Friday, 25 December 2015

Is This the End of Teletoon at Night?

...Better question: Did Santa give me a present or what!?
Let's face facts: Teletoon has never been "Cartoon Network Canada". Sure, they aired Cartoon Network shows, but it was their own output that made them a household name and, now, a worldwide brand. Nowadays, the difference between the two couldn't be any more definitive. Cartoon Network's output has become just as popular with adults as it has been with kids. Hence the reason why Regular Show and Adventure Time are critically-acclaimed, award-winning, flagship shows, whereas, the likes of Teen Titans Go are seen as the children's equivalent to Brickleberry.

Teletoon's output has become the latter, with shows like Johnny Test and Total Drama getting a lot more fans north of the border and just as much scorn down south. With Cartoon Network's original shows now airing exclusively on the Canadian version, and with the pick-and-pay revolution just a few months away, older viewers (like myself) are jumping ship. All that was stopping them was the long-awaited arrival of Bob's Burgers to Teletoon at Night, with the anticipated return of Archer in January.

..But then, THIS happened! On top of FINALLY getting Rick and Morty, it seems Adult Swim is taking reruns of Bob's Burgers and the new season of Archer from Teletoon! For those of you keeping track, [as] has also stolen away Fox's animated sitcoms, Night Sweats and the new season of Fugget About It. After Teletoon Retro was closed, I knew it was high-time that Teletoon Prime addressed the overlap between Adult Swim and Teletoon at Night. It seems as though they've finally made a decision.

The end of Retro left open a void that Teletoon could potentially fill once CanCon requirements are lowered and they no longer have to rely on reruns of Johnny Test. Nostalgia is a trend, but as TeenNick has proven, its a trend that brings in a desired crowd. A block for classic cartoons should be the replacement for Teletoon at Night because, if the "movies" Teletoon at Night we're referring to in the FAQ are the same twelve live-action movies they've been playing for years, then the block is as good as dead.

Again, Let's face facts: No one watches animation networks for live-action programming. The only reason Adult Swim got away with it was because their shows were leagues above CN Real. Likewise, the only reason Teletoon at Night got away with it was because, up until now, it was the only network that targets a demo that neither YTV, ABC Spark or any other rival channel could ever properly serve: Young Adult Men. Three years and the rise of cord-cutting later, the former channel as a whole is growing from being the equivalent of Nickelodeon Canada - which might as well be called "Nicktoons Canada" - into an actual domestic counterpart to Adult Swim and Cartoon Network.

The CRTC's Let's Talk TV hearings forced the hand of Corus Entertainment. It made them to close the general-interest, premium service, Movie Central, because their women and kids' brands were more popular and streaming services like Netfilx offers more choice than seven linear channels. It made them close Teletoon Retro because, with Family Channel ditching Disney programming, they can become the sole operator of the big three American children's brands.

I'm not saying all these changes are for the better; I'm saying it's better to get with the times then to be left behind. Would you rather have a block that airs Adult Swim shows, Fox and FX animated comedies, original Canadian-made shows, and the occasional live-action movie or a block that just airs live-action movies? Clearly, Corus has favored Adult Swim as the better block to target adults and, like-wise, viewers who used to watch Teletoon as kids now prefer Cartoon Network as adults. All that's missing is Toonami, but don't get your hopes up.

Now if only MTV2 would actually air MTV2 shows...

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