This page will feature various topics that come across my mind, that need to be talked about to the public. Not all items will have something to do with Rugrats or Nickelodeon, but will reflect my opinion. Also, this page won't be revised every week -- only when I need to say something.
The opinions expressed here, unless stated otherwise, are the opinions of
Steve Mindykowski, webmaster of this site. Opinions from guest commentators
do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the webmaster.
Editorial for 4/8/2002
In a recent Toonzone article about the upcoming Fall Saturday morning schedules, it was mentioned that Nickelodeon is starting to push the Rugrats less and less:
"Nickelodeon executives admit that Rugrats is aging and will not put as much emphasis on it then they have in the past."
So far, there are a few things that already support this fact. First of all, Rugrats is no longer seen mornings, except on weekends. Secondly, Rugrats is no longer Nick's top show; SpongeBob and Oddparents now top Nick's ratings list (even though the former is now out of production and the latter doesn't have much episodes in the can). Third, there are less and less Rugrats products coming on the market. Fourth, the indefinite delay of the DVD version of A Decade In Diapers. Fifth, fewer marathons of Rugrats episodes. And sixth, the biggest push these days is overseas, where Rugrats is still very popular (like the UK, where Nick shows 6 or 7 different episodes everyday).
At this point, Nick is now realising that Rugrats is starting to become old hat. Yes, the show is still popular, but not as popular as during its heyday, which was between 1994, when daily reruns began, and 2001, when the All Growed Up pilot was televised. And yes, Rugrats is still given full support from Nick, but it is now starting to give the other Nicktoons a chance to succeed. As I just mentioned, SpongeBob and Oddparents are still doing very good for Nick, but Rocket Power and Ginger, both from the Klasky-Csupo studios, are also getting extra attention from Nick. The newest Nicktoon, ChalkZone, has opened to great ratings on its debut. Nick is also expanding to CBS's Saturday morning schedule, where Hey Arnold, Thornberrys, Ginger and Pelswick will present themselves to a wider audience. Speaking of Hey Arnold and Thornberrys, both of them have movies coming up, with the Thornberrys having a crossover with the Rugrats next year.
And there's more new blood coming up for Nicktoons -- Jimmy Neutron, Danny Phantom and Teenage Robot are all coming up on the fall schedule. Even the Rugrats are reinventing themselves, as 2 spinoffs are waiting in the wings -- Angelica & Susie's School Daze (scheduled for this fall) and All Growed Up (3 episodes to be previewed next year, with the series starting in 2004).
With more and more Nicktoons vying for attention in the coming months, interest in Rugrats are on the downswing. But of course, anything can happen, and it'll be interesting to see how the original Rugrats does when the new spinoffs start.
But there's one thing for certain -- the Rugrats will have to grow up someday, if you know what I mean.
Editorial for 2/25/2002
Good news, everyone -- Futurama has been renewed for the 2002-2003 season on Fox.
But now, here's the bad news.
Futurama's future beyond 2003 is in doubt, as it's likely that Fox will cancel the show.
For those of you not familiar with Futurama, here's what it's about. In the first episode, Phillip J. Fry, a pizza delivery boy, falls for a joke when he delivers pizza to a cryonics lab in New York City on New Year's Eve, 1999. Realising that this was a joke, he starts to leave, but ends up falling into a cryonics chamber, where he was frozen for 1000 years. When he was thawed out, he was in a changed world, trapped in a future he never made. Since then, he became a delivery boy for an interplanetary delivery service, Planet Express, run by Fry's distant nephew, who's about 150 years old. The show was created by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.
What does Futurama and Invader Zim have in common, besides the fact that they're both sci-fi cartoon shows? They both weren't given a fair chance to prove themselves.
But in the case of Futurama, they'll be given time to show the remaining shows.
Futurama's ratings didn't look good not because of its time slot (7PM ET), but because of what comes before it 5 months out of every year -- NFL football.
In the eastern US, according to an NFL-dictated schedule, many stations show a late 4PM game. This game rarely ends before 7PM ET. And when it does, Fox often joins another late game in progress, just in time for the closing minutes of that game. Because of this, the game coverage usually ends at 7:30PM ET, just in time for King Of The Hill. Futurama ends up pre-empted or, in rare cases, joined in progress. And because of football, eastern markets with no late game, and all western markets, show repeats of Futurama until December, when new, but still pre-emptable, episodes begin.
When Futurama started in January 1999, the show had a great timeslot -- 8:30PM ET, between The Simpsons and The X-Files. But in March, Fox had another new show that wanted that time slot -- Malcolm In The Middle. Malcolm became a big hit for Fox, while it's touch-and-go for Futurama at its new 7PM ET timeslot. And outside of football season, it also has to contend with CBS's 60 Minutes and Dateline NBC. But it was football that really did Futurama in.
What can you do about it? Simple, write or fax Fox -- check the web for addresses.
If Fox officially cancels Futurama, then it'll be another nail in the coffin for decent animation shows for the entire family.
Editorial for 1/28/2002
It now appears that Zim is off Nick US entirely -- as I mentioned last week, Zim was replaced with an extra episode of Oddparents on Friday nights, effective 1/18. And now, on Sundays, effective 1/27, Zim and Ren & Stimpy (which followed Zim at 1:30PM ET) has been replaced with an extra hour of Nick GAS.
With that in mind, Invader Zim is now off of Nick entirely in the US.
Apparently, after the cancellation, Nick wanted Zim off its schedule as soon as possible. And I have a feeling that the remaining unseen episodes slated for March will not be seen; if that's the case, then Zim will be the third Nicktoon to have its remaining unseen episodes "swim with the fishes" (CatDog and Angry Beavers are the others).
Yes, on network TV, it's commonplace for cancelled TV series to be pulled off the air, with any unseen episodes in the can remaining unseen. But on Nick, it was always the norm for cancelled series to have all their completed episodes broadcast. On the networks, it's usually the lowest-rated, critically subpar shows that get the boot. But in this case, it was critically-acclaimed (at least, by the fans that swear by it). And its ratings, while they're not tops, are okay.
While ratings have a part on how well a show does, Nick often votes with their money. Zim has costed more to produce than any other Nicktoon, such as Rugrats and Jimmy Neutron. And by not showing Zim, they won't have to pay any residuals to Jhonen Vasquez, the voice artists, or the creative staff wo worked on the show. Anne Robinson and George Gray say it best on The Weakest Link: "Statistically, the weakest link was... [contestant 1], but it's the votes that count. [Contestant 2], you are the weakest link -- goodbye!"
Unfortunately, Invader Zim was Nick's weakest link, just because they said so.
If you want your voice to be heard on this issue, it's never too late, but do it today -- read last week's editorial below.
This past week in my guestbook, I found the following private entry. Since it was a private entry, this person will remain anonymous.
I come by every week to see the updates and have been noticing what you've been saying regarding Rugrats Pre-School Daze. I wanted to let you know that I don't apreacite the way you are treating Nick Magazine. I'm a subsriber to the magazine and love it. It's not their fault that pre-school daze didn't air on January 21 or whenever it was. Also, the magazine says specifically on the new stuff pages that the show dates are SUBJECT TO CHANGE. In fact, it's silly to think that their show schudule is written in stone. This is because Nick magazine is obvisly all written up and published before the month it comes out. Therefore, the shows mentioned are usally so far in the future that they can only list tenative release dates. So please, in the future, don't be so hard on Nick mag!
The reason why I am so critical about the schedule info in Nick Magazine is that the information is almost entirely wrong, mainly when it comes to info where a specific date and time is given. This, of course, is why Nick has started to give only the month of the broadcast in some of their information, urging readers to consult local listings for the exact date and time. However, Nick Magazine still occasionally mentions a specific date and time for some special programs -- apparently, if they felt that it would be shown then. Of course, if the people that drew up (and revise, and revise again) the schedule for Nickelodeon stuck to the original plan, we wouldn't be in this mess.
In my opinion, the reason why the Nick Magazine listings are wrong most of the time isn't the fault of the editors of the magazine (which I, myself, subscribed to for the past 6 years), but the fault of the programmers at Nickelodeon. In earlier editorials and in some of my comments at alt.tv.nickelodeon, I have mentioned that TV Guide and the newspapers get scheduling information from Nickelodeon; but after the schedules went to press and the TV magazines are in the hands of their readers, Nick turns around and changes the schedule. The case regarding Nick Magazine is no different -- the editors get the schedule in advance; then, weeks after the issue hits the stands, the programmers schedule something completely different.
I apologise if I seem to be a little hard on Nick Magazine, but their job, and mine, and the TV editors at the papers and TV Guide, would be alot easier if the programmers at Nick doesn't use the old "Programming Subject To Change" disclaimer as a feeble excuse to change their schedule every week.
On 12/1/2001, the Santa Experience and Chanukah episodes of Rugrats were broadcasted to a wider audience on CBS. However, viewers of KHOU ch.11 in Houston, Texas, only saw bits and pieces of the specials. Reason? That Saturday was an election day to see who would be the next mayor of Houston, and on that night, KHOU pre-empted portions of the specials for special election news. Normally, I would say, "Rugrats are Rugrats. There are alot of things that are more important, such as the election. The specials will be seen over and over again on Nick." But in this case, KHOU's coverage of the Houston mayoral election was riduculous. They block the first 15 minutes of each special for election returns and related news, then join Rugrats in progress, then break into programming again to give the same news for another 15 minutes, then rejoin Rugrats, etc.
The person who sent me this news, a mother of a Rugrats fan, was furious. She promised her child that he would watch the specials on CBS -- show would even tape them. But her child got angry after noticing that the specials are pre-empted for the election. And she got furious because of what KHOU is doing. Yes, she could've taped them off of Nick instead. Yes, she could've bought or rented the videos. But she wanted to watch and tape the specials off of CBS instead, but KHOU wouldn't let her. She and her child were "customers" of KHOU, which is a "business". And this "business" has let down at least 2 of their "customers". For their special Rugrats needs, they chose to do business with KHOU, instead of Nick or the local video store. Would she do business again with KHOU? Who knows. But, as the old adage goes, "The Customer Is Always Right".
If this was a federal of state election, when we elect a lot of people into office, of if there were special issues involved, then of course, it would gain more weight in importance than Rugrats. Even if several mayors or commisssioners are up for grabs in the Houston market, then those too, would be important. But this is an election for one mayor, in one city -- that's all. The mayoral race in Houston doesn't have much weight in suburbs such as Pasadena, Humble, Baytown, Alvin or League City; or in outlying places like Galveston, Bay City or Conroe. In my opinion, what KHOU should've done was just run a ticker on the screen, showing the results, then break into programming when a winner is declared and he or she is ready to speak.
That would've been the best way and please everyone, but no, KHOU thinks that what's good for Houston is good for most of southeastern Texas. They rather get their ratings from the future mayor of Houston, rather than some stinky babies celebrating the holiday. KHOU would like something to show in future promos for their evening newscasts, saying that they're tops in election coverage.
KHOU, like most TV stations in the US, care more about ratings and money, rather than the people that keep them in business in the first place -- the viewers. And I feel that on that night, it was not the mayoral race that was more important, but rather Christmas and Chanukah with the Rugrats.
Editorial for 1/21/2002
Invader Zim on Nickelodeon is a Nicktoon with repectable ratings and a loyal viewership among adult fans. What does Nick do to thank its loyal viewers?
They cancel the show. End of story.
Zim has been getting rave reviews among animation fans, which say that Zim is the coolest Nicktoon to ever grace the airwaves. But Nick thinks otherwise. Nick often pre-empted Zim, often unannounced, for special Nicktoon repeats (mainly an extra Oddparents episode). On 9/14/2001, the first Friday after the terrorist attacks, the "Door To Door / FBI Warning" episode of Zim (which remains to be seen in the US) was replaced at the last minute with an Oddparents episode, and that was 15 minutes after a promo for a new Zim epiosde appeared. Even Oddparents became a victim of Nick's mistreatment of Zim once -- on 9/21/2001, Nick cuts off the last few minutes of an Oddparents episode (not between stories, but in a middle of a story), and, after a commercial break, started a Zim repeat. Those tuning in at 9:30 sharp were faced with the first Zim story almost coming to an end. The result -- ratings that were not phenomenal, but were respectable for cable. But, there are alot of Zim fans out there. But Nick feels otherwise.
Because of this, Nick cancelled Invader Zim. Normally, Nicktoons are cancelled or gone out of production after a certain number of episodes, as defined in their contract. If a Nicktoon is popular, then of course, they'll order more. But if the ratings are down in the dumps, then it won't be renewed beyond their contract, even if a cult audience exists for the show.
Nick cancelled Zim in a different way -- they pulled the plug right in the middle of the show's second season production. And to add insult to injury, on 1/18/2002, the night after the cancellation was announced, Nick pre-empted a scheduled Zim episode for an Oddparents repeat.
Of course, the cancellation of Zim will lead to more layoffs at Nicktoon Studios -- what was once the coolest animation studio on earth is starting to become more and more of a dead zone, as studio space becomes more vacant, and proaspects for new projects at the studio becomes slim. That, plus labor troubles.
Nick has done alot of nasty stuff before (read my earlier editorials below), but abruptly pulling the plug on a show that has low ratings, but a solid fan base, is the worst. By mistreating Zim, Nick has manipulated the show's ratings to a point where it gives Nick some reason to cancel the show for some reason.
Nick is so bent on 2-to-11 demographics, repeats-after-repeats, and ownership of about 95% of the programming, that quality material often gets pushed to the wayside.
This is just another black mark against Nick, and there are so much of them, that I can't think of anything good that they did recently.
There are three other qualified cult Nicktoons that were thrown off the air,
never to return:
There's a chance that SpongeBob may join this list someday -- like Rocko, production ended when the show's creator (in this case, Steve Hillenberg) called it quits. And like Rocko, SpongeBob is also a cult hit among older viewers.
But now, the question is -- "What can I do about it?"
Of course, chances are that you may have Cartoon Network to thank for keeping Zim alive -- there are rumors that Time Warner's animation channel may buy the rights to the series. But the question is: will Nick sell Zim to Cartoon Network? They are still red in the face after giving up Craig Bartlett to Cartoon Network (see below for my editorial on that).
And for Zim fans outside the US that watch the show on YTV, foreign versions of Nick, and other channels -- it's likely that you'll see the short second season, but after those episodes, that's it -- it's over. If you would like to keep the new epiosdes of Zim running on your channel, then write Nick US above, urging them to keep the show in production, and write Jhonen Vasquez to express your support. If you're a regular Zim watcher, then we need you for the fight, regardless of where you live.
Hopefully, if everybody takes action using the steps above, Nick can listen to reason and keep Zim on the air. But of course, when it comes to listening to reason these days, Nickelodeon is deaf. So keep at it.
Editorial for 12/10/2001
On the week of 11/19/2001, a Rugrats episode on Nick scored 2.5 ratings points. Also that week, The Rugrats Movie on CBS scored 3.1 ratings points. Which one scored better?
If you answered The Rugrats Movie, you're wrong.
That Rugrats episode on Nick was ranked # 6 in the cable Nielsens, the highest-rated program on Nick that week. The Rugrats Movie, however, was ranked # 85, the worst-ranked program on CBS that week.
And on the week of 11/26/2001, The Chanukah special received 3.6 ratings points, while The Santa Experience special preceeding it got a 3.4. While the numbers themselves are much better than what SpongeBob SquarePants got on Nick (a SpongeBob episode scored a 2.5, Nick's highest that week, earning # 8 in the cable Nielsens), the Rugrats specials still managed to be CBS's worst-rated programs that week -- Chanukah was ranked # 91; Santa was # 92.
The rankings on CBS were low, because the Rugrats were playing in a different venue -- broadcast television, and are rated separately from cable.
Even though more and more people are watching programs on cable and satellite specialty channels, the big numbers remain on your local TV stations, the ones that you can get either on cable or through a "rabbit ear" or loop antenna (satellite is a different story to many Americans). Many of these local stations are either affiliated with the "big 4" networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox), or the smaller, "bottom-feeder" networks (UPN, WB and Pax). All 7 of these networks are in the ratings game, with their entire prime-time roster vying for the attention of TV viewers. This is what I call "The Big Leagues".
In contrast, you still need cable or satellite dish to get your daily dose (or overdose) of Rugrats on Nick. I call this "The Minor Leagues", as cable channels are less accessible than over-the-air locals, and all commercial networks participate in the Nielsens, as opposed to a select few cable channels.
In my opinion, Rugrats would have a very difficult time surviving on CBS, if that network carried the Rugrats in the prime-time schedule.
The reasons? First of all -- time slots mean everything. The Rugrats already have their own prized time-slots on Nick -- they've been seen at 7:30PM ET, six nights a week, since 1996. But what if they were a regular prime-time series on CBS? Finding a suitible time slot would be a challenge for Rugrats -- all the good time slots have already been spoken for by CBS's top shows. What's left are slots that host either marginally-successful shows, or programs that bombed in the ratings.
But wait -- you say that Rugrats is more suitable for Saturday morning. Ten years ago, that would have been the case, but these days, the top Saturday morning shows are either on the WB, or on Nick (where Rugrats was a Saturday morning staple since repeats began in 1994). Fox is having a difficult time with their shows -- they even discontinued their weekday block, recently. ABC, with its One Saturday Morning block, and NBC, with its all-live-action TNBC block, are also being challenged by dwindling ratings. CBS tried all-live-action for one season, and an all-Nelvana line-up for a couple of seasons, before settling on Nick Jr. programs, aiming instead at the lower-aged demographics. Part of the blame is the federal "E/I" rule, where stations must show, for 3 hours a week, programming that is deemed educational and informational to kids. With many of the "big 4" affilates unwilling to show "E/I" shows themselves, the networks do it for them. And since it's impossible to program these shows during the week, and since Sundays are reserved for religion, infomercials and political talk, Saturdays are the only days for kids shows.
Third -- it's an animated program. Unless you're on Fox, prime-time animated shows had very short lives on the networks. Remember Family Dog? Capitol Critters? Stressed Eric? Sammy? The Oblongs? Clerks? All these shows lasted only a few weeks, with Eric lasting only 3 weeks and Sammy & Clerks lasted 2 weeks each. Over the air, viewers tend to watch live-action shows, and leave cartoons to cable, Saturday morning and the holidays.
Finally -- syndication. Would Rugrats do well 5 nights a week at 7PM or 7:30PM on your local station? Maybe, but that station may also opt to carry it earlier, at 5PM, for example. Or late in the evening, at 10PM, or late at night, at 2AM. When a local station buys a syndicated program, they can schedule it almost any time they want, at a time slot that they feel deserves it. Also, they can cancel the show anytime they want, depending on how well the show does. If it does poorly, then they'll drop the show and spend their money elsewhere. There's also a chance that no station in your area would carry it, which means the program may be shut out in markets where no station buys the show. The business of syndication is just as cut-throat as the networks, if not more.
Yes, Rugrats may live comfortably in the realm of cable, but the over-the-air networks has proven to be a tough neighborhood for America's favorite TV babies.
In this week's guest editorial, Bradley Bethel gives his opinion on how Nick is today:
I saw your recent viewpoints about Nickelodeon's current programming, and I agree for the most part. Nickelodeon really has put A LOT of neglect in most of their programs for the past several years.
If you can survive a long rant, read this!
One Nicktoon I really enjoyed was SpongeBob SquarePants. I was surprised to hear that it was cancelled in October, especially considering all those promotions it had been recieving. I recall seeing some commercials from September concerning SpongeBob merchandise being sold at Target department stores. Keep in mind that this came ONE month prior to the show's cancellation. It was said that Nick would only allow a maximum of 60 episodes of SBSP to be produced. It's sad that such a wonderful Nicktoon had to die prematurely.
(It should be known that the cancellation was the choice not of Nick, but the show's creator, Steve Hillenberg, who wanted to take some time off from animation. -- SM)
I was expecting the worst of the Non-Stop Nicktoons Weekend in advance, especially considering last year's marathon. But it turned out to be even WORSE than I previously expected. It was bad enough they weren't showing all the Nicktoons, but to be honest, I didn't consider the 10th anniversary notion as you mentioned. Good point.
It seemed that Nick was begrudging Craig Bartlett's decision to leave them; Nick seemed to be giving Hey Arnold! a fair amount of praise long before this year's Non-Stop Nicktoon's Weekend. But this time, HA! was only shown in ONE 2 1/2 hour marathon, in comparison to 2 or 3 marathons devoted mostly to Klasky-Csupo's cartoons (blech!). Also, that 'exclusivity' clause you mentioned sounds a lot like something concieved from the days of the French monarchy; how can Nick put a price on the freedom of creativity? That's a law against nature!
Also, I e-mailed to both Nick & Viacom several times complaining about Nick's unfair programming. They either wrote back with little or nothing to answer my question, or didn't respond at all.
To me, the only good Nicktoons still airing include Doug, (classic) Rugrats, Hey Arnold!, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, Invader Zim, and CatDog. Most of the Nicktoons that Nick is devoting their praise to are the bad ones. No offense, but I can't take anymore of those newer Klasky-Csupo cartoons (ranging from the post '95 Rugrats eps to As Told By Ginger). K-C used to make surprisingly wonderful cartoons during the early to mid 1990's, especially Duckman. The ones they've been cranking up since lately are ugly, boring, and annoying, especially Rocket Power.
I frankly don't know why Nick is showing so many reruns. They only showed 3 new Hey Arnold! episodes this year, and repeats all other times. 5 or 6 remaining episodes, and the go-ahead for one or both movies have been delayed for about a year so far. Also, I see SpongeBob every morning before school. But sometimes, they show the same episode(s) twice at that particular time in the same week. Plus, Doug has been stuck in repeats since 1994!
(The constant Doug repeats are courtesy of Disney, which boughy Jumbo Pictures, and the characters, shortly after Nick's Doug closed production in 1994.-- SM)
Getting back to the Nicktoons' 10th anniversary notion, I'm surprised that Nick has failed to observe it. They put more than enough sugar in the Rugrats, but they NEVER mentioned Doug, or Ren & Stimpy. They seemed to forget that there were THREE Nicktoons in 1991, not just one. They didn't even have anything special on August 11, which was a Saturday. Also, during the summer, Nick unknowingly brought back Rocko's Modern Life, and kept it until shortly after September 11. But all the while, Rocko's return was put to no notable use. This is all sort of a punch in the eye for all of us loyal Nick fans who made most of the Nicktoons popular in the first place.
About the Rugrats, I see very little to celebrate for that particular Nicktoon (still no offense). I usually watch ONLY the classic episodes; if it weren't for Paul Germain & Co, Rugrats probably would've NEVER came to be the excessively annoying phenomenon it is today. As for the guy who panned the Rugrats, I'm gonna have to take his word for it. Much of the plotlines from the newer episodes are really repetitive & boring, thus worn out. The thing about them I hate the most is what happens to Angelica.
Here's what happens:
I believe that K-C is trying to delude kids into thinking that 'bad things happen to bad people', and vice-versa, when in reality, it's actually the other way around. That treatment they use with Angelica is also used with Debbie from The Wild Thornberrys. It's used much worse in there, because in this case, Debbie is the only good character on that show. But everybody, particularly Eliza, tries to keep her from being happy against her own will, and that god-awful concept is used as a pseudo-component for 'educating kids'. So basically, the Rugrats' 10th Anniversary celebration, and it's placement on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is all a total waste of time, energy, and money. In fact, I didn't even bother seeing Rugrats in Paris, or the CBS airing of The Rugrats movie.
Among all the other gripes I have about Nick is how 99% of their total programming is composed of cartoons, and more than half of them are bad.
Also, since when does Nick regard Pinky and the Brain as a Nicktoon? PATB isn't even owned by Viacom. So basically, I have total support for your notion(s) of how 'Nick sucks'. I just hope they can someday discover the honest way to gain viewers' support.
I written him for permission to place his editorial on the site, along with some questions on a couple of points. Here is his reponse:
Thanks for reading my message. Yes, you can post it on your website. I want everybody to hear what I have to say about Nick.
As for those letters to Nick & Viacom: Viacom responded by giving me a phone # of where to complain about their programs. I tried calling several times, but the line was ALWAYS busy. I tried e-mailing Nick a bunch of times, but they only answer 3 questions each week, meaning the chances of them answering my questions are very microscopic.
Also, I complained to Klasky-Csupo about their horrible cartoons last Spring. One guy named Howard replied saying that they're currently working on several web cartoons for the adult market. The information is found at www.comedyontap.com .
As for me, the day I stop watching Nickelodeon for good is when they stop showing the reamining toons I like, as I mentioned previously.
Editorials For 11/26/2001
CBS has presented the US broadcast premiere of The Rugrats Movie on Friday, 11/23/2001. Of course, I have seen it before, at the movie theater and on video. But the real reason why I tuned in is the extra material that CBS has promised. In my opinion, the results were mixed.
First of all, let me explain why the extra material -- the film was only 81 minutes in length. Even if CBS and its local affiliates has sold all the allocated commercial time, there is still time to fill. And to fill this time, they used 2 musical numbers, about 2 minutes each, in length. I presume that these numbers were cut from the original film, though they might've been produced specifically for television -- you never know.
The best of these numbers was Stu & Didi's dream sequence, where they have a nightmare involving Dr. Lipschitz. Here, we get to see what is in the minds of parents of newborns, affected by their dependence of the books of child psychologists. Great number; too bad it wasn't in the film when it was in the theaters, or on video.
The second extra number involves the Rugrats singing an army chant while towing the Reptar wagon up the hill. Unlike the Lipschitz number, this was purely a time filler -- it did nothing to enhance or weaken the film. I could take it or leave it.
While the original film -- the same scenes seen at theaters and on video
-- was not cut or time-compressed, there are still a couple of debits:
Considering the competition, CBS's Rugrats Movie should be a big ratings winner, even though they had a little help -- A Jimmy Neutron preview was seen near the end of the film. Also, 'NSYNC had a 5-minute mini-concert before the film, which was a teaser for their hour-long concert special, which followed the movie.
Despite its shortcomings, CBS did a good job presenting The Rugrats Movie to a broader audience. Now, I'm interested in how they treat the Rugrats holiday specials on Saturday, 12/1 (especially since they'll follow football in the eastern US), and how they (or someone else) will treat Rugrats In Paris in a couple of years.
In this week's guest editorial, "Coolboyman Kool" gives his opinion on how Nick, once a great channel, made a turn for the worse.
Nick 10 years ago was a great channel. It had good cartoons and good shows,
but now its garbage. Basically they show the same episodes of the most popular
shows OVER and OVER again, ignoring the ones that aren't so popular. They
have also messed up shows too. Rugrats used to be funny, but now its just
annoying to me. Here is how I feel like most of the plots are now:
If you look at most of the episodes, this has the SAME plot OVER and OVER even in new episodes.
Lets see what they show daily:
It isn't very complicated, they just want MONEY and want kids to laugh at the same crap over and over and over and over.
Now 2 years ago, Saturday and Sunday afternoons had old shows, but they canceled it for MORE NICKTOON RERUNS. I will never forget the old Nicktoons I used to love like Ren & Stimpy and Rocko. Invader Zim is really good because I love the author's work (Jhonen Vanquez), like Johnny the Homocidal Maniac and Squee (Both not for kids), but I know Nick will mess it up. There are 40 episodes of SpongeBob, I believe. In 2 weeks, all of them will be shown.
So after 2 weeks they're back to reruns. Nick needs to straighten up, because it's meaningless watching it because its the SAME thing everyday.
This is just my opinion.
Webmaster's Note -- the series listed here does not take into account programming seen during the Nick Jr. and Nick-At-Nite blocks, nor does it include programs not seen everyday, such as Ginger, Pelswick, Invader Zim, Nick News, or anything live-action. -- SM
Editorial For 11/19/2001
|In light of the 6/28/2002 release of Hey Arnold, The Movie, I have moved this editorial to this page.|
Editorials For 11/12/2001
Do you wonder what my website looked like a few years back? Or anybody's, for that matter? A recent invention has now made it possible, thanks to The Internet Archive. It's called the Wayback Machine, hand it has 100 Terabytes of data, dating back to 1996. And believe me -- once you visit, you'll be coming back for more. Of course, most of the graphics have disappeared, but it still has enough information to inform you of what was going on back in the past, and, hopefully, just enough for you to get the gist of what the site looked like in the past. Do you remember my countdown to The Rugrats Movie? Or when Nick's website featured only Natalie's Backseat Traveling Web Show? Or have you missed Billy D'Augustine's Rugrats site, the first fan site of its kind anywhere? Yes, it's all here. The only problem, besides the graphics -- you need to know what the URL was -- no keywords allowed, yet. To help you with the trip back to yesterday, look for the special links on my site. The Internet Archive is a website worth remembering, because it's a website that remembered when.
Nick remembered when Rugrats started 10 years ago. But did they remember the Nicktoons' 10th anniversary? No, they did not. They could've used this opportunity to celebrate this momentuous occasion during the upcoming Nonstop Nicktoon Weekend, but they're not.
As a matter of fact, these Thanksgiving weekend marathons, an annual tradition since 1993, are starting to become nothing special. The marathon features absolutely no new material. Last year's marathon used the same bumpers as the regular broadcasts, with only a promo reminding viewers that they are watching the marathons. There are no hosts. And there are no extra material, other than the Toons From Planet Orange shorts. Finally, not all the Nicktoons are represented. These days, it's just an excuse to give Nick Jr. and Cable In The Classroom 3 days off to make room for more Nicktoons during the holiday break.
Back in the days of yore, the Nonstop Nicktoon Weekend was Nick's biggest event of the year, with special hosts, special bumpers, special features, almost all the Nicktoons, and much more. In 1996, Kenan & Kel hosted, with interviews of special guests and some lame jokes -- remember when some mice crawled on the carpet, with the guys trying to figure out that they're Rugrats? In 1997, The Nicktoons hosted the marathons, with special bits featuring the Nicktoons talking to each other, and Angelica presenting pictures of Nicktoons drawn by the kids. In 1998, there were special facts about the Nicktoons that many people don't know about. I don't know about 1999, but in 2000, they started to do it the lazy way, as I described it in the second paragraph.
As for this year, unless Nick pulls some surprizes, I expect it to be just as bad, if not worse. Here's the schedule, courtesy of Don Del Grande (all times ET):
(Marathon started at 2PM ET, instead of 6AM ET)
2PM to 4PM - SpongeBob SquarePants (originally 6AM ET to 12 Noon
Cancelled - Hey Arnold (to have been 12 Noon to 4PM)
4PM to 7:30PM - The Fairly Oddparents
7:30PM to 9PM - Nick Flick: The Rugrats in "Acorn Nuts and Diapey Butts"
Thursday 11/22 (Thanksgiving)
6AM to 12 Noon - CatDog
12 Noon to 2PM - Pelswick
2PM to 7:30PM - Rocket Power
7:30PM to 9PM - Nick Flick: "Catdog and the Great Parent Mystery"
6AM - Test Pattern (This ALWAYS appears in place of Cable In The Classroom
almost every Friday)
6:30AM to 10AM - The Wild Thornberrys
10AM to 2PM - As Told By Ginger
2PM to 4:30PM - Hey Arnold (Invader Zim was to have been seen here)
4:30PM to 8PM - Rugrats
8PM to 9:30PM Nick Flick: As Told By Ginger presents "Summer Of Camp Caprice"
9:30PM: one episode of As Told By Ginger
6AM to 8AM - SpongeBob SquarePants
8AM to 12 Noon - The Fairly Oddparents
12 Noon to 4PM - Rugrats
4PM to 8PM - As Told By Ginger
8PM to 9:30PM - Nick Flick: The Wild Thornberrys in "The Origin Of Donnie"
9:30PM: one episode of The Wild Thornberrys
6AM to 12 Noon - Rocket Power
12 Noon to 2PM - Butt Ugly Martians
2PM to 4PM - Invader Zim
(The Hey Arnold marathon, from 12 Noon to 4PM, has been cancelled)
4PM to 8PM - SpongeBob SquarePants
8PM to 9PM - Rugrats "All Growed Up"
As you can see, some of the featured Nicktoons will have not one, but two marathons this year. Also, it's apparent that the programmers at Nick are a few cards short of a full deck, as they given 2 marathons to Oddparents and Ginger, though they don't have enough episodes in the can to warrant them, excluding holiday specials. Because of this, some episodes will be repeated. Oddparents will have 15 episodes, though only 9 episodes are available. And Ginger will have 20 episodes, though they currently have only 18 episodes to its name.
And how can they show a Nonstop Nicktoon Weekend during the Nicktoon's 10th anniversary without these Nicktoons?
Ren & Stimpy
Rocko's Modern Life
We watch these marathons expecting sirloin steak, but we will end up getting Spam, instead.
At least I am one person who will never forget all the Nicktoons. And at least I am one person who wishes the Nicktoons a happy 10th anniversary.
On Saturday, 11/10, Nick presented a Nicktoons marathon featuring monsters. They even dusted off some old Real Monsters episodes and showed them as part of the marathon.
On November 2, Disney & Pixar released a new animated film, Monsters, Inc., whose storyline is very similar to Real Monsters.
If you guessed that the monster Nicktoons marathon was in honor of Monsters, Inc., you're wrong -- it was in celebration of a new Nick program, Butt Ugly Martians, which features aliens, not monsters, trying to live a life on earth.
Nick's dedication was ridiculous, because it's just like Jerry Lewis dedicating his Muscular Dystrophy telethon to those who have diabetes.
|Return To Rugrats Home Page|