Power Rangers Samurai to air on May 7 at 1PM [Updated]

Readers of the blog may (should) know the challenges the latest squad of Power Rangers have faced in Canada. It has become sort of a farce as Power Rangers Samurai, the latest series in the long running Super Sentai adaptation, would become the first Power Rangers series in a decade to not air on Family Channel, long after YTV voluntarily removed the series from rotation after parental complaints. When it premiered on Nickelodeon Canada earlier this year all went according to plan, but when the franchise was set to make its return to YTV, things went strange. Despite being scheduled for broadcast, and having been promoted to advertisers (and apparently no one else) Power Rangers Samurai did not air on April 16.

DO YOU BELIEVE?

Now, online schedule masters Zap2it say YTV will indeed be airing Power Rangers Samurai on May 7 at 1PM, with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds taking the 1:30PM spot of Three Delivery, whidh is now absent on the schedule. Will Samurai actually air this time? Who knows. Power Rangers Samurai still does not have a YTV.com show page (despite having a place in YTV’s video portal), and YTV’s own online schedule does not list that far in advance.

To take a page from Family Channel’s old marketing book – There’s never a dull moment.

UPDATE

Believe and it comes true.

YTV.com has now updated to include a Power Rangers Samurai theme, alongside the launch of a YTV.com mini-site stating a May 7 1PM launch. I guess we can confirm it’ll air now as the YTV marketing machine begins.

Thanks to member Mohji for pointing this out in the forums, as well as the various post commentators telling me of YTV.com’s Samurai site.

Nerd Corps’ “Teem Awethum!!!!” re-emerges 5 years later as “Rated A For Awesome”, premieres this summer on YTV

Long time followers of the Canadian animation scene, and those who were a part of the Zannen.ca community may remember back in 2006 when YTV would green light a little show known as Storm Hawks from then-relative newcomers Nerd Corps Entertainment (who had only just worked on Dragon Booster at the time). Alongside the ill-fated Storm Hawks YTV picked up a series called “Teem Awethum!!!” chronicling the war of four nerds against boredom. Surpassing the production to broadcast time spans of titles like My Life Me, and Three Delivery, Nerd Corps’ latest (well, latest to air on TV) TV show is something that isn’t so new. Now retooled as Rated A For Awesome it is a series about four ordinary nerds, and their monkey who want to make the world extraordinary (and not just extra ordinary).

Remember when I used to write posts on anime?

Despite the failure of Dragon Booster on Toon Disney, and Storm Hawks on Disney XD, Disney has once again picked up this Nerd Corps production and has the worldwide premiere of the title set for June. YTV’s broadcast is expected to start soon after. The series will be like League of Super Evil in that it will be a series of two shorts at 11 minutes each (comprising the 52 shorts – 26 episode first season).

YTV acquires Redakai: Conquer The Kairu

In an action that I would call unexpected, according to Cynopsis Kids YTV has ordered 52 episodes of a new animated series called Redakai: Conquer The Kairu. Redakai is a multimedia franchise produced by Spin Masters (Bakugan, Air Hogs, etc.), Marathon Media (Martin Mystery, Totally Spies, etc.) and Cartoon Network aimed with the intention of selling trading cards, and action figures to children. The toys will hit Hobby Stores in June, and general retail in August, but the TV show is set for a Fall launch. With a production budget estimated at $20 million they’re certainly hoping this is going to be big.

The concept to set Redakai apart from the Yu-Gi-Oh!, Battle Spirits, and Pokemon of the world lays within the way the card game is played. Spin Masters is achieving this via stereoscopic 3D lenticular trading cards which “have depth, they also have motion; the attack cards for example have 8-12 frames of animation, so the players can actually see the attack. Additionally many of the cards are created on clear plastic to allow for a simple “stacking” method of gameplay. When for example an attack card is layered over a character card, the effect of the attack is visible, or when a “monster” card is layered over a character card, the change in the character (and his power level) is clearly visible.”

You can see the 3D technology in motion in this TimeKids Youtube video. To save yourself the trouble, I’ve made a .gif of the relevant footage (you’ll have to click the image):

I think Spin Masters hoped this would look more impressive

Redakai Dojo.com has the following description for the animated series:

Ky is a 15 year old martial artist who leads the group on this incredible quest to find the Kairu energy. His friends Maya and Boomer travel with him in his quest. Together they protect the world from extraterrestrial teenage opponents, all of whom are trying to become the greatest Kairu warrior of all a “Redakai.”

The odd thing about Redakai is that the show screams Teletoon, not YTV. Spin Masters success story in Bakugan was launched on Teletoon, and Marathon’s legacy in Totally Spies also falls on Teletoon’s shoulders. There’s also the fact that outside of Pokemon, Beyblade, and Yu-Gi-Oh! there isn’t a lot of action animation on YTV. Though, I suspect once Three Delivery’s run comes to an end YTV will need a replacement for the Super Anime Lineup. Will this be as successful as Bakugan, and Yu-Gi-Oh! in the face of strong new competitors and the return of the past? Only time will tell.

Thanks goes to Mohji for pointing this out in the forums.

Errata: Power Rangers Samurai NOT airing on YTV today (Update: But it was supposed to)

Despite having been shown on YTV.com’s schedule Power Rangers Samurai is in fact not airing on YTV today. As of this writing, a new episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is airing on YTV in the 1PM EDT slot (and just had a technical difficulty screen show up…).

I do not appreciate YTV making me look like a liar

There was a bit of writing on the wall for this to happen, as YTV didn’t promote the series at all (other than having a broken section in their video player), and didn’t even set up a show page. I suppose the most damning of all is that yesterday YTV removed the 1PM slot from their schedule entirely. They didn’t replace it with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, the slot just didn’t exist. Though, it should be noted that YTV has done that in the past with new series like Beyblade Metal Fusion.

Apparently 1PM doesn't exist to YTV

But it existed on Thursday...

They even had a correct, and detailed episode summary...

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have made.

UPDATE:

A friend notified me that Power Rangers Samurai did in fact show up on YTV’s coming up next title cards today. This implies the show was meant to premiere on YTV at 1PM, but as we know, it didn’t. However, this wasn’t the scheduling, and overlay guys jumping the gun, as the show was meant to air today.

As noted by Ranger Board’s PinkRangerWannabe a Corus Entertainment’s (YTV’s parent company) April Hot Sheets for advertisers blatantly promotes the premiere of Power Rangers Samurai today (April 16) at 1PM.

So what happened?

I honestly don’t know. I don’t think it was YTV getting cold feet over any potential parental complaints (since they’ve aired much more violent programming, as well as that controversy being ages ago), nor do I think they were just lying to us. I guess it could’ve been a technical issue, because as I mentioned earlier, there was an issue with the broadcast of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. During the show’s first commercial break the YTV technical difficulty image stayed on screen for more than a solid minute. I actually half expected Power Rangers Samurai to be the show coming off of that, but it wasn’t. The channel has been known to do that, famously skipping a good portion of Justice League Unlimited’s finale with an episode of The Shopping Bags, though they’ve always aired the intentioned programming in full at a later date. It should be noted that Zap2it’s listings are stating Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds will be airing for the rest of the month, though often the case is that YTV.com’s schedule (which hasn’t updated to next Saturday as of yet) is the more definitive source.

Power Rangers Samurai heads to YTV this Saturday, and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers goes to Teletoon Retro in May

I thought Nickeledeon Canada wasn’t a big enough venue for Power Rangers Samurai, and it appears Corus Entertainment feels that way too. The latest Power Rangers series will make history, but debut in a relatively low key event this Saturday at 1PM EDT replacing Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds (which now only has a Tuesday at 7AM slot – I’ll get into the 4Kids and Yu-Gi-Oh! in Canada in a future post) premiere slot. Though YTV hasn’t advertised the show at all, it mysteriously had a Power Rangers Samurai section on its video portal days prior to schedule’s coming out confirming the show’s broadcast.

I only knew this because I was behind on Sidekick

Power Rangers Samurai reunites series creator Haim Saban with the Super Sentai franchise after a decade of Disney ownership. This decade of Disney ownership led the franchise to an almost exclusive broadcast history with Family Channel in Canada, who proceeded to shun the show to weekend mornings. Previously, the franchise had a broadcast history with Global when the franchise was still with Saban and FOX. However, Power Rangers’ first home was YTV. The channel picked up an initial 13 episode order of the series, and despite not actually being a part of the CBSC they obliged when the council cited parental complaints about violence and removed the series. This marks Samurai’s debut on YTV as a somewhat historical event.

While we’ve known Teletoon Retro will play host to the original Power Rangers franchise we’ve now gotten a solid broadcast date. The first series, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers will premiere on Sunday, May 1 at 1PM EDT with a six episode marathon. However, the show’s regular broadcasts starting May 8 will air at 6:30AM on Sundays. Kind of a brutal timeslot…

Thanks to Anime Ash, and Jlaking for pointing these pieces of news in the forums.

Young Justice toys come to Canada, the show? Not so much

Despite universal acclaim Teletoon has not picked up the DC Comics based Young Justice animated series. The series currently airing on Cartoon Network has performed well in the ratings, and given the fact it’s mainstream comic book animation it’s bound to find its way to Teletoon (the only place left for this type of show) eventually. I hope it won’t take as long as it did for Adventure Time

Baman wants to know if you'd like to buy some Rolexs to support Tuba

However, despite this lack of a Canadian broadcast, McDonalds Canada carried on with a Young Justice promotion with Happy Meals featuring toys based on the show (this campaign also ran in the US). This is actually a bit odd for McDonalds, who has in the past dropped lines it felt wouldn’t be relevant to the Canadian market. It also doesn’t help that some of the cast of Young Justice aren’t on the A-list of comic book characters, surely leaving kids a bit confused on who these characters actually are. Anyways, here’s the commercial:

The campaign has actually ended, being replaced by toys inspired by the animated film Rio. With that said, it’s just a slightly amusing piece on how not to handle a property.

Thanks goes to commenter Marc for pointing this out in the Adventure Time comments.

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.

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