Monday, April 18, 2011

Game Time: Hole in the Wall (2008)

Cartoon Network has taken a lot of heat for adding live-action programming that has zero to do with cartoons in recent years, but current programming head Stu Snyder just doesn't care what we think. Ya know, that makes him kind of like WWE head honcho Vince McMahon, whose myopic vision runs counter to what his audience demands of him. By that same token, Snyder is bent on shoving live-action shows down the throats of CN's core audience.

It's one thing if the movies they acquire are connected to the cartoons on the network's roster (i.e. Scooby-Doo). It's another if they're just airing on CN to help fulfill contracts for sister networks TNT & TBS. Heck, it's a wonder, considering they air an NBA show on Sunday mornings, that Cartoon Network wasn't conscripted to help air NCAA tournament games last month. Wait. Better not give Snyder any ideas if he or his jabroni flunkies are reading this. Snyder acquired the fading Slamball, created by former NBA executive Pat Croce, a year ago, but the episodes that aired came from the series' last home, Versus, and no new episodes ever aired, as CN cancelled Slamball after a month of poor ratings.

Undaunted, Snyder picked up a game show off the Fox scrap heap last year. Hole in the Wall has its origins in Japan and England, and first aired in the US on Fox in 2008, produced by Fremantle Media (American Idol, Price Is Right). However, Hole lasted less than a year before being booted by Fox, and was resurrected, much to the consternation of CN viewers, last summer, with a new host, Teck Holmes (ex-The Real World). Here's a commercial for Hole as CN was preparing to add it to the schedule.

To his credit, Snyder actually struck gold this time, as Hole has been renewed for a 2nd go-round on Cartoon Network. Very few live-action shows have succeeded on the network so far, but ultimately, kids will tire of Hole, and then it'll slink back into oblivion. Sadly, for Boomerang fans, Hole is airing there, too, and again, it's to help fill out the contract for the show, but at the same time, older viewers are being further alienated by Snyder's singular obsession with utilizing his vision and ignoring his audience. Maybe Ted Turner should buy back the network......

Rating: None. I haven't watched the show to properly rate it.

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