Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Prime Time Toon Goes Down

Apparently Sony's entry into the prime time animation wars didn't work out.

Fox yanks 'Sit Down, Shut Up' a week early

Fox ... opted to yank the remaining episode of "Sit Down, Shut Up" after the show posted a dismal 0.7 rating/3 share among adults 18-49.

... Fox will run a repeat "King of the Hill" in that slot.

Given "Sit Down's" perf, the animated half-hour is not expected to return.

I always feel bad for crews that work their tails off, only to see the gig go down in flames.

Sadly, these things happen ... and will continue to happen. What gets greenlit isn't always what has a life beyond its initial order.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunate, though the writing on the show was terrible. It was incredibly unfunny, though maybe this is a sign that just because you can't make something in live-action, you shouldn't switch it over to animation.

Anonymous said...

Just another 'looks-good-on-paper' hollywood martini. This thing wreaked of producer deal-making. Import foreign comedy, filter through star comedy writer/director, shake and blend in magical sure-fire prime-time animation formula! Wala! Instant hit!

Oh, wait. They forgot to add the fat white lazy dad character.

Anonymous said...

Is this the show that had that whole commotion with the writers several months ago?

Anonymous said...

Yes, my condolences to the crew who I am sure gave their best efforts to this show and are now out of a job, but of the show itself I would say: No loss and good riddance. Writing was bad, the show was not funny or entertaining in any way.

Anonymous said...

With all the hoopla the writers put on months ago, you'd think they would of done a decent job on this. The show sucked from the get-go. It's on their shoulders.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of piling on, the history of animated TV shows that originated from writers is terrible. I saw a list once, and most of them have been canceled before they finished their first season.

Anonymous said...

The show and writing did suck, but the animation was nothing to write home about either. [And to be clear the writing sucked worse than the animation, but I didn't like either.]

I guess it's natural and expected to focus on the writing of this particular dud given the walkout associated with it, but as with any business decisions, that aspect really has nothing to do with anything. Would you argue that bad animation deserves less pay?

The show sucked and deserved its fate, but if you're trying to make it about script-driven vs. storyboard-driven shows, you've got a long long way to go to counter the billions and billions of profits of prime-time script-driven animation shows.

Anonymous said...

never watched an episode.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about the writers walkout thing with this show? What made this one particularily interesting? I don't need the whole story, just the jist of it.

Anonymous said...

Bad animation definitely results in less pay for artists. My personal experience with being forced to draw poorly countless times in my career can attest to that.

Bad writing deserves that producers and writers have a lien placed against their total assets and transferred to a public trust.

> you've got a long long way to go to counter the billions and billions of profits of prime-time script-driven animation shows.

Yes, that much was clear in this particular case. For further discussion on money and how it's made, you can all join the guild's conversation above with a glowing report of Madagascar and Spongebob toys! Weee! We're all buried in cash, both prime time and cable! Do you just see it all! It's everywhere!

It's not about writer or artist or monkeys, it's about formula, and this one you could smell the stench a mile away. Formulas do quite the opposite of making money; ref- Li’s formula, Gaussian copula functions, CDS market predictors, collective bargaining agreements....

Anonymous said...

My post above (#6, from 3:10) about this being yet another failure among writer-created animated series was NOT referring to the debate between script-driven vs. board-driven shows.

None of the successful prime-time script-driven shows were created by a writer or a team of writers. 'Sit Down, Shut Up' is, however, yet another animated series dreamed up by writers with no experience in animation that has ended in failure.

Sadly, for some producers the allure of live-action writers will be undiminished, meaning this won't be the last of its kind.

Anonymous said...

So shall I take it you're okay with script-driven shows as long as they were created by an animator?

Anonymous said...

I'm okay with shows that work as animation, and that take advantage of what animation offers. Obviously, there are script-driven shows that meet those criteria, and I celebrate the success of those shows.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I can certainly agree with that. Sorry for misunderstanding then.

Steve Hulett said...

Small secret:

Cartoon shows are written. All of them. Some are written on boards, many are penned via scripts.

Bill Peet, one of the greatest board artists who ever lived, was also a writer. Brad Bird writes and draws. The Simpsons writers -- who don't draw as far as I know -- have been integral to the success of the show.

And yes, it's true that no successful prime time series has been created exclusively by writers. But a quick glance at the "Created by" credit for the Yellow Family will clue you that Matt G. didn't conjure the series all by his loneseome.

Anonymous said...

>Cartoon shows are written. All of them.

THEN GOD SAID, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air," blah, blah, blah, BLAH.

I don't buy your book of Genesis. Please give that tiny fundamentalist brain a rest.

Anonymous said...

What's so fundamentalist about that? The word "written" in that context is clearly the broader definition meaning "storytelling". Some people start the process through visual storytelling and some do it by putting words on paper first. Big F-in deal. At the end of the day it still lives or dies on the underlying storytelling.

Anonymous said...

Oh God, please stop with the constant whining about writers. There are some great writers in animation and some terrible ones, just as there are great writers in live action and bad ones there, too. I've seen my share of bad board artists who can ruin a script, and good ones who can enhance it. I seriously doubt anyone on Sit Down Shut Up TRIED to make a bad show. Sometimes things just don't gel. I'm just happy any time a network gives animation a shot. Sorry to see that this one didn't work out.

Greg B said...

Ha! I wrote eight animation scripts last week, so I know it's not hard at all. Course, when you have a comics background like me, it's all second nature.

People are always amazed that I can do so many different things well. I tell em that you just have to put your mind to it, and stick with it! I see a lot of pros in the animation business get caught up with just doing one thing, it's a mistake.

I know some of the biggest, most successful investors in town, and they all tell me the same thing. Diversify, diversify, diversify! Some of my biggest comics were about experiences I've had working in the news business, and the radio business. See what I mean?

Anonymous said...

__Ha! I wrote eight animation scripts last week, so I know it's not hard at all.

This is precisely the problem. Did you learn to draw them out as well or did you just move on to pillage the next medium?

Anonymous said...

It seems Greg B is a bit of an egotistical jerk.

Anonymous said...

Understatement of the decade...

Anonymous said...

Don't know who Greg B is, maybe he is annoying in real life, but this Greg B is hopefully a fake/parody Greg B. Each of his posts are exactly the same.

Col. Heeza Liar said...

"Course, when you have a comics background like me, it's all second nature."-----

Yes , by all means everyone check out Greg Boone's "comics background" to see what a natural he is for story and scriptwriting .

Boone's ToonsEveryone understand now why Greg B. is hobnobbing with biggest investors in town (is that "town" Hollywood , Greg ? ) ?

Anonymous said...

I think the real Greg B was here, then someone took over the fun with an over the top parody. Almost believable. :)

I wonder if Charles will be next.

Anonymous said...

Charles is alkready an overthetop parody...

Anonymous said...

They replaced King of the Hill with this?

I should be a network exec!

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