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The Tick vs. Fox TV

In my opinion, Fox never really had any idea how to handle The Tick, and it has cost Tick fans the opportunity for more Tick cartoons and more Tick shows.

First, Fox bought the rights to the Tick cartoon and began making episodes. This was inherently a good thing, as a great many people were initially exposed to The Tick via the cartoon series, and the three seasons that were made were very good. It seemed that early on Fox gave The Tick writers free reign, and the show shined.

Unfortunately, though, Fox didn't ever really grasp what the Tick was all about. Once it became successful, they tried to lump Tick into the same category as the X-Men, Spider-man and the rest of their Saturday morning cartoon fare. The Tick, though, was supposed to be based on The Tick comics by Ben Edlund and others. These comics are specifically designed for an adult audience. Fox found it increasingly necessary to constrain the writers for the cartoon (who understood the Tick) in order to try to fit The Tick into the category they wanted it to fit into - a children's show. This memo sums it up pretty well.

You'll notice that The Tick vs. Continuing Education comes AFTER the Tick vs. The Tick (the Evil Midnight Bomber episode) from season one. The Evil Midnight Bomber was a recurring character that Fox decided was too violent for their children's show. For another excellent indicator of just where Fox tried to steer the Tick, take a look at the Tick products Fox produced. There were a string of coloring books and other books like The Tick Neato-Keen Holiday Special (Fox), The Tick : A World of Pain(T) and Others, The Tick Vs. the Entire Ocean (Fox) , The Tick : Special Number One (Fox). These books are all listed for age 1-3 years. Why would you take an adult character and comic and try to force it to fit into a 1-3 age group?!

The Live Tick show should have been better. It was to have a more adult theme and orientation and be more true to the comics, which would have been great. Unfortunately, Fox didn't choose to support the new show by funding it appropriately, advertising it adequately, running the episodes in the correct order, or even giving it a specific air time.

The Tick show was to have a limited budget. This seems fair, since it was an unproven show concept, but it greatly constrained the ability of the show to have action. One of the biggest complaints about the show is that Tick doesn't ever fight evil, and in fact after the Pilot aired fans didn't see Tick actually fight evil until The Tick vs. Justice aired after the show had ALREADY BEEN CANCELLED.

It's bad enough that the show wasn't funded properly, but Fox manipulated the show during the shooting too. In an interview called Thus Spake Tick Creator Ben Edlund from Slashdot, Ben Edlund said that he had fought against using the line 'Java Devil, you are now my bitch!' in the pilot but that it was left in. If Ben Edlund, the creator of the Tick, can't get the producer to change a line, who's in command of the project?

After the first season of shows was taped, there was a lot of hype and momentum for the show on the Internet among Tick fans. Unfortunately, though, the show didn't air. It was delayed a season, and then delayed another season, and then another. Fox used several excuses to delay airing the pilot, including an impending writer's guild strike that they say would have caused problems. Fox delayed actually airing the show for over a year until it pretty much had no momentum left and the actors were all pursuing other projects.

When the show DID finally air, it moved around in the schedule. Over its run, it usually aired Thursday night at 7 (opposite Survivor, one of the highest rated programs in history), but it also aired on Friday night and most Thursday nights it wasn't on. In fact, it took Fox nearly 3 months to play 8 episodes, and they never bothered to play the last episode at all (which was actually supposed to be episode 3).

These are just a few of my complaints. I am thankful that Fox made the show in the first place, it is just very frustrating to think of how much better the shows COULD have been if Fox knew how to handle their property. Let me know what you think on the matter; michaellegg2@yahoo.com.

Thanks

Leggman

 

 


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© 2002 Michael Legg unless specifically noted.
All Tick images are owned by New England Comics, Fox, and Ben Edlund