For those who are unaware, Boomerang is the spinoff channel of the US edition of Cartoon Network. It was originally all about airing classic cartoons while the main channel started to create more originals and acquire newer shows. Ever since the channel’s creation, it’s been mostly ignored by the larger landscape. It doesn’t get much advertising on the main channel, the ratings have been middling at best, and many cable and satellite carriers don’t even bother including the channel, and if they do, it’s only in the upper tiers. The network’s been on autopilot for the most part ever since it was created.
Also, for those who are unaware, ever since the US passed a law requiring all analog video signals to convert to digital signals, broadcast networks have gained the ability to air what are known as “digital subchannels.” These typically don’t have the budget of full fledged broadcast networks, but do air a lot of older television from the 60′s through the mid-90′s. Examples include MeTV, Grit, Decades, Bounce, Comet, Antenna, and Charge. While these channels do cover a lot of territory, one missing area is children’s programming. You could say there is PBS Kids, but that’s, well, PBS Kids. There is a block called Kids Click which airs on certain networks, which includes Pink Panther, Winx Club, Angry Birds, among others, but it only airs in the early mornings. There’s nothing afterwards.
That’s where Boomerang comes in.
The channel has always struggled for ratings and getting attention. It’s gotten some attention thanks to the rise of streaming TV services like Sling and Playstation Vue, but not much. A good way to get some extra attention would be to go full on broadcast. You could get picked up by a lot of stations as fodder for children’s programming since it wouldn’t require internet service and be shown in lots of public places that don’t have cable or satellite. The channel could still charge a carrier fee to cable and satellite subscribers, and because it’s a broadcast network, carriers would likely place it in the basic tier as well. Furthermore, they could also go the Comet/Charge route and offer a free stream broadcast of the channel, enabling an extra way to get advertisers on board.
Now, it would probably take some doing for this to happen and I’m not saying it has ANY chance at all of happening, but it’s something I’d like to see happen. It could very well be that there’s some kind of legal precedent where this could not be done without more or less shutting the channel down and relaunching it and getting new advertising contracts. But hey, this is just a speculation/wishlist post, so why not.
I even made up a schedule just to emphasize how not-happening this would be:
6:00am - Yogi Bear
6:30am - Josie and the Pussycats
7:00am - The Flintstones
7:30am - The Jetsons
8:00am - Wacky Races (Original)
8:30am - Wacky Races (Remake)
9:00am - The Smurfs
9:30am - Modern Looney Tunes (Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, Loonatics, Duck Dodgers, Looney Tunes Show, Wabbit)
This is a more transitional block between old programs and newer ones. I know people will say that modern kids won’t watch old cartoons, but there are many that will indeed watch old cartoons (well, maybe not the super limited Jonny Quest, but that’s an experiment) as we transition to some modern remakes. Now, the first thing you’ll notice is that these shows aren’t in big blocks like Cartoon Network and Boomerang are now. I fully admit that they’ll never program like this, but I’m taking the MeTV and Antenna routes with this schedule building and avoiding hour long blocks except in certain situations. The modern Looney Tunes shows would rotate when one is finished in order to keep that slot fresh-ish. Especially since I would not change the schedule for a while until Boomerang’s new status is more established around the country.
10:00am - Tom & Jerry (Classic)
11:00am - Tom & Jerry (Kids/Tales)
Noon - The New Scooby-Doo Movies
Pretty simple programming, really. Given how much Tom & Jerry is on the current Boomerang, I think it’d be fine if it got two hours on here. I fully admit that Scooby-Doo Movies is on here because of nostalgia, since it occupied the noon slot for years back when I was a kid watching CN in the mid-90′s.
1:00pm - Dexter’s Laboratory
1:30pm - Johnny Bravo
2:00pm - The Powerpuff Girls
2:30pm - Cow & Chicken
3:00pm - Courage the Cowardly Dog
3:30pm - The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
A block dedicated to Cartoon Network originals. I’m mostly focusing on older classics to start with, with newer stuff like Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Chowder, Flapjack, etc. being cycled in when one series ends.
4:00pm - Superfriends
5:00pm - Centurions
5:30pm - The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
6;00pm - Ben 10 (Original, Alien Force, Ultimate Alien, Omniverse)
6:30pm - Xiaolin Showdown
Another bit of a personal nostalgia trip, I would revive the Power Zone action block, which was the precursor to Toonami. This would be home to action cartoons, focusing mostly on lighter fare. Other shows that could be cycled in are the various Cartoon Roulette shows (Space Ghost, Birdman, Herculoids, etc.), Static Shock, Zeta Project, Captain Planet, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, The Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes, Batman: Brave and the Bold, and Justice League Action.
7:00pm - Cartoon Network Original Rerun
8:00pm - Scooby-Doo (All iterations except New Movies)
9:00pm - Looney Tunes (Classic)
10:00pm - Tiny Toon Adventures
10:30pm - Animaniacs
A pretty simple primetime featuring two of WB’s most famous properties. The 7pm slot would change depending on what CN is airing. Because of Adult Swim, some carriers don’t bother carrying CN since it’s not considered kid-friendly, so Boomerang often has encores of CN’s originals after they air. This would keep those encores and maybe expand their reach. Scooby and Looney Tunes are old standbys that kids still enjoy and have a lot of episodes to cycle through so reruns wouldn’t be a concern. I fully admit TTA and Animaniacs are a longshot since they’ve never aired on Boomerang before and it’s been a LONG time since they aired on CN proper.
11:00pm - Batman: The Animated Series
11:30pm - Samurai Jack
Midnight - Dragon Ball/Z/GT
1:00am - Naruto
1:30am - Bleach
2:00am - InuYasha
2:30am - Batman: The Animated Seires
3:00am - Samurai Jack
3:30am - Dragonball/Z/GT
4:30am - Naruto
5:00am - Bleach
5:30am - InuYasha
If this schedule looks odd, that’s because it’s special. I’m bringing over Toonami from Adult Swim to take over the weeknight. Again, it’ll never happen but this is my fantasy schedule so my rules. You might say this negates the previous block, but you can easily advertise Toonami outside of Adult Swim, especially being so late at night. I’m starting out with the DCAU and Samurai Jack in order to inject some American animation back into the block, since Toonami currently doesn’t have the rights to any besides Samurai Jack. And yes, I would include Season 5. Originally I was gonna expand this to 10:00pm to include ThunderCats (original), SWAT Kats, and Pirates of Dark Water. I would have included Beware the Batman, Young Justice, and the 2011 ThunderCats, but I have no idea if CN can actually acquire them back after writing them off for tax purposes.
I imagine they would air Dragon Ball Z Kai instead of the original, but I’m gonna go with the original simply due to longer episode counts. The nudity stuff obviously wouldn’t fly, but they could simply air the old Toonami edit for those episodes. Naruto, Bleach, and InuYasha are older Toonami series with lots and lots of episodes that can be aired while the network establishes itself. You might be wondering where One Piece is, and I didn’t choose it simply because I didn’t know if the FCC would allow Sanji’s cigarette to go by unedited, even with a TV-14 rating. If Sanji can smoke, then sure, bring back One Piece. Once the channel establishes itself, then you can cycle in shows from the Saturday block such as Hunter x Hunter and Naruto Shippuden. I would repeat the block as mostly filler, since that time of night is a dumping ground anyways.
6:00am - Top Cat
6:30am - Jabberjaw
7:00am - Clue Club
7:30am - Funky Phantom
8:00am - Cartoon Roulette (Space Ghost/Galaxy Trio/Birdman/Mightor/Herculoids)
8:30am - 2 Stupid Dogs
9:00am - Grizzy & The Lemmings
10:00am - Peanuts
11:00am - Alvin & The Chipmunks
Admittedly, this is kinda slapdash. I didn’t want to completely rerun shows from weekdays and I wanted to give some airtime to some of the lesser known properties CN has access to.
Noon - Marathon
6:00pm - Taz-Mania
6:30pm - Freakazoid
7:00pm - Pinky & The Brain
7:30pm - The Legend of Calamity Jane
8:00pm - Mucha Lucha
8:30pm - Johnny Test
9:00pm - Bunnicula
9:30pm - Dorothy & The Wizard of Oz
OK, Bunnicula and Wizard of Oz would probably actually air in the primetime block since they’re more or less Boomerang originals and new-run programming, but they could air in the 7pm slot there, so this is where its more permanent home would be. I’d be putting it near other more modern shows that have less episodes or don’t fit in any of the weekday blocks. The Marathon would be a different show Boomerang has access to and would change every Saturday.
10:00pm - Scooby-Doo
11:00pm - Looney Tunes
Midnight - Tom & Jerry
1:00am - Dexter’s Laboratory
2:00am - The Powerpuff Girls
3:00am - The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
4:00am - The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
5:00am - Modern Looney Tunes
This is rather simple. Whatever gets the highest ratings on the channel gets rerun here, especially in the overnight since it’s a dumping ground and nothing here is gonna challenge SNL or Toonami or sports.
6:00am - Speed Buggy
6:30am - The Snorks
7:00am - Firehouse Tales
7:30am - Baby Looney Tunes
8:00am - Krypto the Superdog
8:30am - Time Squad
9:00am - Histeria
10:00am - Tom & Jerry
11:00am - Looney Tunes
The early part of this block is dedicated to fulfilling the FCC requirement of having at least 3 hours of Educational/Informative content per week on broadcast networks starting at 7am. Most diginets fulfill this requirement by airing syndicated science or animal shows, but obviously that can’t happen here. I am not sure if preschool shows actually count towards this by default or if they have to have some kind of actual educational content, but if preschool shows do count by default, then I’ll put Firehouse Tales, Baby Looney Tunes, and Krypto here just to fill out the block. If those shows are ineligible, replace them with more slots to Time Squad and Histeria because I have no idea what other educational programming Time Warner owns.
Noon - Marathon
6:00pm - Tom & Jerry
7:00pm - Looney Tunes
8:00pm - Movie
10:00pm - Movie 2
Midnight - Toonami Movie
2:00am - Toonami Movie Encore
4:00am - Scooby-Doo
5:00am - The Flintsones
The noon slot would be a marathon set up similar to Saturday, except with a different show. As for the movies, they would be what Boomerang would normally show and has access to. Warner Bros. Animation films, the Tom & Jerry DTVs, the Scooby-Doo DTVs, and whatever the current Boomerang currently shows. I’d bring back Toonami for the Midnight slot and have it air movies intended for an older audience, such as the movies from DBZ, Naruto, Bleach, and InuYasha, as well as other anime films like Summer Wars and the Evangelion Rebuild films. I’d also incorporate comic book films, such as Mask of the Phantasm, Return of the Joker, and most of the DC DTV films made over the past decade or so. After that is schedule filler.
Again, most of this has 0% chance of happening, but I think Boomerang going broadcast, at the very least, is something worth considering and might be good for the channel in the long run. I mean, the channel is already treated shabbily by Cartoon Network, might as well get the most you can get out of it.