More Hub PM Pondering
The following is in response to a thread which came up recently in the Toon Zone Entertainment Forum titled “Other Sitcoms That Should Air on The Hub”. I’m just going to post my 2 cents on the subject here. To avoid confusion, all of the posts from the thread itself will be typed in italic, while my responses will be typed in purple. The OP begins the discussion with:
What do you guys think? I’d hypothetically say something like “Seinfeld” or “Family Matters”.
To which, my brother Damon responded with:
I’d personally like to see The Hub expand its’ horizons to air more than just domestic sitcoms at night, honestly. I’d like to see more sketch and alternative comedies such as SCTV, MST3K, Fernwood/America 2-Night, The Best of Saturday Night Live, The Monkees, Get Smart!, Police Squad!, Mad Movies with the L.A. Connection, etc. Heck, even The Muppet Show, The Jim Henson Hour or Muppets Tonight would make for some nice variety, although the former would probably look horribly dated now.
Now, I realize that this will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, but I agree with Damon. I really think that The Hub is severely limiting itself by airing nothing but family-friendly sitcom reruns. They could be doing so much more at night, especially during the hours after 10 PM, after the kids have gone to bed. Channels like Nick at Nite and TBS pretty much have the sitcoms covered, so why not do something a little different on The Hub?
In any case, Seinfeld isn’t a family show, and neither is MST3K, really (especially in later seasons where I understand that they talk about some stuff that wouldn’t exactly be appropriate for a family show).
You keep saying that, but I’ve actually seen all of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes that were produced for the Sci-Fi Channel, and they weren’t any more raunchy than the that ones made for Comedy Central. The randiest MST3K has ever gotten was in the 1996 theatrical movie, which contained more curse words in the wise cracks than in the average TV episode. Also, unlike you, I’ve actually seen all of the MST3K episodes made for Sci-Fi Channel; I’m not just making assumptions based on something that a little bird told me. If you haven’t actually seen the later seasons of MST3K, then you’re not in a position to determine whether the show is appropriate for family viewing or not. At least see the episodes for yourself before making pat judgments about them. I personally think that MST3K or Rifftrax would make a great addition to The Hub’s PM lineup, and it would certainly add some much needed variety to the channel’s night time schedule.
Police Squad? Considering it was later adapted into the Naked Gun movies, probably not.
Why not? Police Squad originally aired on prime-time and even ran on Nick at Nite for a brief time. If Nickelodeon could air Police Squad, then I see no reason why the series can’t or shouldn’t air on The Hub. And again, we’re not talking about running Police Squad! right after My little Pony. We’re talking about airing the series at night, after the kids have gone to bed, so where’s the harm in that? Plus, kids saw the Naked Gun movies also.
The Hub may have not been using their tagline “a network for kids and their families” for some time now, but that’s what this network still is: “a network for kids and their families”, and I don’t want them to start subverting that, or themselves (by, among other things, resorting to various technicalities) just to cater to only what some older viewers want to see.
Again, I fail to see the problem with “catering to what older viewers want to see” during the hours of the night when kids aren’t watching TV. It just doesn’t make sense for The Hub to run kid-friendly programming all night long. Adults want to be entertained also. Most kids’ networks stop programming for children in the evenings because ad buyers don’t want to support anything in those hours, and I don’t understand why it’s OK for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to program for adults at night, but it’s somehow not OK for The Hub to do the same. Why should a network risk losing viewers by being forced to placate to an audience that isn’t there just to satisfy some imaginary ideal? I honestly and truly don’t understand this logic.
Seinfeld? What next, Friends? The Big Bang Theory, perhaps (not that I watch any of those three shows, but I know they aren’t family shows)?
You know what I love about you? It’s how with you, everything is always so black-and-white, and gray doesn’t exist at all. With you, it’s either Sesame Street or South Park with absolutely nothing in between. The difference between you and I is that we have different ideas of what does or doesn’t constitute a subversion. You see The Hub airing anything edgier than say, Leave It to Beaver as a subversion, whereas I believe that a middle ground exists and The Hub should try to meet that need.
I’ve never watched Friends myself, and TBS currently owns the broadcasting rights to The Big Bang Theory. As for the prospect of either series being shown on The Hub, I wouldn’t be against that, but I really feel that The Hub needs to expand it’s horizons beyond just airing sitcom reruns. And so what if they’re not family shows? No one’s suggesting that The Hub run Seinfeld on weekday afternoons right after Transformers Rescue Bots. Again, we’re talking about late nights, after the kids have gone to bed. It shouldn’t matter one whit if the content isn’t appropriate for children if said shows are airing at a time when kids aren’t watching TV anyway.
I would suggest older black and white sitcoms from the 1950s, but that would really be pushing it…
Ehh…..No offense, but I don’t think that would be a good idea at all. You’d have an easier time trying to split an atom than trying to get today’s generation of kids to watch something in black-and-white, and that 1950s stuff is cornball. My parents grew up with those shows and I’m 44. That stuff was considered to be old hat during my childhood, and I really don’t think that’s the image that Hasbro wants to create for it’s channel. I don’t think that Hasbro wants The Hub to be thought of as the “Jitterbug” of cable channels. The only b&w show that might be worth airing on The Hub is possibly The 3 Stooges, since the recent (2012) movie may have spawned a renewed interest in the franchise.
Anyways, this is how I would program The Hub’s PM lineup:
I would designate the hours between 7 PM and 10 PM as Family Time. That’s when the family-friendly shows such as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Family Ties, Mork & Mindy, ALF and The Facts of Life would air. As well as some non-sitcom programs such as Carol Burnett & Friends, The Monkees, The Muppet Show/Muppets Tonight/The Jim Henson Show, Police Squad! Carson’s Comedy Classics, etc.
The hours from 10 PM and onward would be designated as Adult Time. The kids have gone to bed and now The Hub’s line up would get a tad “naughtier”, and by this I don’t mean the likes of South Park, Drawn Together or The Whitest Kids U Know. But rather, I mean just airing some less family-oriented programs such as The Best of Saturday Night, SCTV, Mystery Science Theater 3000/Rifftrax, The Red Green Show, Mad Movies with the LA Connection. Perhaps even some of the former Adult Swim acquisitions such as Home Movies, Baby Blues, Mission Hill and The Oblongs, all of which originally aired in prime-time. Hey, while were at it, why not import some British comedies like Red Dwarf, Black Adder, French & Saunders, My Hero or Monty Python’s Flying Circus?
I’d watch a lineup like that. How about you?