cable TV, cartoon, comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Disney Channel Loses Opportunity at New Mr. Bean Episodes

New episodes of the ‘Mr. Bean’ animated series are now airing on Boomerang and Cartoon Network instead of long-time home Disney Channel. (Photo credit: Endemol)

‘Mr. Bean’ has some new episodes coming.

That’s right, new episodes of the animated series are now making their way to Filipino viewers, just in time for the franchise’s 25th anniversary. However, the said episodes are not airing on Disney Channel as they usually do.

Instead, it was Boomerang and Cartoon Network who made the new episodes available. The former began airing ‘Mr. Bean’ in June, with the latter following suit.

For many years, the cable television rights to ‘Mr. Bean’ in the Philippines belonged to Disney Channel. The station aired not only the animated series, but also the live-action series, as well as the movies ‘Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie’ and ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’.

But with Disney Channel unable to secure the rights to new episodes of the animated series, their long-time grip on the franchise appears to be slipping away. That said, losing out on new episodes of ‘Mr. Bean’ proved to be another big blow for the said channel, much like what happened when Cartoon Network beat them out for new episodes of ‘Oggy and the Cockroaches’.

Disney Channel’s loss is now Boomerang and Cartoon Network’s gain. It’s another opportunity lost for the said channel, whose programming remains diluted in comparison to its rivals.

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Boring Game of Cat and Mouse

Cartoon Network needs to thrive and adapt to a new generation with younger cartoons such as Adventure Time, in order to survive.

Tom and Jerry are a legend. They have been around for over 70 years, and has stood the test of time. However, it is becoming clear that I grew bored watching this cartoon, and I always wanted this program to be relegated to the late nights/early morning slot where there are only a few people awake at this time.

I don’t understand why Cartoon Network continues to air the program during the daylight hours, considering that the shorts are 65 years old on average. For those who watch the program, the premise is always simple : a cat named Tom is chasing a mouse named Jerry, and it is always the mouse that is winning the chase. There is basically no script; only a musical score and large amounts of visual humor are emphasized in every short. Tom and Jerry’s formula has been replicated on other cartoons, such as another Cartoon Network program Oggy and the Cockroaches. However, because of its age and repetitive airings I think it is time for Tom and Jerry to step aside for good.

Cartoon Network needs to emphasize more on younger cartoons, such as the hugely popular Adventure Time and Ben 10 series. They have already stopped airing classic cartoons such as the Looney TunesScooby DooDexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, among others. And since the Toonami block spun off into its own channel, Cartoon Network’s programming has been somewhat limited, and programs usually air on a three to four hours rotation. Perhaps adding new cartoons to the mix may help Cartoon Network introduce itself into a younger audience, and more importantly, maintain its status as one of the most-watched animation channel on TV.

If Nickelodeon has survived well with Spongebob Squarepants and The Fairly Oddparents as its standard-bearers, and if Disney Channel has survived with Phineas and Ferb, then Cartoon Network has to survive with Adventure Time and Ben 10 as its standard-bearers. Cartoon Network needs to get rid of the older cartoons and give way to younger ones in order to introduce themselves to a new audience. And getting rid of Tom and Jerry is a good start.

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cartoon, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ghost Fighter Again?

The first volume of the Yū Yū Hakusho Original...

For the hundredth time, GMA 7 airs YuYu Hakusho, emphasizing the fact that they’re short of funds in acquiring new anime titles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the early morning, while watching  Doraemon, I saw GMA‘s plug for its early morning Anime programs and noticed that they brought back YuYu Hakusho (Ghost Fighter) to its rotation replacing Dragon Ball Z Kai. I’m getting too old for this. Why would they insist on re-airing this classic anime over and over again? It’s been aired repeatedly over a thousand times, can’t they move on and acquire new properties?

For those who didn’t know the story, YuYu Hakusho tells the story of a young junior high student named Eugene. He met his allies Alfred and Dennis (originally a female named Denise) along the way while feuding and later befriending Vincent. He also had a love interest named Jenny while Sherlene and Master Jerico became his confidants early in his adventures. Throughout the story he would be mentored by Master Jeremiah in an effort to defeat various villains, including his main adversary Toguro. His main weapon is the Ray Gun.

YuYu Hakusho, better known as Ghost Fighter in the Philippines, first aired on IBC-13 in the mid-1990s. In 1998 the rights for the anime were acquired by GMA 7 and was first aired at the height of the genre’s popularity in the country. It has been re-aired on a semi-frequent basis since.

For the nth time, GMA 7’s fortunes were focused mostly on producing elaborate teleseryes, top-notch live shows, and high-quality news programs. Which means acquiring new anime titles have been few and far between. ABS-CBN, for the most part, has been able to air new titles courtesy of its Hero channel, which is a subsidiary of the network, while TV5 has collaborated with Disney Channel, Toonami and Cartoon Network to air those network’s programs. As for GMA, they have little funds to allocate for new anime and other related programming, considering that their audience during the 8:00-10:00 a.m. timeframe is shrinking due to competition from cable networks.

With that in mind, GMA is definitely the one suffering. Without sufficient support from other companies (ABS-CBN and TV5 are owned by conglomerates), GMA 7 will continue to scramble for its early morning audience, if not the entire day’s audience. Reairing YuYu Hakusho and other past anime won’t help their cause; they would have to find a way to air another program in its slot.

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