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Why were there very few Creator Driven Saturday Morning Cartoons?

Discussion in 'Saturday Morning Forever!' started by TheMisterManGuy, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. TheMisterManGuy

    TheMisterManGuy Active Member

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    If you think about some of your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 90s up to the mid-late 2000s, you notice that the vast majority of them are either an adaptation (usually of a comic book), a hacked up anime dub, or a show created solely to sell toys, or sometimes all three at once. Very few, if any ideas for Saturday Morning Cartoons came from actual creators. In fact, as far as I know, only Disney took the concept of completely original SatAM content seriously with One Saturday Morning on ABC, with the most popular show being Recess. Kids' WB! dabbled into more creator made content in its later years, but even their strength was largely built on the Warner Bros. and DC cannons, along with 4kids' 2 cash-cows. Now, I'm not saying that Creator Driven cartoons were ever going to save SatAM Cartoons, there were a lot of reasons the format died, but one reason Cable destroyed SatAM was because channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were serving up completely new and original animated series that came, not from business men, but actual cartoonists with new and innovative ideas, with ambitions that were far grander than just selling comics or plastic crap to 9 year olds.

    I've got to wonder, why didn't the broadcast networks with the exception of ABC take this new creator driven movement more seriously in the 90s and 2000s? Yeah, it probably wouldn't have done much good for the big 3, but Fox Kids and Kids' WB! could've held their own against cable (and for most of their lives, already did) since they programmed days other than Saturday too. Kids' WB! was a little better at handling this than Fox Kids was, since Xiaolin Showdown and Mucha Lucha! were pretty successful. But still, I think they should've put more focus on producing completely original content like Nick and CN if they wanted to compete. I wouldn't say it would've saved SatAM cartoons, but it probably would've kept them trucking for a little longer.
     
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  2. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    Pretty much what I tried to say about Fox Kids' closedown. They overrelied on Saban and stopped making original series. Power Rangers didn't save Fox Kids. Sooner or later kids get tired of that one successful show and then you're screwed unless you're prepared.

    Toyetic shows can be fun, though. Just don't use flat characters and please no more cartoons about kids playing with the toys the company wants to sell. (à la Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, Bakugan, Beyblade, etc.)
     
    #2 Red Arrow :D, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  3. AdrenalineRush1996

    AdrenalineRush1996 Active Member

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    Don't think that's the reason why Fox Kids was shut down. The real reason wasn't Power Rangers or overrelying on Saban since Saban co-owned the block, it was that Fox Family didn't do what Fox and Saban had hoped for and given that Haim Saban decided to focus on something else, it was ultimately decided to sell the library and the network to another company, which was Disney in addition to Fox giving the Saturday morning slot to 4Kids. Another reason was the strong competition between the cable channels Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel and The WB's Saturday morning block Kids' WB.

    I wouldn't say that PR didn't save Fox Kids since it began airing during the block's early years and continued to be part of the block until the block's shutdown in 2002.

    So you're basically saying that Power Rangers killed Fox Kids, right?

    Sent from my LG-H850 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    So the competition was so strong because the competition was so strong?

    Fox Kids couldn't stand up against Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Kids WB because they didn't have any new original series, which was because of their overreliance on Saban, which was because of Power Rangers. If you're doing your utterly best to mistunderstand what I'm saying, fine :sweat:

    There is no reason to believe not to. American kids channels without original series fail. Other kids channels survive. No exception.

    Fox Kids did just fine in the beginning, when they did have new originals like Eek the Cat, The Tick, Life with Louie and Bobby's World.
     
  5. TheMisterManGuy

    TheMisterManGuy Active Member

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    I think the reason for the Saban over-reliance was due to Fox Children's Productions and Saban consolidating to form Fox Kids Worldwide, with Fox Kids Network and Saban Entertainment serving as subsidiaries. Saban in essence, became Fox Kids' in-house production arm. The problem, was the that Fox Kids in it's later years, was unable to establish a new hit outside Digimon. It felt like they put all their eggs into the Digi-basket, without making sure there were enough other strong hits on the network as well. Kids' WB! didn't just have the success of Pokemon, they also had an equally strong lineup of Warner Bros. cartoons. Like I said in a previous topic, I think it would've been better had Fox had just avoided that deal altogether and have a strong animation division at 20th Century Fox Television that Fox Kids, and Fox Family for that matter could feed off of.
     
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  6. AdrenalineRush1996

    AdrenalineRush1996 Active Member

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    And I have a feeling that you don't like Power Rangers given that you feel that it led to Fox Kids' demise.

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  7. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    I couldn't care less about Power Rangers or Fox Kids in general. Batman TAS is the only Fox Kids show I like.

    I certainly don't have a grudge against Power Rangers.

    Would you be equally defensive if I said that SpongeBob was ruining Nickelodeon around 2009? I certainly don't have a grudge against da Sponge. I even bought a SpongeBob DVD once and used to watch it as a kid. (I got tired of it soon after, but I never hated it)
     
  8. AdrenalineRush1996

    AdrenalineRush1996 Active Member

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    So basically, given your comments, you didn't like Fox Kids? And I'm guessing that you don't like Fox Kids' successor Jetix and Jetix's successor Disney XD?

    Also, whether you liked or not, Fox Kids and Kids' WB pretty much codified the Nineties era of animated shows that weren't syndicated or aired on a cable channel in the US.

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  9. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    There are many reasons why Fox Kids doesn't exist anymore. My opinion on Fox Kids' programs is not one of them :D

    I did like some shows on the Dutch Fox Kids. Namely the Vitello version of Shin Chan, TMNT 2003 (awful dub), Shinzo, Jacob Two-Two and Martin Mystery.
    This is quite off-topic. Oh well. I never had Jetix, but I like SRMTHFG from the little I have seen from it. Most of its other shows aren't my cup of tea.

    Disney XD has been pretty nice so far with Kim Possible, Transformers Animated, Gravity Falls, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mickey Mouse shorts, Milo Murphy’s Law and The Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I remember liking Jimmy Two-Shoes, too, but I don't know if I still like that show. X-Men Evolution is cool, too, but that didn't air on Disney XD here. Penn Zero Part Time Hero looks okay, but I don't have Disney XD anymore so I haven't really checked it out yet.

    The DuckTales reboot, Big City Greens and Big Hero 6 TAS look promising.
    I have no idea what you're trying to say with this.

    Okay, back on-topic: AdrenalineRush1996, why do you think Fox Kids didn't stand a chance against Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon from the moment cable channel became popular? You keep repeating I'm wrong and biased, but it closed down and there were reasons for it.
    100% agreed. (again)
     
  10. AdrenalineRush1996

    AdrenalineRush1996 Active Member

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    Well, it's because the Saturday morning block was facing a serious threat due to the growing presence of cable channels as in those big three. In response to it, Fox and Saban bought the Family Channel from CBN in order to compete against the three and was rebranded Fox Family but unfortunately it performed below expectations due to having less ratings than the other three as in it couldn't stand a chance against them and Fox Kids' popularity was starting to wane due to the ratings war between Digimon and Pokemon on Kids' WB and by 2001, Fox and Saban decided to sell Fox Family to a different company in order to recoup losses from their ownership of the channel and as part of the deal, their Fox Kids/Saban Entertainment library was included as well. So, that company was Disney and it was finalised during October as Fox Family became ABC Family. Realising that they sold the library to Disney and unable to continue Fox Kids without it, Fox decided to give the Saturday morning slot to 4Kids and before the end of the 2001-2002 US TV season, Power Rangers Wild Force's first 26 episodes aired on Fox Kids. So in September 7, Fox Kids was no more but a week later, ABC decided to rebrand Disney's One Saturday Morning into ABC Kids, which was a spiritual successor to Fox Kids and the remaining 14 episodes of Wild Force were aired there. Around the same time, Fox Box was launched.

    Now after the deal was made, non-American versions of Fox Kids became part of Disney and in 2004, Disney decided to retire the name in favour of a brand new name: Jetix and five years later, Jetix was phased out and replaced by Disney XD. It's the popularity of cable channels that marked the decline of Saturday morning blocks.

    But anyway, let's move on from this and focus on something else related to this topic.

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    #10 AdrenalineRush1996, Jul 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  11. Mikurotoro92

    Mikurotoro92 Well-Known Member

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    Because the concept of Saturday morning cartoons was created by executives not creators

    It wasn't until Nickelodeon got their first 3 Nicktoons that the idea of "creator-driven" cartoons came to be

    Also I personally do believe that SpongeBob IS ruining Nick but the show was my childhood just like Rugrats (people probably thought IT was ruining the network back in the day) so I could never really hate it!
     
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  12. TnAdct1

    TnAdct1 Ravioli, Ravioli

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    While we did get a hint of "creator-driven" cartoons with Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, I do agree that executives (and the landscape of Saturday morning in the 1980's and 1990's) played a role in the lack of it.

    Original titles can be risky on Saturday mornings, and not all of them may appeal to the targeted younger audience. As such, the Saturday morning landscape in the 1980's and 1990's (before the EI Law screwed everything up) was a case of most shows being based on stuff kids may already be familiar with, be it already established characters, comic books, toys and video games (especially with the ban of toyetic shows on Saturday morning being lifted around that time), hit movies, or popular celebrities and live-action TV shows.
     

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