Here we are, folks, 8 months into 2010. Can you believe that’s it’s been 2 years since Toonami ended? The only thing I have a harder time believing is the number of people who still need grief counseling about Toonami’s ending and those who are still clinging on to the hopes that the block will one day be resurrected somewhere, anywhere.
A few weeks ago I was involved in a conversation about this very subject; when it was mentioned that Cartoon Network has no plans to resurrect Toonami and the block’s stint on CN is indeed over, some helpful optimist piped in with this query:
“Why dosen’t CN rebrand Boomeraction into Toonami? It would work perfectly. The point of Boomerang is to bring back shows people loved so why not air Toonami ? I am suggesting they just show all of the old shows that aired on Toonami, all of the anime, all of the shows that aired on Cartoon Roulette, kind of like Toonami Retro.”
Yeah, that’s not happening.
Now, before you all get ready to pelt me with rotten fruit, let me just say that I don’t think a Toonami on Boomerang is a terrible idea. I’ve been saying for a while now that Boomerang needs a shot in the arm to revive it from its’ current zombified state. But let’s be real here: Unless someone decides to revamp the entire channel, a Toonami on Boomerang is not going to happen.
Why? Let’s break it down, shall we?
1. Such an endeavor would be expensive.
As always in life, it’s all about the Benjamins. The thing some people tend to forget is that Toonami wasn’t a show, but a programming block. And most of the shows which aired on said block were licensed 3rd party acquisitions, meaning that Cartoon Network had to pay licensees fees for the rights to air the shows which aired on the block. The other thing that these same people tend to forget is that Turner has since let the broadcasting rights to most of Toonami’s signature shows expire, so Boom can’t have a Toonami that runs every show that used to air on Cartoon Network’s Toonami, because CN has since lost the broadcasting rights to most of those shows. A Toonami on Boomerang would have to do without the following:
Yu Yu Hakusho=no.
Jackie Chan Adventures=no.
Fantastic Four: WGH=no.
Cartoon Network does not currently have the broadcasting rights to air any of these shows, and they’re not going to pay to re-acquire them for Boomerang. Why not? This brings us to point #2:
2. Boomerang is a far cry from what Toonami was.
Boomerang, in addition to aiming itself at an older audience demographic than Toonami’s target audience, the channel has far less viewers than CN and it’s also an ad-free, bonus tier package afterthought to Turner. Cartoon Network re-acquiring the licenses and reviving a dead brand name for a tiny extra tier channel with such a small viewership which is only in a handful of homes would be a waste of money, especially since The Powers That Be would need to know that they would receive the ratings to justify the higher cost to advertisers (which Boomerang doesn’t have because it’s ad-free), which would in turn fund the block.
It’s a simple equation, folks: Viewers=Money=Acquisitions. And Boomerang just doesn’t have enough viewers to sustain something like a Toonami style block.
3. Turner has no interest in establishing an action brand on Boomerang.
Ever since Turner dissolved Boom’s original scheduling format in 2005 (yearly features on Saturday, “Boomeraction” all-day Sunday), Boomeraction has just been looping the same shows like Swat Kats and Thundarr over and over again. Turner wouldn’t stand to gain anything by acquiring anything resembling Toonami on Boom, least of all a new action block. the last time Boom aired any new action cartoon was when they acquired Battle of the Planets in 2004; the ratings for BotP were terrible and the series was yanked off the schedule after just 5 months. Since then, Boom has basically shyed away from any exclusive action properties (save for Voltron, Justice League/Unlimited and The Batman, which were all leftovers from CN, Kids’ WB! and [adult swim], respectively), and also currently Turner wants nothing to do with shonen, non-toy based anime outside of [as].
4. The Toonami brand name is kaput.
Look, I know this is a hard thing to come to terms with, but it’s the truth. The Toonami branding is as dead as a kipper on a cracker. Networks very seldom, if ever, resurrect old brands and blocks; TV is a business, and in order for any business to succeed, they must keep moving forward, not constantly look back.
What would be the point of moving the Toonami brand to a digital tier only channel that almost no one gets? Answer: No point whatsoever. If Turner wanted to relaunch Toonami, it would make more sense for them to do it on Cartoon Network, not on Boomerang. CN is many more homes than Boom is and Boom is ad free and therefore is not interested in ratings. Furthermore, if Turner wanted to resurrect Toonami, they would do it. CN owns Toonami, lock, stock and barrel. There’d be nothing stopping them, but they don’t want to resurrect Toonami. They have no reason to. CN could easily be airing Toonami wraparounds during it’s current action cartoon block right now as I type, but they aren’t, and it’s very, very unlikely that they ever will, as networks seldom (if ever) re-launch program blocks once they’ve been put to an end, and I doubt that CN would go through the trouble of ending Toonami just to bring it back 2 years later.
Do we not remember how bad Toonami was in its’ last years? It wouldn’t be any any better on Boomerang. If Boomeraction were to rebrand itself as Toonami, there would be no new action cartoons or any action anime. Turner can only air the shows they own, and currently all they have available to them are the shows which currently run on Boomeraction now. Toonami on Boomerang would literally be nothing more than Boomeraction with a different name and different bumps. Do fans really miss Toonami so much that they’d even be willing to accept a fake Toonami?
I know that I’m probably going to catch a ton of flack for this entry, but people need to come to terms with things the way they are. I enjoyed Toonami in its’ heyday just like most of you, but now that it’s over, I can accept that it’s gone.
I say your best bet is to cherish your memories of Toonami and hope for good things in the future, ’cause a Toonami Retro block on Boomerang just isn’t going to happen.