Classic Media’s retro-cartoon channel: PB&J

Kidscreen is reporting that Luken Communications, the owner of broadcast channel Retro TV (which currently airs much of the Filmation cartoon library), is partnering with Classic Media to create a new retro-style cartoon network called PB&J. According to the press release:

The 24-hour network, set to launch in the US this summer, will feature Classic Media titles from the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Those include The Archie’s, Mr. Magoo, The Lone Ranger, Gumby and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. PBJ will be available to broadcasters, cable and satellite providers.

If they have the Classic Media library, this new channel could also air the Harveytoons (Casper, Herman and Katnip, et al), the Jay Ward library (Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, etc.), Roger Ramjet, Underdog, Felix the Cat, Rankin-Bass Specials, UPA’s Boing Boing Show, Dick Tracy cartoons and Magoo’s Christmas Carol – among others…

I admit it – I would love to program a channel like this. A retro-cartoon channel is very much needed, and Classic Media has amassed an impressive collection of vintage properties. As the basis for such a channel, I dare say they have more potential than the material endlessly rerun on Turner’s tired Boomerang network. And with all the possibilities of future acquisitions (Universal’s Woody Woodpecker Walter Lantz library, Viacom’s Terrytoon collection, Beany and Cecil, and on and on…) this could be a dream come true. If anyone from Luken Communications is reading this, gimme a call…

UPDATE – Reader Steve Cook found a promo for the new channel on You Tube:


  • Roland Denby

    Sounds fun! Does anybody know if the channel is available through DirecTV? I’d love to watch but can’t seem to find the channel.

    • http://NewChannel Hans Gudmundson

      Sounds fun! Does anybody know if the channel is available through dishnetwok our comcast? I’d love to watch but can’t seem to find the channel.

  • http://www.tannerworld.com Steve Tanner

    The problem here is that RTV is losing affiliates at a rapid pace with the advent of MeTV and Antenna TV. One wonders if the PBJ concept is a way for them to hang on as another subchannel.

  • Roland Denby

    OK, so I assume that a “subchannel” is not going to be part of DirecTV? Does anyone know how to obtain the channel? Thanks in advance. :-)

    • http://www.tvnewstalk.net Weeters

      Your best bet would be asking your local broadcast stations if they would consider affiliating one of their digital subchannels with the network, then picking it up with an antenna.

  • Cyber Fox

    This will wind up like Right Network and Qubo Channel
    No chance of getting carried by any cable or sattelite providers
    but, If Time Warner Cable acquired PBJ from Luken Communications then it will have a shot

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I was surprised my cable company has Qubo on it’s rouster anyway (and Toledo lacking an regular Ion station anyway).

  • Mike

    Peanut Butter & Jelly! Ha! Awesome name for a cartoon channel—I say, I say, a GOOD, old-timey cartoon channel, that is.

  • http://www.sweetposer.com/ Cameron A.

    I hope this new venture doesn’t go the way of Canada’s Teletoon Retro. TR has gone in four years from a watchable station – Pink Panther, The Porky Pig Show, Quick Draw McGraw, etc. – to one that airs Stop the Smoggies!, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and 1980s nostalgia like He-Man and ThunderCats.

    As for qubo, will Classic Media still be involved in that venture? As it stands now, CM barely contributes to the channel – mostly Filmation shows in the late-night slot, plus properties from its Big Idea subsidiary. I wouldn’t be surprised to see CM sell its stake in qubo, if PBJ becomes a reality.

  • Stuart Cook

    It looks like this network is promoting loads of cool shows, including Jay Ward toons, Harvey/Paramounts, Total TV toons, Mr. Magoo & Felix.
    Here is a link to copy/paste for PBJ’s promo on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Bv22ng9SEw

  • uncle wayne

    This is super-dooper nooz! Thank YOO! To see this films (in that pristine state) will be a treat. Too bad it’s so goddam illegal to show “THE” WB toons on tv any more, eh??

    • http://cartoonsonfilm.com Tom Stathes

      Nothing is illegal to show if properly licensed.

      • Tim Hodge

        Unfortunately, however, most networks’ “standards and practices” policies prevent them from showing the violence and tobacco use that was so prevalent in the cartoons we grew up with. You know… the funny parts.

      • Alison

        This is really awesome to hear of! But like other premium channels I like, I only get basic cable.
        I also keep checking the old Looney Tunes cartoons on Cartoon Network for anything I would figure they edit out; same thing with Tom and Jerry and so far I’ve seen very few for T&J.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    There can never be too many cartoon channels. Even another crappy cartoon channel would be welcome.

  • Michael F.

    I know what you mean about RTV losing stuff. The RTV channel here is Raleigh is now a Me TV channel (we have a This channel too). The key is whether or not individual affiliates are going to agree to air these shows. The people who offer these packages like to give individual networks their own choices if desired. The Me TV network here airs some Durham Bulls home games.

  • http://www.ronimation.com Ron

    SO…will this be or is it already available through Time Warner? Preferably in the So Cal area? I hope these guys will eventually take pitches for some new cartoons made in the classic style. After all, some of us brewreaders got in to this because they wanted to make those kinds of cartoons in the first place. :)

  • Roland Denby

    I agree that Boomerang has become tired. They seem to show the same series in a rotation every single year which rarely any change. There are so many other HB series I would love to see get aired. Instead, we get the same old same old. In addition, there are series I feel are too new to belong on there. Ben 10?? Dexter, Johnny Bravo, etc. Yuck. Who programs that channel???

    • Luke

      Hey! Don’t dis Dexter!

      • Funkybat

        I’d rather see Dexter back on regular CN. I can’t think of shows made in the late 90s as “retro.” There is a panoply of old H-B cartoons just rotting away in vaults, they might as well show them all at some time or another.

        Who knows which one will catch on as “retro/ironic” and get a new cult following, maybe grow into a new franchise? (Just trying to think like an exec.) I mean, who in 1993 would have predicted that “Space Ghost” would see a revival as a talk show host, and help launch the entire “Adult Swim” concept?

    • TURDtoon

      Well, Bravo and Dexter’s are over 15 years old, so I’d say they qualify as classic material.

      But I agree with you on stuff like Ben 10, Teen Titans and Hole in a Wall.

      • Funkybat

        I’d say that until 2025 or so, anything made after Time Warner’s takeover of H-B doesn’t qualify as “classic.” I remember watching the original Scooby-Doo series and the early-70s “Scooby Movies” in the early 80s, and they didn’t seem all that “old” even though they were 10-15 years old at that point. I don’t think Scooby really became a “classic” until the 21st century.

  • top cat james

    Wow! Not only my life-long faves like Bullwinkle, Underdog, Felix, and Roger Ramjet, but hard to find programs like Format Film’s Lone Ranger and the DePatie-Freleng version of Mr. Magoo as well? [catches breath]

    Comcast, get this for me, and I’ll never complain about my exorbitant bills again. Promise.

  • GW

    Don’t forget the foreign titles. Bolek and Lolek, Fantadrom, Astroboy, Spartacus and the Sun Beneath the Sea, and so on. Broaden it past the narrow interests of US classics fans.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Hmmm, didn’t know they had Bolek & Lolek! This really needs to be the Nickelodeon I knew 30 years ago!

      • GW

        I don’t want to send you down the wrong track. They don’t have it, and I’m speaking about what I think should be on the channel.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        That’s OK. It still would be a good idea if we could get a channel like that again that wasn’t so closed-minded about those works of foreign countries that some like me may remember.

  • E. L. Kelly

    Classic Media, get this channel together.
    Time Warner Cable, please make it a selection.
    You will produce an ENDLESS WATCHING BONANZA.
    Yeasssss….

  • Christopher Cook

    For the moment, Boomerang runs Bullwinkle at 6:30 AM ET weekend mornings. Still, I’d love to see PB&J, but living some distance away from the local transmitter sites and the only options thus is cable or satellite, I won’t hold my breath.

  • Mister Twister

    Include Rescue Rangers or I’m not watching.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001249396142 Steve “Pokey” J.Anti-Blockhead

      Rescue Rangers is Disney.

      Unless you’re talking about Filmation [or, as I call iot, Fuglimation.:)]

  • Joe

    A Heroes Rebirth
    Every time he passed by one the memories came rushing back. First a loud cry for help than a poor excuse that left his customer standing there with their mouth wide open. A short run to a nearby booth and BOOM all thats left are pieces of broken glass and metal as he stands triumphantly in his work clothes ready to go. Boy,those were the days. Back then,nobody minded if you needed an energy boost, however artificial,all that mattered was that you got the job done. The people tolerated his crashing through ceilings over and over again as he rushed to the aid of people calling his name. When they stopped calling his name he retired. Coincidentally,the booths he used were gone as well. The riffraff,both sinister and batty also disapeared. His other,regular job,became obsolete as shoes were made like toasters disposable and easy to replace. They took advantage of his heroic persona by merchandising him. To think,a once proud hero reduced to having his visage on a tee shirt. Thanks to babyboomers with fond memories his alter ego was a household name again. The Phone Booths he once used,are now gone but the hero remains to be called,now and forever Underdog.

    That being said I hope like heck PBJ (which is my dog Peabody and my nickname) doesn’t stop there. Show short run cartoons or spinoffs with original opening credits aka Hoppity Hooper,Go Go Gophers,Courageous Cat,Filmation superheroes Batman,Superman,Aquaman,etc,Mighty Mouse,Mighty Heroes,the list is endless. How about Tom Terrific? Or Crusader Rabbit?
    Best of all no big brother (with Mouse ears) to edit the heck out of my memories.

  • http://dtoons.com/conroy Failing Art Student

    That looks awesome. There’s no such thing as too many cartoon channels.

  • Justin Delbert

    Let me go through the list as much as possible:

    Sabrina the Teenage Witch: not that crazy about that show, but it is a spin off of the Archies and I would watch it (saw an episode on hulu and it wasn’t bad at all)
    Achies: not a major fan but definantly I show that I watch (which is still on RTV)
    Underdog: A major fan of that show. It had been recently avalable on demmand through Kabillion, but I think they lost the liscence. Thank God they’re bringing this show back
    Harveytoons: A fan of these cartoons, and of coarse they’ll play them as the Harveytoons Show that Jerry Beck worked on
    Fat Albert: same thing as the Archies except i like the Archies better than Fat Albert. Very educational and also seen on RTV
    Rocky and Bullwinkle: A major fan of this show too. Currently seen on Boomerang.
    Felix the Cat: A major fan of the character, but I could deal with the TV ones; they’re good in their own right
    Groovie Goolies: Looks like crap to me
    Ghostbusters: crap
    Bravestar: crap
    He-Man and Shi-Ra: There will be fans that would like to see this show again (although both air on RTV); I’m not one of them
    Mr. Magoo: I enjoy watching them when I can; currently seen on RTV
    Dick Tracey: Same thing as Magoo except I like Magoo better; currently seen on RTV
    live action shows such as Lassie and the Roy Rogers Show: They won’t fit in with the cartoons, but baby boomers will be happy to see those again
    Gumby: a major fan of this show that I’ve been fighting to have back for years now (more so than Looney Tunes because I was 3 when Gumby left Nickelodeon and Looney Tunes left for about 7 years compared to Gumby’s 15 years) RTV did bring them back for a short while but was then replaced with Mr. Magoo. Thank God that the battle has finally won.
    I am going to try to convince WTOV9 to sublisence this channel when it becomes avaliable (they liscence RTV in our area). Please Comcast, pick this up!

  • Ed Steel

    There is a problem with Magoo. The entire late 1950s TV run was crapped out hackwork that destroyed the ‘Magoo as cinematic art’ legend and the 1977 DFE Saturday morning TV series wasn’t much better. A thinking PBJ programmer would have to limit the Magoo run to only the theatrical shorts to maintain any acceptable level of quality. Otherwise, the uninitiated might watch only a few of those abysmally cheap TV Magoos and wonder what the hell all the UPA acclaim was ever about.

    • SJ

      If they think some of that Filmation stuff is good, its doubtful they’d be very selective about Magoo. Still, it would be good to see some cartoon variety on tv.

      • Roland Denby

        There’s two words I’d never use in a sentence together: Filmation and Good.

      • http://classicshowbiz.blogspot.com Kliph

        Roland, not even “Good Riddance” – ?

  • Bob Nelson

    Name of the channel reminds me in a way of a show Disney ran–well, “PB&J otter (oughta) be interesting…”

    What’s New Mr Magoo was Depatie Freleng but Classic prob has rights to the Magoo char itself.

  • Doodyville101

    I would KILL to see Saturday Morning Howdy Doody (1956-’60) on that channel and also a lot of the old DePatie-Freleng from the 1960′s (Super Six, Super President, etc.) that I grew up with. That would be so awesome!

    But the group of shows shown in that preview reel look good as well – I hope Comcast picks it up!

  • Graham

    I’m feeling a wave of nostalgia. Remember when a plethora of animation channels propped up in the late 90s-early 2000s, only to have them all be rebranded or stray from their original intent?

    With new networks like The Hub and PB&J, it feels like that era again. A new wave of cartoon channels is taking place, and frankly, it feels quite good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001249396142 Steve “Pokey” J.Anti-Blockhead

    I just hope that Gumby and Pokey will have the same music underscore as they did before that 1987 remake [you know...with the crappy synth overlay...]

    Not too excited, to say the least, about Filmation’s offering, but that’s just one studio. The rest looking forward to..

  • Roland Denby

    Who has the DePatie-Freleng catalog? Does anybody know? I know Pink Panther is with MGM, but they had other series not related to the Panther. I would kill to see some of that stuff again. “Here Comes the Grump,” “Bailey’s Comets,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “Baggypant and the Nitwits,” etc. That would be fun to see again.

    • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

      Most DePatie Freleng original series (Pink Panther, Super Six, Here Comes the Grump, etc.) are owned today by MGM. Dr. Doolittle was produced by DP-F for 20th Century Fox. Some later originals series may be owned by the network who commissioned them.

      • Roland Denby

        Thanks for the info. It’s sad that they are scattered all over the place. It makes it harder for them to ever be shown anywhere in bulk. I recall watching may of them as a kid. I’d love to see them again. Most were one-season series like Bailey’s Comets, etc. I wonder if they even know where the films are.

    • http://soccerorassociationfootball.blogspot.com Bob

      I’d like them to air “Super 6″ myself.

  • Clint H

    This would be pretty cool! I’m not a huge fan of Filmation, but everything else I would definately watch!

  • Doug Drown

    I’m a Dish Network subscriber. Is anyone among the Dish Network brass reading this?

    WANT.

  • Abel

    Former Disney stalwart Amby Paliwoda animated that dancing across the stage shaggy dog. It’s a scene which Filmation used 84,679 times per “Archies” half hour.

  • Christopher Smigliano

    Now I’m wondering: Are they going to edit out Underdog’s energy pills? Dick Tracy’s characters Jo Jitsu & Go Go Gomez? Or maybe play those certain spots on late night?

    • Funkybat

      I certainly hope not. Disney’s revisionism of their Disney Afternoon shows when they were on Disney Channel and Toon Disney was very dismaying. The DuckTales episode “Land of Tr-La-La” barely made any sense with every scene involving Scrooge’s “nerve tonic” edited out.

      Leave these shows alone, there’s very little from the 50s-today in animated cartoons on par for offensiveness with the 20s-40s “banned cartoons.”

  • Matt

    Hmmm, seen this somewhere before. I give them till Xmas till the majority of their programming are reality shows and every once in awhile you get a cartoon.

  • JD

    Cool! More cartoons! I hope this gets picked up by somebody.

    Ahhh yes, Filmation. The studio that kept animation artists working while Disney was finding itself. At least that dog is dancing across the screen rather than scooting it’s feet.

    The studio receives a lot of scrutiny for the animation. But I’ll give them two thumbs up for helping folks pay da bills for 20+ years.

    It’s fun to hear the song “Sugar, Sugar” co-written by Andy Kim because many years later his song “Rock Me Gently” got the CG treatment on a Jeep Liberty Commercial. The animation circle of life. :)

  • JG

    If your reading this Classic Media please stream your channel over the internet. Secondly,release uncut dvds of these cartoons. Underdog has yet to be released on home video/dvd with the cliffhangers intact. The early tapes of Bullwinkle truncated those cliffhangers/episodes together because the stories are so long. If you have the Jay Ward stuff than somewhere in that vault is the Hoppity Hooper cartoon series. A lost favorite that has the same style writing as R&B aka Rocky and Bullwinkle. Filmation for all their limited animation created some cool live action shows that CBS ran opposite the Kroft and Hanna-Barbera cartoons. By the way,last time Underdog was rerun on Nickleodeon a few decades ago the super energy pill scenes were shown uncut. If Classic Media takes my suggestions to heart than they’ll reap mucho dinero from their recent purchase.

  • http://none Dan Wilson

    IN THE KNOW….I know this isn’t the ONLY CN styled network being planned/considered for OTA sub-channel broadcasting….keep your ears to the wall for the development of Labyrinth….that’s all I’ll say for now because I know it’s really in the maybe/maybe not stages currently….but I’m interested to here what kinda programming would be on everyone’s mind…..

  • http://wwwdjtonyb.com oscar tony obar jr

    Good news a new cartoon network with old school toons, I live Brooklyn New York City can you put this on the air in my town . We have lots of sub-channels in the NYC&NJ are. Also it be a good if you put this new network on Direc TV andDish Network or Verizon Fios in the New York City market….. P.S. Please E-mail me when you on the air in New York City..

  • http://Need Hans Gudmundson

    Sounds fun! Does anybody know if the channel is available through Dishnetwork our bell express our comcast ? I’d love to watch but can’t seem to find the channel.