Walt Disney TV Animation won’t produce a second season of the animated series “Goof Troop” for ABC’s Saturday-morning lineup, citing a failure of network license fees to pace rising production costs.
Two other Disney shows will also leave the ABC kidvid slate after this season: “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” a long-running series that will go into off-network syndication; and “Darkwing Duck,” a second-year animated series, with its off-network episodes simply to move into its rotation for the syndicated two-hour “Disney Afternoon” block.
Disney produced 13 episodes of “Goof Troop” for ABC in addition to 65 installments for first-run syndication. The dual network/syndication launch strategy used for both “Darkwing” and “Goof Troop” was seen as a means of increasing exposure for new series on Saturday morning and Monday-through-Friday — the same set-up the Fox Children’s Network enjoys with its animated fare.
Now, however, Disney TV Animation president Gary Krisel noted that there was little incremental value in the additional episodes made for the network and that the jury is still out on the dual exposure. “We’re not sure that having our shows on six days a week is that much of an advantage,” he said.
He added that the biggest problem may stem from deficiencies in the Nielsen peoplemeter system when it comes to counting children, placing additional pressure on the entire kidvid equation.
Krisel said Disney will continue to produce shows for Saturday morning but will be more selective due to rising costs. The studio currently produces “Disney’s Adventures of the Little Mermaid” for CBS.
ABC acknowledged that “Goof Troop” wouldn’t be back next season but declined to comment as to the reasons.