Gephyrophillia | Watch This Space #92
Originally Posted on 11/25/2003 by Jeff Harris
You already heard that 4Kids' revamp/reintroduction of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise that currently airs on the Fox Box is coming to Cartoon Network this spring. Some people feel it'll end up on Toonami, which needs a bit of a boost with the inevitable end of the two more popular Dragonball shows, Dragon Ball and Dragonball Z this year, but I think it's going to end up in the post-Toonami lineup, probably filling in the slot currently held by the second Totally Spies airing (unless that rumor of the Toonami expansion in January rings true). It'll probably be on the Saturday lineup, where it will probably cycle through a couple of times in the prime hours of the block.
As we ponder about where the darker, more-faithful-to-the-original-comic adaptation of TMNT will end up, we also are left to wonder about the ramifications of the acquisition. I mean, 4Kids isn't known for exactly catering to cable operators, and moments when they do, they do it for their own benefit. 4Kids, as a whole, are users. When they're vocal about something, like that New York Daily News article several months ago that had them criticizing the network for "ignoring" the kids market while concentrating more on Adult Swim, it's usually to better their position, and these backboneless execs at the network tend to cave in to 4Kids. With marketable franchise fads at their command like Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and the Fox Box shows, they have control of the kids that aren't watching Nickelodeon (that's a whole kettle of fish). They don't seen anime shows as shows, but rather brands to push on the masses until they wear out their welcome, only for them to refresh the brands.
4Kids' deal to bring TMNT to Cartoon Network not only gives them a daily slot to show the series on the network, but it also opens up possible future acquisitions from 4Kids, like other Fox Box shows such as Shaman King, Ultimate Muscle, Sonic X, Kirby, or Cramp Twins or properties they have access to like Tama and Friends, Cabbage Patch Kids, and others. Cartoon Network is constantly looking for more outside acquisitions, so 4Kids might take advantage of that weakness, thus making them wealthier.
In my opinion, 4Kids is the beast that Saban wanted to be in the mid-90s. They have hijacked two broadcast outlets and one cable outlet, not to mention conning a competitor into distributing their products on video and DVD. My business-savvy side is at awe at the way they conducted business in a matter of years, but my fanboy side is just frustrated and weary about the whole deal.
And yet morbidly curious!
The X Bridge Creator/Webmaster
November 25, 2003
From Page One to the current Geph article. The voice of The X Bridge for many years. Still crossing bridges. More »
Nothing can compare with this in its purest form. At least, that's what the lyric said. The creative side of The X Bridge in archival form. More »
Opinions from the mind of Jeff Harris. More »
The Legacy Project's complete list of Toonami-based articles from The X Bridge (and a few not found elsewhere). More »
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