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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Talk Is Cheap Turner Broadcasting: Why I Am Suspicious About The Rebranding of The Boomerang Channel

''the people that program Boomerang have been asleep on the job for over a year. The line-up just sits there for months on end without any change. the channel which used to showcase the wonderful series from Hanna Barbera has become a dumping ground for newer Cartoon Network series - series that certainly aren't old enough to fall into the whole boomerang mindset of vintage programming. It's my hope that the rebranding will bring back these evergreen properties that I used to watch as a kid but I am not holding my breath. I will probably downgrade my satellite feed and get rid of this channel if the rebrand doesn't add more of these series. Other than Scooby Doo, The Flintstones and Tom and Jerry, they haven't run anything that has me watching anymore.''
- hanna barberian

''It sounds to me that Turner does not know what to do with both Cartoon Network and Boomerang. They're trying to pick at straws, and try to find home runs at every swing. Cartoon Network has lost its identity long time ago, and no one has dared to bring the original Cartoon Network back, or respect its roots. To have Boomerang revamped and not fully be the channel people came to respect and enjoy (even more than CN right now), you might as well call animation networking dead on cable. Seriously. *drops mic*''

- Tres Swygert

Good god, why can't Turner ever get it right?

Turner broadcasting announced that Cable network Boomerang is being rebranded as an all-animation kids and family network beginning next year. 

The statement says:
The re-launch of Boomerang as a second flagship channel is a testament to its global appeal. We are extremely proud to see this channel move into its next carnation - with a look and feel that conveys its quality and contemporary position. This represents a further step in our strategy to build on the success of our international kids network - Gerhard Zeiler, president of Turner Broadcasting System International.

In other words, it is going to be Cartoon Network #2. And yet why have a clone of Cartoon Network, especially if it is going to be showing the same cartoons the former channel will have anyway? 

Turner did say though that Boomerang will have Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, The Powerpuff Girls and Scooby Doo - which was expected from many of us. As well as other Warner Bros, Hanna Barbera, Cartoon Network and MGM Studios animated cartoons. By this it should include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Top Cat, Yogi Bear, Flintstones, The Jetsons but I am hopeful -yet not keeping my hopes too high for the likes of SWAT Kats, Pirates of Dark Water, Johnny Bravo, Animaniacs, Freak-a-zoid and Tiny Toons, Thundercats, Alvin and the Chipmunks to be included too. 

Turner wants Boomerang to be as big as a brand as CN, but I don't see that happening, and most certainly not through this makeover. 

Someone at Dreamworks Classics who own PBJ needs to obtain Turner's or Boomerang or CN's monopoly, so they can access their back catalogue of shows they haven't touched since Boomerang first broke out as a separate channel. If Boomerang won't air those shows, then other animated -based TV networks should come in and apply for and have them. 

WB aka Warner Bros now owns the licensing rights to the Hanna Barbera classic shows, since Hanna Barbera folded as a company, so seeing as they have these properties, if they are not going to air Yogi Bear, Jonny Quest, The Flintstones, Top Cat Jetsons etc, other classic animated based networks such as PBJ ought to do so. 

Back in the late 90s, the original Cartoon Network (CN) was the home to Hanna Barbera and MGM shorts such as Tom and Jerry and Droopy. Then came along Boomerang which had its own slot on CN. Cartoon Network would air current kids shows, whilst Boomerang would offer more 'old school' cartoons. The Boomerang channel's age bracket was baby boomers and people aged in their late 20s upwards. Then it became a fully fledged standalone channel in 2000.

This isn't the first time Turner broadcasting have revamped a channel - TNT used to be the home for classic movies from the early 1940s - late 1970s/early 1980s, as well as wrestling, up until it exclusively catered towards drama shows such as ER, Smallville and Law and Order to name.

Unfortunately, this relaunch doesn't give me much faith that Boomerang will become a better channel. Boomerang, as far as I see it, has jumped the shark once more. It was once home to classic cartoons, but now it seems some of the places to see them, are YouTube and Teletoon Retro. For the latter you need to be based in Canada.

It's like Turner can't seem to find fault with what they are doing, that this continuous pattern of rolling out recent shows alongside past shows, they think this is what the Boomerang channel is all about. It is not. Some people will see this decision for Turner to do this as a good thing, but in truth they are taking 2 steps backwards. 

From what I understand, advertisers today are more attracted to current cartoons and shows airing to help bring more consumers and persuade them to buy their products, access their services. They do not see retro and classic TV programming as being lucrative enough to satisfy and meet those requirements. Face it, retro TV shows are retro for one reason - they are not produced in today's market and they are dated. And yet to me, this sounds stupid.

If an old programme airs, following by commercials for products that currently appear in stores and online, so be it. Who cares about the logistics of it all? Why should this determine how a network should be run and the types of shows that appear on it?

But hey, it's all about making money these days, right? 

The Boomerang channel will always be perceived by me as a channel for classic children's cartoons. That is how I see it, and hence, no amount of changes by Turner will ever change that. It is a shame therefore they chose to believe otherwise. 

I completely disagree with people who say there is no need for retro cartoons on current television, because in their eyes not enough people care for it. There are a lot of older folks who long for a channel that will air animated shows from the 1940s - 2000s. 

Kids today already have Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel to watch current cartoons. Yet for people like myself who need our fix for older cartoons on major cartoon channels, we don't have much in way of choice. Boomerang continues to be messed around and with it; its initial intentions of the station has been lost. 

Why is it okay to have a channel dedicated to current programming to a 'niche' market such as cartoons, but only if it is aimed at one target age group? Cartoons aren't just for kids, and not all adults are into Family Guy, The Simpsons. Fans of older cartoons young and old deserve a station, not just on cable but on other satellite platforms. 

Also, there is no need to show Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry & Garfield more than 2 times a day, every week- which Boomerang is doing; to me, not only is that excessive, it is rather tiresome and demonstrates that in spite of having a massive library of other cartoons, that they haven't aired for years, Turner Broadcasting likes to keep repeating things and of whom are not willing to change it and add other shows to the schedule. 

It is why less people watched Boomerang over the last 10 years or so & is why this channel has been failing so much; it has been failing because since the launch as a separate channel, these repeated mistakes and decisions made by this company, just fly in the face of what it used to be, which is as a classic cartoon channel.  

Cable and satellite television's proposals promised so much in the last 20 years or so with regards to Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Boomerang, but during the last 10 years those same promises have since been broken by network executives, who have no clue whatsoever what viewers - who know what to demand- want out of it. Yet many do. 

The rot began at CN round about 10 or 15 years, and unfortunately, after that it made its way to Boomerang. Turner have had numerous chances and opportunities to rectify the problems that fans have been airing their grievances with. Yet they chose to sit back and do nothing. 

How many more chances are Boomerang and Turner Broadcasting going to get, before they start delivering the goods and live up to their expectations? 

Until then, I expect to stick with Youtube for my Retro cartoon fix. 

Here are TV stations that offer classic cartoons

Retro TV
Tooncast  - site is available in Portugese and Spanish

Felix talks about Boomerang by MarcosLucky96 on deviantART

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