Archive for the ‘ Disney… I mean Family Channel ’ Category

The Anime Channel is dead

So, I was looking over CRTC broadcast decisions as some background for the Disney XD news post, and I noticed something that appears to have gone above everyone’s head. In the CRTC’s January 30, 2007 decision that approved the creation of Corus Entertainment’s The Anime Channel, there is this subsection in the “Issuance of the license” which states the following:

the applicant has informed the Commission in writing that it is prepared to commence operations. The undertaking must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 36 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 30 January 2010. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted at least 60 days before that date.

Corus has never shown an inclination towards launching the channel past the initial application, and as far as I know, never requested the CRTC to extend their setup period. Which, in turn means their broadcast license should be void. Which means The Anime Channel was stillborn.

Coincidentally, or not, this was around the same time period in which Corus Entertainment’s main children’s channel, YTV removed Naruto, and Bleach – the only two remaining older youth targeted anime series on the channel – from the broadcast schedule entirely.

While I was always conflicted about the possibilities of an anime channel. I always felt the channel would target a niche, and only attract the niche. However, it being stillborn, with Corus not even attempting to keep the license shows the state of Japanese animation in this country.

Where do we go from here?

YTV has become a channel that tries to serve its CRTC guidelines as a youth’s broadcaster (though it’s supposed to serve children up to 17 – Ask a seventeen year old if anything on YTV is aimed at them – you can even ask me) but it is now a family oriented channel. While that has worked for ratings, and creating a cohesive channel lineup to sell to advertisers (it’s easier to get Pampers to buy 5 commercial spots a day when the entire lineup can have parents watching) it has obviously created a large backlash within the anime community as to get family friendly, YTV had to remove any non-family friendly programming. Teenage aimed animation was one of the things to get the axe.

It’s the power of the dollar vs. ratings. Naruto could’ve been pulling in huge ratings at 9PM on Friday nights, but the channel would still cancel it because advertisers don’t care. I distinctly remember diaper commercials, and car commercials being aired in Bionix. Those are two things that the target audience of teenagers, and young adults probably wouldn’t be able to buy. It’s not relevant to them. So I can imagine advertising rates during those hours weren’t exactly expensive. Though, that is a failure on Corus Entertainment’s part. Cartoon Network treats its older youth, and young adult block, [adult swim] as a separate network entirely to advertisers so that you don’t see the likes of baby diapers being advertised in this hour.

As for Teletoon, frankly, after the events of the 90s, the channel has very much been anime anorexic, dropping most of its anime programming, and frankly has such a large commitment of programming from Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, The Hub, and original productions to air any anime. They simply don’t have the time to air it. As for Family, well most of us know that the channel’s history is 6AM/7AM broadcasts without advertisements. Clearly a sign of confidence for the future.

Disney XD Canada Launches June 1st

It appears Canada will join a whole host of other countries in their EXTREME DISNEY ACTION when we’ll get our own Disney XD channel in June. The channel, set up by Disney Junior, and Family Channel parent Astral Media will presumably take the US versions Disney produced programming and air it within a reasonable time span. Disney XD in the US is home to a variety of content, from Disney Channel reruns of Phineas and Ferb, to new Marvel series, and Naruto Shipudden. The smart money is on Astral using their CRTC approved Family EXTREME broadcast license for this channel, which expires in four years. It should be noted that the Family Extreme broadcast license is for a Category 2 channel, which would put it in the same tier to the likes of Nickelodeon Canada, than say, Teletoon.

It will be interesting to see how Astral handles the channel. History shows that they’ve handled action series incredibly poorly on the Family Channel, often times sending them off to unpublicized early morning broadcasts, which in other terms means, they sent them to die. But, the ever increasing amount of Marvel animation on the US channel (a product of Disney’s takeover of the comic company) makes dumping these series to AM hours highly difficult as time slots are limited, and the popularity of the series should knock some sense into them.

But at this moment, what I’m most curious about is how this leaves Teletoon. Teletoon has an exclusive relationship with Marvel preceding the whole Disney takeover, but I would have to imagine that deal may be close to expiring. If not, I would imagine that Astral, as a co-owner of Teletoon, may want to prioritize the Marvel content, and keep newer content exclusive to XD to encourage subscription. But as I mention before, as ownership is the same there is nothing stopping content from eventually finding its way to channels like Teletoon, or Family.

Lastly, I understand some people may be waiting with bated breath on the possibility of Naruto Shipudden airing on the channel, but I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Historically, Astral’s childrens’ channels simply live off of original productions, and stuff they get for low costs via their relationship with content producers such as Disney. Naruto’s a third party show on Disney XD in the US, and is handled by Viz Media, a company that Astal has never dealt with outside of the possibility of French dubs of their anime airing on Vrak.TV (which as far as I know, never occurred).

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Thanks to Jesse Betteridge for pointing this out to me.

Power Rangers Predicament

First I’d like to start off this post with an apology. In an earlier message this week, I reported that YTV would be pre-empting the broadcasts of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, and Three Delivery this past Saturday. As a viewer, I can confirm this didn’t happen. Both shows aired new episodes, and the previously mentioned The Next Star marathon that I announced would pre-empt those shows, in fact aired at 2PM. I’m sorry if this has caused anyone to skip out on those two shows. I was simply following a press release issued by YTV, and parent company Corus Entertainment. It was likely a typo, but it would’ve been awesome if someone on programming felt it would be in bad taste to pre-empt some of the only timeslots on the channel devoted to animated action, with reruns of the show that helped destroy all teenage oriented animation on the channel. But meh.

In related news, Three Delivery and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds will be pre-empted for two weeks. Commenter Mohji noted that in addition to next Saturday’s Beyblade Metal Fusion marathon, the following Saturday will have a Pokemon marathon. No real surprise with Beyblade, as that holds the recognition of having the largest premiere of an animated series in YTV’s history, and desperately needs help to catch up to the American broadcast (which as of this writing, is 14 episodes ahead). Pokemon? Not so much. There isn’t a major game to tie-in to, and the episodes YTV will be airing are repeats.

Power Rangers Samurai

Red Ranger's helmet looks like a Kamen Rider, and the Blue Ranger's helmet kind of looks like a marijuana leaf...

Now on the actual story that’ll get me all those hits from Google, Power Rangers: Samurai (tremendously original and unique title). PR: S is the newest iteration of Power Rangers currently filming in New Zealand based on a very Japanese Sentai Shinkenger series from a year or two back. The series is so Japanese, that there’s kanji on their helmets… What makes this series incredibly different from the previous 9 or so seasons of Power Rangers is the producer. Earlier this year Saban Brands bought the Power Rangers brand away from Disney. Nostalgic people will know that Haim Saban’s previous company, Saban Entertainment actually brought Power Rangers to world. Haim later sold Saban Entertainment and its properties to Disney for a stack of money. A huge stack.

Rumors say Disney had wanted to get rid of Power Rangers for some time, and was limiting its audience on purpose as an attempt to make it seem they had to sell the brand due to poor ratings, not the fact that they would never totally own the franchise (Japan’s Toei supplies the Sentai footage for Power Rangers, and owns part of the brand). You can see this in the fact Disney dropped the franchise from its boy oriented channel, and placed it entirely on the ABC Kids block, in a timeslot that most network affiliates ignored. The cheapening and desire to sell was no more evident when Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2010 launched in January. MMPR 2K10 is simply a slightly remastered version of the original 1993 series except with Adam West Batman style captions for punches, kicks, jokes, and transitions. It was super cheap.

To combat this change, PR: Samurai will air on Nickelodeon in the US in early 2011. The first season will consist of 20 episodes, with an option for a 20 episode second season, and a movie (the last time a tokusatsu series said they were going to have a movie made before the series even aired, we got Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, and we know how that turned out). Nick in the US is banking on the franchise doing well, as they’ve committed Nicktoons Network to become the hub for over 700 episodes of the previous Power Rangers iterations before the launch of Samurai. It’s all part of them trying to target the boys market with action series (see Nicktoons acquiring broadcast rights to DragonBall Kai, buying the Ninja Turtles franchise, etc.).

Now Power Rangers has had an interesting life on Canadian TV. The franchise was always available to those who had cable, as most companies carried a Fox affiliate, or an ABC affiliate so you could always get the US broadcast. In terms of Canadian broadcast, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was initially picked up by YTV. When I say initially, I mean it. The series only had a 13 episode order by YTV, and nothing more was ever purchased. This wasn’t because the series performed poorly, it’s because the series received complaints from parents, and YTV was issued a formal complaint by a TV regulator (although this regulator doesn’t actually have any control on YTV), and they complied. After this the series was picked up by Global TV and ran a few seasons until Disney purchased Saban. From that point forward all Power Rangers series aired on Family Channel (because they love Disney more than Edward loves Bella), but because it’s a show aimed at boys, it was almost always shafted at 5 or 6AM on weekends.

Given that Power Rangers: Samurai isn’t a Disney production, it’s safe to assume that Family won’t be airing this one. But just because it is airing on Nickelodeon doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a Nickelodeon production (similar to DragonBall Kai on Nicktoons, it’s a third party show). If it is a Nickelodeon production, it would almost be guaranteed to at least air on Nickelodeon Canada, although that’s a fate almost as pleasant as airing at 5AM on Family Channel. If Samurai does well on Nickelodeon in the US, I can see YTV breaking a long, long tradition and having the show air on the channel (since we all know they’ll air anything from Nick that more than 3 people watch). Although, I’m not sure where they’d put the show given the whole shift to co-viewing, and how a show about teenagers with attitude would work with that.

Speaking of teenagers with attitude, as a celebration, and a tool of anticipation for Samurai, the official Power Rangers website at PowerRangers.com is streaming a new un-Adam West-ified episode of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Right now you can see Tommy be a dick, and steal the show from its real leader, hurray!

Lastly, I’ve also launched a Twitter feed, simply follow I Miss Bionix.

Family Channel Fall 2010 of “Yep, that there is a schedule”

Famiry Channer

Even Selena Gomez can't save this channel

I don’t know why I take this abuse. Well, to be fair, I expected this to be all kinds of terrible. So, here we go.

Remember Majority Rules? It was a live action series made for Teletoon that had nothing to do with animation. Which, I must say was a genius move. Well, in a truly genius move, the series was dropped by Teletoon, and now has a new home, Family Channel. At least we know who we can blame for having the show air on Teletoon, right Astral Media? Just in case you’ve forgotten the series, he’s a run down:

Fifteen-year-old Becky Richards learns that high school politics are nothing compared to the real thing when she wins the election to become the new mayor of her hometown in Majority Rules. The show premieres on Family on September 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will continue to air at 9 p.m. ET/PT on weekday evenings, Monday to Thursday.

In other cheap Cancon live action news:

New Canadian series, Connor Undercover premieres on Family Channel on September 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. Helicopters, double agents and triple crosses are all found in this spy series that follows 15-year-old Connor Heath, whose life is changed when a beautiful president’s daughter is sent, for her own safety, to live with his family. Connor Undercover stars Max Morrow, Lola Tash and Jordan Francis and will air Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.

I usually would add some snarky comment here, but the following are Disney shows I have no clue about. I’d rather not have a giant quote of this stuff, but I don’t have the desire to write summaries of this stuff myself.

New Disney shows on Family this fall include Fish Hooks, the inventive animated comedy series set inside a giant fish tank in the centre of a pet store. The show sneak peeks on September 3 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT and will air on weekends at 8 a.m. ET/PT from September 25. Bringing an interesting twist to the high school sitcom, Fish Hooks features the voices of Kyle Massey (Cory in the House) and Chelsea Staub (JONAS).

The live action Disney comedy, Pair of Kings, stars Mitchel Musso (Hannah Montana) and Doc Shaw (The Suite Life on Deck) as fraternal twins who discover they are the successors to the throne of the tropical island nation of Kinkou. Pair of Kings premieres on September 17 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT with a special two-part episode and will air in its regular timeslot of weekend mornings at 11 a.m. ET/PT as of September 25.

In Disney’s Shake it Up!, premiering later this fall, best friends and dance students CeCe Jones and Raquel “Rocky” Blue are on their way to new and fun adventures when they get their big break as background dancers on a local TV show.

Returning series with new episodes include The Suite Life On Deck, Special Agent Oso, and The Secret World of Benjamin Bear.

This channel really doesn’t have much.

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