Why do Ninja Turtle cartoons last so much longer than all other action cartoons?

Discussion in 'Saturday Morning Forever!' started by CyberCubed, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    This is something I've always wondered, as most DC and Marvel cartoons tend to be short-lived, many being canceled at 26-52 episodes. There are exceptions and I believe Batman: TAS has the longest episode count (unless you count the entire DCAU as one show, but not really), and other action shows barely make it up to 100 episodes.

    The original TMNT cartoon lasted 10 seasons and made 193 episodes. The 4kids TMNT show lasted 7 seasons and made 156 episodes and a movie. The Nick cartoon is now renewed through Season 4, meaning it'll have at least 98 episodes. And given the Nick show is a success it'll likely go on for a long time after that, matching the episode count of its previous iterations.

    What makes TMNT cartoons last for 150-200 episodes? No other action cartoons in history ever last this long. You could say it was because the original 80's show was a huge fad, but the 4kids cartoon aired on an obscure network and still made 156 episodes and 7 seasons. And the Nick cartoon is a tremendous success.

    It's almost like TMNT is the American equivilant of shonen anime like DBZ, Naruto, One Piece, Pokemon that goes on for literally hundreds of episodes.
     
  2. Daikun

    Daikun Long Live the Fighter!

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    These shows have effort put into them, and they get good ratings as a result.
     
  3. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Steven Sword!

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    Daikun's got it.
     
  4. PapaGreg

    PapaGreg Came for the ribs

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    1. Because TMNT is a franchise that is very easy to merchandise with because it comes from a long history of toys, games, and movies

    2. TMNT is also well known with numerous of generations growing up in the 90s, 2000s, and 2010s with that in mind when ever it has a reboot a large group of people are gonna know what TMNT is.

    3. TMNT is just awesome
     
  5. Grenzer

    Grenzer Well, he's almost a pony...

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    To elaborate on the above, I guess it lies in the strength of the original idea that Laird and Eastman hit upon. TMNT became a big hit because it took a novel concept, (a team of four ninja brothers with clashing personalities who just happen to be mutant turtles) and backed it up with a large and interesting supporting cast, a "kitchen-sink" concept towards science-fiction and fantasy elements, and tied it all together with strong writing. All three turtle cartoons benefited from unusually talented staff and crew, and more than that connected to audiences year after year.

    Really it all comes down to the fact that TMNT is a very robust franchise that can be marketed to successive generations of toy-buying children and their parents. It is thirty years-old and even the missteps have never derailed its momentum, so the Turtle cartoons tend to survive for much longer than most of their competitors. It cannot be compared to the long-running Shonen anime in that regard, because the system that generates those shows is very different from the American animation production system.

    Lastly, some of it must be just dumb luck. Many other quality shows have been cancelled before their time due to corporate politics, creative staff changes, or bad marketing, but the Turtles have never seemed to be effected by those factors.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2014
  6. dumbfoolkid5

    dumbfoolkid5 New Member

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    I agree, I also wandered what's so special about the four myself, I think they're ok sometimes but I wonder if they're be good if they go with their true origins.
     
  7. Tommy Lawson

    Tommy Lawson Moderator

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    For the current TMNT, there is another big reason why it endures: toy sales. TMNT is the flagship action figure property for Playmates, and it is also the reason why Power Rangers endures after all these years for Bandai when all of its imitators have long disappeared.
     
  8. Mostezli

    Mostezli Member

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    Because they're the most cost-effective toy & comic-book commercials (and any other merch's)
    for the quintessential young male demo with a passion for action, drama & comedy.
    Plus, that "dumb luck" and the fact that the creators, Laird and Eastman, have been involved with each iteration.
     
  9. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator

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    I wouldn't say that exactly since all of the TMNT series are in their own continuity and there are years where there isn't a TMNT series on the air. Those other series that you mentioned don't really go on breaks and any new series under their names are still within the same universe.

    Anyway, I think that the reason the series have stuck around as long as they have comes down to the appeal. The concept is pretty easy to market to kids that would eat up the action and fun characters, so that along with some effort on the writers' part, would allow for some successful ratings. Merchandise selling well would also definitely be a factor, especially for the most recent TMNT series.
     
  10. W.C.Reaf

    W.C.Reaf Active Member

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    Simple, TMNT got insanely popular with kids. That kept the merchandise flowing and the show stayed on the air. Same reason Star Wars Clone Wars had 121 episodes, it all comes down to toy sales.
     
  11. Goldstar Neo

    Goldstar Neo We're not cousins!

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    It's actually not like that since each new TMNT series is it's own separate continuity and no one series has been running continuously for several years. And when one TMNT series ends, there's a gap between 3 to 5 years before another one starts up. If anything, TMNT is more like Scooby Doo, in that there's a new series, movie or video every few years.
     
  12. ABrown

    ABrown Active Member

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    I've long wondered if toy sales had a good deal to do with why the (Mike Young Productions) He-Man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He-Man_and_the_Masters_of_the_Universe_(2002_TV_series) didn't make it past 39 episodes. I really liked that show, and I think it had potential to go for at least another 26 episodes or so. But the toys seemed to be virtually non-existant in stores. All that you could find was the He-Man figure. I mean what is a kid supposed to do, buy a dozen different He-Man figures? Pretty much EVERY character I had to buy online because I couldn't find them in the stores.
     
  13. Neo Ultra Mike

    Neo Ultra Mike Creeping Shadow of 7000+ Posts

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    Well Teen Titans and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited had effort put into them and got very good ratings but only lasted 65/91 episodes so it obviously has more to do with that.

    As a lot of people pointed out what made these popular was the big toy/franchise line that came with them. Everyone who was a fan of TMNT in the 80s/90s had at least some sort of action figure or collectable that came with it and I'm sure the same can be said with the 2K3 series and the new current series. Because yeah as much as high ratings and getting good word of mouth help out a series, if it's also selling a lot of merchandise along with it, that's going to motivate the network to let the show go on longer if it's giving them so much money. I think it also helps that the three shows happen to land on networks who are fine with long lasting lengthy series if they're still making them money. I doubt they'd last as long if they were on say Cartoon Network who has a lot less tolerance for longer running shows even if they are still popular (Adventure Time may be the first original show to go to 100 episodes. I guess there was also Clone Wars but that was part of the Star Wars franchise and not totally funded by them unlike the Nick TMNT) for example. Also when they came out they were the big huge hits of their networks. Well more the original and 2K3 with CBS and Fox Box but for a non Spongebob show, Nick still gives turtles a good amount of press two years in which for them is impressive.
     
  14. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator

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    It's been said before, but toy sales is the key to show's success and longevity.
    I read once that Nick will only cancel their TMNT show if the toys stop making money.
     
  15. trance2009

    trance2009 Fun to play with not to eat

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    And with the new flick coming out don't expect it to dwindle soon.
     
  16. Mister Mayhem

    Mister Mayhem Active Member

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    Compatriots,

    its all about the merch. as long as the figurines, trading cards, videogames, comics, backpacks, etc turn a profit ratings don't really matter.
     
  17. TheVileOne

    TheVileOne Peace Loving Shinobi

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    Ditto on all the merchandise sales. Ciro Nieli told me that the ratings for the show basically don't matter. As long as the toys keep selling they will keep doing the show.
     
  18. SaneMan

    SaneMan Active Member

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    it's like with Transformers
    a novelty concept that is timeless enough to fin a following in every subsequent qeneration
     
  19. Mostezli

    Mostezli Member

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    In case you forgot Ben 10 or the network's mentality toward shows that didn't cater to Ben 10's demographic,
    TMNT would have gotten the same, if not more exposure if it was on CN.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2014
  20. Sketch

    Sketch not like those other old guys

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    It's merchandise powerhouse which kids have enjoyed for generations. The ability to make literally any kind of character and put it in that multi-verse allows the merchandisers to keep creating new products year after year. The four turtles themselves with their individual personalities relate to the audience which I think for many fans created a special bond.

    So it's a combination of being iconic and memorable characters along with limitless potential for merchandising. Turtles fans have lucked out that both the 2003 series and the 2012 series were made by people who loved the brand and understood what people liked about it so the longevity was not considered a bad thing because the characters were in good hands. Thus while there were always haters who could never see beyond the 1980s series or the Mirage comics overall fandom had positive reactions to both the 2003 and 2012 series. Ultimately it was merchandising that kept them going as long as they did but it certainly doesn't hurt when fandom offers good word of mouth and are fully willing to show the new Ninja Turtles to their younger relatives and/or children.
     

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