Bad Show, Jolly Bad Show!

Well, folks. It looks like we at Twinsanity have been dealt another blow.  The latest news is that at the San Diego Comic Con, the Aquabats revealed that The Hub has cancelled The Aquabats! Super Show!.

What do we think of this?

In my opinion, this news royally sucks, as The Aquabats Super Show was one of the few shows that we watched regularly on The Hub. The Aquabats was an acquired taste, I’ll give you that, but at the same time I have to question the logic of The Hub pushing the series so far back into the early afternoon hours of Saturdays. Anytime after 11:30 AM is generally considered to be a loser time slot for a SatAM show, as kids are usually forced to relinquish control of the TV sets to the adults in the house around 11:30 or noon. The Hub had The Aquabats! airing as late as 2 PM at one point. They push the channel back to a time slot when many kids have left the TV and gone outside to play because they want the early hours for 3 more airings of MLP and then they wonder why the show is getting low ratings. Did that come off as snarky? Well, maybe a little.
First Dan VS bites the dust, then Kaijuo: Rise of the Duel Masters is kaput, then Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot gets canceled and now this. It’s getting so that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Littlest Pet Shop and Transformers Rescue Bots are pretty much the only things airing on The Hub during the day now, while the channel’s night time hours are still being devoted solely to nostalgic sitcoms from the past. The Hub just doesn’t seem to care about airing any other type of programming. They honestly seem to believe that Kid President has what it takes to save the channel, despite the fact that last weekend, KP brought in less than 10,000 viewers. For those who don’t feel like doing the math, that’s not good.
I’ve always thought that moving Dan VS to Saturday afternoons was a bad idea. Dan VS was an Adult Swim-lite type of show that belonged on Prime Time. here should have been an entire block of this type of programming airing at night and shows such as Dan and The Aquabats could have headlined this block. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I still don’t understand why (aside from money, of course) why The Hub doesn’t have a weekend evening premiere block. The Hub needs a T.G.I.F. They need a SNICK. They need a Cartoon-Cartoon Fridays.
My chief concern is that the cancellations of The Aquabats Super Show! and Dan VS will lead the heads of the network to believe that shows about ponies, pets and transforming robots and nostalgic sitcoms are the only types of shows that can succeed on the channel, and so that’s all that the network will be giving it’s viewers from now on. I’m going to be brutally frank here; the only chance that I see of The Hub surviving another 4 years is if they learn to go outside of their comfort zone and start allowing some different types of programming (and no, I don’t mean TV MA rated adult humor or trashy reality TV), and they truly need to stop using Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop as a crutch to lean on. The more dependent that The Hub is on these shows, the weaker their schedule gets. Hasbro isn’t doing much to dissuade the belief that The Hub is basically the My Little Pony channel. In fact, they seem to be going out of their to promote this misconception. These shows are fine. I’m glad that they’re gaining attention and that the’re getting high ratings, but if The Hub is to succeed in today’s market, it can’t live solely on Ponies, Pets and nostalgia.

“I pity this channel! I don’t hate the channel, but i pity it!”

ADDENDUM: I was mistaken. The Aquabats Super Show! was not canceled due to low ratings. In fact, it was doing well with both kids and parents and it actually helped the band find a new audience and also helped the Aquabats celebrate it’s 20th anniversary as a band. Rather, the show was terminated due to the network’s downsizing and abandoning it’s kid-friendly schedule in favor of more cost effective programming. The future of the series is unknown as of this point. Christian Jacobs (the band’s leader and The MC Bat Commander) is optimistic for the show’s future, but it still sucks that we won’t be seeing the series again until ????.

6 thoughts on “Bad Show, Jolly Bad Show!

  1. The Hub really does need to stop being so dependent on My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop and Transformers Rescue Bots to carry their entire schedule, and they seriously need to step their game up if they want to even secure half of Cartoon Network's audience. Hasbro is the 3rd or 4th largest toy company in the world; they have literally dozens of toy and game franchises under their umbrella which could be made into shows, both live-action and animated, so it makes no sense that there are only 3 of them which currently have shows airing on The Hub.

    And you're definitely right about prime time being the key. It's called PRIME time for a reason: it's when most households gather together to watch TV all at once. Part of the reason why Dan VS., Kaijudo and now Aquabats got the ax so abruptly is because while they each had small but loyal followings on the internet, there were still a lot of people who had never seen nor heard of them, and this is largely because they aired at times when not many people were watching them; it didn't help matters that Hub still isn't in that many homes yet. Kid President has also been suffering due to lack of exposure and the fact that its' premiere episodes run alone. You're right: The Hub needs a prime time lineup consisting of originals and premieres. There's supposed to be a new Transformers show coming down the pike, but without an action block or a place in prime time to secure, I question how long it will last, especially since action cartoons in general aren't faring too well these days.

    And no, I'm not suggesting that the Hub abandon their family network motif; if that's what they truly want to be, then they should stick to that by all means, the only problem is that in 4 years that hasn't really paid off for them yet, and that's largely due to the fact that their current lineup is sorely lacking in variety. Being a family network is fine, but the folks in charge of the network need to realize that every family member doesn't watch the exact same shows, nor are they all watching TV at the same times.

    The sitcom reruns are also killing The Hub. Again, I'm not suggesting that Hub get rid of them if they're securing them an audience, but nostalgia is fleeting, without diversity and variety, as well as some original prime time shows tossed into the mix, the novelty of those shows wears off quickly. It's for this same reason that Tiny Toons and Animaniacs are now banished to the ghettos of early mornings.

    As for Aquabats!, it's possible the show could be picked up by another network, but the choices are limited: the show was originally pitched to Cartoon Network but they passed on it, and it seems unlikely that CN would be interested in it now that they seemed to have basically cooled on live-action at the moment. Disney Channel isn't that big on 3rd party acquisitions in general these days, least of all live-action ones; it's easier and cheaper for Disney to just make their own live-action shows rather than acquire them from outside sources; and Nick is possible but doesn't seem likely. Maybe Super Show! could become an internet exclusive series.


  2. Another thing: The Hub shouldn't be airing movies every night either, especially since it's same 10 movies over and over, but that ties into the earlier point raised about The Hub airing more original programs in prime time.


  3. While CN and Nick took roughly 15-20 years to run out of steam, the Hub did it in only four. That's an amazing record time!

    Meanwhile, Disney has been churning out lots of quality programming. Am I in the Twilight Zone now?


  4. Christian Jacobs is also the brains behind Nickelodeon's Yo! Gabba Gabba, so maybe that will help the Aquabats find a new home.

    As for Hasbro having “3 properties” on the air now, that should be 4, considering all the games adapted for Family Game Night. A new GI Joe series would make it 5, and, yeah, with the huge library they have, you'd think they could do a few more.

    I don't know who's in charge at Hub now, but all they need do is see what happened to Stuart Snyder at CN to see that this will not end well.


  5. I'm going to be really sad once LPS is eventually gone – its ratings and merchandizing have been pretty bad, even with a reboot… It doesn't help that the show itself is just unpopular, save for a really small and easily ignored fanbase… Losing that show after Dan Vs. and The Aquabats (and Transformers Prime, which got a proper ending, thankfully), is going to hurt. A lot – even if it's not as good as that pony show. Sigh…

    It doesn't help matters that that Pony Show is the only thing considered “good” to a lot of people watching the channel. Hence why once it's gone, this channel's going to experience a hell of a downfall. One that not even the nostalgic stuff can prevent (which I know is a FACT – you can't rely on nostalgia forever. I know that now.).

    Unless they can come up with just as good or better shows (from other genres besides comedy) than that Pony Show, there's really going to be some trouble for this channel – just like another one that relies too much on a certain yellow sponge.

    …And don't think this can't happen, either. Every major network has suffered because of such asinine thinking – almost no one has truly recovered from such damage, neither…

    – The Shop Soldier


  6. At SDCC, Christian Jacobs (MC Bat Commander) was quoted as saying that “though (the band) has concert gigs booked for the year, their top priority is finding a new home for 'The Aquabats! Super Show!'”. So they haven't given up on the show resurfacing somewhere…yet. We'll just have to see how this all plays out.


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