Saturday, October 15, 2011

Capitol Critters

In the 1960s, after The Flintstones became a hit on prime-time, networks tried to duplicating the success by picking up other cartoons for the evening timeslot, which included Calvin and the Colonel, The Alvin Show, Top Cat, The Jetsons, and the ilk. None of them made an impact until they started rerunning them on Saturday Mornings.

Similar thing happened in the 1990s. The Simpsons half-hour debuted in 1989 and it was a screaming success on FOX network. Naturally other networks wanted a piece of the action. This resulted in Capitol Critters (ABC 1992), Fish Police (CBS 1992), Family Dog (CBS 1992), and The Critic (ABC then FOX, 1994-95). Alas, they didn't make impact as the yellow-skinned family and was gone after a short time.

Capitol Critters is an interesting one. A co-production of Hanna-Barbera and Steven Bochco Productions, the show followed a mouse moving in with his relatives in the White House after his home got destroyed. The show had 13 episodes, but only 7 were broadcast on ABC. It wasn't until Cartoon Network picked it up in 1995 that the remaining 6 were shown anywhere.

From what I've seen it wasn't bad. It's not great, but not awful either. But I think the big problem was that the show's style is, well, kiddy. This is a style you often associate in children's animated films from the likes of Don Bluth, not on prime-time cartoons. Really, if you took out the swear words and maybe tone down the current issues presented in the storylines this would have fit right in on the Saturday morning time slot. Hell, it probably would have lasted longer there if ABC had done that.

6 comments:

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

The show certainly felt more Saturday morning-ish looking back on it. Shame Steven Bochco could've done better, but he hadn't quite found a new hit yet before NYPD Blue.

Throwawaytv said...

Hey Brubaker, how do I get in touch with you? I recently noticed that the credits list on the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki is incorrect and I'd like to use your list of credits.

Brubaker said...

My email is cbrubaker@gmail.com

Pokey said...

Your info on the year that the Simpsons premiered is somewhat off..date was January 14, 1990, about a few years after being regulars on "The Tracey Ullman Show".Steve C.

Brubaker said...

No, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" aired on December 17, 1989.

Pokey said...

THsanks for reminding me.:)