New Block Ideas for The Hub

This is a follow-up entry to “What’s All the Hub-Bub, Bub?”.

Over at Toon Zone there’s a thread called ‘Orphan Shows The Hub Should Adopt’, in which people discuss what shows they’d like to see The Hub acquire down the line. Inspired by this, I came up with some programming ideas for The Hub that I think would be pretty cool.

1. Comedy Cartoon Block

As I mentioned back in the previous Hub post, one of the Hub’s biggest draws right now is HuBoom!, their action cartoon block. This is fine and dandy, but while I have no problem with Hasbro having happy slacks for action cartoons, my first love is and always has been comedy, and I hope that won’t be forgotten by The Hub. In response, I propose a comedy cartoon block to counterbalance HuBoom!: call it Ha-Ha-Hub or Hub Laff or something similar (I’m still playing around with names). The best place to air this block would be on weekday afternoons; weekday mornings are devoted to Hub-Bub and it wouldn’t make much sense airing  this block during a time when The Hub’s target audience of school-aged kids wouldn’t be home to see it, and I have other plans for The Hub’s nightly schedule, which I’ll go into later. I’d put Hub Laff on weekday afternoons just before HuBoom!, I’d just push HuBoom! back an hour or so, say, put Hub Laff on at 3 PM to 4 or 5 PM (EST) and HuBoom! would start after that. What sort of shows would be featured on this block? Well, Pound Puppies and encores of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic are obvious choices. Some other possible entries are/could be: Cosmic Quantum Ray, The Twisted Whiskers Show, Dennis and Gnasher, Eek! The Cat/Eek!Stravaganza, Space Goofs, Inspector Gadget, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Samurai Pizza Cats and Saban’s Monster Farm.*

*Note that I’m just using these titles as examples; many of these shows couldn’t or wouldn’t actually air on The Hub for various reasons. We must keep in mind that Hasbro is first and foremost a toy company. They’re not going to acquire a show just because; it would most likely have to be an original or active franchise (preferably one with an active toy line which Hasbro produces or can profit from). The shows actually eligible to air will vary, but I’m just giving you the general idea of what to expect with these blocks.

2. Girl-Centric Saturday Morning Block

Another block The Hub could try is a Saturday morning block targeting young female viewers. I’d call it The Hub’s Super Slumber Party or something similar. The beauty of this block is that The Hub already has the shows they need for it: Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures, Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and The Littlest Pet Shop. (The upcoming new Sabrina, the Teenage Witch cartoon produced by Moonscoop could also premiere here.) These would all be premiere episodes; encores could air variously throughout the week, but the new episodes would premiere here. When a show goes into periodic reruns, it could be temporairly replaced by another show with a female lead such as Jem or Atomic Betty. To spice things up, there could also be shorts and filler segments airing between the shows, say animated shorts based on Hasbro’s various girl-centric toy properties and pop music videos. Heck, you could even throw in some girl hostesses like the Slumber Party Girls, Ally & A.J. or some other girl band for host segments and bits of business between the shows.

3. Weekend Prime Time Premiere Block

This block would air on either Friday or Saturday nights from 8 to 10 PM (EST). No prizes for guessing, this block is inspired by the likes of ABC’s T.G.I.F. or Nickelodeon’s SNICK. It would consist of 2-hours of premiere Hub shows, sort of treat for kids on the weekend. A sample schedule could go as follows:

  • 8 PM – The Aquabats! Super Show!
  • 8: 30 PM – Dan VS.
  • 9 PM – Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters
  • 9: 30 PM – R.L. Stine’s The Nightmare Room

-Of course, this schedule could be rotated if/when new premieres come along. If there were ever too many premiere shows to run on a single night, this block could be spread across the weekend, with a Friday night version and a Saturday night version.

4. Nightly Comedy Block

As I mentioned in the previous Hub entry, it is my not-so-humble opinion that The Hub’s nightly schedule is easily the weakest part of the network. I simply don’t watch The Hub at night since I’m not a nostalgia person, and nothing the channel airs at night holds my interest. Look, I don’t have a problem with network TV reruns, but nostalgia has a limited shelf life and The Hub isn’t ever going to rank up there with the likes of Cartoon Network and Nick by running nothing but 30 to 40 year old reruns all night. Most people aren’t going to switch off a new episode of The Big Bang Theory or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for a 40-year-old rerun of Happy Days and  I personally didn’t enjoy The Facts of Life or ALF when they were first-run.

My solution is to have The Hub switch formats at around, say 8 or 9 PM (sort of, I don’t think an entirely new face and branding is necessary) to an alternative comedy block called either Hub After Dark or Hub PM or Hub Funny Stuff. (Thanks goes out to Jason for that last title.) As this block would be aimed specifically towards adults, the programming here would be just a littler spicier than The Hub’s daily fare, but nowhere near the extremes of Adult Swim. some sample show ideas for this block include: Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, SCTV, On the Television, Turkey Television, Mad Movies with the LA Connection, Mystery Science Theater 3000/Rifftrax, Far Out Space Nuts, The Ghost Busters (not the movie franchise with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, but the 1975 series starring Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker), Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Cinematech, MAD, Batman (the 60’s show starring Adam West), The Monkees, Clone High, Undergrads, Daria, Remote Control, Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, Weird Science, My Hero, The Red Green Show, Sifl & Olly, TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Not Necessarily the News,The Best of Saturday Night Live, JonTron Show, Assist Me!, Demo Reel, and the like.*

*Again, I realize that not all of these shows are eligible candidates to air on The Hub; for example MST3K may not be able to air there due to ownership rights and its’ 2-hour episode length, and some of these shows are quite old. Again, this is just an overview of what sort of shows to expect on this block. they could easily be new shows done in the manner and spirit of the shows listed above.

Don’t worry, nostalgia lovers. The classic TV shows wouldn’t be gone from The Hub; they would just air in a separate block during non-peak nightly hours, in an old-school block. The game shows like Family Game Night wouldn’t be gone either; they would air either on weekend afternoons and/or Sunday nights right before Funny Stuff.

Of course, these are merely suggestions. I’m not saying that my ideas are the best way to go, or even the only way, but they are A way. I’m certainly not expecting everyone to agree with my suggestions; I’m sure many people have their own suggestions or even objections to my little schemes, and not only do I respect that, but I even welcome criticism, as long as it’s valid.

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