Lionel's Thoughts @ Videomercials
Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Some insight on the Diff'rent Strokes episodes on BET.

The reason the BET episodes are edited differently from other cable networks is because these episodes are from the 1986 syndicated re-runs from the Metromedia TV stations that became Fox networks. WNYW Channel-5 in NYC used to air these exact same edits because I have some of them on tape and I remember these included parts that TNN, Nick-At-Nite, and TV Land didn't have when they aired the episodes. So what you see on BET are rare clips that hasn't aired in over 15 years in syndication.

I remember when Woody Woodpecker began airing on the USA Network back in 1994 or 95 and when I had called WNYW and spoke to someone in programming I was told that USA Networks has acquired the Woody Woodpecker episodes from them and that the USA Network will air them. The USA Network is also located in NYC.


Posted by Lionel at 10:11 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 1 May 2010 1:35 PM EDT
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
The Smurfs has been officially released on DVD today!!
Now Playing: TET

The Smurfs is available on DVD today (Season One = 19 Episodes.) It is digitally remastered so the musical background score, sound effects, and picture quality should be interesting.

If you are going to purchase it make sure it is from a reputable company like Amazon.com because there are various bootlegs that were recorded from television floating around that says it is the complete series (300 episodes) which it isn't.

There were over 400 Smurfs episodes that aired on television between 1981 to 1990.

About 2 years back I had purchased those bootleg DVDs that claimed to have 300 episodes to discover that several episodes were unable to play most of the DVDs when I would select an episode to view. I asked the guy to replace the "defective" DVDs and he did but those same episodes on the DVDs were still defective. So the problem is in the embedded coding, and it wasn't a bad copy problem.

So remember:
1.) There were over 400 episodes of The Smurfs that had aired on NBC from 1981 to 1990.

2.) The official Smurfs DVD has the complete 1st Season containing 19 episodes that were remastered in picture quality and sound.

I should inform you that the reason they released Smurfs on DVD is because of the major motion computer animated movie of The Smurfs that will come out this year (2008.) I believe the human characters are live action and the The Smurfs and other anthropomorphic characters from the Smurfs cartoon will be computer animated as well. I will be looking forward to seeing the DVD (this week) and the major motion picture (later this year.)

Posted by Lionel at 1:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 24 December 2014 1:36 AM EST
Monday, 25 February 2008
Diff'rent Strokes is back on National Television!!

I was flipping through the channels this morning and saw the TV sitcom: "Diff'rent Strokes" on BET at 9-9:30am. It seems that BET is bringing back a few more old sitcoms like "Sanford" (80's version), "Thea," and "Malcolm & Eddie."

The last time Diff'rent Strokes was on television in the USA was on the TNN channel (now SpikeTV) in late 2001 to 2002.

I think the 1980 season was the beginning of the show's true popularity. It was when they started making episodes about school peer-pressure issues and controversial episodes. By the time Sam & Maggie joined the cast it became a drag, however, there were some great episodes in spite of the new cast members. I should note that there is no series finale episode of Diff'rent Strokes, it just ended without a conclusion to the story of the show.

Appearantly the show began airing on BET on February 19th so BET is still airing the first season episodes (which has been overplayed in the past on other networks.) I will be tuning in to record episodes from 1980 to 1986. If you liked Diff'rent Strokes then this should be good news!

Posted by Lionel at 4:04 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 1 May 2010 1:33 PM EDT
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
No more "Merry Christmas" in the media.

I told you this would happen. Christmas is a few weeks away and there are hardly anyone in the media saying or displaying the words: "Merry Christmas" in any of the commercials or promos. They now say "Happy Holidays", Christmas has become the 800-pound gorilla around this time, everyone knows the holiday is indeed "Christmas" but no one in the TV media is acknowledging it by wishing "Merry Christmas" to the viewers like they've done many years ago as a tradition.

No more "newer" Christmas specials where the celebrities get together for an all-star telecast like what NBC used to do. These days they may decorate their commercials with trees, ornaments, and Santa Claus, but how can they have all these Christmas decors in the ads with no words or speech that says: "Merry Christmas" in it? But they've acknowledged and said "Happy Thanksgiving" over and over last month, and "Happy Halloween" in October but they are beginning to faze out Christmas with every year that passes by. Just like the way things are in the general media it's only going to get worse. 

Every year since 2005 I've made sure to decorate my website with lights and this year and the years to come with a Christmas Countdown on my homepage because I haven't forgotten how things used to be. Some TV stations they still have Yule's Log (basically a log burning in the fire-place with old Christmas music playing on Christmas Eve/Morning.) They've done this last year on the WB/CW affiliates, but I'm not sure if they will air Yule's Log this year. This so-called celebration of Christmas is getting very sketchy but I hope I wasn't the only one who has noticed the Christmas name is slowly getting fazed out of the TV media.

Posted by Lionel at 4:36 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007 4:44 PM EST
That "Brain Age" commercial for Nintendo DS..

There is a commercial currenly in circulation for a video game that sharpens the mind called "Brain Age" for the Nintendo DS. This was another ad that cracks me up every time I see it. It starts off with a man with gray hair introducing his two friends to someone but he couldn't remember the name of the other friend, he said: "This is hawwwwww..... ahhhhhhh... ummmmm, hawwwww" and it sounded like an echo, and then the voice-over said: "Has this ever happened to you?"

And that's when the voice-over recommended the video game "Brain Age" to sharpen your alertness and reflexes.   

Posted by Lionel at 2:06 PM EST
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Has anyone seen that TheraFlu ad?

Has anyone seen that TheraFlu ad with a ghostly looking guy walking down the street coughing and this Truck Driver from across the street looks at him weird? And when he makes it home his cat saw him and runs away hiding, and then he drank the TheraFlu and he started to look normal and his cat came out from hiding. I've first seen this commercial last year and it's still funny. It seems to air in the winter months around when people normally catch a cold/flu. So I guess what they're trying to say is that people are ghosts when they're sick. Anyway it was still a weird funny ad with that silly piano melody in the background. I'm still laughing thinking about it.

Posted by Lionel at 6:03 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007 11:32 PM EST
Wednesday, 15 August 2007
VH1's I Love the 80's, and it's clones...

Have you ever seen VH1's "I Love the 80s" and it's clones? Well, if you have, I wanted to raise your awareness that they could be scripted... since a lot of the celebrities in the series seem to have an opinion on everything highlighted in the program.

Take "Raven Simone" for example, how in the world could she "reminisce" about 1988 when she was only 2 years old in that year? If you were a child in those decades, did you pay attention to the news and political stuff on television?
I would guess not, and the only things of your interest would be cartoons, toys, shows, and other things a child would remember.

I believe that VH1 has never done a full interview with the celebrities for the VH1 series. They must have given each of them short scripts on what to say about certain events in the decades, and rehearshed them several times.

So the next time you watch "I Love the 80's" (and similar programs) take into consideration the celebrity's approximate age and the decades they are reminiscing about, and you'll realize that it's all scripted... including the 4-second clips of the celebrity's silly antics.

Posted by Lionel at 4:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 August 2007 4:14 PM EDT
Monday, 23 July 2007
Here's A Helpful Tip Concerning Unofficial Releases!!

As you all may have known; The commercials on the Videomercials has been recorded during the time VCRs was available in the late 1970s, and has been established ever since.

What you should know is that everyone's TV Picture Adjuster is set differently. For example, an old recording from 25-years ago that had a TV picture setting from a "different" TV Set  is not going to automatically adjust itself to how your current TV picture settings are.

This is why some footage on Unofficial Releases that you may have purchased or traded for, may not look so good on your TV set. If you would adjust the "Soft/Sharp" picture tune (or on some TV Sets it might be called the "Picture/Detail" tuner), you will see how much improvement the quality will be on the footages.

You can also adjust the Color, Brightness, and Contrast for better picture quality.

Because the quality of the commercials at the time I've compiled them will look good on my television set, but when you receive the VHS or DVD it may not look as good because your TV settings and "TV Set" is from a different brand or model, and all you need to do is adjust the picture on your TV.  

Posted by Lionel at 10:27 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007 10:31 AM EDT
Thursday, 19 July 2007
What Happened to Weekday Cartoons???

The History Of Weekday Cartoons...

1960s and 1970s:
Weekday cartoons began as far back as the early 1960s on non network independent commercial stations in large television markets. On such stations cartoon blocks would occupy the 7-9 a.m. and the 3-5 p.m. blocks. In smaller markets network affiliates sometimes filled the 3 or 4 p.m. hour with such programming. Cartoons ran in the 1970s included Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, Casper, Popeye, Yogi Bear, Flintstones and other theatrical and made for TV cartoons. In the 1970s more independent stations signed on running such programming.

Examples included WNEW-TV (now WNYW) and WPIX in New York City, KTTV and KCOP in Los Angeles, WUAB and WOIO Cleveland, WGN-TV and WFLD Chicago, WSBK WLVI WXNE (now WFXT Boston, and many others. But the programming blocks didn't have an official name such as "Fox Kids" or "Kids' WB".

In the 1980s, independent stations signed on in medium and many small markets. The market for made for TV cartoons grew as a result. Many of these stations were beginning cartoons on weekdays as early as 6 a.m. and as early as 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Some stations ended weekday cartoons as late as 6 p.m. The older Bugs Bunny and Popeye cartoons made way for new made for TV cartoons like He-Man, Rambo, ThunderCats, Scooby Doo, Dennis the Menace animated series, Garfield & Friends, Pink Panther, My Little Pony, G.I. JOE, Transformers, Voltron and many others. Most large and medium markets had at least two local stations running such programming in the 6-9 a.m. and the 2:30 to 5 p.m. slots. Some markets had as many as three.

The Beginning Of The "Official" Weekday Cartoon Block...

The official weekday cartoon block started in 1990 with Disney syndicating DuckTales and Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers, known as The Disney Afternoon. In 1991, Disney added another hour and continued this block throughout the decade. In 1990, Fox Kids began running a weekday afternoon show called Peter Pan and the Pirates. In 1991, they added another hour. In some markets one show was run in mornings and the other two in afternoons while in others the entire block was on in afternoons.

In 1992, Fox Kids added Warner Brothers shows like Batman: The Animated Series, Merrie Melodies, Tiny Toons, Tom & Jerry Kids, and others. Some of these were previously syndicated. Disney continued its official Disney afternoon block along with an additional hour of syndicated shows. Fox affiliates primarily aired Fox Kids and other syndicated cartoons while independents aired Disney cartoons along with other syndicated shows. By now many markets had three stations running such programming. In 1993, Fox Kids added Power Rangers. At that point they had a three hour block. Some stations ran one hour in mornings and two hours in the afternoons while some of the news intensive Fox affiliates ran all three hours in afternoons. Some affiliates ran the block an hour early. Beginning at the end of 1994 some Fox affiliates did not run Fox Kids and took on a format with talk/reality shows as well as a lot of news. These included stations that formerly had ABC, CBS, or NBC affiliations. In such markets Fox Kids would run on an independent non Fox station. Many of these stations would affiliate with WB or UPN.

The popularity of the weekday cartoon lineup climbed from the mid 1980s to mid 1990s. As a result WB began an afternoon cartoon block called Kids WB in the Fall of 1995 . At that point Looney Toons characters would move off Fox Kids and onto Kids WB. This block was initially an hour and at the end of 1996 expanded to two hours in the afternoon and another hour in the morning totaling three hours. Disney Afternoon was airing mostly on UPN affiliates but in some markets aired on WB and even a couple Fox stations. In 1996 Children's weekday cartoons would reach their peak with no decline seemingly in sight.

FOX Kids On Radio:
It should be noted that FOX Kids also had a Sunday Morning radio block in 1996, they had contests, and even cartoon guests.

The Decline:
In 1996, a Telcom act was passed that expanded radio and television ownership limits. But it would regulate children's television substantially. Stations all would be obligated to run three hours of educational children's programs but these weekday cartoons would not count in most cases. Also it regulated content in advertising making selling such programming difficult on over the air stations. Cable channels would not be as regulated. In 1997, weekday morning cartoons started to slowly decline. FCC regulations in children's programming resulted in complaints from local affiliates in terms of ability to make money airing cartoons.

UPN regardless, attempted to run a teen sitcom block in 1997 but this ended in 1998. Warner Brothers would stop syndicating their vintage theatrical and made for TV cartoons to local stations in 1997 relegating those to cable. They still continued their Kids WB block for their affiliates.

In 1998, some UPN and WB affiliates would trim morning syndicated cartoons in favor of family sitcoms. Fox affiliates would begin morning newscasts in many places. In 1999, Disney stopped syndicating Disney Afternoon and would form an alliance with UPN converting this block to UPN Kids called Disney One Too. Still a decent amount of cartoons were still available in syndication. That year Fox Kids trimmed the block to 2 hours while syndicating the Magic School Bus which occupied an hour.

In 2000, syndicated cartoons continued to decline and stations dropping weekday cartoons in either morning or afternoon continued to grow. By now UPN stations ran Disney cartoons either in morning or afternoon, dropping syndicated cartoons. Some WB and UPN stations continued running an hour or so of syndicated cartoons. Fox affiliates for the most part had morning newscasts and only had an afternoon block. Some affiliates no longer ran the afternoon block but in most cases UPN or WB or independent stations ran that in mornings or afternoons.

In 2001, Kids WB was trimmed to two hours. Syndicated cartoons lacked clearances. Fox also ended its weekday kids block at the end of that year. Just about every Fox affiliate would replace the cartoons with talk and reality shows. By 2002 most UPN stations ran Disney's One Too in the 9am to 10:30 a.m. slot while WB stations ran Kids WB in the 3 to 5 p.m. slot. In most markets these were the only cartoons available on local stations. Some ran a syndicated educational cartoon or program here and there in such blocks. Still stations lost money on this programming.

In the Fall of 2003, UPN ended the Disney One Too block as well. Fox owned UPN affiliates continued running cartoons from DIC Entertainment for two hours in the 7 to 9 a.m. slot. But most UPN affiliates still ran only one kid's show per day if that. Some WB stations also aired a show or two from DIC. By 2003 The Daily Buzz, a three hour national news program, would replace weekday morning cartoons on many UPN affiliates in some markets and on WB affiliates in others.

In 2004, Kids WB still continued its weekday block. In most markets this was the only weekday cartoon block left on broadcast TV. In 2005 even the Fox owned UPN stations decreased weekday cartoons to one hour. In January of 2006, Kids WB ended and was replaced with off network sitcoms and reality shows from WB Daytime. That Fall, Fox Owned UPN affiliates, which became My Network TV affiliates, dropped weekday cartoons. Still they run an educational kid's show per day on some stations.

On cable, non children's channels also began dropping cartoons. In the late 1990s the USA Network ended the USA Cartoon Express lineup. In the fall of 1998, WTBS replaced its cartoons with sitcoms. In September 2006, ABC Family dropped its Jetix lineup, making it exclusive to Toon Disney.

Today Weekday cartoons are relegated to basic cable networks like Nickelodeon all day until 9 p.m., Disney Channel much of the day along with educational and family programs, and Cartoon Network until 10 p.m. when adult cartoons air on overnights. Local PBS stations run plenty of educational children's programs on weekdays. In addition, there are digital cable channels that only offer children's programs. These are all available on DirectTV and Dish Network, as well as most digital cable packages. Cartoon Network has Boomerang which runs primarily classic cartoons. Disney has Toon Disney which only runs cartoons. Nickelodeon has Nick Toons as well. There are also educational channels like PBS Kids, Noggin, and others.

Current state:
Weekday children's blocks (as of October 2006) are now run only on PBS stations by PBS Kids. WB dropped its weekday block in January 2006 and other cable networks featuring family and children programming have cut back. In addition, it is unlikely that The CW will air any children's programming on weekdays in the future. Its unclear if My Network TV will eventually add cartoons on weekdays. Some say its unlikely. On the same month, ION Media Networks will air qubo. In some markets, TV stations are still airing cartoons, but these cartoons are educational and they're on for only a half-hour (usually at 7am or 7:30am in the morning). The commercials that air during these educational kids shows are mostly PSAs and local community ads, so obviously, no one is really sponsoring them.

List of networks airing weekday cartoons
This is a list of television networks airing weekday cartoons as of January 2006...

ION (Fridays only, through the shared-with-NBC qubo block)

Cable and Satellite:
Toon Disney
Disney Channel
Cartoon Network
ABC Family
PBS Kids

No longer airing weekday cartoons:

FOX (Some areas still show morning programs)
The WB (network no longer exists)
UPN (network no longer exists)
TBS (WTBS-TV in Atlanta)

Never aired weekday Cartoons regularly:


Defunct weekday cartoons...
This is a list of Weekday Cartoon line ups that are no longer on Television:

Kids' WB! Weekday Line Up (known as the AfterToons Show) (Afternoon 1995-2006, Morning 1998-2001)
Fox Kids Weekdays (Afternoons 1990-2001, Mornings 1993-2001)
Disney's One Too (1999-2003)
USA Cartoon Express (late 1980s-late 1990s)
TNT Weekday Cartoon line up (1981-1998)
WGN-TV Cartoon line up
The Disney Afternoon
UPN Weekday Morning Line Up (1995-2005)
NBC Weekday Line Up (1950s)
CBS Weekday Line Up
ABC Weekday Line Up
Cartoon Network's Toonami (1997-2004)
Cartoon Network`s Miguzi (2004-2007)

List of Notable Weekday Cartoons...

This is a list of weekday cartoon shows on broadcast and cable networks (both morning and afternoon).

101 Dalmatians: The Series (Syndication 1999-2001?)
AAAHH!!! Real Monsters (ABC and FOX 1993-2001), (Nickelodeon 1994-1998)
Action Man (FOX 2000-2001)
Aladdin (UPN 1995-1996)
Archie's Weird Mysteries (Syndication 2004-2005)
Batman (FOX 1993-1996), (WB 1996-2002?)
Bonkers (UPN 1995-1997)
Darkwing Duck (UPN 1995-?)
Dragonball Z (Cartoon Network (1996-2003)
Dennis the Menice (UPN 1995-1999)
Digimon (FOX 1999-2001, UPN 2002-2003)
Double Dragon (unknown 1993-1995)
Ed, Edd n Eddy (Cartoon Network, 1999-present)
Goof Troop (UPN 1995-?)
Highlander (UPN 1995-1996)
Lamb Chop's Play-Along (PBS 1992-1997)
Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation (FOX 1998-1999)
Pepper Ann (UPN 2000-2001)
Pokémon (Syndication 1998-1999, WB 1999-2006, Cartoon Network 2006-)
Puzzle Place (PBS 1995-1998)
Redwall (PBS Dec 2001 and Summer 2002) *
Recess (UPN 2000-2003)
Sailor Moon (UPN 1999?-2001)
The Legend of Tarzan (UPN 2002-2003)
The Littles (Syndication 2004-2005)
The Magic School Bus (PBS 1994-1998, FOX 2000-2001)
The Smurfs (USA late 1980s-mid 1990s)
Trollz (Syndication 2005-present, CBS 2006)
Sabrina: The Animated Series (UPN 1999-2003)
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (Syndication 2004-2005)
Wishbone (PBS 1996-2001, 2006-present)


Posted by Lionel at 6:31 PM EDT
Saturday, 7 July 2007
Other Marvel movies [VS] The X-men... and why it's watered down.

Did you noticed that in the Marvel movies such as "Fantastic Four", "Spider-Man", "Ghost Rider" and others... they all seem to be true to the comics and cartoon versions, all except for "X-men"... which is so watered down from the comics or 90's cartoon version.

Why in the world are they making the X-men movies in such a conservative manner? None of the X-men characters wore their original comic-book super hero uniforms in these movies. The X-men all wore the same black outfits, and the super powers have little special effect compared to the other Marvel movies.

Instead of Rogue being an attractive looking adult female, she is now a disturbed teenaged girl... and her powers has no special effects, except for when the person she touches skin shows a lot of veins. But that's her mutant power, she can't fly, nor does she have super strength.

Wolverine lacks the aggressive attitude and short temper he had in the comics and 90's cartoon. Although I alwayed believed Chris Benoit would have been a better Wolverine in the X-men movies because he had the aggression, looked like Logan, and he's a Canadian just like Wolverine/Logan... they even nicknamed him the Rabid Wolverine in WCW (but with no relation to the X-men character.) But the possibility of that happening went down the drain a couple of weeks ago.

If you've seen the Marvel movies then you should understand my concern with the X-men films being to bland. These characters are supposed to be Mutants, and yet, they act like regular people. Why?

Storm in this film is petite, this character should be about 5' 11". Halle Berry was the wrong person for this role, but they gave her the part to attract her fans. The "Storm" character should have been played by Niaomi Campbell or someone of the height with stunning good looks.

Magneto looked like a grumpy old man, and his personality was boring. I've alwayed viewed Magneto as a man in his late 40s/early 50s with white hair likewise with Professor Xavier. But the actor who played Magneto looked to be in his late 60s/early 70s. Also what happened to "Juggernaut" being Xavier's half-brother? There's no doubt the movie was hastely put together, Juggernaut was suppose to be a massive size like The Hulk was. Oh, well.

There is a lot of things wrong with those X-men movies, but people still pay to see these movies, and having Marvel believe that they've done an excellent job when the movie sucked. Tim Burton would have been a better director because he's excellent with directing fantasy films. Just look at the first Batman film from 1989 in which Burton directed, maybe Marvel should have put him in charge in the Marvel movie's outcome.

My favorite Marvel stories was always the X-men, but the movies completely blow. They are making the X-men films so serious that it's like watching Star Trek.

Posted by Lionel at 2:53 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007 11:32 PM EST

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