PR's Move to Nickelodeon

In order to clean up the front page a bit, I've moved much of the 'older' news of Saban's re-acquisition of the Power Rangers franchise, the move of the episodes to Nickelodeon (for the 18th season coming in 2011) and Nicktoons (for the older incarnations, also starting in 2011), and other news about what's in store to this page.

FACEBOOK PAGE LAUNCHED: The ongoing expansion of the Saban-led PR rebirth hit another milestone this week with the launch of the PR Facebook page -- . And, in the photos section of their Facebook page, we see one particular image of interest:

The curious part of that is the "Coming 2011" part. Why? Because there's no way to know ALL of what that means. We know PRS is coming in 2011. What it doesn't nail down is how much of it is coming in 2011. It tells us PRS is 40 episodes. We knew that too. I just don't feel totally comfortable in taking that final step and taking the totality of the graphic to mean that ALL 40 episodes will be shown in 2011.

This is still very much up in the air and there's no way to know until we see how often Nick rolls out new episodes of PRS. If we only get, on average, two new episodes each month, then it'll take two years to get it done.

2011-12 SEASON NAME ANNOUNCED: We have a name for Season 18 of Power Rangers. Nothing fancy, it's pretty straight-forward:


The Power Rangers site broke the news. (Wow! Who'da thunk it? An official site actually having hard news before anyone else? That's something new in Rangerdom). They have very basic character descriptions as well on the show's page -- Power Rangers Samurai .

Here's a short article from today's edition of Variety -- 'Rangers' revamps. One MAJOR thing to note in this story is this one line:

Saban Brands also announced the Samurai theme for the upcoming season, premiering next year on Nickelodeon. While themes changed annually in years past, the Samurai theme will extend for two years.

So, what does this mean? While trying to figure out how many episodes of this season we might get, I looked at how many episodes make up a season of Nickelodeon's other hit shows. iCarly had two seasons of 25 episodes and its most recent season was 20. Big Time Rush's first season was 20 episodes. Every Spongebob season has been 20. Fairly OddParents hasn't had a season more than 20.

That's how Nickelodeon works. So, my first thought is that we'll get a 40-episode run of PRS (gotta get used to typing/seeing that, so might as well start now) -- with 20 episodes in 2011 and the other 20 in 2012. There are MANY aspects to this new world in which Power Rangers now lives -- many good, this looks like one of the not-so-good ones.

But, after a bit of a Twitter discussion with Joe Rovang and John Green on the "If PRS goes over two years, it is one season or two?" question, I've decided that the episode numbers for ALL of PRS will start with 20--. All of RPM was 19-- and I don't think it's a good thing to repeat the mistakes of PRiS and PRLG, where half of the incarnation started with one number and half with another.

NEW CAMERAS IN USE, NEW SEASON COULD BE IN HIGH-DEF: Earlier this week, another welcome advancement in terms of Power Rangers production was discovered. Tommy Lawson of ToonZone posted that camera operators in New Zealand are saying that the 16mm film cameras are FINALLY being ditched in favor of Red MX cameras. And that very well could mean the start of Power Rangers in high definition. The Sentai has been done in HD ever since Boukenger (the one that got adapted into Operation Overdrive) -- and you could tell when they adapted 16:9 footage into a 4:3 program.

PRIMARY CAST CHOSEN: Ladies and gents, we have our 2011 Power Rangers cast. That's not the focus of this page, but I'll point you in the direction of where you can get more details.

Go here: Rangerboard post and read that thread in both directions for photos of the selected actors (as well as those who weren't), Tweets about the process, etc.

RERUNS START (but didn't) OCTOBER 2010: The Nickelodeon booth at Comic-Con in San Diego brings us significant PR scheduling news. On the cover of their promtional DVD for PR coming to Nick and Nicktoons, we see this:

That gives us a date to look forward to for the return of Power Rangers to a stable and consistent place on U.S. television schedules. (ABC Kids was anything BUT stable) It also creates the largest chasm of time that there won't be any sort of PR presence on an American TV outlet. It was daily on Fox, ABC Family, Toon Disney and, at least, weekly on ABC Kids. This gap will be more than a month.

(Note added 10/11/10: As you know if you've kept up with the main page, the reruns WILL NOT start in October on Nicktoons. So much for stable. I guess we'll know when we know. But we can't even be sure when they will actually start.)

One little observation, which I hope isn't much: Much of Nick's presence at Comic-Con was centered on MMPR. They had people in the seven MMPR suits -- red, blue, black, pink, yellow, green, white -- and the DVD was the premiere episode of MMPR. I get a feeling the initial October schedule will start with "Dumpster" and be in MMPR for quite a while. That's all I've seen for the past seven months. You know me, I get a hankering for the unseen. I do need to point out that clips of Power Rangers in Space (there could have been others as well) were being played on the screens at the Nick booth.

MARVISTA TO HANDLE NON-U.S. TV DISTRIBUTION: A while back, we got news of Saban Brands hiring a company called MarVista to handle international distribution of the 700 previous episodes to TV outlets outside the United States. (This has nothing to do with DVDs, though) They created a very impressive video (almost three minutes long) to announce the partnership.

But, being the newspaper person many of you know me to be, I can't believe they have a major factual error in the FIRST 12 SECONDS! They got PR's "birth date" wrong! It's actually August 28, 1993. (Aug. 29 was a Sunday, the only day Fox Kids NEVER showed anything) In the PR universe, that's almost the same as messing up on July 4, 1776.

That aside, here's the announcement, much of which we already knew from May, when Saban re-acquired the franchise from Disney:

NEWS FROM LICENSING EXPO: June's Licensing Expo in Las Vegas also generated significant news. Nothing as big as what Sentai they're going to adapt for the 2011 season on Nickelodeon or what the name of the new series is going to be. But, we did see that Saban is going full-bore with its plans for the franchise and that it will hit platforms and technologies that haven't had the PR treatment before.

The biggest news nugget comes from the Saban Brands official who was interviewed on the Expo's streaming coverage on its Web site -- they're doing 40 episodes of this new incarnation. What he didn't address/confirm is the schedule on which those 40 would be shown. Is it 20 in the spring and then 20 in the fall? Is it 20 in 2011 and then 20 in 2012? Simple truth is NO ONE KNOWS. Well, at least no one outside the Saban Brands inner circle!

Rather than get long-worded here, I'll embed a couple of YouTube videos to let you look at at your leisure.

First, here's the Saban-produced promo video about what lies in store for the franchise:

And here's the interview with Elie Dekel, the managing director of Saban Brands, on what the future holds for PR. You gotta endure some of the lameness of the interviewer's questions: