I have been involved with a special project at work and with a couple of other special projects of my own, so the admins haven't gotten together yet to plan out what we're going to do in the future, but I do have a big announcement.
Wikia, the company that provides the services that lets us have a wiki for free, is going to help us celebrate the end of the series. We're just starting to work out what will be in it, but it's a "Community Choice Awards" that everyone votes on. Much bigger than the voting for our five monthly featured items and I think they've helped advertise this sort of thing in the past, so new people may be coming here to our wiki.
It is getting harder and harder these days for TV shows to end on their terms. The industry is even more ratings-driven than before and a show can be canceled at the drop of a hat, even in the middle of a season. For a show to last a few years, that means it's good. For a show to decide to end because the time's right and they can plan out an ending, that's special. And it happens not often enough these days.
Welcome back to The Numbers Game, where it's always gonna be a great day. And there's plenty to cover on this day, so let's get right to it. This is the newsletter column that breaks down the numbers of Phineas and Ferb, and this issue, we look back at all the fantastic figures from eight years of our favorite show.
Phineas and Ferb premiered with the first of two sneak preview episodes all the way back on August 17, 2007. To put this in some perspective, Kim Possible and Danny Phantom were still on the air at that point, while the likes of iCarly and Wizards of Waverly Place had yet to debut. The show's run of 7 years, 9 months and 26 days since makes it Disney's longest running original series by nearly half again. The Boys of Summer Vacation also claim the episode record as well, surpassing the 106 half-hours of the Waverly Place crew during Season 4. In fact, Phineas and Ferb is one of only three original shows across U.S. kid-targeted cable to predate the current decade (Nick's perennials SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents being the others).
Two major ratings highlights stand out from Phineas and Ferb's storied history. "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!" premiered on Emoticon December 6, 2009 to an audience of 2.623 million viewers; to this day, it remains the most-watched broadcast in Disney XD history, going back to the channel's inception as Toon Disney in 1998. When "Christmas Vacation!" subsequently debuted on Disney Channel five days later, it drew 5.213 million viewers there, a number that the show would only surpass one time.
And that was the biggest ratings highlight of all: Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension. Premiering on August 5, 2011, 7.642 million viewers watched it that night, making it the No. 1 kid-targeted broadcast of the year - beating out the Kids' Choice Awards, a crossover between iCarly and Victorious, a strong slate of Disney Channel movies that included films from The Suite Life and Good Luck Charlie series as well as Lemonade Mouth and Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, and the Hannah Montana series finale among many others. With delayed DVR viewing factored in, that number jumps to 10.690 million viewers, making Across the 2nd Dimension the No. 5 rated cable TV movie of all time:
1. High School Musical 2, August 17, 2007, 18.639 million
2. Teen Beach Movie, July 19, 2013, 13.530 million
3. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, August 28, 2009, 13.499 million
4. Crossfire Trail, January 21, 2001 (TNT), 12.519 million 5. Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, August 5, 2011, 10.690 million
Phineas always knows what he's gonna do today, and tonight he'll know for the 223rd time - once it airs, there'll have been 187 single segments, 27 half hours, 2 45 minute episodes, 6 hour long specials and the 1 movie. We say farewell to a series that will be fondly remembered for years to come when the "Last Day of Summer" premieres tomorrow night, Friday, June 12 at 9:00PM Eastern (8:00 Central) on Disney Channel and Disney XD. Until then, leave your thoughts down below, and remember...that the numbers never lie.
Tonight will be the final episode of Phineas and Ferb. Later this year, we'll get to see one more special that's called "The O.W.C.A. Files". And then that's it, show's over. Time to pack up and close down the wiki, right?
Of course not. Did you expect me to answer any other way? Of course not.
Though it's easy to start feeling down that a favorite show is coming to an end and it's easy to think that this is the time to leave, this is actually a great time to stay.
At the end of last month, I went to Everfree Northwest, the Seattle-area convention dedicated to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I was able to attend only a few of the panels, but one of them was to listen to John de Lancie. He's played Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the follow-up series, and he has a recurring role as Discord in MLP.
That panel was mostly a Q&A session and one of the questions surprised me. The person said that there are already discussions about when MLP comes to an end, the community could die. He wanted to know John's thoughts on that.
What surprised me about the question is while I don't follow that show as much as I could, it's very popular right now. Pretty much any kind of merchandise you can imagine, probably the biggest of which is the collectable card game, which has got to be raking in the cash for Hasbro. A convention dedicated to just one show. And people are already talking about MLP ending?
John pointed back to the original series of Star Trek. Cancelled after two seasons, only to be brought back for a third season due to the efforts of one person. It continued on through four more follow-up TV series and several movies. Its fans didn't let it die.
I'll point to Firefly. They had it worse. The network basically did what they could to kill the series while it was in production because of the way they handled it. It became a joke about how the network would go out of its way to cancel series like this. But its fans won't let it die, either. They're proud to be called Browncoats and that pride led to a film and and an online video game that will feature the actors from the show.
We can be proud of what Dan and Swampy did. They gave us a special episode, "Act Your Age", where they helped a fan take a big step towards becoming a professional artist. They're giving us two more special events to wrap up the show, ending it on their terms, rather than leaving it unfinished because it was cancelled.
If you collect the merchandise like I do, this is also a great time to find bargains. The major retailers like Target, F.Y.E. and Spencer Gifts will begin discounting the P&F items. For example, I picked up a backpack last month that I hadn't seen before for half off.
Here on the wiki, we have so much more we can do. When I was looking for pictures to put in this issue, I picked a couple from "Invasion of the Ferb Snatchers". The Gallery for that episode needs a bit of cleanup and we're pretty much missing all of Perry's mission from that episode.
Let's keep working to make this wiki even better. What we do here could help Phineas and Ferb come back at some time in the future by keeping interest alive in it. It may be something simple like comic books. The Powerpuff Girls have been off the air for much longer than P&F, yet new comics are written featuring them. It may be something even bigger, like the feature film Dan and Swampy wanted to make a while ago.
We don't know how or if P&F will come back in the future, but I would love to see it happen. So let's take a cue from the theme song and stick around because the Phineas and Ferb fans are gonna do it all!
My last two reviews have involved voice acting. In them, I mentioned that one of the common misconceptions is that there aren't very many jobs available, but that is changing with new fields opening up like TV shows that are being made exclusively for streaming video services like Netflix.
Every so often there is another round of voice acting jobs that open up, and that is due to an actor retiring, dying or other circumstances. It happened with Mel Blanc, "the Man of a Thousand Voices", the one who could do such a wide range of characters. No one actor could do all the roles he did. Bugs Bunny has been voiced by eight other actors, six of which were in Warner Bros. cartoons and movies. Daffy Duck, eight, including one for Space Jam by Dee Bradley Baker. Porky Pig, seven.
Last month, over twenty characters just went up for grabs on The Simpsons. Though the series was renewed for two more seasons, Harry Shearer decided not to return. He is walking away from earning $14 million for those two years. It could actually be $28 million because there's an option for another two years beyond that, which would bring the series up to 30 seasons.
The people who are in charge of the show don't know why he turned them down. Any of the things that they can think of that he might object to are already in his favor. Technology is good enough that he can do his recording sessions wherever he is so he doesn't have to go to Los Angeles to a recording studio. He can work on other acting jobs and events he's interested in. Shearer says it wasn't about the money. They just don't know.
Something happened and it may be a long time before we find out what, if ever. But the result is that those 20+ roles will now be done by other actors. Auditions should already be under way to find actors that can do more than just sound like Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, Lenny, Otto, Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns and Smithers. They need to show they can put life into those voices, be flexible, adapt to new situations.
And they will. Whether those roles are filled by veteran actors or newcomers, the characters will live on. Large numbers of roles becoming available at a single time are rare, but it's another example of how there are still jobs available in the voice acting biz.