Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Rebooted Series

The press release is out. Everything old is new again.

... Marc Buhaj — Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD — announced, “DuckTales has a special place in Disney’s TV animation history, it drew its inspiration from Disney Legend Carl Barks’ comic books and through its storytelling and artistic showmanship, set an enduring standard for animated entertainment that connects with both kids and adults. Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.” ...

The original series, launched back there in the 1980s, had an interesting history.

It was among the first Disney TVA shows developed for syndication, and the company (as Wikipedia notes) spent a LOT of money on it. What isn't noted is that the main lot was ticked off with Disney TVAs sizable budget overruns, and as one veteran of the series told me:

The series was way expensive, like by millions. And rumors were circulating that upper management would do some serious firings of TVA execs if the thing tanked. But when DuckTales premiered, the ratings were higher than projections, the company ended up making a fortune, and Disney TVA managers became heroes. ...

DuckTales went on to be the cornerstone of the nineties syndicated block known to millenials as "The Disney Afternoon", and for a few years syndicated packages on broadcast TV was a major cash generator before fees were cut and it wasn't so lucrative anymore.

Time marches on.

Today, of course, cable and multi-platform viewing is where it's at, and DuckTales, the series that really put Diz TVA on the map, will be dusted off and reconstructed. (They're doing it with old animated feature titles, so why not television?)


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