Kids' WB
Three More Little Words...

For only the second time in it's history, Sailor Moon is to be presented on a broadcast network in the United States. (The first? It was a single episode tested on Fox Kids before the initial Syndication run.)

Kids' WB is going to present 10 episodes starting on Monday, September 3, 2001 through Friday, September 14. A different episode will be shown each weekday at 3pm EDT & PDT. Many of the WB stations carry local sports programs which may cause Kids' WB to be moved on certain days. In some cases, stations may drop Kids' WB for a day and present 2 installments on another; so check those local listings!

We've been told that the episodes will be non-consecutive, which means they won't be in order. Each episode is being hand selected to give Kids' WB viewers a taste of what the series is like and also because there are so many episodes which are unacceptable for a broadcast network. To give you an idea of how recently WB-TV came up with this test, as of Thursday, August 30 they still hadn't picked all the episodes. (We had been waiting for a list and gave up--going ahead with this story.)

As with the Luna Sphere, it is very important for fans to take action NOW! Please tell everyone you can to watch Sailor Moon on Kids' WB--especially towards the end of the 2nd final week! Tell everyone at your school, anime club, cell block, wherever.

This will be the very first time that episodes will be presented on a broadcast network for free. Your friends will finally be able to see Sailor Moon without paying for cable or Home Video releases!

It is so incredibly rare that we, as fans, should have 2 opportunities to be able to show our support at a crucial time for getting more episodes (dubbed & subtitled). These events are not unconnected.

Kids' WB has been testing the Cartoon Network's series to see how they would perform on their network and if their affiliates would object to anime violence. The first series to be tested was Dragonball Z which ran for only one week, Monday July 30 through Friday, August 3, 2001.

Hmm, wonder if they edited this out?

Sailor Moon is being tested to see if it would perform better than CardCaptors which has been a disappointment for Kids' WB. CardCaptors has not pulled in girl viewers (ages 6-11) in percentage or total viewers as Sailor Moon has. Girls (6-11) is one of the hardest and most sought after demographic in television.

CardCaptors was tested on the Cartoon Network's Toonami block back in June in Dragonball Z's 5pm slot and lost hardly any viewers. But this only demonstrated how poorly Dragonball Z has been performing without 2 hours of anime before it. The test proved that cheaper, repeat programs could be run at 5pm without losing the die-hard audience.

'What?  I get lots more screen time?'

A successful run of Sailor Moon would not necessarily mean that "Sailor Stars" would be dubbed and severely edited for Kids' WB. What could very easily happen is that a successful run could justify the expense of making an unedited version for the Cartoon Network and an edited version for Kids' WB.

Another huge reason for the tests on Kids' WB is to try and find a justification for tampering with the formerly successful Cartoon Network's Toonami block. Moving the block so that the networks didn't compete with one another did not improve Kids' WB ratings that much. Kids' WB ratings went up and the Cartoon Network's 3-6pm block went down resulting in almost the same number of viewers for both networks together. This was expected. Perhaps unexpected (or perhaps not) was the loss of overall dollars for commercials.

The slight increase in Kids' WB ratings has not overcome their steady slide in viewers for the last few years (due mainly to the waning interest in Pokemon). Advertisers were not impressed and it is anticipated that the network will not get any additional income for that block.

But what WB-TV has been (and appears to be) unable to make up for, is the perception of losing a key demographic which watched the old Toonami block on the Cartoon Network: Viewers who make purchases. Viewers who watched the old Toonami block were perceived as heavy purchasers (of cheap products); viewers who are currently watching 3 to 5pm weekdays, are not. (The network's research department may not even be aware of this development yet. A media buyer who contacted us was very aware of it.)

The Cartoon Network may have lost advertisers for the late afternoon beyond the current industry-wide slump.

Samurai Jack

During the Summer fans may have noticed how few commercials there were and how many in-house interstitials, promos & music videos filled in the empty slots. Summer is always the worst period for networks but this was a particularly terrible Summer for the Cartoon Network. One of our contacts wrote to us, "I watched a few hours in my hotel room the other day and I didn't see enough ads to pay for their electricity!" (The network still receives money from subscriptions and will make up any losses via Samurai Jack, Power Puff Girls, new Toonami series and hopefully with the Adult Swim block.)

So what WB-TV is now faced with is no new increases on Kids' WB and a loss within one of the Cartoon Network's blocks.

WB-TV's mandate is to get their total advertising income up to the current industry-wide slump if they hadn't train wrecked Toonami on the Cartoon Network and other misdeeds on Turner networks. It should be noted that in it's entire history, the WB network has failed to make a profit while (during the same years) most of the Turner networks have. The Cartoon Network was the most profitable network owned by Time/Warner.

This singular achievement (and the threat to it) possibly explains why, on Monday, June 18, 2001 it was announced that Betty Cohen was leaving her job as President of the Cartoon Network but staying within AOL Time/Warner to develop new ventures. Ms. Cohen probably wanted to get out while "on top." And, in a show of dominance, WB-TV said that her position would go unfilled (why pay someone to pretend they're in charge?).

And the one final reason for trying Sailor Moon? Fans' eagerness to jump to almost any other network to watch new episodes.

Repercussions Of Terrorist Acts is reporting that their new store will open as scheduled on Saturday, September 15, 2001 but that, "...all events and autograph sessions shall take place at a later date." Although this Saturday also happens to be a legal holiday in Japan ("Respect Senior Citizens Day") we believe that the festivities were cancelled out of respect to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks in the United States on Tuesday, September 11.

On behalf of Sailor Moon fans everywhere, we trust and hope that all the staff at The Program Exchange and Saatchi & Saatchi were not harmed in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. The Saatchi & Saatchi building is located at 375 Hudson Street--just blocks away from where the towers and other buildings have collapsed.

Our hearts and sympathies go out to all the families & loved ones affected by these acts.

We have also noticed (and applaud) the Cartoon Network for temporarily changing their programming in light of recent events. The network has been dropping some episodes (and even series) which depict massive violence and civic destruction.

The weekday feed of Kids' WB seems to have been dropped by most affiliates with local news or news feeds from other sources covering the terrorist attacks and aftermath. Of the 2 week test for Sailor Moon, only the first 6 weekdays will probably be considered valid.

One of our members, a dj at a U.S. radio station, had the rather unpleasant task of breaking the news of the ever expanding terrorist attacks to their East Coast morning drive audience. It is a shift they are not likely to forget.

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