with the airing of Gundam Seed. That they didn't even attempt to do something like they did with Gundam Wing, that they so utterly failed on so many levels in terms of their strategy of airing the show completely killed Gundam on TV. It's very unfortunate. I've got no sympathy whatsoever for CN/Bandai when it comes to Seed/Seed Destiny's success in the US. Both sides, the companies and fans suffered tremendously because of that debaucle.
MAHQ Staff - Dunbine, L-Gaim, Escaflowne, Ideon, Gasaraki, The Big O, Overman King Gainer, Zambot 3 and FLCL
In my search for justice, I created war. In my search for war, I created death. In my search for death... I have lost my soul.