Today is October 10th.
If that date doesn’t hold any significance to you, then you’re either not into toys or you don’t receive bonus cable or satellite, because The Hub turns 2 years old today.
For the uninformed, The Hub is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that launched on October 10, 2010. The channel, which replaced Discovery Kids, is a joint venture of Discovery Communications, Inc. and Hasbro.
The Hub targets a dual audience, young children in the daytime with original and acquired children’s programs, and families at night with reruns of older television sitcoms, dramas and feature films. Veteran television executive Margaret Loesch serves as president and chief executive officer of The Hub. The channel is available to approximately 60 million subscribers.
Since The Hub turns 2 today, I figured I’d give a basic overview of the channel, its’ highlights (and not-so-highlights) and what I’d like to see happen on Hasbro’s brain child in the future.
Among The Hub’s highlights are Dan Vs., Pound Puppies, Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures, Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot, The Aquabats! Super Show!, Family Game Night, Transformers Prime and Transformers Rescue Bots, Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, the HuBoom! block which features the likes of G.I. Joe Renegades, the Batman and Superman animated series produced by Bruce Timm, Batman Beyond and The Super Hero Squad Show.
But of course THE show that The Hub is known for is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It is an animated television series based on Hasbro’s My Little Pony toy property that has proven not only its highest rated production for the intended young girl demographic, but has also attracted an unexpectedly significant cult following in the teen and adult male and female categories. If you’re unaware of the whole ‘brony’ phenomenon, then it’s clear that the rock you’ve been living under doesn’t offer cable. Of the MLP explosion, one member of Toon Zone had this to say:
I don’t know why
What is going on Why is Transformers Prime coming second To ponies?
More to the point why are grown boys watching it?
What is this world coming to?
To which I have only this to say:
- “Grown boys” makes no sense. A grown boy is a man. If they’re still boys, they’re not done growing yet.
- OK, let me get this straight: you’re all flabbergasted that people are watching a show about colorful talking ponies, yet you yourself are a fan of a show about colorful talking robots. Double standard much? Seriously, go back to your glass house before casting stones in a nerd site.
After that verbal runoff, you should be embarrassed…at yourself. You act like if you’re a certain gender, you’re not allowed to like certain things, and once you reach a certain age, you’re not allowed to enjoy certain things anymore. News flash, Skippy: people can like whatever they want! And they don’t have to explain themselves or defend it either. THAT’S what being an adult is, not worrying about if things are “too kiddie” or “too girly”. That’s something a teenager would worry about it. The above remark is something I’d expect an 8-year-old boy to say, not an intelligent member of a discussion forum, and the thing is, I’ve heard from more intelligent and enlightened 8-year-old boys on this subject.
I myself enjoy the Ponies (though I’ve been on a self-imposed vacation from them until season 3 begins, which is said to be “sometime in October”), but my personal favorite show on The Hub is The Aquabats! Super Show! It combines the pure camp of the old 60’s Batman show and Sid & Marty Krofft’s Saturday morning series with wacky slapstick and nerd rock music from one of the geekiest and coolest superhero rock bands out there. (And the lead singer of the band is also the co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba!–can’t be bad.) If you haven’t seen this show, I urge you to check it out. Cartoon Network really dropped the ball by passing on this show; if they really must have live-action, they could get good live-action like Aquabats!.
Lately, The Hub’s also been scoring style points for their HuBoom! action block, and deservedly so. Where else can one check out Transformers Prime, Superman: The Animated series, The Super Hero Squad Show and Batman Beyond all in one block? While I’m happy that HuBoom! is doing well, I hope this doesn’t lead to Action Overload. I’d hate to see The Hub become inflicted with Jetix Disease. Why not launch a comedy cartoon block to counter the action block? I’d watch that.
Now, I’d like to address what (in my opinion) is the weakest link in the Hub’s chain: their nighttime schedule. Presently the channel devotes its’ nightly schedule to prime time TV reruns of shows such as The Wonder Years, Family Ties, The Facts of Life, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Doogie Houser, MD, ALF, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Sliders, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman. Not terrible, I suppose; there’s nothing wrong with “preserving our TV heritage”, but nostalgia loses its’ sting after a while, and let’s face it: some of these shows were garbage when they were new. I don’t watch The Hub at night since I’m not a nostalgia person (especially when it comes to broadcast TV reruns); while I don’t mind revisiting the occasional show from my past once in a while, I much prefer watching new shows. It’s my hope that as The Hub continues to grow and thrive, they can afford more original series and newer and more diverse acquisitions for its’ PM lineup. The 60’s Batman show is a good start, I’d create a quirky alternative comedy block (sort of a less raunchy Adult Swim or a throwback to the old HA! TV network, the precursor to Comedy Central) featuring shows akin to that: shows like On the Television, Mad Movies with the LA Connection, The New Adventures of Beans Baxter, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Mystery Science Theater 3000/Rifftrax, Stupidface, Clerks: TAS, Daria, Undergrads, SCTV, etc. (Not all of those specific shows per se, obviously, but shows along those lines.) It would finally give Dan VS a proper place to air on the schedule, since it’s really not a good fit alongside the superhero cartoons, and it fits in with the likes of Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears even less.
Finally, someone on TZ suggested that The Hub throw some sort of on-air celebration to commemorate their 2nd birthday, to which I say: Nah, too soon. 2 years is too early for balloons and confetti; lots of channels make it to 2 years. If The Hub is still kicking in 10 years, then it’ll be time to bust out the party hats.