Sony officially announced it’s intent to buy MGM this week. To raise the billion-dollar plus asking price needed to make the purchase, cable TV megacorp Comcast chipped in several hundred million to become a partner with Sony and three other companies to close the deal. John R. Alchin, vice president and treasurer of Comcast, said earlier this week the company is already “looking at possible new channels using material from MGM and Sony’s film and television libraries”.
You’ve just bought into one of the greatest film libraries of all time. Over 8000 feature films, numerous classic television episodes, not to mention the short subjects (The Three Stooges), serials (The Iron Claw, The Lost Planet, etc.) and cartoons.I have an idea for you. A suggestion for a new cable channel you could create, that would be an instant success. A classic cartoon channel aimed at adults. Sort of a TCM for animation. A home for classic cartoon stars.Naturally the kids will love it – but you’re smarter than that. You know that adults will tune in great numbers – to enjoy all the cartoon characters they grew up with. Characters no longer running on any television channel, and barely present on dvd.The library you’ve just bought into gives you a head start: you now own cartoons starring The Pink Panther, Mr. Magoo, Li’l Abner, Gerald McBoing Boing, Krazy Kat, The Ant & The Aardvark, Scrappy and The Fox & Crow. You’ve got Oscar winning animation by Friz Freleng, John Hubley, Ernest Pintoff (1963’s The Critic). You own early anime features like The Little Norse Prince, Jack And The Witch, Alakazam The Great, and The World Of Hans Christian Anderson. Your ties with Sony give you rights to recent anime features like Metropolis, Steamboy, Cowboy BeBop, Tokyo Godfathers and who knows what else from Sony’s Animax anime channel. For late nights, you’ve got Fritz The Cat, Heavy Traffic, Heavy Metal and American Pop. You own TV series as diverse as Prince Planet, Super President, Jumanji, Hanna-Barbera’s Jeannie (based on I Dream Of Jeannie), Super Six, The Real Ghostbusters and Dilbert.And just think of the material you could acquire! Woody Woodpecker and Andy Panda from Universal, Betty Boop and Little Lulu from Paramount, Casper and Baby Huey from Classic Media, and on and on.
Who knows, maybe Disney will license Mickey, Donald & Goofy, and Warner’s will give you Popeye and Droopy – they don’t run them on their cable channels anymore.Please consider starting the Animation Station (clever title, eh?). I’d be happy to advise you further at this address.Sincerely Yours,Jerry Beck