I trucked over to the fabled Starz Media building next to Bob Hope Non-International Airport this p.m., and I'm happy to report that The Hub and Hasbro have now (finally) moved in.
And who the hey are Hasbro and The Hub? As the L.A. Times reported five months ago:
Cable programming giant Discovery Communications and Hasbro Inc., ...are teaming up to launch a kids channel ... calling the network "The Hub." ...
The Hub will target primarily the 6-12 age demographic ... taking over the channel space that was occupied by Discovery Kids and will launch in roughly 60-million homes in the fall. There has been concern from children's advocacy groups that the connection with Hasbro will mean the channel will be focused more on selling toys than in enlightening children ...
Selling TOYS?! Who would have thought?
But the part of the building formerly occupied by King of the Hill has had a big-time makeover. Where once there was a large, dark, meandering space with musty cubicles, there is now a reception area with leather couches. Nice, glassed-in conference room. And off through double glass doors, a whole bunch of new animation cubes with lights and desks that haven't (for the most part) been occupied yet.
Upstairs, The Simpsons studio is quiet, with lots of artists out on hiatus, other artists just back from hiatus. One returnee told me that one of the leads who's been with the show almost from Day One has decamped for another studio.
"Blank decided the writing was on the wall and went off to Disney. He thinks the show's on its last legs and it's better to get out now than wait around for the end ..."
I replied that I think the Yellow Family has another 2-3 seasons in it because the ratings still hold up and if Fox pulls the plug the money machine will slow down faster. I also predicted that there are at least two more Simpsons features in our movie-going future, as Fox isn't going to abandon any profit centers if it can help it.
As my predictive powers are strong and flawless, I'm sure that all these things will come to pass.