Considering Cartoon Planet

While lurking on Toon Zone, I came across some interesting comments and opinions regarding Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Planet block. I’d like to address some of them with my own spin on things. As per usual, the original comments will be printed in italics, while mine will be in regular type.

“I would like to see some Squirrel Boy on the block. Again, CP should be 2 hrs. I want to see full Foster’s and if they add it, Sheep episodes.”
“Not just Sheep, but I’d also like to see Mike, Lu & Og to the block. It’s been awhile since Boomerang has aired it, it’d been doing so on/off.”
“They could extend it an hour, making it 2hrs long, then we might have room for thirty minute episodes of stuff, like Foster’s and the like.”
A lot of people have made the above suggestion, but there’s a very obvious roadblock to that plan that no one ever seems to consider: namely, that Adult Swim starts at 9PM. If CN were to expand Cartoon Planet to 2 hours, then it would have to begin at 7PM, since CN becomes AS at 9. Unless Turner would be willing to push AS back an hour for an extra hour of CN on Friday nights, which I know they wouldn’t be; heaven forbid that Turner ever dial back on Seth MacFarlane time. Another reason I don’t see a CP expansion happening is simply that the block isn’t that popular or successful; it’s doing well enough, but not extremely well. Face it, retro fans, Cartoon Planet isn’t setting the world on fire. CP is a block driven by nostalgia, which has niche appeal and a limited shelf life. A continuous loop of reruns gets old after a while. It doesn’t help matters that the cartoons which air on CP seem to stay locked in a Mobius strip: the Dexter’s LabPowerpuff Girls, Chowder, Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy shorts have yet to go beyond season 1, and many fans contend that a lot of these shows, Ed3 in particular, didn’t really find their grooves and start to really take off until after their freshman seasons. (Except for Chowder, whose first season was clearly its’ best.)
Also, an expanded CP would mean that CN would have to make new Brak & Zorak bumps, which they don’t seem to be in a hurry to do; they’ve only made about 2 new bumpers since the block came back.
Let’s be real here: the only reason that Cartoon Planet is still on Friday nights is because everything else CN has put on Fridays has failed; if the action cartoons had managed to put enough butts into seats and could’ve held their own against Disney Channel’s Friday night premieres, then action would still be running on Fridays. CN’s original comedy premieres could possibly hold their own on Fridays, but then CN wouldn’t have anything to air on Monday and Tuesday nights. CP is basically filler that fulfills a need and does OK, just well enough to keep a relative number of viewers tuning in, but not well enough for the block to be expanded.
As for the prospect of CP acquiring shows like Sheep in the City, Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?, Time Squad, Squirrel Boy and the like, it’s a good idea, but I don’t see it happening. For whatever reason, these shows have all been swept under the rug by CN’s big brass and nowadays The Powers That Be at Cartoon Network don’t even like to talk about these shows anymore. It’s a shame too; I’m not saying that all of these shows are great, but adding them to the regular rotation would definitely add some much needed variety to the block. CP got a little better when they began airing Robotomy, The Problem Solverz and Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, but there aren’t any of those shorts scheduled for the month of March. I don’t know if this is due to low ratings or just bad fan reaction to them, but I’m sure the fact that the network aired the same Robotomy short twice in succession didn’t help garnish support for these shows.
“The least CN could do is add new bumpers to the block. I also want to see the network to add repeats of the show on early Saturday or/and Sunday mornings.”
To the first point, heck yeah. However, going through the trouble of making new bumps for CP would imply that CN actually cares about the block, which of course they don’t. To the second, repeating CP on weekends isn’t going to happen either, for the same aforementioned reason: the block just isn’t successful enough to warrant such a move. Also, Saturday mornings have been designated for action, and like it or not, Pokemon, Bakugan and Beyblade do better than repeats of Cow & Chicken and Courage, the Cowardly Dog. Face it, folks, Cartoon Planet isn’t a groundbreaking boon to CN; it’s a medium between airing something and just running white noise for an hour.
“Yup. Pretty much everyone wanted to see some new shows or a block expansion for CP. Not new new shows, but shows like that.”
I’ll hand this one over to my brother Jason, who has this to say:
*shakes head* Well, yes and no. A 2 hour comedy block on Cartoon Network’s Friday night prime-time lineup in the tradition of Cartoon-Cartoon Fridays would be great, but if CN were to launch such a block, I would much rather have new shows premiering on the block than 2 hours of Cartoon Planet, even if that would mean seeing half hour episodes of Foster’s and Sheep in the Big City again. Sorry, but new shows trump reruns every time. At the very least, said block consist of premieres for the 1st hour, and then devote the 2nd hour to reruns. Reruns aren’t going to topple the comedy premieres on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. If action cartoon premieres couldn’t bring CN up from 3rd place on Friday nights, then there’s no way that 2 hours of CN nostalgia could.
“Anyone notice they’ve been cropping the intros? Seems like whenever they do something right, they have to nerf it right when it begins.
Seriously, are they just TRYING to bribe us and then negotiate the wrong way?
They really need to stop cropping the intros. Doesn’t matter if they’re doing it so they can get more cash or just trying to piss us off, but that needs to stop. Spongebob never had his intro cropped, and neither has the Fairly Odd Parents. Cheapskates.”
Somebody call the waaahmbulnce. The network doesn’t crop the intros to bribe us (I don’t even know how such a thing to be possible) or to piss us off; they do it because they also have to air the Zorak and Brak wraparounds as well as make room for commercial breaks. There just isn’t enough time to do all that and run the full intros for each individual cartoon. Remember the Cartoon-Cartoon Top 5? There the intros were skipped entirely and they just went straight to the title cards. Would you rather they cut 2 or 3 minutes from the cartoons themselves? Seriously, cropping the intros isn’t that big a deal. Get over it.
“I hope we’ll also get to see the likes of What A Cartoon!, Whatever Happened To Robot Jones?, 2 Stupid Dogs, The Herculoids, Space Ghost, SWAT Kats or Birdman at some point. All have a few 6/7/11/12 min. segments that could air.”
Robot Jones we’ve already covered above; it could air on the block, but since CN has been disallowing that show’s existence for years now, don’t expect it to turn up on CP, or anywhere else for that matter, anytime soon.
CN doesn’t seem to have any interest in airing any of the What-A-Cartoon! shorts which haven’t been made into series, since the main purpose of WAC! was to audition pilots for potential new shows. If CN were going to do that, there are also plenty of unaired shorts from Cartoonstitute which they could run on CP.
While it was indeed a comedy, 2 Stupid Dogs wasn’t a Cartoon-Cartoon, and therefore it would be out-of-place on a block which is basically a ‘Best of CN’ showcase. Keep in mind that 2SD wasn’t made specifically for CN, but rather was launched on TBS and in syndication, so it wouldn’t be a good fit on this incarnation of CP, plain and simple. Again, CN could also start airing Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry shorts on CP as well if the plan was to deviate from the all Cartoon Network original comedies format.
*Ironically, if Cartoon Planet ever did start incorporating 2 Stupid Dogs, Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry shorts, it would be more like the original Cartoon Planet, only with no Space Ghost or Andy Merrill frolicking around in a Space Ghost costume.
Swat Kats, no, just no. CP is a comedy block, action cartoons have no place on it. Also, most of the Swat Kats episodes were 22 minutes; a half-hour cartoon would take up half the show.
Space Ghost, Herculoids, Birdman and the like, again no. In addition to being action shows, and not Cartoon Network originals, those cartoons are waaay too old; they wouldn’t secure CN the audience it wants, or so they believe. Nowadays those shows are only appropriate for Boomerang; I could only see them airing on CP if the show were to deliberately make fun of them, by inserting fake catcalls, ‘oohs’, ‘aahs’ and ‘Oh yeah!”s like they used to do when they would sometimes air after Space Ghost: Coast to Coast on Sunday nights.




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