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Cobra!
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« on: January 10, 2024 @135.41 »

In 2000 and 2001, Cartoon Network held a competition called The Big Pick, where it would broadcast a bunch of pilots for new cartoons and viewers voted for their favourite to greenlight into a new show.

In the 2001 contest, there was an entry for a show called A Kitty Bobo Show, which is about a teenage anthropomorphic cat in a city of cats and dogs, and is trying to look cool and prove himself to everyone he knows. The pilot episode was called “Cellphone”, which is pretty self-explanatory.



I was introduced to this by a friend as I never saw it at the time, but honestly, I love it. I don’t even know what it is about the pilot, but I was hooked all the way through and it’s just enjoyable in general. I’ve watched it several times already.

I imagine it’s an interesting insight into how people saw and used mobile phones back in the day for those who weren’t around to see it at the time. How it was seen as a luxury item and a status symbol, very different to today.

It was unfortunately never got greenlit, as it to Codename: Kids Next Door, (which in my opinion, isn’t nearly as good), so this pilot is all we got.
Cartoon Network still commissioned a second episode to be made but got cancelled during the storyboarding phase. The storyboard in question has been found and it looks like it has been scanned and archived but I have only been able to find parts of it on this video where the writer explains what happens in the episode.

I thought it would have made a great episode, and it’s a shame it never got made. Would love to find and read the full storyboard online.



Has anyone here seen this back in the day? What did/do you think of it?
« Last Edit: January 10, 2024 @137.04 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2024 @733.13 »

I do remember seeing this pilot, but it was a couple of years ago, probably around 2017. I like the vibe of this show as well, it's kind of.. cosy? Not sure if that's the right word, but when I watch this it really does feel like I'm glimpsing into a different time and a different world that feels so distant now.

I also find early media portrayals of computers and the Internet to be really interesting, and I definitely see that here with the premise of this pilot being about the main character owning a phone and how this correlates with their social status. Owning a cellphone at the start of this century was a big deal, considering only a little over a quarter of the general U.S. population had one at that time (http ://www.asasrms.org/Proceedings/y2005/files/JSM2005-000345.pdf). So at the time this pilot aired it would have been interesting to watch. It's still interesting today but for different reasons, mainly that it is retrospective.

It's a shame this was never greenlit. I'm surprised it lost to Codename: Kids Next Door. There's a lot of pilots that had the potential to become great, full-length series that sadly never had a chance and will only be remembered as pilots that got rejected. Some pilots are full of untapped potential and ideas. One that comes to my mind is The Modifyers, a rejected pilot from 2007 about a secret agent who works around the clock to foil all of the evil schemes which threaten peace and order in the city the show is set in. Its animation and premise is similar to that of My Life As A Teenage Robot, and I'm heartbroken that it wasn't greenlit, because I'm almost certain I would have loved this show and I would have watched it in its entirety. I highly doubt The Modifyers will ever become its own show, given it's been 16 years since the pilot debuted, and Chris Reccardi, who co-created the show with his wife, passed away in 2019.

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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2024 @853.83 »

I do remember seeing this pilot, but it was a couple of years ago, probably around 2017. I like the vibe of this show as well, it's kind of.. cosy? Not sure if that's the right word, but when I watch this it really does feel like I'm glimpsing into a different time and a different world that feels so distant now.

I also find early media portrayals of computers and the Internet to be really interesting, and I definitely see that here with the premise of this pilot being about the main character owning a phone and how this correlates with their social status. Owning a cellphone at the start of this century was a big deal, considering only a little over a quarter of the general U.S. population had one at that time. So at the time this pilot aired it would have been interesting to watch. It's still interesting today but for different reasons, mainly that it is retrospective.

That's exactly how I feel about it! It's just a very cozy watch. I can't even describe why, in fact I actually don't know myself.

In a way, it reminds me of when I watched most cartoons on Cartoon Network back then. I just sat there in front of the TV watching it all day after school, something to watch to not feel any particular emotion, but to be cozy, and forget about everything else around you for a while.
Only I think this pilot is different because it seems geared towards an older audience, which some have theorised was why it didn't win. It was just pitched at the wrong time.

Makes me think about if CN was the same today as it was back then, I probably wouldn't watch it because I feel like I'd be wasting my time. Maybe we should sometimes just sit down and watch stuff, and just forget about everything else.

One that comes to my mind is The Modifyers, a rejected pilot from 2007 about a secret agent who works around the clock to foil all of the evil schemes which threaten peace and order in the city the show is set in. Its animation and premise is similar to that of My Life As A Teenage Robot, and I'm heartbroken that it wasn't greenlit, because I'm almost certain I would have loved this show and I would have watched it in its entirety. I highly doubt The Modifyers will ever become its own show, given it's been 16 years since the pilot debuted, and Chris Reccardi, who co-created the show with his wife, passed away in 2019.


That is certainly an interesting pilot. Not sure if I would enjoy a full series, but I enjoyed the pilot anyway.

Another pilot I liked was 3 Dog Band, which was a show pitched in the late 2000s by the same animator who made Dexter's Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls and their style is evident throughout, but was ultimately not greenlit. Which is a shame, because I can see myself watching through this.


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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2024 @559.95 »

In a way, it reminds me of when I watched most cartoons on Cartoon Network back then. I just sat there in front of the TV watching it all day after school, something to watch to not feel any particular emotion, but to be cozy, and forget about everything else around you for a while.
Only I think this pilot is different because it seems geared towards an older audience, which some have theorised was why it didn't win. It was just pitched at the wrong time.

Makes me think about if CN was the same today as it was back then, I probably wouldn't watch it because I feel like I'd be wasting my time. Maybe we should sometimes just sit down and watch stuff, and just forget about everything else.

I share the same memories; coming home from school and unwinding by watching cartoons on CN or Nickelodeon, or waking up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons airing at that time. I watched a lot of cartoons on TV through the mid-late 2000s and it was always nice to just zone out and watch whatever was on. Watching TV would always take my mind off of things like school, and any anxieties I had at the time. Cartoons proved to be a sufficient refuge from the stresses of daily life.

I too was thinking one of the reasons A Kitty Bobo was unsuccessful in being greenlit might have been because it seems it was meant to be watched by people slightly older than the target audience for most Nickelodeon cartoons. Just looking at what was popular on Nick at the time - SpongeBob, CatDog, The Wild Thornberrys, The Fairly OddParents, Invader Zim, etc. A Kitty Bobo stands out from all of those as a less nonsensical show more grounded in reality. I imagine future episodes were intended to portray the show's main characters (who all appear to be late teens/young adults) figuring out what life is about, which would have paralleled the real world and its society at the time. As unique as this idea for a cartoon was, it's probably not what Nickelodeon was looking for, thus it got rejected.

Another pilot I liked was 3 Dog Band, which was a show pitched in the late 2000s by the same animator who made Dexter's Laboratory and Powerpuff Girls and their style is evident throughout, but was ultimately not greenlit. Which is a shame, because I can see myself watching through this.

I have never heard of 3 Dog Band before, so watching that pilot just now was a completely new experience. I like this pilot as well and just in general the idea of a music-themed cartoon that explores different music genres from different decades. The background music is really funky and I wish those songs were uploaded separately without the voice-overs or sound effects. I'm sure thousands of people have already said it but it's worth saying that the smallest dog bares a strong resemblance to PaRappa the Rapper which is really cool. Shame this didn't get greenlit, but I can sort of see why it didn't get the stamp of approval. Like A Kitty Bobo, this was probably meant for a slightly older audience. I wonder how well something like 3 Dog Band would have fared on something like Adult Swim instead?
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2024 @713.54 »

I too was thinking one of the reasons A Kitty Bobo was unsuccessful in being greenlit might have been because it seems it was meant to be watched by people slightly older than the target audience for most Nickelodeon cartoons. Just looking at what was popular on Nick at the time - SpongeBob, CatDog, The Wild Thornberrys, The Fairly OddParents, Invader Zim, etc. A Kitty Bobo stands out from all of those as a less nonsensical show more grounded in reality. I imagine future episodes were intended to portray the show's main characters (who all appear to be late teens/young adults) figuring out what life is about, which would have paralleled the real world and its society at the time. As unique as this idea for a cartoon was, it's probably not what Nickelodeon was looking for, thus it got rejected.

Erm, A Kitty Bobo was broadcast on Cartoon Network, not Nickelodeon. :drat:
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2024 @55.63 »

Erm, A Kitty Bobo was broadcast on Cartoon Network, not Nickelodeon. :drat:

Whoops. Really sorry for that blunder, I wasn't thinking clearly. That's what less than 12 hours of sleep over 3 days does to you.
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Cobra!
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2024 @137.31 »

It does apply to Cartoon Network as well, though. Generally the shows were, and still are, targets towards kids. Cartoons targets towards older people weren’t common, even if they did well. (The Sam & Max Cartoon is a good example of that)
I think execs just didn’t like them, or thought they’d scare their kids audience off or something.

Thing is, though, this was up to a viewer vote and Kitty Bobo was 2nd out of 20 pilots. I think it should have won because imo it’s a lot better than what KND later turned out, but whatever.

Like I said in the first post, Cartoon Network did still a second episode be made, even if they did cancel it later, meaning they must have still saw something in it for a short while?

Regardless, it has something of a fanbase, that is considering we only got a pilot episode. Someone made a short fan animtion that’s pretty good!



Someone did a mixtape-like album for it that’s a good listen!



There are also a couple of YTPs and shitpost videos that crop up now and again.

Whoops. Really sorry for that blunder, I wasn't thinking clearly. That's what less than 12 hours of sleep over 3 days does to you.

Jesus! Why so little?! Get some sleep! :eyes: ß
« Last Edit: January 12, 2024 @156.32 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2024 @726.38 »

It does apply to Cartoon Network as well, though. Generally the shows were, and still are, targets towards kids. Cartoons targets towards older people weren’t common, even if they did well. (The Sam & Max Cartoon is a good example of that)
I think execs just didn’t like them, or thought they’d scare their kids audience off or something.

Thing is, though, this was up to a viewer vote and Kitty Bobo was 2nd out of 20 pilots. I think it should have won because imo it’s a lot better than what KND later turned out, but whatever.

Like I said in the first post, Cartoon Network did still a second episode be made, even if they did cancel it later, meaning they must have still saw something in it for a short while?

Indeed. Feels like cartoons for older audiences is a relatively new thing. Obviously it's not, and cartoons intended for older audiences have been around for a long time, but it still feels like in the last ten years or so we have seen an increase in the number of 'adult cartoons' that have become significantly popular.

Yeah, it's still weird to me that Kids Next Door won. I looked at the other cartoon pilots that were part of the second "Big Pick" and none of them look particularly great, which the exception of A Kitty Bobo, of course. I agree, it should have won.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the "what ifs", like, I think about alternate realities where these rejected pilots like A Kitty Bobo, 3 Dog Band, and The Modifyers became full series and how they would have turned out in the long-run. And further to that, I really wish there was a way these pilots could somehow be given a second chance, even if they were pitched a long time ago now.

Regardless, it has something of a fanbase, that is considering we only got a pilot episode. Someone made a short fan animtion that’s pretty good!



Someone did a mixtape-like album for it that’s a good listen!



There are also a couple of YTPs and shitpost videos that crop up now and again.

Seeing how recently these videos were posted goes to show that A Kitty Bobo would have made for a great series, it's impressive that despite only being a pilot it managed to garner a dedicated fanbase that is still going strong to this day. I can't say many other pilots have achieved that. It's genuinely impressive.

Jesus! Why so little?! Get some sleep! :eyes:

I struggle with pretty bad insomnia, I have a very hyperactive imagination and there's always hundreds of thoughts floating around in my mind haha. I managed to catch a bit of sleep earlier thankfully.

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Cobra!
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2024 @964.49 »

Seeing how recently these videos were posted goes to show that A Kitty Bobo would have made for a great series, it's impressive that despite only being a pilot it managed to garner a dedicated fanbase that is still going strong to this day. I can't say many other pilots have achieved that. It's genuinely impressive.

I honestly get the feeling that with the increased attention it's getting that a streaming service or even Cartoon Network themselves will eventually decide to finally pick it up and make it a full series. I would definitely watch CN again if they started making new episodes! (If they do, I hope they make it a series about past trends as a nod to the added nostalgia for the pilot!)

I was actually thinking about if the series got a video game back in the day as I saw a comment on Youtube saying in an alternate universe Kitty Bobo got 6 seasons and 2 video games. I can imagine there would be an extreme sports game or something akin to a point and click adventure based on the series.

I struggle with pretty bad insomnia, I have a very hyperactive imagination and there's always hundreds of thoughts floating around in my mind haha. I managed to catch a bit of sleep earlier thankfully.
Ah, sorry to hear. I don't think I have insomnia, but I also struggle with a hyperactive imagination that keeps me from sleeping. Glad to hear you've been getting more sleep, though!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2024 @967.09 by Cobra! » Logged




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