Thursday, June 26, 2008

PVoA #1 - Time Warner's Animation Library (Vol. 1)

Welcome to my first ever PVoA, which is short for "Personal Views on Animation". Each week, I talk something in the animation industry that really catches my attention. This week, I'd like to address something every important about a huge conglomerate. A huge conglomerate with a huge animation library that is incredibly unused. It's animation library is the biggest in the world. It holds many pre-1986 MGM animation, Warner Bros. animation, Hanna-Barbera, and others. And if it just believed in synergy, then maybe at least 90% of it could be put to good use. What is this company? Well, it's none other than...
Time Warner, the world's second largest conglomerate, made up of AOL, Time Inc., Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, and a few other subsidiaries. Of course, it didn't gain its huge animation library until Turner merged with Time Warner back in 1996. Ever since then, Time Warner has had a huge library of animation, which features many classic cartoons that could be shown on Boomerang. Which brings me to my first topic...


BOOMERANG

Boomerang was originally a block that Cartoon Network had back when it didn't even need it. Cartoon Network was originally made for Ted Turner to show off his huge library of animation. So it basically showed a whole mountain of classic cartoons and Boomerang was a block on the channel during that era. The channel didn't need the block because many of the shows on that block aired elsewhere on the channel. Anyway, what you need to know is that Boomerang was spin-off from Cartoon Network into it's own channel on April 1st, 2000. And has been showing pretty much the same few shows for the past 2 or so years. It doesn't show Looney Tunes at all because Warner Bros. won't let them air the post-1948 shorts (Turner owns the pre-48 ones) unless Turner pays them a hefty sum of money. The channel has recently added a few Cartoon Cartoons and recent Warner Bros. shows (such as The Batman), which kinda defeated the purpose of the channel. Also, the schedule never changes. It's always the same shows at the same time, every single month, with the exception of some shows being taken off and others being put on for short periods of time. So it's pretty much like the channel is running on auto-pilot.

Now, a week or so ago, I made a three-point plan on how Time Warner could actually improve the channel, use a great deal of their animation library, and also make a great deal of money from it. I will explain it in detail below:

  1. Warner Bros. should buy around 35-45% of the Boomerang channel, making it co-own the channel with Turner Broadcasting. Now, Boomerang now has the full ability to air the entire Time Warner library and air the Looney Toons shorts, among other Warner Bros. properties.
  2. Turner Broadcasting decides to take full advantage of it's huge animation library, and divides up the week into different decades of animation to make it easier to program the schedule. Sundays could be the 30s and 40s, Mondays the 50s, Tuesdays the 60s, Wednesdays the 70s, Thursdays the 80s, Fridays could possibly be the 90s, and Saturday a mix of animation from all those eras.
  3. Warner Bros. and/or Turner Broadcasting decides to make some more "in-between" shorts and (maybe) one or two original programs. They also decide to relaunch the network and give it a huge makeover, with a new logo and bumpers. They also put on commercials, eventually allowing them to move the channel to basic cable, allowing a wider audience to see it. Ratings will get higher, and Time Warner will be able to make more money off the channel.

Okay, with the first part of the plan, I think it would be a good idea for Warner Bros. to own some percentage of the channel, with Turner Broadcasting still owning a good amount of it. After all, they created the channel, so they still should have major control. This way, Boomerang would be able to broadcast several Warner Bros. cartoons in addition to the post-48 Looney Tunes shorts. With Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. working together with the channel, the once-divided animation library will combine, and Time Warner would be able to make full use of it.

With the second part of the plan, they decide to divide up the schedule, deciding to air different decades of animation on different days. This should make it easier to program, since they won't have to struggle with trying to figure out which shows should stay and which should go, and won't have to leave out a bunch of programs. They can air all or most of their 60s animation on Tuesday, a good chuck of their 90s animation on Fridays, etc. I'll later post up an example schedule to show you how this can work exactly. But for now, I think you understand this part.

With the third, but possibly not final part, Boomerang gets a major redesign. Like the Cartoon Network relaunch of 2004, Boomerang will be relaunched with a new logo, brand new bumpers (it has been using those toy bumps since day one), new shorts to air in between programs, and maybe some original programming to air on Saturdays. However, this original programming will make up little of the channel if done. However, it would be preferred if they don't choose to add original programming, so they can still use "Classic Cartoons. 24/7." as a tagline or motto. But I just put it up there as a possibility. Anyway, then they must air commercials. Eventually, they could make enough money from these commercials and go from being a digital tier channel to a basic cable channel. More people will be able to see it and they will slowly (but surely) get fantastic ratings.

If they put this into action, Time Warner will finally use a good chuck of it's animation programming, and nothing would get wasted. Everyone will get to see a bunch of the old cartoons they once loved, Time Warner makes money, and everyone wins. And hey, who knows? Maybe Time Warner could try and get the rights to air shows from Cookie Jar Entertainment, Filmation, and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises if (and when) the channel gets successful enough...

NEXT WEEK: Time Warner's Animation Library (Vol. 2)*

*Also known as "Save Some For Cartoon Network Bub!"

6 comments:

MasterK said...

Its definately a great idea and then people can see more classics on TV. John K. is always complaining that there are no Looney Tunes on TV any more. And yes, Boomerang needs commercials, which I much prefer to the awful boring bumpers. The only things I disagree with are the production of new shorts and shows, and for 2 reasons. 1, they would cost money, and nobody is going to put money into classics anymore, and second, because the new shorts they made and still air are TERRIBLE even though some are made by fine animators such as Kaz and Mo Willems. Any remake of a classic that has happened in the past decade is awful. Also, if you are still moving at a slow pace with TedNut, I can tell you a way to make things go at least twice as fast, if you are interested. Sorry for such a long comment.

Racattack Force said...

I actually tried making a schedule for Boomerang, and realized it was much harder than I realized. Warner Bros. has thousands of shorts and cartoons alone. And a lot of it is concentrated in the 30s-50s. Adding in Turner...it's a nightmare for programming.

The only things I disagree with are the production of new shorts and shows

Well, that's all in a matter of opinion, since I personally enjoy those shorts, but whatever floats your boat. If Time Warner somehow decides to do all this, I can say that the commercials will mean you would see less of these shorts whenever you watch the channel.

And as for Tednut, I'll have to push forward the premiere date for sometime in November (or later in September), since I want to re-work the scripts...or get rid of them entirely. I'll make a post about that later.

MasterK said...

it says on my blog list that you made a post entitled testing, testing, 1,2,3. But when I clicked on the link I only found that it said the page was not found. Is it a test post that you deleted?

Racattack Force said...

Yes, it was a test post. I set it up so that whenever I make a blog post, it's automatically sent to a friend of mine. And I wanted to see exactly how it looks like when he gets it. So I added my email to the list and tested it out.

MasterK said...

Pretty cool. Is that using the subscribe feature?

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