The REAL Reason Why Boomerang Sucks

Boomerang is in a bad place right now. There’s no denying that. The channel is badly in need of some TLC (and I don’t mean that crappy cable channel that shows reality shows about little people, toddler beauty show contestants made up like hos and women who treat their vagina like it’s a clown car.)

There are differing opinions as to what should be done with Boom: some feel the whole channel should be scrapped and re-integrated back into being a block on its’ big brother Cartoon Network where it began. Some feel it should become an ad-supported channel so they can earn some money and gain more 3rd party acquisitions like shows from the DiC and Filmation libraries like Boom’s neighbor to the North, Teletoon Retro. Some feel Turner should start taking greater advantage of the shows which they have available to them in the Turner and WBA vaults and designate certain hours and days to certain decades and eras (I’m in this camp, BTW). And of course, the retro-snobs just want all of the newer (post 1989) shows to go away and for Boom to go back to being the way it was in 2003 or 2004, when all it did was Hanna-Barbera reruns and the occasional MGM and Looney Tunes shorts.

Well, here’s your wake-up call, folks: NONE of those things are ever going to happen. Boomerang is going to stay exactly as it is now unless Turner decides to kill the channel outright or transform it into something profitable. Failing one of those scenarios, Boom will never get any better.

(Cue sad Charlie Brown walking away music….)

Hey, didn’t mean to bum you out, but that’s the truth. Boomerang is not going to improve any (unless someone at Turner gets dollar signs in their eyes), nor is it ever going to go back to being 90% H-B Rerun Boomerang. Why? I’ll tell you. No homespun crapola. No sugar coating. I’m going to share with you the reason why Boomerang is never likely to improve, and its’ certainly never going to regress. Here’s why:

1. Flat-out, Turner doesn’t care about Boomerang. Why should they? It doesn’t live off of ratings. It makes Turner no money outside of subscription fees. They just don’t care about the channel. Turner regards Boom as a dumping ground for all the shows that they don’t care about any more. It’s basically CN’s recycle bin, and that’s all they use it for.

But there’s another reason why Boom isn’t ever going to back to being early ‘all classic’ Boomerang. It’s a chilling and eerie reason, but it’s there nonetheless. There’s a HUGE elephant in the room that everyone (including myself) would rather ignore, but it’s the other reason why Boom isn’t going to change back. It’s time to turn and face that pachyderm. Ready? Sit down, take a deep breath, have a glass of water. Here it is………………….

2. We’re getting old.

Sorry, I had to say it. No one wants to face this (I sure as hell don’t), but that is why Boomerang is never going to go back to being early Boomerang, and why the newer post 1990 shows aren’t going to be leaving the channel. Face it campers, we’re all getting older.

Boomerang is never going to return to being early Boomerang, just like MTV is never going to go back to showing music videos 24/7 and Nick@Nite is never going to go back to being the Donna Reed/My Three Sons/Dobie Gillis Nick@Nite. ‘Cause we’re getting older and we’re not the primary target anymore.

Yes, as the channel’s name implies, when Boomerang was first launched it was supposed to be a haven for baby boomers to relive the cartoons of their youth, but here’s the thing: as of this writing the Gen Xers are in the same place in their lives that the boomers were in when Boomerang was first launched as its’ own channel back in 2000.

The problem with marketing a so-called “classic TV” channel of any kind is that time never stops moving forward. What’s considered “old” or “classic” changes from generation to generation, from decade to decade, and in some cases, from year to year. We’re experiencing with stations like Boomerang and Nick@Nite what our parents and grandparents experienced when the elevator music stations that they used to listen to got replaced with soft rock.

The 18 to 20-year-old demographic is usually the audience most coveted by TV networks because they attract the most advertising dollars, and people who are old enough to have grown up watching 50’s, 60’s and 70’s shows firsthand are currently outside of that demographic. The kids who grew up watching 50’s and 60’s TV (including my generation, who grew up watching these shows secondhand in syndicated reruns) are either dying off, moving on to other venues (like the internet and home video) or simply are reaching an age where they can’t be persuaded to buy useless junk they don’t need by advertisers, so The Powers That Be aren’t zeroing in on us anymore; they’re focusing the attention on the Gen X-ers, Gen Y-ers and all of the other On Beyond Zebra letters who are coming after us. The 90’s kids are in their 20’s now and the 80’s kids are in their 30’s now. They want to relive the experience of watching the shows that they grew up with too. But these kids didn’t grow up watching Leave it to Beaver,  Yogi Bear, Dennis the Menace and Rocky & Bullwinkle, they grew up watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Adventures of Pete and PeteTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Sonic the Hedgehog. These kids don’t have fond memories of Snagglepuss and the Brady Bunch, they have fond memories of Stick Stickly and Kenan & Kel. Unfortunately for us (well, the retro-snobs, anyway), many of the folks in this generation don’t have a burning desire to watch shows from before they were born (keep in mind that they didn’t grow up with the local and syndicated venues that we did) and a great deal of them are automatically turned off by black-and-white. That’s why Nick@Nite is currently rotating The Nanny and George Lopez instead of Bewitched and Car 54, Where Are You?.

The 90’s and 00’s cartoons aren’t going off of Boomerang anytime soon, and in all likelihood their presence is going to increase before it decreases, so we Boomers are just going to have to learn to share. Boomerang isn’t a baby boomer’s channel anymore, deal with it. Be thankful you’re still at least getting a portion of that Old School Cool instead of the vintage stuff getting tossed by the wayside altogether. Yes, Boom is bad now. But It could be much, much worse.

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