Sunday, February 23, 2014

The New Gadget Series Now Set to Premiere in 2015; The Episodes Will Apparently Be 22 Minutes Long

Here's something I found yesterday - and found interesting...

The above presentation is a snapshot from a recent DHX Media distribution catalogue, released as a PDF on January 15, 2014. You can find it yourself by following the PDF link and scrolling down to page 21 (or double-spread 11). Note the " 26 x 22' " part, telling us that each of the series' episodes will be 22 minutes long. One of my biggest concerns for the new TV series, ever since last summer's press releases, was that the episodes were announced as being only 11 minutes in lenght. I suppose it's not impossible to make a Gadget series work in the 11-minute format, but I've admittedly been sceptical. I mean, how do you cram a good crime story, featuring all the basic plot and character elements from the classic show (plus some new plot and character elements), into such a short run time? Add to that a detail which Teletoon director Alan Gregg mentioned last June: "...the stories [will be] more compelling." In my eyes, 22 minutes per episode seems better suited for telling stories with substance and drama, as well as comedy. Judging by the above catalogue write-up... maybe DHX has been thinking the same thing.

It might be a little too early, though, to say all this with absolute certainty. The PDF catalogue is so far the only place where I've seen the 22-minute info, and for all we know, it could even be a typo. But I really, really hope that the information is correct. 22 minutes has simply always struck me as the perfect format for Inspector Gadget.

By the way, note that that the reboot is presented as "Inspector Gadget NEW Series" in the distribution catalogue. I had been wondering how DHX would separate the new show from the original, considering that the official title for both still seems to be just "Inspector Gadget" (and since they still haven't separated the two series in their online distribution catalogue). Here's a picture of the full catalogue page from the PDF file...

But we should get on to the second part of the news - the newly announced premiere time. Much further into the distribution catalogue, on page 60, we get a full-page presentation of the Inspector Gadget brand which includes one quite interesting sentence...

That's right, folks: "New series to premiere in 2015!" Not 2014, as I've had featured in my news column to the right for many months now. To be fair, the press from last June only said that the series "...could be ready to hit the airwaves in late 2014", so the 'slated for 2014' bit was partly an assumption by me (just as my earlier 'scheduled for 2013' headline was an assumption based on the press release sentence, "Cookie Jar Entertainment is celebrating Inspector Gadget’s 30th anniversary with the launch of a brand-new series..."). Sure is dangerous to make assumptions like that, however strong the "evidence" seems to be. But this time we actually have an official sentence saying, in black and white, " premiere in 2015" - so I'll treat that as a fact until I hear something else.

And thinking about it -- this, coupled with the expanded run time for the episodes, sorta kinda makes sense: DHX might need more time to produce longer episodes. I have to admit that the undefined "2015" sounds a whole lot farther away than "late 2014"... but if the waiting results in a better series, I'm all for it.

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