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.


Anonymous said...

This sire rocks, your site rocks, i love reading ur editorials and that. i agree, CN has been going downhill lately what with neglecting Toonami And even Adult Swin. Now they're goign to remove shows to make more $$$?? Someone should change Lazurus form his position at the animation department. Anyway, ncie site, long time fan, I've been a fan of this site since i think 2000. My email's blindside_invert@hotmail.com if u got MSN. Keep up the good work

INSIGHT said...

You views are conclusive with mine. The only reason why CN turns towards kids is because most of them will provide stable ratings. They can't rely intirely upon teens and adults because they know most of their ratings will fluxuate. If they transform into a clone of the "kiddy channels", then they will contain no originallity, and thus no reason to choose them over a channel such as Disney. Hopefully, eventually CN will realize this and change for the better. But considering we've seen patterns like this go on for the past few years, hope may shine dim.