After posting our Special Report on "The End Of Toonami As We Know It?" several other stories came to our attention. While none of these articles seem to address the history and the problems between WB-TV and Turner Broadcasting they do have points of interest for fans of Toonami.
Over at akadot.com (whom we'll cover in a separate story soon, we promise) they had an interview with Sean Akins, the executive in charge of Toonami. Posted before Toonami was moved out of it's best timeslot, the story, when read today, unfortunately illustrates how little power a network executive actually has and how fans need to know how not to focus their energies. Although the story has some mistakes it is still worth reading.
In a different report posted (on the same date as our "End Of Toonami" story) by Electronic Media (one the best weeklys on the TV business) they covered a much larger picture of what's going on with the new single agenda between the companies. There's a lot of business information beyond the scope of our site but it was right on target for Jeff Harris' website "CNX: Toonami Revolution."
Toonami Revolution (unfortunately named after one of the block's interstitial campaigns) is one of the best websites on Toonami. In a recent analysis, Mr. Harris connected the dots where professional news sites have failed--one of which is that the name "Toonami" is now considered a brand name by the WB. The name "Toonami" may start popping up on Kids' WB--but it would only be used for their kind of shows such as Pokemon and The Adventures of Jackie Chan (and not Sailor Moon or Dragonball Z).
Last we heard this was only in discussion. We don't know if the name "Toonami" will appear on Kids' WB or not but what some fans need to understand is that it could be used to raise general audience awareness of the full-length (whatever that will be) Toonami on that other WB-TV network, the Cartoon Network. The name "Toonami" if properly used, could bring more audiences to the Cartoon Network.
But we doubt that a "Kids' WB" mini-block on the Cartoon Network would have the same positive results.
CNX: Toonami Revolution seems to be positioning itself for a "Save Toonami" campaign but we don't know if the "Toonami" block (as we knew it) will be salvageable or not. Right now it doesn't appear to be.
We have seen Mr. Harris get repeatedly burned by bad or unintentionally bad information in the past and wouldn't want to see him and Toonami fans get burned by attempting to save a block which WB-TV has decided to bury.
Toonami doesn't need to be saved. What has to happen is for WB-TV to decide if it wants to keep this audience or not. For pure business reasons WB-TV may decide to not keep this audience.
So that's why we here at the Save Our Sailors (SOS) campaign are casting our eyes elsewhere and so should you. Sailor Moon fans helped established Toonami into what it became. After the Cartoon Network picked up the initial 65 episode Syndication package, all of the Toonami block went up in ratings and ad sales. We established a beach head for Dragonball Z to follow and then the rest is history.
The SOS sees no reason why we fans couldn't do it again on another network.
One fan has suggested UPN (it would be our 2nd attempt). They've really loosened up on their programming and Dean Valentine is no stranger to animation (perhaps at 9 or 9:30pm)? Maybe they're ready for us?
Not ready for us is Fox Kids or the Fox Family network. Both are in flux as Fox Kids maybe dumped for sports coverage and Fox Family is up for sale. (And just forget about Nickelodeon, Disney or ToonDisney.)
Has anyone noticed what's been going on over at the Sci-Fi network? (They seem to have recovered from Barry Diller's purchase and are spending money again for original programming.) Sci-Fi has been mostly going for limited series that they can sell to other countries--but "Sailor Stars" would be cheap and get a lot more females to try the network.
Have any of you seen the Oxygen network? It's a new network considered to be the antidote to Lifetime Television (you know, that annoying "women are always victims" network). You know who's running Oxygen? Geraldine Laybourne! Remember her? She's the one who got Nickelodeon to produce its own cartoons and then left for ABC/Disney where she wasn't allowed to do anything (like start a new cartoon network to be called ABC-D). (When we were trying to convince her to pay for new dubbed episodes "Gerry" and her lieutenants kept on thinking that we owned Sailor Moon--no matter how many times we corrected them!)
Oxygen needs more local cable operators to offer their channel. Hhmmm, a new Sailor Moon series ("Sailor Stars") could take care of that! Our requests could really put Oxygen on the map!
And, you have to enjoy the irony here, AOL/Time/Warner owns a minority share in Oxygen but doesn't control it--as does Disney(!) since that was part of their agreement for Gerry to leave. WB-TV and Disney would be hard pressed to complain about Oxygen buying anime--since both of those companies seem to be running away from future licenses. And (here's the special bonus) Oxygen is already programming original primetime animation with its series, "Bitchy Bitch" (which may not be for some of you younger viewers).
Then there's a network you may not have considered, YTV! Who says we need an American network? Why not a Canadian one? They did it before, why not again? We could get the shows on tape (like with the final 17 episodes of "Sailor Moon R") and then get them on U.S., Australian & UK television later. (Plus there'd be dual language DVDs from Pioneer!) One drawback though... U.S. residents would probably have to promise to buy one Irwin Toy and one other Canadian good advertised on the network. (Get ready for a lot of maple syrup!)
So which networks do you like? Would a new form of "Toonami" work on any of them or maybe "Sailor Stars" just by itself? What do you think? Please let us know! We're dieing to get our "Sailor Stars" campaign going! (8/5/01: We got plenty of feedback. Thanks!)