Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Hub Network - Savior of Nostalgia or yet another Disney clone!

Once upon a time, a few years ago.  Television, especially in the world of animation, were in dire straits.  When the FCC ruled with an iron fist, and every soccer mom and watchdog group sees animation as the devil's spawns, which to them deemed them too violent, trivial and everything in between.  Not even the networks we use to watch all the time are falling in the time.  From Cartoon Network becoming more live action oriented under the new Judge Doom, Stuart Snyder, to Viacom milking Nickelodeon's Cash Cow Franchises like Fairly OddParents, including making Cosmo's voice more annoying.  With no cartoon blocks on regular TV to combat that, all was lost.  That is until one network changed it around and made TV watchable again. And that network is known as the Hub. Their first slogan was "Where everything comes together."  But, these days, after a few years of entertainment, past and present, it is slowly becoming like the other networks that came before it.  Let me set the "Way Back" machine to the Hub Network's infancy.

The Hub wasn't always like this.  In the beginning, it was once called Discovery Kids, a channel that use to show every single children's themed shows, which explains why they have the E/I, Educational and Informational logo slapped on their shows.  Gosh, it's a wonder why regular TV don't show action-themed cartoons no more, because of these rules the FCC shove down our throats.  Anyway, it was the same old song and dance, until October 10th, 2010 (Remember that date, folks, 10/10/10).  Hasbro, the famed toy company from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, known for their toy franchises like G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony and every single board game, some that use to be owned by either Parker Brothers or Milton Bradley, bought Discover Kids and now share 50/50 with Discovery Communications, Discovery Kids' parent company.  As a result, Discover Kids cease to exist.  And in its place, came a network, where everything, nostalgia and new generation, all come together and thus, the Hub was born. Since its maiden voyage, the Hub showed every show from the days of nostalgia.  Let's start with the cartoons.  Some of the cartoons that first aired were not only from the 80s and 90s like G.I. Joe and Transformers, but also those from the days of Fox Kids and Kids WB, but mostly Kids WB like Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond, Men in Black the series, Animaniacs and so on and so forth.  As for the shows, they were all awesome, even shown in this age like the 60s Batman show, Family Ties, Doogie Howser, M.D., Mork & Mindy (Nanu-Nanu!), and Happy Days.  Because of the Hub, I am a big fan of the Fonz, now and forever.

(thumbs up; ala Fonzie) AAAAAAY!!

By the way, the only anime they showed on that channel was Deltora Quest, which was based on a children's storybook series.

Anyway, although we have our classics, we can't forget the shows for modern times and for the most part, they are awesome. Shows like G.I. Joe: Renegades, Pound Puppies (not the old ones with Cooler and Co., the new ones, done by the same guys who did Recess), Family Game Night (for those who have big families and like to play board games on weekends), Dan Vs., and of course, our two favorite shows, which lasted more that a season, Transformers Prime and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  It was awesome and it remained like that for a few years.  But like all good things, it didn't last that long.

            Nikki Reed - the new head of programming of the Hub Network (BOOO!)

Around the time the Hub was going strong still, Nikki Reed was hired to replace Donna Ebbs, who was here since 10/10/10, as the head of programming on the Hub Network itself.  And many people are skeptic about her and with good reason. Prior to joining Discovery Communications and being with the Hub, Nikki Reed was the former executive in charge of programming for, wait for it, Disney Channel and Disney XD!

(Dramatic fanfare)

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, with her knowledge of more live action than animation, Reed is planning to turn the Hub into a Disney Channel clone. 

Stefan's Note: Correction, Jason. She has more knowledge of Kiddie and Girly shows rather than Live Action in General. She also has NO respect for American Animation and is more favorable to Canadian shows.

It seems that Robert Iger is planning to destroy the Hub from the inside out, by sending his former employee to be the Hub's new head of programming, just to spite us and screw the rules. Other than that, I got a few pet peeves I like to discuss about the Hub.

First off, when the Hub came to be, it was fine and awesome.  I remember they use to show every episode of the original G.I. Joe, before they show the rest with Serpentor and all that.  But, when the March 11th, 2011 Earthquake/Tsunami disaster happened in Japan, the Hub, out of respect for the Japanese people, removed the episode, "Cobra Quake", from its rotation and they been doing it ever since.  I was hoping they were air it once more, but they refuse to air it.  It was honorable and decent back then, but it has become annoying.  It is like they are being politically correct in not re-airing.  And if you are wondering why they are not airing the Men in Black episode, "The Neuralizer Syndrome," it is all because of what happen at 9/11.  I was hoping to see it, too, but the PC Police put a permanent banhammer on it. Let me make this perfectly clear, just because you don't air an episode that has real-life references, doesn't mean you ban it permanently.  With the Freedom Tower built already, there is no sense to keep any references of 9/11, the good parts anyway including the twin towers themselves, censored permanently.  Everyone deserve to see all the episodes as they should. Why not, they showed all 98 episodes of Transformers.  But, there is one Batman Beyond I should discuss and that's the episode, "Bloodsport" (Not to be confused to Jean Claude Van-Damme movie of the same name).  This was the episode where Terry (Future Batman) fights against the Stalker, a game hunter with bionic implants.  But for some reason, the Hub refused to air it.  Why?  Was it the episode title itself, or the part where Terry's little brother, Matt, gets kidnapped by the Stalker? Do I smell Political Correctness here?  I will talk more about this and other stuff in a moment.

Let's talk movies.  Most of the movies we see are family friendly.  But, when the show other movies, I got a problem with it and here's why.  First off, since the Hub is known to be a family-friendly type network, any movie that has profane words, strong ones by the way, will be bleeped out, except for a few and the exclamation of God. They did the same thing in some action shows like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, where Herc described Xena, who at the time was a villain, as the "B" word (trust me, I don't use swear words as I blog).  And this is the kicker here, some of the movies they show, they have some of the scenes cut.  They did that so they could fit all two hours according to their schedule.  If you don't believe me, if you watch certain movies on the Hub, before they air them, they leave a little message that reads:

"The following film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen, to run in the time allotted."

Which means, don't except your movies to have your favorite scenes in it because they will be cut, whether it's Jumanji or Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They did the same thing for most live action shows. Good thing they didn't edit the cartoons, they kept them as they were.  Just remember what movie producer/writer Bob Gale use to say on his commentary on the Back to the Future DVD after commenting on the movie being edited for content on NBC around after the 9/11 attacks: If you want to watch your favorite movies, always watch them the REAL way they were meant to be shown.  And that, I believe him and I've been steering clear of the edit versions ever since.  At least until I get the DVDs, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

And now, the biggest pet peeve, Where! Is! HUBOOM!?! This summer, Huboom, the famed action cartoon block was pushed aside for the Hub's Summer Pool Party block and shown us nothing but 3 hours each of Pound Puppies and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, with Littlest Pet Shop in the beginning and in the end. The only action shows we see these days are Transformers Rescue Bots, Super Hero Squad, Kaijudo and Transformers Prime (which has finished its run and it won't fully conclude until Predacons Rising this October).  Poor Superman and especially Batman, push on the way side in the mornings now, waiting for their plugs to be pulled.  So much for everything coming together.  Because of Nikki Reed, the Hub and everything in between are coming apart.  I recently wrote an email to the Hub through the Discovery Communications website, asking them a few questions from why they are not airing the Batman Beyond episode, "Bloodsport" to why there is no Huboom this summer and I waited and waited and waited until I got a reply and...this wasn't I was hoping for.  The reply reads:

"Dear Viewer,

Thank you for watching the Hub Network and our lineup of original and
acquired programming for kids and their families. As you know, television
networks occasionally make changes in their schedules in order to include
new programming and keep schedules fresh and entertaining. For more
complete information on the Hub Network programming and to check up-to-date
program schedules, please visit


Viewer Relations
Hub Network"

In otherwords, they didn't answer my questions and they acted like I liked the channel.  I do like the Hub, but I don't like the way they are being too involved in politics, back stabbing and political correctness.

Bottom line, our worst fears have come true. The Hub, the very network we depended on, is slowly becoming like the other networks.  But as long as Nikki Reed is in charge of programming, don't expect Beast Wars, Static Shock, Freakazoid, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, The Tick, Perfect Strangers, or any other show to be shown anytime soon, even other anime shows, including Sailor Moon (well, the original dub anyway).

Although I still believe in the Hub.  But, I won't tolerate those who use the "Executive Meddling/Screwed by the Network" mentality for their base ends.  Isn't that worth saying?

(Raises his fist) Fight the Power!

(Marvel vs. Capcom Game Over Jingle)

*Fade Out


Stefan said...

Another bad thing about the Hub is that they air the Movies WAY too damn much. The Movies should ONLY be aired twice on Saturdays.

RekkaDragonJay said...

Oops. I forgot to mention that part. But that's OK. I will mention it in a follow up blog. This one will be my ideas on how Hub schedule should be. I will mention that and create a solution to it.