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Forum » Retro T.V. & Movies » Animaniacs Producer Blames Pokemon for Kids WB Downfall
Benjanime
before kids wb became the foxbox the last ever cartoon i watched was xiaolin showdown, one of those shows that got promised dvd sets but only got two seasons on home video.
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eddstarr
I've been scratching my head over this one for awhile. Like you guys I'm not an industry insider so I don't know what killed Kids' WB but I would like to know more about program selection after Pokemon moved to Kids' WB. 

Pokemon was one of those rare shows that made its first run in syndication before being picked up by a network. By the time Pokemon moved to the WB it was already a worldwide phenomenon.

Network adoption is a good thing, right? Networks only want what makes money. If I'm to believe that a popular cartoon killed a network children's programming block then we may as well add "Cardcaptors" and "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and Megaman as reasons for the demise of Kids' WB.


I think what ended Kids' WB is the same thing that killed all SatAM cartoons on network TV . . . greed.
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Rick Ace Rhodes
eddstarr wrote :

I've been scratching my head over this one for awhile. Like you guys I'm not an industry insider so I don't know what killed Kids' WB but I would like to know more about program selection after Pokemon moved to Kids' WB. 

Pokemon was one of those rare shows that made its first run in syndication before being picked up by a network. By the time Pokemon moved to the WB it was already a worldwide phenomenon.

Network adoption is a good thing, right? Networks only want what makes money. If I'm to believe that a popular cartoon killed a network children's programming block then we may as well add "Cardcaptors" and "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and Megaman as reasons for the demise of Kids' WB.


I think what ended Kids' WB is the same thing that killed all SatAM cartoons on network TV . . . greed.
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I think what Ruegger is getting is that the popularity of Pokemon caused Kids WB to begin putting more and more anime onto the channel. Kids WB abandoned the original programming that helped build it and in the end it backfired on them.
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*Insert funny signature here*
eddstarr
Rick Ace Rhodes wrote :


I think what Ruegger is getting is that the popularity of Pokemon caused Kids WB to begin putting more and more anime onto the channel. Kids WB abandoned the original programming that helped build it and in the end it backfired on them.
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And I agree with you, especially since Saban Entertainment specialized in translating TV Tokyo cartoons into English all for very little cost.

And yet I still find it strange how the demise of Kids' WB happened the same time all children's programming slowly disappeared from the broadcast networks. 

If Pokemon never happened, would Kids' WB still be around?
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Vaporman87
No to that. Though perhaps it could have spun off into its own channel, but would even that have lasted?
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You love this signature.
eddstarr
Exactly. Since all the networks abandoned SatAM children's programming the reason must have been economic, starting with anime and ending with a business decision. What a shame!
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blueluigi
I kind of sat on this thread thinking about it a little bit.

As far as Pokemon causing the demise of Kids WB... that's pretty debatable. It did bring in an era of anime shows in American children's programming, and I think Yu-Gi-Oh further escalated that. However, I think there's a few other things that contributed to Kids WB's demise aside from just Pokemon.

Let's take a look at how the silver era really ended. We had Animaniacs. We had Pinky and the Brain. Those were all great shows. But what I also think contributed to this demise is corporate greed... or more specifically, Jamie Kellner. Yes, the same guy responsible for cancelling WCW took over as president of the WB Network, and he was the one that came up with the idea of retooling Pinky and the Brain... thus becoming Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain. Needless to say, the show was a recipe for disaster... and even the show's staff hated it, but they didn't have a choice because it was the network's decision... not the writers. Unsurprisingly, the show did poorly, and it got cancelled ending the silver era.

Aside from Pokemon, another show that aired that I thought was good was Jackie Chan Adventures. Wasn't too big on X-men Evolution. But in my personal opinion, I feel that Yu-Gi-Oh made Kids WB a lot less interesting to watch than it did before.

Last thing that I believe led to Kids WB's demise... the rise of cable TV. Once cable channels continued to rise, it gave kids less of a reason to watch Kids WB... and it doesn't help that both Kids WB and Cartoon Network were sharing programming at one point. Regardless, I think even if Pokemon didn't come along, it still would have been inevitable that Kids WB was going to go down under at some point or another.
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ThatDudeintheHoodie
I feel it became a domino effect more than it being a sole reason. Pokemon's popularity led to more anime being dubbed and aired on blocks like Fox Kids and Kids WB. While Cartoon Network dedicated a whole block to it. Kids WB tried to adapt the Toonami block to it which didn't help. Along with the rise of the internet shaking up Saturday morning cartoons which started the decline of it all. 
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Mr Magic

Michigan J. Frog: (Singing) We're proud to present on the WB, another bad show that no one will seeeeeeeeeeee!! (Bored.) I need a drink.
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eddstarr
Hi Dylan,
Tom Ruegger is a director/producer and he's done a fair bit of writing in his career. And while his explanation was generalized, you have given us the insightful, well-thought out explanation that should have come from an industry insider like Tom Ruegger.
Seems to me that enough time has passed for people with Tom's experience to talk about what's happening within entertainment and what really happened to Saturday programming from the networks.  
Cable and online media make cartoons available anytime. Broadcasting is "scheduled" entertainment, not as convenient but it affords a common viewing experience. We have lost that nationwide sharing that broadcasting creates with its limitations. 
Looking forward to a favorite cartoon every Saturday morning felt like a "mini-Christmas" to me and I loved gathering with my friends later in the day to talk about what we all saw at the same time, yet each in our own homes.
Now that its all gone . . . when will the guys who made it all happen come forward and explain why it all went away?
  
blueluigi wrote :

I kind of sat on this thread thinking about it a little bit.

As far as Pokemon causing the demise of Kids WB... that's pretty debatable. It did bring in an era of anime shows in American children's programming, and I think Yu-Gi-Oh further escalated that. However, I think there's a few other things that contributed to Kids WB's demise aside from just Pokemon.

Let's take a look at how the silver era really ended. We had Animaniacs. We had Pinky and the Brain. Those were all great shows. But what I also think contributed to this demise is corporate greed... or more specifically, Jamie Kellner. Yes, the same guy responsible for cancelling WCW took over as president of the WB Network, and he was the one that came up with the idea of retooling Pinky and the Brain... thus becoming Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain. Needless to say, the show was a recipe for disaster... and even the show's staff hated it, but they didn't have a choice because it was the network's decision... not the writers. Unsurprisingly, the show did poorly, and it got cancelled ending the silver era.

Aside from Pokemon, another show that aired that I thought was good was Jackie Chan Adventures. Wasn't too big on X-men Evolution. But in my personal opinion, I feel that Yu-Gi-Oh made Kids WB a lot less interesting to watch than it did before.

Last thing that I believe led to Kids WB's demise... the rise of cable TV. Once cable channels continued to rise, it gave kids less of a reason to watch Kids WB... and it doesn't help that both Kids WB and Cartoon Network were sharing programming at one point. Regardless, I think even if Pokemon didn't come along, it still would have been inevitable that Kids WB was going to go down under at some point or another.
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