...because that is really what it boils down to.
All this angst about "artists vs. writers" is all crap when you boil it down to one simple question: What Genre are you writing in?
A creator has a clear vision for a show - an artist that knows EXACTLY the kind of comedy he or she wants and that driving vision drives the show. Usually surrounded by people with their exact vision on the board staff, which is good, because it is a board driven show. If the show even has "script writers," its for premises and outlines... nothing more.
This show exists, in my opinion, on character and gags. The stories are light, the direction is light... it's visual funny more than verbal and everything about the show supports that. If this show had a script, it would probably be one page per minute, and rightfully so.
Fairly Oddparents type
A creator has a strong vision for the show, but wants it to play more like a sitcom than a cartoon. The creator, or the writer brought on to "run the writing" run the show from premise (a page) to outline (three pages) to script (14 to 15 pages). This show is longer on the script page for any of the following reasons.
* There is an intentional choice for there to be verbal word play (which doesn't mean puns... it just means there's verbal jokes along with visual jokes).
* There is an intentional choice for there to be verbal jokes and references that appeal to the parents that are watching it so they don't turn the television off and, in some cases, maybe even enjoy the show.
* There is an intentional choice to run the process so there are the following steps: Premise, writing team (which I would say should include the director) breaks the story; Outline, writing team breaks the story, "A" draft of the script, writing team punch, First draft, address network notes, second draft, address network notes, final. Then, the board pretty much follows the script, with a board artist punching what has been written and approved by the Executive Producer, the Story Editor and, ideally, the director.
During this process, if there's time, you do a full pitch with a punch up session with artists and writers.
This cartoon is a mix of visual gags and verbal gags, doesn't have a story arc, and is a sitcom in the sense that things revert to normal at the end of every episode.
Family Guy type:
If you're a board artist who hates working scripted shows, then this is the type of show you hate. This, Simpsons, King Of The Hill, South Park... the board crew is in service to the script. Period. It's run like any other television sitcom - the script is the law, and everything else is beholden to it.
If you live in the world of prime time animation, and you work on a show like this... and you board on a show like this, that's it. You are, most of the time, a pencil to the writer's page. And you know that going into it.
Although I've never seen the script I wonder if the "chicken fight" scene in Family Guy in family guy was scripted to the punch, or if the board artist was given free reign to do as he or she chose.
This is also the kind of show where "writers are hailed as gods" when the big fights blow out, I'm sure.
It boils down to this. As a writer, if I'm working in cartoons, I would prefer to be on a show like Fairly Oddparents, or Family Guy. Or Yin Yang Yo, for that matter. I want to work where my words and thoughts are the driving force for the cartoons I'm a part of making.
As a producer, I choose to work the way I like to work, which means script first, giving board artists and directors wide latitude in changing, plussing, cutting or tweaking. I never have a problem with somebody taking a risk, as long as they don't get upset if I change it back.
I also understand that I am a job, not a career, to an artist in a job like that. And I also understand that the limited input or production pressures might not attract a specific group of very talented people. And that is completely okay.