Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How the Fox Box Should Have Started

This is an odd concept, but lately I have been thinking about the Fox Box.  I was never a huge viewer, although I watched a lot of their Ninja Turtles.  But the Fox Box (later 4Kids TV) began at a shift in Saturday mornings.  2002 was when Fox Kids closed, One Saturday morning became ABC Kids, ABC Family created a great action block, among other changes across the networks.  I was a kid at the time and paid a lot of attention to changes in Saturday morning.  Back then, to me anyways, Saturdays were a time when networks would put effort into children's programming and you would see things you wouldn't during the rest of the week.  I am nostalgic towards a lot of it, even if I was never big on the programs themselves.

But anyways, the odd concept I have been working on lately has been a fantasy rescheduling of the first few years of The Fox Box.  I feel that, while 4Kids made many mistakes (many legal mistakes), their cartoon block could have gotten a much better start.  So here is my fantasy line-up for the first three seasons of the Fox Box.

Image result for POkemon master questImage result for yu-gi-ohImage result for ninja turtles 2003
Season 1 (2002-2003)
The biggest mistake 4Kids made was that they kept their familiar properties on a rival network.  While I am sure that Kids' WB held their PokeRights pretty closely back then, 4Kids really should have tried to use Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Cubix to launch their network.  4Kids could have also reran the Indigo League episodes under the title PokeClassics instead of letting Cartoon Network do the same a year later.  This would all be similar to how Kids' WB brought over Animaniacs, Batman and Tiny Toons from Fox Kids.  4Kids should have also premiered the block with Ninja Turtles as their big new show instead of waiting until midseason.  Ultimate Muscle and Kirby would have been the same as those two shows worked.  I would also keep Ultraman Tiga, but with a better dub.  This is was a chance at a new Power Rangers with a marketable character, but the jokes were unbearable and out of place.  4Kids was also syndicating Tama and Friends around this time, they could have used that as a replacement for either Cubix or PokeClassics later in the season.  I would just leave off Stargate Infinity and Fighting Foodons altogether.

The Initial Schedule (in central time)
7:00 PokeClassics (favorite episodes!)
7:30 Cubix: Robots for Everyone (new to Fox!)
8:00 Kirby, Right Back at Ya! (new series!)
8:30 Ultraman Tiga (new series!)
9:00 Pokemon Master Quest (new season!)
9:30 Ultimate Muscle (new series!)
10:00 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new series!)
10:30 Yu-Gi-Oh! (new season!)

Image result for Homestar RunnerImage result for Sonic XImage result for Shaman King
Season 2 (2003-2004)
Ultraman Tiga, PokeClassics and Cubix would all leave the schedule.  Kirby, Ultimate Muscle, Ninja Turtles and Yu-Gi-Oh! would stay.  This season would see the premiere of Pokemon Advanced.  I would not include Funky Cops or The Cramp Twins, but Shaman King and Sonic X would be the new series.  I would also add the TV premiere of Homestar Runner.  By 2003 there were enough shorts of the popular webtoon to create a TV anthology.  I am really surprised that there was never a successful attempt at bringing H*R to television.  4Kids would not play any role in the creation, the Brothers Chaps would create their own package and format for the network that needed a solid comedy, broader audience and something topical.

The Initial Schedule (in central time)
7:00 Kirby, Right Back at Ya! (new season!)
7:30 Ultimate Muscle (new season!)
8:00 Pokemon Advanced (new season!)
8:30 Homestar Runner (new to TV!)
9:00 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new season!)
9:30 Sonic X (new season!)
10:00 Yu-Gi-Oh! (new season!)
10:30 Shaman King (new series!)

Image result for SPider-man the new animated seriesImage result for winx club 4kids
Season 3 (2004-2005)
The Adrenaline Project would never air on the network and the Fox Box name would remain.  Ultimate Muscle and Shaman King would leave the schedule (but still come back for midseason replacements).  Leaving Kirby, Ninja Turtles, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sonic X and Homestar as the returning hits while the PokeFranchise would enter Advanced Challenge.  Winx Club would still be the big new show for the season.  4Kids would also pick up Spider-Man: The New Animated Series after MTV failed it.  This may be an odd fit as the series was a little more mature, but look at what the censors let TMNT get away with, Sony already marketed Spidey DVDs to kids anyways.  This would start a relationship with Sony that could lead to Astro Boy and others.  Spidey would bring a familiar character, a better chance for a good show and a challenge the idea of what 4Kids is.

The Initial Schedule (in central time)
7:00 Kirby, Right Back at Ya! (new season!)
7:30 Winx Club (new series!)
8:00 Pokemon Advanced Challenge (new season!)
8:30 Yu-Gi-Oh! (new season!)
9:00 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new season!)
9:30 Sonic X (new season!)
10:00 Homestar Runner (new to TV episodes!)
10:30 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (new to Fox!)

Which would bring us to the point where Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!'s popularity was dying down anyway.  So what do you think?  It is of course easy to look back and say, "this is what you should have done!"  But it is always fun to look back and think about what if.