“I Do Not Like Orange”

April 7, 2012

I can easily recall the days of my childhood when Nickelodeon was it’s own unique channel. Yes, there were days when Nickelodeon was it’s own network, and it was not trying to be like any other network. Granted it was not my favorite channel to watch, but it was still fun and entertaining. Obviously, things have changed quite drastically over the years.

Let me first say that my key point of this ledger is to express my displeasure in how Nickelodeon is operating, and giving little too no respect to Power Rangers, on the Nickelodeon network itself. While I may not care for certain programs on the channel, and I do poke fun at them, I still recognize that those shows do also have fanbases, as well as casts & crew that work very hard on them. So I shall try my best to explain my views, and concentrate my concerns on the Nickelodeon network itself & how it is run.

As I have explained before, when Saban bought Power Rangers back from Disney, & announced that the series would air on Nickelodeon, I was puzzled. Over many years, Nickelodeon remained true to their unique style of programming. However, when the term “tween” came into society’s vernacular, that all changed. With the success of High School Musical, That’s So Raven & Hanna Montana on Disney Channel, Nickelodeon threw out the old “be unique” idea, and instead went with the plan to be just like Disney. I knew that Nickelodeon was after the “tween” demographic, and had no real action shows on Nick itself. So I really did not see how Power Rangers was supposed to fit.

Now that Power Rangers has been airing on Nickelodeon for over a year, it is quite evident that Nick does not have any desire in having Power Rangers be a success, or spotlight series for them.

Let’s go to the beginning. If you will recall, Power Rangers Samurai originally premiered not with the Origins Story, but the third episode of the season. Just imagine you pick up a novel to read, and instead of starting from the beginning, you start on the third chapter. You would be lost, you would not know who the characters were, and you would have a hard time grasping the story & plot. It took Nickelodeon eight full months to finally air the Origins.

But that was not the only problem at the start of Power Rangers Samurai. Instead of giving the show a normal Friday or Saturday premiere day & time, it was put on the most boring day of the week; Sunday. Can anyone honestly tell me of a US children’s program, that has all their new show premieres on Sundays, and is successful? Thankfully this one item was changed, and we were given a Saturday premiere slot. Though the show is still stuck at a very awkward time.

As the Power Rangers Samurai season progressed, we soon came to realize that the show was not going to get a full 40 episode season in one year. Instead, Power Rangers Samurai would be the 2011 season, consisting of 22 episodes & 1 special. The rest of the Samurai’s story would need to carry over into 2012 with Super Samurai. This realization was hard for many Power Ranger fans, including myself, to come to. For years we had become used to having one Power Rangers season & story, spread over just one year. But since Nickelodeon did not want to play ball with the idea of more than the standard 22 episodes of a show per year, we got Samurai & now Super Samurai.

Having to spread 22 episodes and 1 special over one year also led to a very big break in the middle of the year for Samurai. Now while Power Rangers was used to these kind of mid-season breaks, this one was quite different. Where Fox Kids made a huge effort to hype and promote when their shows were coming back from mid-season breaks, Nickelodeon instead did nothing. When Power Rangers Samurai came back with new episodes in October of 2011, it was Saban Brands themselves, along with fan sites, that had to promote the return. Then when the “Clash of the Red Rangers” special was coming on, Nickelodeon only promoted it the day of the special, not before. To finish things out, there was no Nick promotion for the Christmas Samurai episode.

Now we have Super Samurai. Again, after being away for about two months, it was Saban Brands & Power Rangers fan sites that did the overwhelming majority of promotion for the 2012 season. Nickelodeon only began promoting the show one week before the new season premiere.

Perhaps the greatest piece of evidence in my case is this. Power Rangers is only aired ONCE on Nickelodeon. While the show was aired twice a week early in 2011, that quickly ended. Out of the average 98 hours of standard Nickelodeon kids programming, (not counting Nick Jr. & Nick at Nite shows) Power Rangers only airs one half hour. By comparison, Spongebob aired for a total of 22 hours for the week of April 1st through 7th. Yes, Spongebob actually accounts for about 26% of the Nick’s kids programing, and Power Rangers only barely makes up 1%. Here is the complete breakdown of all the main Nick shows aired on April 1st through 7th:

SpongeBob SquarePants - 44 Airings / 22 Hours

Victorious -21 Airings / 10.5 Hours

iCarly - 17 Airings / 8.5 Hours

Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness - 16 Airings / 8 Hours

Penguins of Madagascar - 9 / 4.5 Hours

Big Time Rush - 7 Airings / 3.5 Hours

Fred: The Show - 6 Airings / 3 Hours

The Fairly OddParents - 6 Airings / 3 Hours

T.U.F.F. Puppy - 5 Airings / 2.5 Hours

Winx Club - 5 Airings / 2.5 Hours

How to Rock - 3 Airings / 1.5 Hours

Fred: The Movie - 1 Airing / 1.5 Hours

Best Player - 1 Airing / 1.5 Hours

Kids’ Choice Awards - 1 Airing / 1.5 Hours

Kids’ Choice Awards: One More Slime - 3 Airings / 1.5 Hours

Power Rangers Super Samurai - 1 Airing / 0.5 Hours

What is even more upsetting is, as you can see above, Nickelodeon aired a RECAP show of the Kids’ Choice Awards three times. Yet Power Rangers is still kept to just one lone airing. The series is not even given an extra airing to show a rerun from the previous week. Though Power Rangers has proven to be a decent ratings series, when given proper promotion, Nickelodeon still seems to want to hold down the show. Most astounding is the fact that for many past months, Nickelodeon’s ratings have continued to fall lower & lower. Yet Nick has not changed any of their programming & scheduling methods. Instead they have made excuses and passed the blame each month.

What confuses me the most is Nicktoons. This literally appears to be a story of two different networks. Nicktoons shows Power Rangers quite a lot each day. They air Dino Thunder reruns, as well as Samurai reruns, and the previous week’s Super Samurai episode. In fact when you look over all of the Nicktoons network programming, you can clearly see their focus is not the tween demographic, but the action adventure watchers. It seems like, while the networks are both under the Nickelodeon umbrella, that they are operated by two completely opposite groups. In fact, it was Nicktoons that aired a full 24 hour Power Rangers Samurai marathon before the premiere of Super Samurai on Nick. So oddly enough, it appears that Nicktoons is the network that is really promoting Power Rangers & wants it to succeed.

Power Rangers has always been a show that relied on three legs for it to stand & be successful. The first leg is now Saban Brands. Everyone at Saban Brands has done an excellent job in getting the franchise back into the main view of society. From parade appearances, to the emPower movement, and getting the show over 100 licensees, Power Rangers is back in great fighting shape, all thanks to Saban Brands. The second leg of course is Bandai America’s toyline. Some years prior to 2011 had toylines that were not focused, but since the Samurai line, & continuing into this year’s Super Samurai line, Bandai has hit a grand slam. The toylines now are more focused on items that are tied to show itself. Plus the all the imagination play the toys have is great. The final leg is the network, in this case Nickelodeon. Given all the evidence I listed above, it is clear that Nick is the weakest leg. The blatant disrespect is painful for a fan, such as myself, to have to endure each week.

Now before anyone can say it, No, I do not want Power Rangers to be overexposed and have 44 weekly airings on Nickelodeon. What I would like to see is Nickelodeon perform a complete overhaul on their airing schedule. Give ALL of their shows a fair chance at success, not just their top three or four. Spread all the programs out evenly. Sure give some extra airings to the high performing shows, but nothing like what it is now. I feel Power Rangers should have just as fair a chance as any other Nickelodeon show. Bottom line, I just want Power Rangers succeed and thrive.

For better or worse, Power Rangers is stuck with Nickelodeon through the end of 2014. That means that we will indeed be having our 20th anniversary season on Nickelodeon. I am just afraid that if things do not change soon, Power Rangers will end up being tied to a sinking ship, that is destined for Bikini Bottom.

And now, enjoy this Toy Comic.



Home    Archives    Cool People    Main Site    Webmaster    Twitter