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Friday, 16 August 2013

8 Steps In Salvaging The Boomerang Channel



It's hard to believe but over the past 3, 4 years, the Boomerang Channel has gone downhill - fast, much like Cartoon Network. Which I find surprising but also disappointing. Disappointing, because rather than have a channel dedicated to nothing but cartoons and cartoons of the 60s-90s, they have included less classic cartoons in their schedules & more of the other shows, which either a) aren't cartoons, such as live-action programmes or b) are cartoons but have been on air since the early or mid-00s, which given as this is supposed to be a classic cartoons channel, is quite preposterous.

Unlike Cartoon Network, which has jumped the shark completely since the 2000s and has never been the same again, there is still time to rescue Boomerang, give it a makeover it truly deserves and a line-up that reflects the positive essence of what Boomerang as a network stands for, and that's quality classic cartoons and animation.

It made me think what I would do if I was president at Turner, or the person in charge of Boomerang. What things, ideas, would I introduce and implement, in order to make it a better channel.

Here is my 8 - point plan on fixing and perhaps saving the Boomerang Channel: 





1. Cartoons are for everybody - cartoons aren't just for kids, but for adults and adults, who used to be kids and who grew up on shows like The Flintstones, Top Cat, Jetsons, He-Man, Thundercats. This whole idea that just because kids today may not care for classic cartoons and that their audience who are now in their 30s -50s, have no interest in retro cartoons anymore, is just plain garbage because that is not true.

Okay so kids may not have a ounce of interest in Looney Tunes, Flintstones, Muppet Babies and so forth. Yet there are plenty of adults, who still do and who want to revisit their childhood and watch shows from the 80s, 90s, 50s, 60s, 70s. Grown- ups today are not young any more, but it's clearly a mistake to insinuate that every adult doesn't care for cartoons and never has a favourite cartoon from their childhood. And besides, not every adult is into South Park, The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons and Family Guy. Adult-orientated cartoons, which are a completely separate thing.

So therefore, if it was down to me, I'd retool, remodel this whole channel around adults and have cartoons that people can remember fondly from their childhood. Because the current model is not working. They need to take some inspiration from Adult Swim. Or better still, it could be like a Cartoon equivalent to TCM - a channel that airs classic movies, which ironically enough is also owned by Turner broadcasting.

2. No current cartoons or cartoons from 2, 3 years showing on Boomerang. - Boomerang channel should not be airing cartoons from the past 5 or 6 years, rather from the 1930s - late 1990s. That's 7 decades. This is not what this station is supposed to be about. Boomerang is about retrospection, nostalgia, reminiscing on the good old days, not recent ones. Therefore, anything before 2000 and onwards, is considered retro or classic in my personal opinion. The inclusion of say Ben 10 is baffling and is not a show that should be on Boomerang, rather only CN.

3. More variation in shows - currently on Boomerang UK, it is mostly consisting of Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo. they have also Dexter's Lab, Flintstones, Wacky Races and Looney Tunes. That is it. US- wise, they have Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo. Pretty much the same line-up as the UK Boomerang, apart from it has Teen Titans, Johnny Bravo, The Powerpuff Girls, The Jetsons, Cow & Chicken and Popeye. The current line-up is not good enough, at all.

As it is a classic cartoons channel, it needs to include the old Disney animated series: Duck Tales, Talespin, Darkwing Duck, Mighty Ducks, Goof Troop to name and WB shows like Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, Freakazoid. and may I add the Filmation cartoons too like Fat Albert, Thundarr The Barberian, Bravestarr, He-Man, She-Ra & Rankin Bass's Thundercats, Silverhawks.

4. More cartoons, make it a 24 - hour station - hands up if you want a Boomerang channel that airs reruns of classic shows with fewer adverts and it runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? I bet many of you would say yes to all that. Why 24 hours? Why not? In addition, given there have been so many cartoons released during the 1930s to late 1990s, it would be the perfect opportunity for Boomerang to go back to doing what they originally set out to do with this channel, when it launched in 2000.

Time Warner has the biggest library of animated shows -yet instead of expanding on and diversifying their programme line-up with it, they choose to show only a selected few of them, over and over again. If you continuously rely on that, people will get bored quickly and switch off.

So therefore, more cartoons equals more choice, more variety and more quality available improves the station's reputation.

I know some will think a 24- hour Boomerang channel can't work, but if you think about how many Hanna Barbera, Warner Bros Shows, MGM, Disney shows, including animated series and shorts there are in total, as well as Anime cartoons in English, super hero cartoons, Filmation, Rankin Bass, Nickelodeon there are from the 1930s onwards, that is literately a lot of cartoons.

Having a 24-hour retro cartoon channel is a good idea, because there will be nothing but cartoons around the clock.

Additionally, airing old cartoons is not that big of a deal, and shouldn't be. The idea that nostalgic shows only have a limited shelf life, isn't entirely true. Cartoons are timeless. It doesn't matter if they are 60, 80 years old, these shows make us smile and have fun. Whereas Cartoon Network has gotten progressively worse due to the diminishing quality of the shows, Boomerang's problem is not so much the shows themselves, but the network/channel's scheduling of those cartoons. They air the same cartoons practically over and over every day, and very often, they don't bring back cartoons that haven't been shown in years.




5. More and more Boomerang blocks - Ideas I have include:

Revamping Boomeraction - Ben 10? No, that is too recent of a show to belong on Boomerang. Keep the name Bommeraction and keep Thundarr the Barberian, SWAT Kats, The Pirates of Dark Water, Jonny Quest, and add He-Man, Thundercats, She-Ra, Bravestarr, X-MEN: The Animated Series, Super Friends, C.O.Ps, Silverhawks, Pole Position, Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Justice League of America, Batman & Robin and other Action cartoons.

Boomerang viewers choice 1 hour block - the concept behind this is that on weekends, viewers are given 3 choices as to which cartoon they'd like to see from the choices available for an hour. For instance, He-Man, Thundercats, She-Ra. Viewers have 1 hour to vote on which show they want to see. And instead of phoning up & wasting valuable mins of your money, each show has a number 1, 2 or 3 allocated. These choices will run at the bottom of the screen on the show you are watching, so you'll have time to cast your vote. You click on the number corresponding to that cartoon using your digital TV remote and it automatically registers your vote. The show with the most votes wins and gets shown during the next hour of the schedule. So say the voting begins at 1pm, by 2pm, the winning cartoon is on air.

Boomergaming Block - Boomergaming is a block that airs from 9am - 12am throughout on either a Saturday or Sunday, consisting of selected episodes from animated cartoons based on popular video games. From The Super Mario Bros Super Show and Captain N to F-Zero GP, Sonic The Hedgehog, Pokemon, Inazuma Eleven, Kirby Right Back At' Cha, Legend of Zelda & Mega Man to name. The episodes will be shown randomly and in no particular order.

The Hanna Barbera Block - dedicated to cartoons produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

The Superchunk Block - The Superchunk Block was a regular stable during the early days of Cartoon Network in the 1990s. A weekend mini - marathon of shows featuring or dedicated to a particular cartoon character, it has since been put on hiatus as of July 2013. I would bring this back.

The Warner Bros Block & Disney Block - similar to Hanna Barbera

The Boomerang Theater/Cinema - airs animated movies based on cartoons

The Anime Block - I know most of these are shown on CN, G4 and Adult Swim, as well as some dedicated Anime channels, but the Anime Block will have more family- orientated shows like Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Battle of the Planets, Voltron, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Doraemon and all are in English.

The Superheroes Block - airs cartoons based on Comic book superheroes from the Marvel & DC universes, as well as WildC.A.T.S and Ultraforce.


6. Boomerang channel becomes a Free-to-Watch, subscription - free channel - that's right, a commercial broadcaster, as opposed to being made available only to Cable viewers. This is probably one of the reasons why Boomerang is not attracting more viewers, besides the current line-up, which leaves a lot to be desired. The channel is only available on Cable TV in the US through Comcast and CableOne and on Sky TV, Talktalk Plus TV, as well as Virgin Media as a pay TV/subscription channel. Meaning unlike some of the lesser known free kids channels, you have to pay to get Boomerang. Which is rather a bad move in itself. I do not care for Pop, Kix, Tiny Pop. Boomerang should be made free- to- access. I'd personally make Boomerang a free-to-watch channel for everyone, irrespective of what digital TV package you have: Sky, Virgin, Free Sat, Free View, Free-To-Air in the UK, Cable or no-Cable. And anyhow, not all households in the United States has Cable TV. That way, people can enjoy watching classics for virtually nothing.

As long as you have a digital set- top box that receives multi-channels, even if all the channels are free-to-watch, then that should be good enough.

7. Rotate and change the schedules and line-up, every 6 months - that way it feels fresh and not bland. It'll keep viewers tuning in continuously as well.

8. Having fewer ads or commercials - let's face it, most adverts on TV are not only annoying, but they interrupt our viewing of the show we watch. Boomerang Channel itself does not rely on or base the success of their shows on Nielson ratings. & neither does it make money through showing adverts or product placements. From what I've read, the only source of financial income that they do make, is through subscription fees,. I.E Cable broadcasting, but I would change this rule slightly. So therefore, because I decided to make it a free-to-air, subscription-free, I'd have fewer adverts, say 1 -3 with most of these related to toys, video games.

As well as having Cable and commercial broadcasters pay a fee to Time Warner/ Boomerang for them to run and air the shows.



2 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. The only argument that could be made on the other side is that a lot of this content is now available from streaming services like Hulu & netflix. My guess is that Boomerang has determined (or decided?) that more money can be made by showing more recent toons and live action crap on their net. Our only hope is that an intelligent executive team will come on board and make more sensible programming decisions.

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  2. thing is, i don't have hulu or netflix and do not want to pay for a service i know i am not going to use very often. unfortunately, under turner, it seems that are no signs that boomerang will ever go back to becoming the channel it used to be in the 90s. and that's a shame.

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