This Sunday, Fox (the channel) will be celebrating its 25th birthday of launching as a full-time primetime network. In actuality though, the “channel” launched on October 9, 1986 with “The Late Show with Joan Rivers” in late night, but it became a full-time network on April 5, 1987. Looks like they’re having a late birthday party, but with a great deal of the most awesome shows they have had, I can forgive them.
While Fox had successful shows such as Married with Children, 21 Jump Street, and the Tracy Ullman Show (which lead to The Simpsons), they had many failures upon arrival such as Mr. President and Werewolf. Fox was once known as the butt of the major networks but overtime with the additions of Fox Sports, American Idol, and several other successful programs, it has become a powerful and popular network worldwide.
I asked everyone whether they would prefer me to write a full top-ten list of all the shows to ever air on Fox or if I should separate them by Prime-Time/Late Night and Fox Children’s Programming. The majority wished for me to separate the lists and in all honesty I am satisfied with this vote because I feel they both would stand out on their own merits.
In this 2-part series, I will open with the Fox’s children’s programming. These programs will include stuff from the Fox Kids, Fox Box, and 4Kids TV Line-Ups. To be clear; nothing outside of the Fox channel such as syndicated programming (Super Mario Bros. Supershow and Muppet Babies were on Fox Chicago) nor Fox Family (not like it would qualify, but example: The New Addams Family.) If you were born in the 1980s or 1990s, I can bet you watched at least two shows on the Fox Kids programming block! Let’s begin!
Top 10 Shows on Fox Kids
Runners-Up: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Eek! The Cat, Ultimate MUSCLE, and Super Dave.
10. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
Okay, the show came out when I was in the third grade and for some reason at my elementary school most kids thought it was uncool to like shows such as Power Rangers or Ninja Turtles when you hit 2nd grade or beyond. I don’t know why but they did. Anyway, I’ll admit I wasn’t crazy for the first season of Power Rangers as I thought Rita was a lame villain. When Lord Zedd came to her palace and took over, I was very impressed. Also, how can you not love those Zords?!?!?! This show was a mega hit where parents were buying their children EVERYTHING from the show and it had a big blockbuster movie. I ended watching the show around the time Power Rangers Zeo was about to begin, but it was a fun ride while it lasted. Also, it provides good laughs if you go back and watch it.
9. Bobby’s World
Bobby Generic, who couldn’t love that kid with an imagination that took him almost everywhere? This show was very imaginative and I think several of us probably could relate with making pretend in our own worlds and having siblings that drove us nuts. You also can’t forget the crossover animation/live action opening and endings between Bobby and his/dad’s voice actor, Howie Mendell (where when I was a kid I was like, who the hell is this guy?) My favorite character though was Uncle Ted. I still laugh at the time they said he shoved a game cartridge into a VCR.
I finally found out who the Warner Bros. were and apparently they had a Warner Sister named Dot too. It was from Stephen Spielberg who also did Tiny Toon Adventures and Freakazoid (a show I’d love to add to this list but wasn’t on Fox.) Lots of great parodies, plenty of hidden adult jokes (“I’m a pianist!” “You have such a potty mouth”), and it also was the start of Pinky & The Brain! I’ll admit it had some skits I didn’t like Rita & Runt and Slappy Squirrel, but with Pinky, Brain, Wacko, Yacko, Dot, the Goodfeathers, among others, plenty of laughs were had.
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
I know some people will be like “Why do you like this version, it was such crap compared to the 1980s show?!?!” That’s nostalgia talking my friends. I can’t say it’s better than the original (I grew up with the show) but it was a very fine show on its own! The animation style was more mature, it had some decent stories, and it was fun. For me, it felt more like the live action movies in terms of the feel. Also I felt the design for Shredder was very awesome. Whether you agree with me or not, you can at least admit it’s most likely going to be a lot better than Michael Bay’s Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles movie! :P
6. Life With Louie
Life with Louie was hilarious. I remember it premiering on Fox primetime as a Christmas Special. Louie and his friends see a woman with no Christmas decorations on her house and she was alone. They decorate her house and sing her carols only to find out she was Jewish and didn’t celebrate Christmas. Haha! It’s another cartoon basically being a kid and growing up with narration like The Wonder Years or Everybody Hates Chris, but with Louie Anderson narrating! Louie and his dad’s voices were great!
5. The Tick
SPOON! While I’m one of the few that preferred Freakazoid to The Tick, it was still a funny show on its own! It has been awhile since I have watched the show, but I remember it always being funny when I watch it. The Tick’s voice was very awesome and I really liked his sidekick Arthur always being mistaken as a bunny.
I’m going to get shit for this but as a kid, I actually was not a big fan! The only characters I liked at the time were Wolverine and Gambit. They remain my favorites today but I now love the show and the series! What a fool I was. I suppose as a kid I felt there was so much going on, which as an adult, I happen to enjoy. It had some pretty mature and great stories for being a kids’ show. I actually plan on re-watching the whole series sometime on Netflix and I have really enjoyed X-Men movies such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine as well as X-Men First Class.
3. Tiny Toon Adventures
This was a very memorable show. While one would consider it to just be “Looney Tunes kids” it really wasn’t. The humor was wacky; it featured Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs and Daffy as the kids’ teachers, and the vast array of characters such as Buster, Hampton, Plucky, Montana Max, Elmyra, etc. This is yet another kids’ show with hidden adult jokes. Example: Sweety Bird is chasing after Bookworm and suddenly gets hit by a giant book that has the title “The Mike Tyson Story.” Sweety Bird all hurt and dizzy then says, “Now I know how Robin Givens feels.” While I didn’t get that as a kid, I hear that now and say “OMG! They said that on a kids show?!?” Oh childhood…
2. Spider-Man (1994)
I came very very close to giving this the number one spot. I loved this show! The animation at the time (especially Spider-Man web slinging through the city) was amazing for its time! Peter Parker had some very humorous lines and I loved all of the sagas associated with the series from beginning to end. I also got my first look at some of my favorite villains such as Rhino, Scorpion, and while I knew about him prior, I really enjoyed any and all of his altercations with Venom. This show also featured some great crossovers with The Punisher, the X-Men, and had a nice Avengers storyline towards the end of the series. I remember being so upset that the series was ending but then was very excited that Fox was bringing a new series called “Spider-Man Unlimited” to Saturday Mornings.
When I saw this among other changes, I immediately tuned out. Still the 1994 Spider-Man is one of, if not, the best Spider-Man series ever made.
1. Batman The Animated Series
Batman vs. Spider-Man? This was a tough decision but ultimately became a lot easier after I considered what a mature show Batman the Animated Series was. Everything from the animation (which still holds up amazingly to this day), the mature tones, the music, the number of amazing villains, and the darker storylines are just amazing. Many animators today hold this show as one of their favorites. It has even had an influence on the anime series: The Big O. I can always go back and watch this show.
That is all for Part 1 of My Tribute to the 25th Anniversary of Fox. Tune in soon for Part 2: Prime Time and Late Night Programs! If you liked this article, make sure you like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and subscribe to me on YouTube. I’ll keep you posted on my other articles, cosplay info, meet-up events, and more! Thank you for reading!
P.S. If you’re going to Anime Central and will be free in the afternoon Thursday before the con, be sure to check out my Mitsuwa meet-up event! Check out the event here!