It was a most interesting 2015 in terms of animation and with the shows we covered. There have been so many stories this year with our shows and so much waiting between episodes because networks. Welcome to our Year-in-Review with the top five stories of 2015.
5. Littlest Pet Shop to close after Season Four: On October 6th, it was announced that Season Four would be the last for Littlest Pet Shop on Discovery Family. While it started off well in terms of viewership, sometimes on par with MLP, the viewership slowly but surely faded away. But it turned out viewership wasn’t the problem, selling toys was and that’s why Hasbro pulled the plug. It’s the hard truth when the show is based on a toy line. It’s a disappointment in a way because Season Three finished strongly and Season Four may have some interesting arcs down the line, but it could never quite reach the heights of MLP.
4. A Star debuts and gets renewed: It got a little weird, got a little wild on Disney XD this year as Star vs. the Forces of Evil debuted to over 2 million viewers on Disney Channel on January 18th. The next month, it was announced it would be renewed for a second season. The run on Disney XD started on March 30th and now has aired 23 episodes. It had a bit of a feeling out phase as to what kind of show it wanted to be before finishing with a rather stellar arc, introducing a new villain, and a hook having to deal with Star’s wand. Star averaged over 617,000 viewers per episode on Disney XD and we’ll see if it can be one of the leading Disney XD shows in 2016.
3. Hiatus (Un)happy: This reminds me of the old joke, “What do [network executives in this case] and a preacher have in common?”. The answer is that both make you stand up and yell, “JESUS CHRIST!” Rather than running out episodes on a weekly basis, it seemed like ALL the kids networks seemed to air new episodes in an erratic manner. Chief among them was Disney XD and Gravity Falls which didn’t air episodes on back-to-back weeks at all in 2015. MLP came back after an 11-month hiatus in April, only to take another two-month break to air the second half of Season Five. Cartoon Network seemed content to air Steven Universe five episodes one week and then air each Thursday a couple months later.Wander Over Yonder and Star vs. the Forces of Evil also had, or currently have, their hiatuses. Quite frankly, it was annoying to fans and especially annoying to us at Derpy News. In truth, networks have been doing this for a few years now with live-action shows, but to be jarringly inconsistent with scheduling tends to do more harm than good with shows.
2. MLP’s 100th Episode and 5th anniversary surprise: There were so many stories coming out of Equestria. Friendship is Magic was renewed for a sixth season before Season Five began. The Mane Six made a cameo in the NFL’s Super Bowl commercial. Plus, fans are counting down to November 3rd, 2017, when the movie comes out. Two events stood out this year on FiM. The first came on June 13th with the airing of the 100th episode. The background ponies got their day in the spotlight and it was well-received by the fandom and especially this reviewer. Then on October 10th, the fifth anniversary of the show, a much bigger surprise came as the Cutie Mark Crusaders got their cutie marks In the end, it turned out to be a happy accident that this episode aired when it did, but it would be the most talked about event this year. Fans thought this would occur in Season Five, and there were clues here and there, but none ever thought it would be during the 19th episode of the season and there was no warning whatsoever that it would occur. If the 100th episode was a thank-you to fans, this event was the surprise present wrapped in a bow tie. Oh yeah, the season was very good as well.
1. Gravity Falls to end after “Weirdmaggedon”: This came as a major shock. On November 21st, series creator Alex Hirsch announced that the three-part “Weirdmaggedon” arc will end the show after just 41 episode. The one-hour finale to “Weirdmaggedon” will air sometime in 2016. The show had produced some major twists towards the end of the second season with the reveal that Stan’s brother was the author of the journals and emerged from the alternate dimension. The show broke records for a cartoon on Disney XD breaking the one million mark on the channel when it did appear. However, all good things come to an end and Hirsch said that he never meant to “go on forever and ever”. It’s just that the end is coming so suddenly and to many, feels way too soon. Disney XD ended one Summer with Phineas and Ferb earlier this year, it will end another next year in Gravity Falls.
Best of the Rest in random order:
- – Steven Universe renewed for third season.
- – “Weird Al” Yankovic appears on Gravity Falls and Wander over Yonder
- – Samurai Jack returns in 2016.
- – Amy Keating Rogers leaves MLP to work for Disney.
- – Jason Thiessen leaves show to work on MLP movie.
- – Lena Hall guest appearance on MLP
- – Heidi Klum guest appearance on LPS Season Three finale
Next up, we’ll preview what to look for in 2016.