Hub Hopes and Predictions ver. 2

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This is yet another Hub post.

With a new year comes new hopes and predictions for fledgling family network The Hub. Lots of people have them, including myself. Recently I was lurking at Toon Zone forums and came across a thread for this very subject, and I’d like to share my own thought on some of these predictions and hopes.

-First, however, I’d like to blow off a little steam: I feel like I’m the only person on Earth who’s not having a fan-gasm about The Hub’s acquiring Animaniacs. Yeah, it’s nice to see the show on TV again, but I don’t get why so many people on the internet are treating The Hub’s acquisition of this show like the Second Coming. OK, it’s a nice comeback, but come on; it’s not like they’re new episodes. Not that a new A! series stands a snowball’s chance of happening, nor would it be a good thing if it did: An Animaniacs revival would likely have different producers and directors, a different composer (obviously, since Richard Stone has been gone a while), cheaper animation with a 21st century kid’s cartoon design aesthetic (forget TMS, and Startoons is long gone), probably a different tone entirely for that very reason would very likely be made without Spielberg’s backing. Who in the world would want something like that? But yeah, sorry Animaniacs fans, but I just can’t get that excited about something returning to TV that I can watch anytime on DVD for free. And of course, with The Hub’s acquisition of A! comes the inevitable fan-wanking for Hasbro to acquire other Silver Age WB shows like Tiny Toon Adventures and Pinky & the Brain for The Hub. Personally, I’d rather see The Hub carve its’ own niche rather than see it become Kids’ WB! 2.0. While I wouldn’t mind some more shows done in the vein or spirit of A! or TTA and the like, I’d much rather get new shows as opposed to The Hub just acquiring more and more canceled reruns. Again, if I want to relive any of these shows, I can just buy the DVDs.

There, I said it. I feel better. Now, on to the hopes and predictions. Poster’s hopes will be types in italics, my text will be normal.

I would like to see the Hub get Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes who would do better job than X-D, And Justice League/JLU to their network.

Ah, no. That’s not happening. All of the Marvel cartoons are property of Disney now, so you won’t be seeing any of them on a non-Disney owned station. The ONLY reason The Super Hero Squad Show airs on The Hub is because Hasbro produces the toy line. That is the only reason, BTW; anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Yes, with a new Avengers series, Avengers Assemble, which is said to basically be the blockbuster movie in animated series form, coming down the pike, it’s become crystal clear that A:EMH is done, but that doesn’t mean that it’s up for grabs; the show will likely just go into the vaults. Disney would rather sit on a show than let a rival network get rich off of it. The Mouse House killed A:EMH to make room for AA, so they obviously have no plans of letting it run somewhere else.

Justice League/Unlimited is a possibility, though I believe that’s already airing on Vortexx. Whether The Hub or anyone else would be interested in acquiring it likely depends on whether the Justice League movie happens and how well it does if it does manifest. (Warner Brothers has made it clear that the possibility of a JL movie hinges almost totally on how well the upcoming Man of Steel movie performs; if MoS tanks, then there won’t be a JL movie, it’s as simple as that.) Comedy has always been a higher priority for The Hub than action, and personally I’m of the train of thought that The Hub should be acquiring less action cartoons, not more.

Wouldn’t it be great if The Hub got The Kids from Room 402?

Why? Why would that be great? Why would The Hub even want to acquire The Kids from Room 402? What would be their incentive to do that? What would they possibly gain from acquiring that? The Kids from Room 402 hasn’t been seen anywhere since its’ initial run on Fox Family in 1999-2000. Who besides a few internet geeks like us even remembers that show? Let me explain something once again: cable/satellite channels like The Hub don’t acquire shows ‘just because’; there has to be a demand for them and some kind of incentive for said network to acquire them, i.e. a guarantee that they’ll make back the money they spend on such acquisitions. There’s no profit to made in The Hub’s acquiring some also ran cartoon which hardly anyone remembers and hasn’t resurfaced anywhere in 14 years, and no profit = no need or desire on Hasbro’s part to acquire it. Channels picking up shows just to be nice and to make viewers happy may be how it works in Happy Lollipop Land, but here in the real world TV is a business, and like all businesses it revolves around profit. It’s all about the Benjamins, folks; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Rule of Thumb: if you can’t think of another reason for The Hub (or any channel for that matter) to acquire a show besides “I like it” or “I haven’t seen it in a while” or “It existed”, then chances are it’s not in the network’s best interests to acquire it.

How does anyone feel about The Ripping Friends, Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island, Bro ‘Town, Mr. Bean: The Animated Series and Sgt. Frog join the Hub family?

How we feel about these shows joining The Hub is irrelevant, since none of them will be joining the Hub. Allow me address each of these pics individually:

The Ripping Friends: while it did live its’ brief lifetime on Fox Kids, the fact remains that it didn’t resonate with its’ kid audience. Fox had hoped that the fact that Ripping Friends was created by the man who gave us Ren & Stimpy, John Kricfalusi, would be enough to generate interest in the show, but that didn’t happen. Kids just weren’t into Ripping Friends, and at bottom, like Ren & Stimpy before it, the show really wasn’t for kids. When RF finally did resurface, it was on Adult Swim, so it would be severely out of place during the kid-vid hours. There’d be no reason for Hasbro to acquire Ripping Friends unless the network was planning to launch an adult cartoon block, which I actually think it a good idea; there would be finally be a suitable place to put Dan VS.

Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island: Really? REALLY? Are you serious??? Why in the flaming heck would The Hub, or any channel, for that matter, want to acquire Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island?!? Even the average 2-year-old saw this show for what it was: a remarkably weak knockoff of SpongeBob Squarepants which shamelessly ripped off everything from the concept to the setting to the characters to the lead’s buck teeth to the use of voice actor Bill Fagerbakke, and just above public access production values. Why would Hasbro want to acquire a show so painfully lame and heinously unpopular that even Kids’ WB! opted to bury it forever and The Hub would be made fun of for even airing it? You might as well suggest that The Hub start airing Loonatics Unleashed.

Mr. Bean: The Animated Series: Sorry to be the crusher of dreams, but The Hub will not be acquiring Mr. Bean: TAS. Cartoon Network US will not be acquiring Mr. Bean: TAS. Nickelodeon US will not be acquiring Mr. Bean: TAS. NO American cable channel will be acquiring Mr. Bean: TAS. Why not? Because nobody in America besides you is Jonesing for Mr. Bean, that’s why. It’s not for lack of trying, mind you: there were no less than 3 attempts to bring Mr. Bean to the States, a live-action series on HBO and 2 US movie releases: Bean (1997) and Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007), but none of them set America on fire; the 2 movies were box office bombs (in the US, anyway), and hardly anyone watched the HBO show. Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, Superman3 and 4 and Batman and Robin sucked too, but they’re still all based on popular franchises in high demand with viewers; by contrast, The Mr. Bean phenomenon just never caught on here for whatever reason, and again no demand= no chance of profit and no chance of profit = no chance of an acquisition. Personally, when it comes to Rowan Atkinson I’ve always preferred Black Adder anyway.

Bro’ Town: Congrats, you picked a show with even less of a US following than Mr. Bean. Bro’ Town is a cartoon from New Zealand which to be fair, is pretty successful in its’ native country (5 seasons) but the fact remains that most Americans have never heard of it; heck, I didn’t know this show existed before this guy mentioned it, and then I had to look it up on Wikipedia. If you have to inform your viewing audience that a show exists, chances are a network isn’t going to go out of their way to acquire it. Also, based on what I’ve read, Bro’ Town targets a young adult male audience, and The Hub doesn’t really specialize in that sort of thing. Again, not going to happen unless Hub decides to launch an adult cartoon block.

Sgt. Frog: A lot of people have been requesting that this show come to the US, but so far no one’s been biting, and if the big channels like CN and Nick aren’t trying to acquire Sgt. Frog, then I don’t see The Hub making a play for it. It costs money to import shows, and dubbing them costs even more money. Right now The Hub doesn’t have the lettuce to acquire and dub an anime.

Yeah….seein as how action has been given a swift kick on other networks, I say bring on the action. More room for comedy. I disagree. Reminds me of the awesomeness of Jetix/Toon Disney. Now we have Disney X-D. A great blend of “diversity”. Where comedies and action shows thrive. Oh wait. X out that last part…

Two things: First, Jetix basically killed Toon Disney and started the Mouse House on their current idee fixee that their classic shorts library and all things related to it have no place on their channels beyond bumpers between teencoms and edutainment shows for tiny tots, so you’ll understand if I don’t have the same fondness for Jetix that you do. Second, it’s not The Hub’s job to pick up the slack of other networks, let alone cater to one viewer’s personal whims.

You prefer action, fine. But why should comedy get the boot because of that? I don’t want to see The Hub go all-action any more than I’d want to see it go all retro. Why does The Hub have to be all action and no comedy or all comedy and no action? Why can’t it show both? I don’t see the 2 as mutually exclusive; if action is working on The Hub, I welcome that, ride that rocket, baby, but I’d rather not see it take over the channel like what happened with Jetix; and given that 3 of The Hub’s biggest hits right now, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Dan VS and the recently acquired and heavily promoted Animaniacs, are comedy, not action, cartoons, I’d say the chances of The Hub abandoning comedy altogether are close to nil. Again, comedy is and always has been higher on The Hub’s priority list than action. Hub already has an action block, so why not a comedy block? Nothing wrong with the channel expanding its’ comedy roster, I say, especially with more comedies geared towards slightly older viewers than the Strawberry Shortcake crowd. Dan VS can’t and shouldn’t be the only older-skewing comedy on the network. There’s plenty of room on a 24-hour channel to accommodate multiple genres.

-Personally, my hopes for The Hub in the coming year(s) are simply that as the channel grows and viewership increases, they’ll show other genres besides Action and Retro some love. (Calm down, Action and Retro fans; I’m not saying that there should be none of those shows on The Hub, just that I’d like to see more shows outside of those genres. Variety is the spice of life, after all.) Hopefully they’ll be able to rely less on older shows and movies and defunct franchises so people will finally stop referring to The Hub as an oldies’ channel. I’d like to see The Hub launch and obtain more comedies, more girl-centric shows and more original series and first-run acquisitions, particularly at night.

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