Dec 17, 2009

My Problem With Fantasy Schedules

As far back as I can remember, I've always seen fantasy threads on message boards. Of course, the places have changed, and message boards became chatrooms and later forums. Of course, if you put a thread on Twitter, you'd probably be laughed out of the way.

But fantasy threads involving how you'd program a network have been around for as long as there's been an internet. Well, as long as the thing we call the internet has been around as a public medium, which is roughly about 20 years in addition to the advent of cable television and its myriad of programming options. They're fun. It could also get a newcomer fame and friends on forum, not to mention pad their post counts, and they're usually of more substance than a two word response or my unfavorite response, "this." Has there been a lazier response to anything?

I don't dislike fantasy schedules per se, but in the end, my problem with them is that they tend to offer false hope, a hope for something that could never happen because show contracts ran out, they don't have rights to certain shows, or, as always the case, the executives at the networks are perpetually stuck on stupid and couldn't program their way out of a wet paper bag.

Don't believe me?

Okay, I'll provide you with an example of why I have a problem with fantasy schedules using everybody's favorite tabula rasa, Cartoon Network. The reason that people make fantasy schedules about Cartoon Network is because their lineup is less than impressive and lacking in real substance. You make a great lineup, you look at it with pride, you post it, people give you kudos and praise for coming up with a great lineup, and then you're back to disappointment because the schedule is not only not a reality, but you're despondent, depressed, and creating a new schedule because you can make it better.

Now, here's a sample of a Cartoon Network fantasy schedule. Not much thought about it, but hey, it's better than what they've got. Also, take in mind this is just a weekday lineup:

Weekdays (all times Eastern/Pacific)

6:00AM Storm Hawks
6:30AM Transformers: Animated
7:00AM Pokemon
7:30AM Gormiti
8:00AM Bakugan
8:30AM Chaotic
9:00AM The Mr. Men Show
9:30AM The Garfield Show

10 AM - 2 PM: The Boomerang Block

10:00AM The Flintstones
10:30AM Yogi and Huck (a new package of classic Hanna-Barbera shorts, M - Th)/The Jetsons (F)
11:00AM Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (M - Th)/Scooby-Doo, Mystery Inc. (F)
11:30AM Boomerang Sampler: Those Meddling Kids (M)/The Pink Panther (T)/Top Cat (W)/The Smurfs (Th)/The Banana Splits (a mix of shorts, classic clips, and new Banana Splits segments) (F)
12:00PM Tom and Jerry
12:30PM The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
1:00PM Looney Tunes (1 hr.)

2 - 5 PM: Cartoon Network's Last Bell (A three-hour block of comedic cartoons; classics hold up the first 90 minutes, recent shows the latter 90 minutes)
2:00PM Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends
2:30PM The Powerpuff Girls
3:00PM Dexter's Laboratory
3:30PM Johnny Test
4:00PM Chowder (M, Th)/Random Show (W)/Flapjack (T, F)
4:30PM 6Teen (M)/Stoked (T)/Total Drama (W)/Sidekick (Th)/Adventure Time (F)

5 - 7 PM: Action (No fancy brand name, but you know you're in a different environment just by looking at it. Plus, it's on in the afternoon, which is always a good thing).

5:00PM Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds (M - Th)/Samurai Jack (F)
5:30PM Pokemon (M - Th)/Batman: The Brave and the Bold (F)
6:00PM Teen Titans (M - Th)/Sym-Bionic Titan (F)
6:30PM Ben 10 (M - Th)/Generator Rex (F)

7 - 9 PM: Cartoon Network Prime (a different theme each night: Monday - The Standards, Tuesday: Made in Canada, Wednesday: Night of Heroes, Har Har Tharsdays, Fridays: You Are Here)

7:00PM The Bugs Bunny Show (M - W)/Cartoon Cartoons (Th, 1 hr.)/Action Title TBD (F)
7:30PM Scooby-Doo (M - W)/Action Title TBD (F)
8:00PM Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends (M)/6Teen (T)/Horrobots (W)/Flapjack (Th))/Batman: The Brave and the Bold (F)
8:30PM Powerpuff Girls (M)/Stoked (T)/Generator Rex (W)/Random Show (Th)/Sym-Bionic Titan (F)
9:00PM Scooby-Doo: Mystery Inc. (M)/Total Drama (T)/Sidekick (W)/Adventure Time (Th)/Star Wars: The Clone Wars (F)
9:30PM The Flintstones (M)/Johnny Test (T)/League of Super Evil (W)/Chowder (Th)/Ben 10: Alien Force (F)

See, and that's the problem I have with fantasy schedules. That's a very realistic lineup Cartoon Network could adapt right now. But they won't. And once I sat back and looked at what I made, I know I could make it better. Maybe I will one day, but right now, I won't.

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