Series To Be Temporarily Dropped On May 3
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The Cartoon Network in the United States plans to temporarily drop "Sailor Moon" from its schedule. The last airing will be on Thursday, May 3, 2001 with the final episode of the "Sailor Moon SuperS" series. Replacing "Sailor Moon" in Toonami will be a daily additional episode of "Gundam." (2 different episodes of "Gundam" will be shown each day.) "Batman" will eventually takeover one of the slots. The network does not plan to run "Sailor Moon" during its Midnight Run block of shows.
The Save Our Sailors campaign had received possibly conflicting information on just when the show would be dropped. One well-informed source said it would end on Thursday, June 7 while another said after the third run of "Sailor Moon SuperS" (which we calculated to be on Thursday, May 3). (Both could have been right--providing that some sort of change would occur to delay the end of the third run.) After posting the story as is on our tickertape both sources now confirm the same date: Thursday, May 3.
The Cartoon Network believes that "Sailor Moon" needs a rest. Series often perform better over all after being dropped and brought back. Rotating series in and out of a schedule helps to keep programming seem fresh. Some series, such as "Dragonball" perform so well that it would only hurt a network to drop them at anytime.
"Sailor Moon" is being dropped during the May Sweeps since the network believes it can hold onto more of its core audience with "Gundam." There is stiff competition from Broadcast Networks during Sweeps to lure viewers away to get higher ratings. Sweeps is when audience levels are measured for local TV programming (and not just networks). Broadcast Networks air new episodes & specials during Sweeps to help their affiliated local TV stations boost their ratings. Sweeps takes audiences away from Cable Networks that do not counter-program.
This is not the first time that "Sailor Moon" has been temporarily dropped by the Cartoon Network. Fans may recall that the "Lunar Eclipse" marathon signaled the last departure--though that was only for one week. This new departure is far more serious--signaling the long term problems with the new series, "Sailor Moon S" & "Sailor Moon SuperS." Repeats of the new episodes seem to be on a different trajectory than the old episodes. (When compared to the Cartoon Network's increased viewership, new episodes seem to be performing worse in repeats, dollar for dollar, than the old episodes.)
The network has not yet scheduled a return of "Sailor Moon" nor with which series. Informally, the network has said that a Summer return is possible but we think that it could take even longer. (It's going to be a busy Fall season on the Cartoon Network.)
As we have previously reported on our tickertape, the Cartoon Network still has the DiC episodes in its library as well as the exclusive rights (until, at least, June 2002) on the Cloverway series, "Sailor Moon S" & "Sailor Moon SuperS." Fans are invited to email the network and let them know with which series they should resume with (and on which date & time). Please refer to the series by the Cartoon Network's inventory number. Fans of unedited versions are encouraged to suggest those versions for a Midnight Run slot.
Tell them which date you would like the series to start.
And what time within Toonami and/or Midnight Run you would like to see the show!
Please send only one email per address!
The shorter your email, the better!
The network has still not finished the contracts with Cloverway for the 3 animated features--which has been the cause of some concern. This process has taken much longer than anyone has expected. There is a slight possibility that the network may not broadcast the features. Fans should not contact the network concerning the films. We continue to encourage fans to purchase tapes or DVDs of the features. If the network should be able to complete the agreements we would hope that the movies would be shown during the series absence from its schedule.
The network is currently showing no interest in having "Sailor Stars" dubbed. As we previously reported on our Tickertape, the network made no mention of Sailor Moon during a February 21, 2001 Press Preview of its upcoming Fall slate of new programming. It was possible for the network to add "Sailor Stars" up until the end of March but did not do so. Fans should not contact the network concerning "Sailor Stars" as we are planning on having a campaign (or anti-campaign--it'll be up to you) in May.