No action/adventure programming for kids

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
This morning, for some unknown reason, I woke up with the theme song from The Greatest American Hero stuck in my head. ("Believe it or not I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free-e-e..."
) I thought, wouldn't it be cool for a network to do a remake of that show? Then I suddenly realized that there is a huge gaping hole in today's programming. There isn't any action/adventure shows that are appropriate for young audiences (by that I mean TVG or TVPG).

I grew up watching shows like The Greatest American Hero, A-Team, The Incredible Hulk, Chips, The Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Buck Rogers, Battle Star Gallactica, etc. What is there today?

Off the top of my head I can come up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Enterprise, Angel, Charmed, and Smallville. All of which are not really appropriate for kids. Now, of course, that's debatable and really depends on one's values. But based on their timeslot alone I'd say they aren't intended for young audiences. Also, I think they all get a TV14 rating.

I've got kids who would love to watch some action/adventure shows like the ones I grew up watching. Why isn't there any today? When is this hole going to be filled?

("Who could it be? Believe it or not, it's just me.")
 

Jason Seaver

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
9,303
Well, I think Enterprise would be okay for most kids (and Charmed could at least inspire debate). The only one really geared toward the whole family that I can think of recently is Veritas, which didn't get much of an audience. We'll see if WB picks up McGyver 2.0 this fall.

If you open it up to animation, you get Justice League, Samurai Jack and a whole bunch of anime.

I think the writing was on the wall for this kind of show ten years ago, when some watchdog group called the absolutely-perfect-for-kids show The Adventures Of Brisco County Junior the most violent show on TV, basically because the one episode they sampled had a boxing storyline, and they counted each swing as a violent act. I have to admit, if I were a producer, I'd have completely given up on the genre at that point; it's just too hard to sell.
 

Adam Tyner

Screenwriter
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Sep 29, 2000
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1,410
Though it hasn't been on the air in the U.S. for a year or so, I'd say Big Wolf on Campus definitely qualifies.
 

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
Jason, you're right. Enterprise is okay for kids. I guess I wasn't clear with the way I said that before. I've let my kids watch it occasionally. But it's just on so late. They're suppose to be either getting ready for bed or already in bed by 8:00. Plus, I've lost interest in the show. :p)

I'm mainly talking about non-animated shows. I remember Brisco County Jr. That was a pretty good show. Too bad it had such a short life. Hmmm...McGyver 2.0, eh? I liked the original McGyver.

And by "kid friendly" entertainment I really mean entertainment that would not only be appropriate for kids but also enjoyable for adults. I want a good action/adventure show that I can sit down with my kids and watch in the evenings around 7:00pm-ish. That used to be the bulk of programming before sit-coms and reality shows became the norm.
 

Jason Seaver

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
9,303
Well, have the networks even programmed at 7pm ET/PT since the sixties? It does strike me that none of the local stations are putting something other than comedies there; you'd think one station would remember that ST:TNG used to do pretty well there and pick up a family-friendly action hour.

Of course, the thing is that there haven't been many of those recently that lasted long enough for "strip syndication". I suppose Hercules would have been an option a few years ago, but now programmers feel it's not current enough. I wonder if MGM tried offering Stargate SG-1's third run to syndication before making the deal with Sci-Fi. Maybe, in a couple years, Smallville will be appealling for that time period.

I think another issue is how serial drama/action programs have become. I imagine action hours aren't as appealling to local stations for the 7-8pm hour now because they're more based on continuing stories that aren't as appealing if you don't start at the beginning or if you miss an episode.
 

Barry Woodward

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 22, 2002
Messages
362
Buffy The Animated Series would be great for kids if it ever gets made. The stories would be set in the first season, in a more innocent time.
 

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