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The 'Dark Months' at Cartoon Network?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by DeathStar1, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I don't mind Scooby Doo. But the fascination this network seems to havew ith Scooby is a bit disturbing.

    I can understand a 4 hour block on Saturday. But I just noticed that itseems Scooby Universe has infested the weekday lineup as well with a block
    just as long. Could these be the 'dark years' of Cartoon Network, where they are not concentrating on getting new shows, but instead shoving repeated shows to death like Scooby down our throats?

    There's so many other great shows they could add to the networks lineup tofreshen it up a bit. Inspector Gadget, Garfield, Real Ghostbusters, the original TMNT, putting Batman and Superman back on, or a few others that
    don't get enough screentime like Two Stupid Dogs.. There's no need for this Scooby Overload, because I'm sure even kids tend to get tired of repeats..
     
  2. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    The recent Scooby movie (and the soon-to-come sequel) led to the creation of a brand new Scooby cartoon (What's New Scooby Doo?) and they decided to jump on the bandwagon to get the ratings.

    I like the fact that they have the Boomerang network for the older cartoons, but they really should create another network for the less mainstream stuff (like most of the things you just mentioned) and then leave the regular CN for the popular things (like Toonami, Adult Swim, etc.).
     
  3. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

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    Cartoon Network is over 10 years old and has been airing Scooby Doo ad naseum from the very beginning. If you've just recently realized how much it's on, then you haven't been paying attention. [​IMG] Scooby Doo, in all of its many incarnations, consistently gets good ratings with the target demo of kids 6-11.

    As for the 'dark days', I don't think so. 'Kids Next Door' which launched in December '02 is a great success for the network. Later this summer there's WB co-productions 'Teen Titans' and 'Duck Dodgers', followed by a new CN Original 'Lowbrow' in the Fall. All three of which look very promising.

    The shows you mention may have been appealing when we were kids, but kids today see them as boring and out-dated. Not to mention the fact that it would cost money to buy those shows and get them on the air. Money that the ratings wouldn't be able to justify.

     
  4. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    Andrew,

    I would have to disagree with you concerning the abundance of Scooby on CN in the past. As you have stated Scooby has been on CN since the beginning. However, within the past 8-12 months it has gotten completely out of hand.

    I started watching CN when my freshmen year in college in 1993 and there was some diverse programming on. Granted much of it was old Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers and Chuck Jones creations. But at least it was diverse. There were also some other shows on like G-Force, Johnny Quest, Space Ghost, Smurfs(my favorite cartoon) and a few more.

    Over the years as the network has matured things have changed and I tolerated much of it especially after Toonami was developed and I became engrossed with Dragonball Z.

    Scooby has always been on but now it is terrible. It is on all of the time. I really don't even watch the network too much anymore because of all of the Scooby. It is funny that someone started this thread because I have been thinking this for a while. As a child I loved Scooby but now it is truly played out.

    As someone above suggested, I would love for a media conglomerate to develop an Anime channel or Alternative Animation channel because all this slapstick crap on CN right now has turned me off. Adult Swim is okay and Toonami is tolerable, but can we get some more shows instead of all of these repeats.

    Also, I find that kids today can get into shows of the past if the shows are given a chance. I don't buy the argument that kids today will be bored with many of the shows we grew up with. If that was the case Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, and Chuck Jones creations would not be on as much as they broadcast on CN.

    For instance, if kids watch that !!!GARBAGE!!! Transformers: Armada the original transformers would be a hit on CN. Same with Beast Wars and Beast Machines. Ghostbusters is a no brainer. Garfield might be tough but if Courage can make it so can Garfield. Heathcliff might be a better fit. Another no brainer is Dennis the Menace.

    And what kid does not love Inspector Gadget. I used to throw tantrums if I did not get to see that show. On top of that if it is about what is out now Insp. G just had a movie and another one coming out.

    There is so much quality programming out there for CN that would bring in ratings. Remember Dragonball Z is from 1985 and Gundam in all it incarnations is older than that. Both of these shows rated highly on CN.

    Anyway back to the topic at hand. Scooby is on WAAAAAAAAY too much, IMO. Especially when there are other better written and animated shows available.

    djb
     
  5. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

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    Diallo,

    I’d be curious to know when you folks watch the network. Maybe you’re viewing patterns just happen to coincide with when Scooby airs.

    Looking back at just last week’s schedule, Scooby was on from 12p-1p Monday thru Friday, plus 2 more episodes of ‘What’s New?’ Friday night. – That’s just 6 hours. Then you got 2 hours Saturday afternoon, and another 2 on Sunday. Out of 168 hours the network has to program, just 10 hours go to some kind of Scooby cartoon.

    Picking a random week in January 2002, I see that there was actually 20 hours of Scooby programming on that week, so it’s actually gotten better over the past 18 months.

    You wrote that as a child you loved Scooby, but now you feel its played out. Kids today though, still like it and still watch it. So many of us loved cartoons as a kid that we almost feel protective of them or have some kind of personal investment. But the network makes its money by selling time to toy & cereal companies and they want kids 6-11, not 32 year-olds like me. What we liked as kids, kids today may not necessarily be into.

    As you mentioned earlier, Cartoon Network airs Warner Bros, Hanna-Barbera spots, etc. This is because the company owns them and can air them for free whenever they want. With the shows you and others have mentioned, the network would have to pay a lot of dough to air them. That’s money that would get taken away from creating new series and it’s also money that would most likely not be made back with ratings.

    It’s my job to find out what kids like and what they want. I’ve done countless focus groups with kids. The way we may feel about ‘Ghostbusters’ or ‘Heathcliff’ these kids feel about ‘Spongebob’ or ‘Dexter’s Lab’. They want something current to call their own, not what they would perceive as a hand-me-down cartoon. Granted, not all kids will feel this way, and some shows like Scooby buck this trend, but enough do feel this way to make it not worthwhile to air too many of these older shows.

    In the past 10 years, Cartoon Network has aired both ‘Dennis the Menace’ and ‘Heathcliff’, and though they didn’t stink up the joint, they didn’t perform nearly as well as the more modern cartoons. It’s tough for us to remember but we’re not the network’s main target audience. Kids are. What we know to be good, quality programming isn’t always going to be a slam-dunk with kids. Kids will always have their own taste.

    And tastes change and then comes that feeling of ownership and investment. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a post on this board 15 years from now asking why no one airs ‘Spongebob’ anymore. It’s the nature of the business.

    Boy, this was a long post.
     
  6. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    That's money that would get taken away from creating new series and it's also money that would most likely not be made back with ratings. >>>

    Heh, not to highjack my own thread, but it's times like this, I wish we could think of an alternative to the money system. Maby then then etwork would be free to run wild with great programing possabilities and get rid of commercials too boot [​IMG].
     
  7. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

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    That would be sweet.
     
  8. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    I used to always watch Scooby Doo when I was a kid but now I can't bring myself to watch it and I love the 1970's. Needless to say whenever I see SD on Cartoon Network(which is often) I keep flipping.

    I wish Cartoon Network would broaden the scope a little. There are soooo many cartoons of that same generation, before and after that will probably never been seen again because they weren't that popular. I think CN should have some kind of rarities half hour or hour block dedicated to short-lived or almost forgotten cartoon series. I don't remember the name but there was this one cartoon series that featured a tall and skinny cat. A narrarator would always end the show with "Oh well, maybe next time" or something like that.
     
  9. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    Andrew,

    Spongebob Squarepants, Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff Girls, Recess and a few others out there right now are great creations although not all of these air on CN. These cartoons are actually well written and for the most part decently drawn and animated.

    I actually appreciate new talent and new ideas that come along to diversify whatever I am investing time into. Some great examples of recent cartoons that expanded upon the original and brought something new to the mix are Beastwars Trans., Beast Machines Trans., Reboot's transformation from a random episode style to an epic episodic sytle and a few others that do not come to mind at the moment.

    Scooby Doo is basically the samething it always has been. Outside of some new character and or changes in the age of the cast, Scooby does not have any new material. How many times can you hunt down a ghost/demon/swamp-forest creature/evil anomaly over the years and develop new and exciting scripts about the subject. Hell, even J.K. Rowlings and her, IMO, 'Scooby Doo formula books' has changed the mix with her last few Harry Potter Books. I actually fell off the Scooby wagon when I was young when they introduced Scrappy Doo. Ugh!

    But if as you say childen 6-11 like Scooby as it is, then CN will continue to hurt. If I remember correctly CN was not doing all that well with its bottom line and it chose to air some of its DBZ episodes and some other series earlier then it had planned to in order to recoop some its loses.

    I guarantee that if CN decided to develop an anime channel or even devote its effort to finding or developing GREAT series CN would be in a much better position financially. Instead CN attempts to capitalize on the next tie-in with a cereal, toy or movie. It could even use new episodes of its in house creations like Samauri Jack, the new He-Man and a few others to keep costs down.

    Andrew, be honest. I understand that you are 32 years old. I am 28 years old. Apparently we both have some interest in quality animation. Do you agree that quality animation that is written well transcends all age groups? Spongebob and Powerpuff Girls are two of my favorite cartoons. I am pretty sure they are not marketed toward a college educated male in the 18-34 or 25-34 age groups. They are however written and animated very well. They are also not more of the same thing that we see all of the time. Although Spongebob reminds me of the Snorks.

    I absolute detest Ed, Edd and Eddy. I am not to fond of Courage the Cowardly Dog. If you look at today's schedule Ed is on from 2-4:30, with Scooby on from 12-1, and the ridiculous Sylvester and Tweety mysteries on at 11:30 and Courage on before that with another Ed on before that. That is 4.5 hours of programming that is obviously not tailored at me but I dislike nontheless. I work out of a home office and used to love to watch the Smurfs during the day. But no longer because they are not on.

    Anyway, enough of my monologue. AOL Time Warner's usage of CN could do alot to improve its bottom line and get out of financial trouble. It needs to trust that it key audience wants more than what it is offering. At that point Nick and to an extend Disney will stop kickin CN's butt.

    djb
     
  10. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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  11. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I wish they would bring back Cartoon Planet. I never laughed so hard in my life as I did during the "That's What" sketch.

    "Oh, he'd love to blast me, wouldn't you Space Ghost? Wouldn't you Mister Big Man? But he can't. You know why? 'Cause I'm not animated to explode!"

    But I am glad they have Brak back at his old Cartoon Planet desk doing a news update during Adult Swim.
     
  12. AndrewD

    AndrewD Stunt Coordinator

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    We’ve found time and time again that kids love mysteries. On top of that, kids will watch something they’ve already seen over and over and over again. They don’t care if they know the ending they just like to watch. That’s why Scooby is considered such an evergreen show, or one that takes a lot to wear out with kids. Also this love of mysteries is also why ‘Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries’ aired for so long, and why CN picked it up. I think it’s awful too, but the kids love it.

    I’m not too familiar with the financial trouble you mention. I know that because of the merchandising arm of the network, they are one of the most profitable networks in the happy AOL / Time Warner family. Also there are a lot of advertisers who have a lot of money and who need to talk to kids. But there are only a few places where they can be guaranteed a kid audience. There’s CN, Nick, and Kids WB. Disney doesn’t air commercials…yet…so they’re not in contention. Most of CN’s ad space is bought. If we’re talking about ratings, they could always use a boost. Financially, I think they’re doing alright for now.

    I agree that quality animation does transcend all age groups, but would you agree that a good animated show is so hard to find / produce? So much goes into producing an animated show that a great show doesn’t come around as often as networks would like. From what the creator has in mind to the ideas of the network, it’s very hard to find a place where everyone is happy and the show is wonderful. More often than not, networks are doing the best they can with what’s available. Making an amazing cartoon short is so different than creating a good series. There’s a lot of creative talent out there, but when you want to go to series, that pool dries up faster than one would like.

    Despite this, the network needs to produce new content. You ask any kid what they would like to see on a kids network and they’ll say new shows and new episodes of their favorite shows. So the network needs to balance the effort of creating new eps with new shows to keep things fresh. Sometimes they need to make deals with the devil (toy companies) to offset the cost of new content. That’s why you get new He-Man & Transformers shows (courtesy of Hasbro) and a new limited-run Hot Wheels show from the fine folks at Mattel.

    All of this is very hard. I hope people understand that the network as a whole is interested in making money, but the people who work for the network want to put on the best programs they possibly can. No one at the network intentionally wants to make a crappy show, but sometimes crap is what you get. If airing older shows would bring in the ratings that new shows do, you would see your favorite cartoons of yesteryear on all of the time. The sad truth is, they just don’t.
     
  13. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    >"Oh, he'd love to blast me, wouldn't you Space Ghost? Wouldn't you Mister Big Man? But he can't. You know why? 'Cause I'm not animated to explode!">>

    I completly forgot about Cartoon Planet. That was back before I had CN in 97. Heh, they used to have a samples network that showed channels we didn't get in 4 hour blocks. Th at was the only way I got to see CN before that and Space Ghost itself. Not a bad idea for a network
     
  14. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    I'm sure kids love the mystery genre but what about fantasy? A good fantasy cartoon like Thundarr The Barbarian or Dungeons And Dragons can expand kids' minds. [​IMG]

    Heck, CN could also produce that last episode of D&D that never got made as a special event. I believe it was called "Redemption" or something like that.
     
  15. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned "Samurai Jack", probably one of the best things CN airs.

     
  17. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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  18. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    TechTV runs anime really late at night and CN runs anime almost every night (just as late as TechTV). To be honest, I'm not sure I want an anime channel. ADV is only going to show what they have the rights to as an anime distributor (which isn't bad, what with RahXephon and Neon Genesis Evangelion being in that list).
     
  19. DAN NEIR

    DAN NEIR Guest

    Cartoon I'd like to see them show would be:
    Battle of the Planets (not G-Force w/ the redubbed names)
    Mighty Orbots
    The Original Transformers
    Voltron
    Heckyl and Jekyl
    Woody Woodpecker
    The old Spider Man cartoon (on channel 5 in NYC) or even Spider Man and his Amazing Friends
    The old Hulk, Iron Man, Capt. America, Sub Mariner and Thor cartoons
    Mighty Mouse
    Under Dog
    Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse
    and I can never get enough of Batman, Superman and Justice League
     

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