Pokemon could have aired on Nick, Fox?

Tacomaster

I Actually Like Pizza More
Joined
Aug 31, 2018
Messages
1,827
Location
Right behind you.
According to this article, Summit Media(4Kids) could have sold Pokemon to Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, or Fox instead of Kids' WB after its syndicated stint. The exact wording was: "In addition to WB, we were approached by Nickelodeon, Fox and the Cartoon Network. We were looking for a certain price and we got it." Thoughts?
 

PF9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
1,695
Location
Ohio
Kids WB and CN both had the same ownership, a contributing factor to the move of Pokemon to the latter in 2006. Given the recent reorganizations of WarnerMedia, I guess you could say CN is the spiritual successor to Kids WB.

Selling the show to Fox would have put it on the same network as one-time rival DIgimon.

A few years before Pokemon and DIgimon both came around, Fox upgraded affiliates in several key markets as a result of gaining NFL rights, namely the NFC package previously held by CBS. Many of the new Fox affiliates were previously CBS affiliates in NFC markets. Most of these new Fox stations were then owned by New World Communications, and most of them declined Fox Kids.

There were only two markets in these cases in which Fox Kids ended up on the WB affiliate - first was in Phoenix, where Fox Kids aired on then-newly launched WB affiliate KASW. In Cleveland, WBNX, which carried Fox Kids since 1994 after WJW took on Fox, became the WB affiliate in 1997.

There were also some cases of Fox affiliates which did pick up Fox Kids also picking up Kids WB in markets where the WB had no full-time affiliate.

In these markets, Pokemon and DIgimon aired on the same station, which greatly benefited these stations as those who liked both rival shows could see them on the same channel. Cleveland is in fact my home market, I live in Akron where WBNX is licensed.

Furthermore, Nick's parent company now owns a minority stake in Miramax, which released Pokemon movies 4-7 in the West while owned by Disney, which restored involvement in the franchise from 2017-20 when it aired the Sun and Moon saga on Disney XD, allowing it to become the first network to televise a league win for Ash. Disney XD did not renew Pokemon after Sun and Moon ended, the show is on Netflix for the moment.

But if Warner Bros. and Legendary were to expand their media rights to Pokemon by acquiring the Western World rights to the Pokemon anime franchise (including specials and films, which would include those previously released by Miramax), I could see WB paying Netflix to relinquish the rights to new Pokemon episodes over to HBOmax, also the proposed venue for most television expansions of the Pokemon Cinematic Universe, particularly those produced and released as if they were broadcast network series (seriously, more streamers need more original series produced and released like network series). Linear HBO would air a few PCU TV shows aimed at a mature audience.

The acquisition of the anime by WB and Legendary would entail putting completed seasons into off-network syndication. Ideally, Weigel Broadcasting would acquire these rights for their MeTV and Heroes & Icons networks, which are available over the air. Pokemon would be the only show in reruns on either network still producing new episodes. Some affiliates of these networks are digital subchannels of stations that aired first-run Pokemon episodes in syndication and/or on Kids WB. One such station is WBNX, which carries H&I on a digital subchannel, but MeTV is on CBS affiliate WOIO.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
47,577
Location
In a Dream World
Kids WB and CN both had the same ownership, a contributing factor to the move of Pokemon to the latter in 2006. Given the recent reorganizations of WarnerMedia, I guess you could say CN is the spiritual successor to Kids WB.

I don't know how Cartoon Network could be the spiritual successor to Kids' WB. Cartoon Network started a few years before Kids' WB did.

PF9 said:
But if Warner Bros. and Legendary were to expand their media rights to Pokemon by acquiring the Western World rights to the Pokemon anime franchise (including specials and films, which would include those previously released by Miramax), I could see WB paying Netflix to relinquish the rights to new Pokemon episodes over to HBOmax, also the proposed venue for most television expansions of the Pokemon Cinematic Universe, particularly those produced and released as if they were broadcast network series (seriously, more streamers need more original series produced and released like network series). Linear HBO would air a few PCU TV shows aimed at a mature audience.

I don't see why WB would be so set on getting Pokemon for HBO Max or why Netflix would give up the rights. I don't think we know how well Pokemon Journeys has done for Netflix yet, but I don't think that they'll give up the rights for Pokemon anytime soon. Like all new streaming sites, HBO Max would want more content, but I think that they'd rather rely on properties that they own completely more so than third party titles. Plus, they aren't going to make a Pokemon Cinematic Universe or shows aimed at a mature audience. Pokemon is still aimed at children primarily, so they aren't going to risk damaging that family friendly image.

Anyway, the notion of Pokemon airing on these channels instead of Kids' WB is interesting, but the one that stands out to me the most is Fox. That could have been a major game changer for Fox Kids. While Kids' WB had a lot of popular shows, Pokemon was easily their biggest hit, so having that air on Fox Kids could have changed everything. Maybe Kids' WB would have gone for Digimon instead of Fox getting both series too. Fox Kids might have lasted longer too if they still had Pokemon during their later years. I don't know if that would have prevented 4Kids from rebranding it as the Fox Box or if that would have accelerated that process though.

I do have a hard time picturing Pokemon airing on Nickelodeon though. I'm not surprised that they wanted it, but even around 1999, I don't think that they were that interested in third party titles. Maybe I'm just too used to how they brush every show that isn't Spongebob away, but I think that they would have lost interest in Pokemon pretty fast once Spongebob became more successful. Cartoon Network getting Pokemon from the start probably wouldn't have changed that much for the channel though.
 

PF9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
1,695
Location
Ohio
A live-action Detective Pikachu sequel is being developed. That's indication enough for me. Besides, if we do end up seeing a full-scale Pokemon Cinematic Universe, I am adamant that works be made for all rating categories up to and including R/TV-MA. DC and Marvel are able to get away with making stuff in all ratings categories, and Pokemon shouldn't be any different. I'm sure WB and Legendary share my views.

But if Fox got the Pokemon anime, it would have forever altered the scope of the Pokemon-Digimon rivalry. Namely, the shows wouldn't have competed for viewers because they would be on the same channel.

As it is, Cleveland and Phoenix viewers were lucky that they got to see both shows on the same channel in their markets. The rivalry between Pokemon and Digimon has faded, but it is an important legacy of the last years of children's cartoons on major broadcast networks.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
47,577
Location
In a Dream World
A live-action Detective Pikachu sequel is being developed. That's indication enough for me. Besides, if we do end up seeing a full-scale Pokemon Cinematic Universe, I am adamant that works be made for all rating categories up to and including R/TV-MA. DC and Marvel are able to get away with making stuff in all ratings categories, and Pokemon shouldn't be any different. I'm sure WB and Legendary share my views.

There were rumors about more live action Pokemon movies being in the work, but as far as I know, there hasn't been any official statement about any movie, let alone a sequel to Detective Pikachu, being in development. Even if that was true, it's a pretty huge claim to make that they're going for a Cinematic universe based on one sequel. That's just jumping the gun to the extreme, especially when few Cinematic universes work out that well. I wouldn't be surprised if they do want to make more Pokemon movies, but given that we haven't heard anything official after Detective Pikachu came out last year, I wouldn't bet on it happening anytime soon for a number of reasons.

Comparing Marvel/DC with Pokemon is pretty strange. Sure, there are plenty of kid shows for Marvel and DC characters, but that isn't really the same thing. The source material for those comics could get dark and wasn't labeled as something just for kids or family friendly like Pokemon is. Pokemon has always been aimed primarily at children. I think that the Detective Pikachu movie is probably about as serious as TPCI would want to take the brand. TPCI would have the final say over how any potential live action movie is handled, not WB or Legendary, so whether or not they share your views is rather moot.

PF9 said:
But if Fox got the Pokemon anime, it would have forever altered the scope of the Pokemon-Digimon rivalry. Namely, the shows wouldn't have competed for viewers because they would be on the same channel.

Not necessarily since it could have been possible for Kids' WB to get Digimon to compete against Pokemon instead. I guess it would depend on how fast Fox originally got the rights to air Digimon too.

PF9 said:
As it is, Cleveland and Phoenix viewers were lucky that they got to see both shows on the same channel in their markets. The rivalry between Pokemon and Digimon has faded, but it is an important legacy of the last years of children's cartoons on major broadcast networks.

I wouldn't really say it's an important legacy. That's really overhyping it. The bulk of that so-called rivalry boils down to people assuming that Digimon was a copycat of Pokemon and then people saying how much better the Digimon anime is after watching it. It was playground drama nonsense as far as I'm concerned.
 

CyberCubed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
11,204
Location
NY
I don't think the Detective Pikachu movie is going to get a sequel, I know they considered it but the first movie wasn't the breakout hit they wanted for what was the first live action pokemon. I recall them considering using Ash but the Pokemon company said they couldn't use him (I think Pokebeach had an article about this), because they didn't want to see westerners use the character or cast him as a white actor.

Either way, it's obvious the studios execs would have done a Ash/Misty/Brock nostalgia movie aimed at the now 30 year old fanbase who grew up with the first season, but given the Pokemon company wouldn't allow them to make something like that, it'll never happen. Granted they could probably use the game version of Misty/Brock if all the Kanto Gym leaders are represented in live action, but even that is unlikely at this point.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
47,577
Location
In a Dream World
I don't think the Detective Pikachu movie is going to get a sequel, I know they considered it but the first movie wasn't the breakout hit they wanted for what was the first live action pokemon. I recall them considering using Ash but the Pokemon company said they couldn't use him (I think Pokebeach had an article about this), because they didn't want to see westerners use the character or cast him as a white actor.

I thought that the movie was a financial success. It might not have been a huge blockbuster, but considering that Avengers Endgame was so massive at the time, Detective Pikachu did pretty well. Until Sonic came out earlier this year, it was the highest grossing video game movie. Admittedly, that might not say a whole lot given that most video game movies are flops, but I don't think it did poorly enough for them not consider making another movie. I really liked the Detective Pikachu movie partly because it didn't end with huge sequel baiting. I think that a movie could be done within that universe pretty easily, but I don't know how they could really make a direct sequel featuring the same characters work given how the movie ended. Although, I agree that we probably aren't going to get a sequel partly because sequels nowadays tend to be announced really quickly after the first movie is released. It's been over a year since Detective Pikachu was in theaters. That doesn't mean that a continuation is impossible, but I just don't think it's incredibly likely at this point either.

I don't remember them saying that they couldn't use Ash. I remember hearing that the director didn't want to use Ash because he had been the main lead for all of the other Pokemon movies and they wanted to make the first live action movie a bit more distinct. I'm sure that they wanted to avoid whitewashing him too, but I don't remember that being brought up specifically. They probably didn't want to make people think that the movie would be connected to the anime and/or wanted to have a bit more creative freedom with the world building so that they weren't tied down to the anime specifically.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
7,040
I don't think the Detective Pikachu movie is going to get a sequel, I know they considered it but the first movie wasn't the breakout hit they wanted for what was the first live action Pokémon.
I'm pretty sure a sequel was in development just before the film came out and I think it did quite well at the box office.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
47,577
Location
In a Dream World
I'm pretty sure a sequel was in development just before the film came out and I think it did quite well at the box office.

There were rumors of a sequel in development before the movie came out, but it was never confirmed and we haven't heard any news of any live action Pokmon movie. I agree that Detective Pikachu did well at the box office, but at this point, we don't have any confirmation of any sequel or other live action Pokemon movie being in development.
 

CyberCubed

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Messages
11,204
Location
NY
If the show aired on Fox how long would it have lasted? The shows ratings would have dipped in Johto no matter where it aired since the initial fad died down around 2001 or so, and then after that the show dealt with Misty leaving and then the 4kids VA's being dropped which was the double whammy that basically took another huge chunk of the animes viewership in the west.

I think I recall the 4kids staff being surprised Misty was being written out, Veronica Taylor said she felt bad for Rachael Lillis since she was losing a role. It's probably why 4kids included all those references to Misty in Hoenn that didn't exist in the original, I think 4kids believed Misty would come back to the cast after Hoenn ended much like Brock returned over Tracey, but of course it didn't happen. The Mastermind special being co-produced by 4kids and including Misty is probably what they expected to happen after Hoenn, (either Misty would re-join the group with May and Max still there, or the original trio would be reunited). I doubt 4kids knew Dawn would be introduced just a year later, even though Japan was in the pre-planning stages for DP already.

So if it aired on Fox, I think the show might have left for Cartoon Network around the same time, either during the VA switch or maybe even earlier.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
47,577
Location
In a Dream World
If the show aired on Fox how long would it have lasted? The shows ratings would have dipped in Johto no matter where it aired since the initial fad died down around 2001 or so, and then after that the show dealt with Misty leaving and then the 4kids VA's being dropped which was the double whammy that basically took another huge chunk of the animes viewership in the west.

I think I recall the 4kids staff being surprised Misty was being written out, Veronica Taylor said she felt bad for Rachael Lillis since she was losing a role. It's probably why 4kids included all those references to Misty in Hoenn that didn't exist in the original, I think 4kids believed Misty would come back to the cast after Hoenn ended much like Brock returned over Tracey, but of course it didn't happen. The Mastermind special being co-produced by 4kids and including Misty is probably what they expected to happen after Hoenn, (either Misty would re-join the group with May and Max still there, or the original trio would be reunited). I doubt 4kids knew Dawn would be introduced just a year later, even though Japan was in the pre-planning stages for DP already.

So if it aired on Fox, I think the show might have left for Cartoon Network around the same time, either during the VA switch or maybe even earlier.
I'm not sure if the ratings or Misty leaving would have been a huge deal if the anime aired on Fox instead. Kids' WB kept Pokemon for three more seasons after Misty left and the rating dipping in Johto didn't really affect how it was treated on the block either. I still think that Fox having the anime would have made Fox Kids an even bigger hit, so they probably wouldn't have wanted to drop it if at all possible. I think that the show would have moved to Cartoon Network once the VA switch happened, especially when I'm sure that TPCI would still want to have more control over the anime regardless of which block had it, but I think the only way it could have happened earlier is if Fox Kids closed up shop at the same time they originally did. Fox got out of the Saturday morning block game before Kids' WB and while I think having Pokemon would have made them more interested in keeping their block, there were still other factors that would have led to Fox ending their Saturday morning block.
 

Tacomaster

I Actually Like Pizza More
Joined
Aug 31, 2018
Messages
1,827
Location
Right behind you.
Fox got out of the Saturday morning block game before Kids' WB and while I think having Pokemon would have made them more interested in keeping their block, there were still other factors that would have led to Fox ending their Saturday morning block.
Such as? And are you sure it wouldn't move to Fox Family instead?
 

AdrenalineRush1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
7,040
Such as? And are you sure it wouldn't move to Fox Family instead?
Fox Family didn't perform well, hence why Fox and Haim Saban sold that along with the Fox Kids library and Saban Entertainment to Disney in late 2001.
There were rumors of a sequel in development before the movie came out, but it was never confirmed and we haven't heard any news of any live action Pokémon movie. I agree that Detective Pikachu did well at the box office, but at this point, we don't have any confirmation of any sequel or other live action Pokémon movie being in development.
They weren't rumours at all. It was confirmed that a sequel was in development just four months before the film's release with Oren Uziel signing on to write the screenplay, though yes, news on such have remained quiet after that.
 
Last edited:

TheCartoonRailfan

Riding the Rails
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
258
Location
Florida
I think the move to Cartoon Network may have corresponded with the decline of KidsWB and similar blocks. There was declining viewership for KidsWB so the block moved all their programming over to Cartoon Network with Pokemon being one of those shows. 2006, the year Pokemon moved over to CN, was the final year for the WB Network.

Cartoon Network would have been the most appropriate choice at the time due to its focus on action content. I remember CN playing the show all the time during the 2000's and early 2010's. Eventually, Pokemon was reduced to airing only on weekend mornings, which lead to CN losing the broadcasting rights and Disney XD acquiring the series.

If I recall, Pokemon actually aired on Nickelodeon Germany, which was really surprising. I wouldn't see Pokemon airing on the American version.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 11, 2007
Messages
47,577
Location
In a Dream World
Such as? And are you sure it wouldn't move to Fox Family instead?

Saturday morning blocks in general were already pretty outdated by the mid 2000s. With more people having access to cable and eventually the Internet, there wouldn't be much of a reason to wait until Saturday for a block of cartoons. Fox Kids still might have ended when it did simply because of how Fox could save money by airing other programs on those slots. Pokemon might have kept the block going, but I don't think it would have kept Fox Kids going on for too much longer. And I couldn't see them using Fox Family instead. Maybe having Pokemon airings on there could have helped the channel, but I don't think it would have prevented it from eventually becoming ABC Family/Freeform.

They weren't rumours at all. It was confirmed that a sequel was in development just four months before the film's release with Oren Uziel signing on to write the screenplay, though yes, news on such have remained quiet after that.

This article came out almost two years ago. Considering that we haven't heard anything since then, I don't think that a sequel is confirmed or in the works. They already announced a sequel to the Sonic movie not too long after it came out in theaters, while they didn't do that for Detective Pikachu. It still is possible that they are still working on the movie, but I think it's pretty unlikely at this point. Deals like this fall through all the time.
 

LinusFan303

A fan of Peanuts in their 70th year
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
2,623
Location
Colorado
By the time Pokemon came out , Fox kids weekday were hanging by a thread. FOX Kids was also co-owned by the affiliates when Fox started: the majority of their stations were independent stations and it was just replacing syndicated kids programming with network kids programming. When FOX made trades in 1994-96 and ended up with former ABC,NBC, CBS, stations they were not airing kids programming in the afternoon, they didn't want to air that and lose the adult audience they were getting before their early evening newscasts for decades. FOX Kids weekday became limited in some areas to a station that might take it or not at all and just air Saturday ( A Upn station could air Saturday and UPNKIDS/ Disney One Too aired Sundays-Fridays) Pokemon would have been a hard sell. FOX Family Channel could have been helped by the show, that wouldn't have fixed the Saban and Fox relationship from tattering, which it was anyway.

Nickelodeon , that would have been interesting, would have killed KIDS WB quicker. This is a guess of course, but I think if Nick had picked it up and the success was still the same, they might have not picked up Spongebob and few a other future Nicktoons, they would have started to try to replicate the Pokémon formula and Nick would be way different now than it is currently.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
76
Location
Kansas
I do have a hard time picturing Pokemon airing on Nickelodeon though. I'm not surprised that they wanted it, but even around 1999, I don't think that they were that interested in third party titles. Maybe I'm just too used to how they brush every show that isn't Spongebob away, but I think that they would have lost interest in Pokemon pretty fast once Spongebob became more successful.
Nick was at least...semi-interested in third party shows through the early 2000s. They gave Butt Ugly Martians and Super Duper Sumos a big push, for some reason. But of course those shows were in some ways a response to the popularity of Pokémon and other action cartoons of the time. It definitely would have been interesting to see how things would be different if Nick had gotten into anime back then, but they were already wildly successful at that time and Kids’ WB probably “needed” it more.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
7,040
This article came out almost two years ago. Considering that we haven't heard anything since then, I don't think that a sequel is confirmed or in the works. They already announced a sequel to the Sonic movie not too long after it came out in theaters, while they didn't do that for Detective Pikachu. It still is possible that they are still working on the movie, but I think it's pretty unlikely at this point. Deals like this fall through all the time.
Well, yes but still.
 

Spotlight

Staff online

Who's on Discord?

Latest profile posts

Is the world secretly following my story ideas?
Disney-Pixar's next movie is similar to one of my aborted coming-of-age stories (mine was The Thirteenth Year + Your Name + aborted merman cartoons) but instead of actual merpeole we got legged aquatic humanoids.
Newt from Pirate Express: We should hang out some time.
Imagine if Wes Gleason was the voice director for projects from Avatar Studios. He's the successor to Andrea Romano for DC animation, so I think he could be her successor here. Plus, he's had experience with Nickelodeon (such as with the 2016 Monster High tv movie and Batman Vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).
Is it me or the state of kids tv now is becoming the modern equivalent to the state of 80s saturday morning tv where it was mostly toy or IP driven stuff that some were creatively bankupt and won't age well in a couple of years
Listen people, if you don't like live-action properties based on animation, pretend like you don't care, sip a cup of cool, frest, tasty Bergamot Tea and live your own way.

Have a beatiful evening, and most important, don't remember about live-action shows based on animation. They don't exist for you:)
Here's the trailer for Luca.

Featured Posts

Top