Jun 29, 2004

Brilliant Move at CN: Remove Shows To Sell DVDs

Here's a thought to make you question what's in the water at Cartoon Network:

There is a belief in the fandom that the only reason why classic cartoons are either in poor viewing slots or pulled completely off the network is to sell the DVD collections.

Let me state that again.

They pull shows off the air to get people to buy DVD sets of said show?

Does that make any sense to you? I'm still trying to figure out how NOT airing a show is advertisement to get people to buy a DVD set of a show that's not on the air. Isn't that what advertising is for, to advertise for a product?

So, here's the mentality I'm trying the fantom without giving myself a migrane. Cartoon Network took off The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Top Cat, and now Tom and Jerry to sell DVDs. Scooby-Doo must not have been worth the DVD promotion since it's actually on the air (about twelve hours a week). Heck, they took Space Ghost Coast To Coast and Samurai Jack off the air to sell DVDs as well. Are all of those shows that aren't on the air right now, including Cow and Chicken and Sheep in the Big City, DVD bound? And Cartoon Network took off Looney Tunes to sell the Golden Collection, the cheapie collection without the marquee shorts, and the Looney Tunes movie.

Ow, there's the migrane. Guess I better get back to this place called reality.

I don't know, maybe I come from a period of time when things are supposed to make sense, but wouldn't having the show that's out on DVD on the schedule actually bring more interest to a collection release or, dare I say, a theatrical release? I mean, if you see a show on television, especially one that you enjoy, and you can't find a blank tape to record it, wouldn't it prompt you to want to buy it?

The problem is nobody, outside us internet nerds of course, knows that these releases are out. I mean, I've only seen ads for the "newer" show releases on DVD, including Samurai Jack, Totally Spies, and the various Adult Swim shows, but nothing about the classic shows and shorts that are out on DVD. The only time I've seen a Looney Tunes Golden Collection ad was on the Looney Tunes: Back in Action disc I got. It's like the powers that be at TimeWarner (and Viacom, who owns numerous Paramount and Terrytoons properites) wants to purposely keep their older products out of sight and out of mind. They got the out of sight part right, but the "out of mind" variant? As long as sites like Toon Zone, Cartoon Brew, Animation Insider, Toon Tracker, ToonHub, Animation Nation, AWN, Deneroff, and others are still online and kicking, classic animation will never be out of mind. The fandom is the reason why the releases are taking place right now. But the releases should only be the icing on the cake. If the actual older shows would be on the actual network in decent timeslots, that would be simply lovely.

I think Cartoon Network should be reminded what the channel was created for (hint: it's not just for kids). But since the pioneers of the network have been booted out in favor of execs who only see things through kid-vid eyes, that mission might be a lot harder than we thought. They're so ratings driven and trying to beat Nickelodeon so much that they've lost focus of the the true nature of the creation of the network.

Cartoon Network was supposed to be the network dedicated to all aspects of animation, from classics to originals to shows for the family to shows for the more grownup members of your family. That's why you saw the original Boomerang in primetime and the creation of shows like Late Night Black and White and Toonheads. All of those shows are gone, and Boomerang is relegated for an hour on weekend mornings for an hour, a shell of its former self. Right now, the attitude at Cartoon Network is kids all day, teens and otakus at night. Kids come first at Cartoon Network, and for a 26-year old like myself, that's rather sad. They want the network to be seen as a Nickelodeon alternative, Kids' WB on cable instead of an animation station. They have a lot of shows and properties to work with, and yet, they're being squandered. You have a sibling unit that refuses to play nice with them and you have execs that have no idea what to do.

I love Cartoon Network, but as long as they keep on doing things to frustrate me and other animation fans, I can't see that love lasting much longer.

Jun 28, 2004

G4techTV Is Still Trapped at E3

Wasn't E3 almost two months ago now?

I'm sure it was, but if you only watched G4TECHTV, sorry, G4techTV, you'd think that E3 was just last week. And you'd be thinking this every week. Geez, how long will this amalgamated mess of a network take to actually create more new (or fairly new) episodes of their shows? Granted the TechTV side of the programming, for the most part, has been pretty fresh. Screen Savers, X Play, and Unscrewed have been new most of the time. The dominant G4 programming, which makes up primetime and most of the afternoon lineup, has been reruning the same old shows.

Icons is probably the best show from the G4 side of the programming, and I kind of dig Cheats, Filter, and Pulse (which should be revamped to cover tech news ala TechLive as well as video games). The rest of the G4 castoffs seem like video game shows if MTV made them (definitely not a compliment). I'm still trying to fantom how an okay video game musician has enough credentials to consider himself a game critic (speaking of which, aren't Judgement Day and Electric Playground the same show?). Anyway, these overly repeated shows just show their age everytime they're on. At least with the TechTV shows, the reruns at least feel recent. And they're entertaining.

Maybe they'll get better when they get their act together by the fall.

More Classic Animation Gone From CN

Nobody gets Boomerang. It's probably the most requested cable network on cable, but apparently cable outlets know what the network is all about.

Cartoon Network wants more people to ask for Boomerang. How? They've been removing classic cartoon titles from the lineup. First to leave the network were the Hanna-Barbera titles. Second, the non-Tom and Jerry MGM titles from regular rotation. Then, the pre-48 WB shorts, which had been a prominent part of the network's lineup since day one. Then, a good chunk of the post-48 WB titles. Finally, on July 5, Cartoon Network is removing the lone classic animation showcase at a decent timeslot, Tom and Jerry.

Naturally, fans of classic animation are, to say the least, a bit upset. And why dhouldn't they? Afterall, the network has dropped 90 minutes of Tom and Jerry for an early morning airing of Totally Spies (which is already on for an hour each day) and an extra hour of Camp Cartoon Network (great, just what we needed, more reruns of Ed, Edd, and Eddy on Mondays). The thing is there is only one reason Cartoon Network would even fantom dropping Tom and Jerry, which had recently started airing shorts in chronological order.

They want more people to get Boomerang. That's what it all comes down to. They've recently added additional commercials plugging the network a week ago, and this recent programming decision just proves that they're really anxious to put the network onmore cable outlets. A similar tactic worked before when Turner dropped animation from both TBS and TNT to get folks to contact their cable operators to get Cartoon Network. Now, they're just dropping classic shows and shorts to get people to bug their cable and satellite companies to get Boomerang (I know Boomerang is on Dish, but is it on DirecTV?).

Of course it'd be nice if they actually made Boomerang watchable in the first place by removing the eight-hour rotating lineups in favor of something similar to, oh, Cartoon Network circa 1995, before the blocks, original cartoons, and other hubris, but that's another story.


You may know me from my other website, the action-oriented portal, The X Bridge. Or maybe you've seen me lurking around the various forums at Toon Zone.

Or maybe you remember me from the olden days on Usenet.

My name is Jeff Harris. Welcome to Thoughtnami. Why Thoughtnami? This is the place outside of my site where I can post opinions about everything else that comes to mind. There's a lot of things floating around, and this site is totally a freereign site where nothing is off limits, except maybe religion (I'm religious, but not preachy) and politics (both sides have their flaws). I can dive into things that won't get my hosts in trouble and deviate what TXB is all about. I'll talk a lot about animation around here, basically the stuff I won't cover at my regular site. Guess this means I can talk live-action as well. I'll open up about a little more things as we venture further with this endeavor.

This experience is new to me, so I'm going to have fun with for the time being.

Venture into the animated opinions of Thoughtnami. Leave all inhibitions at the door.