Animation Domination

A ton of news on the animation beat this week:

– Cartoon Network held its upfront in New York on Wednesday, and revealed a bunch of new programming. Renewals include Star Wars: Clone Wars, Ben 10, and Total Drama Island. New additions include some live-action programming (including original movies) and yet another Scooby-Doo television series, titled Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. plus a live-action Scoooby Doo prequel. This year, Scooby celebrates his 40th anniversary on television. Like The Simpsons (which was recently renewed for two more seasons), this series will outlive all of us!

The last Scooby effort, the underrated Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue, was canceled last year by The CW after two ratings-lackluster seasons.

– Speaking of The Simpsons, Matt Greoning was recently interviewed by A.V. Club and he talks about the future of Futurama, or whether of not if it will be around after the release of the fourth (and possibly final) straight-to-release DVD movie. He also touches on the rivalry between The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy.

– And speaking of Family Guy…. this Sunday’s episode features a reunion of sorts by the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Several former cast members voiced their characters in a plot where Stewie kidnaps them after he didn’t get a chance to ask a question while at a Star Trek convention.

Even though the story is only a subplot (with the main story featuring Butters – um, I mean Meg – finding God, a man, religion, or a tree or something with Brian objecting to it or whatever), it is worth checking out, especially if you’re a Star Trek: TNG fan.

Thought: Back to Scooby Doo for a just a minute. Is another TV series really necessary? I loved the show when yours truly was younger, but come on. How much is too much? You wonder if the producers are trying to one-up The Simpsons on the episode count. Aren’t there any other characters and shows in the Hanna-Barbera library they can bring back? Most of those classic shows are now regulated to an obscure channel no one can get or on YouTube. These programs are more deserving of an revival effort.

It’s a shame given how Warner Bros. and Kids’ WB basically refused to promote the last Scooby effort and so the best thing for them to do is blow up the franchise and start over again, screw continuity (Shaggy & Scooby were actually rich?), and give us the same lame crap that’s been done before, if the recent DVD movies and What’s New Scooby-Doo were are any indication.

Look, the original Scooby-Doo (1969) was good. 13 Ghosts (which ran for a few months in 1985-86), was even better. After a slow start, Get A Clue became pretty good, especially in its second season. Why? Because they were different. The last few DVD movies and What’s New were rehashes of the same old crap over and over (after all, look at the last few seasons of The Simpsons… ) This new show promises to be the same. It would be great if they would do something different, but this in television in 2009, so forget it.

More Futurama, less Scooby Doo. Sounds good to me. But sadly, it won’t happen, since ratings and revenue are the root of everything television.

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