Re: 'KATS have nine lives!

From: Andy Hill <>
Date: Mon, 3 Apr 1995 08:02:32 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 3 Apr 1995, Dana Uehara wrote:

> Andy Hill writes:
> > Turner entertainment has asked Hanna-Barbera for SWATKATS interstitials,
> > stuff like "Secret Files of the SwatKats" and the promotional bumpers,
> > for an unknown purpose. They may be shopping the show around to other
> > networks, something I'm also working on.
> For Turner to ask HB for this stuff looks really suspicious. One thought
> that comes to mind (at least my mind, anyway) is that Turner might *not*
> want HB to shop around for other networks (in other words, Turner keeps
> all of the promotional bumpers, etc. so HB *can't* market the show
> elsewhere without Turner's knowledge and/or approval).

     There are a lot of strange things happening that no one is speaking
out on, every time that Christian tried to get any kind of response to
his questions, everyone passed the buck trying to keep their job. Turner
basically phoned in the cancellation, but AFTER that, three scripts had
their voice tracks laid and sent to storyboards. I've been told that SAG
contracts would've paid the voice cast for the 3 eps regardless of
whether they did them, so this was the reason for having them lay the
tracks. Maybe, but this doesn't explain why they'd bother with the 'boards.

     It's been suggested to me that I contact Margaret Loesch, President
of Fox Kids Network - the fall schedule for action-adventure is extremely
weak this year, and I hear they are shopping around. I've a letter going
out this morning to her, and she's basically going to get "first refusal"
before I send similar ones to ABC, CBS and the new networks.

     H-B is wholly owned by Turner, so they can't do anything
unilaterally, but has anyone noticed a pattern developing here? CNN just
restructured, it seemed an odd thing to do - and gave off the impression
that they weren't making money. When the executives were questioned about
it, they just had the "no comment" response. Whenever Turner has done
anything that can be regarded positive in the past, you couldn't stop him
commenting. TBS is running Scooby-Doo for an hour in
the afternoon strip slot, and their programming seems entirely supported
by two or three advertisers in the SMFTV slots. Hanna-Barbera had
SWATKATS pulled out from underneath them, fine, but why so many layoffs?
Odd behaviour if the "World Premiere Shorts" and "Jonny Quest" are as
good as the hype makes out. Turner has lots of cash, but he seems to be
getting a bit edgy when it comes his wholly-owned enterprises. He's even
starting to advertise "The Cartoon Network" on Fox - odd thing to do for
a man that brags he doesn't have to advertise anywhere but his own
networks, nor does he have to get 85 percent clearance for new shows -
he's already got the outlets himself. Yeah, right.

     I don't know if I already said this, but for 'toon fans - there is
something abominable called the "DIC code", which is at the moment a
voluntary set of standards developed by the people at DIC for their own
crews. Essentially, it boils down to some really scary rules prohibiting
shows that contain anything resembling a firearm, prohibiting any action
imitable by kids, and ensuring that a "positive message" is delivered.
Ted Turner's favourite program is "Captain Planet", and I've been hearing
things like "he cancelled (SWATKATS) because he suddenly realized how
violent it actually was". Turner has evidently embraced this DIC thing
for his Kids programming, but I don't know for certain if this played
any role in the cancel order - I'm trying to find out from some folks.

Andy (sorry for the novel guys, but part of the reason shows like this
      vanish is because the fan group doesn't know any of the behind
      the scenes stuff, and always assumes cancellation is their fault.
      Wrong. Turner's actions here have puzzled many industry people


Received on Mon Apr 03 1995 - 10:39:31 PDT

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