I grew up with Power Rangers. I remember waiting hours at the local Toys R Us just to see them (or really, costumed Toys R Us employees). After a while though, I slowly forgot the series and surprised myself in 2002 when I found out they were still churning out seasons and very successfully at that. Since then, I\’ve rediscovered the show and have been a (mostly) faithful viewer (and fan depending on the season).
Power Rangers is a fun ride, not just as a kids show, but as a show that takes me back to simpler times. (Don\’t we all wish that?) And after seven years of Disney control, it seems as if this year will mark its last.
Talk of cancellation has been circling the series for years, especially during the show’s current “Disney era” after the company acquired ownership to the franchise from Saban when they became sole owners of the then-Fox Family Channel from NewsCorp. Disney slowly began transferring Power Rangers and the rest of the children’s block to the less-widely available Toon Disney channel, but continued to air the series in an irregular pattern on ABC Kids on Saturdays.
Last month marked the launch of Disney XD, Disney’s rebranded Toon Disney channel aimed at attracting the young boys demographic with more action/adventure based series. Naturally, Power Rangers fit perfectly into that demo, but things became dimmer and dimmer for the show’s future until it was found out (not revealed, mind you) that the latest series Power Rangers: RPM would only air on ABC proper.
When in past years, even a lone press release marked the new seasons of the still internationally successful series, there wasn’t even that for the newest incarnation.
Backtracking, late last year, rumors began making the rounds among fan communities online that the new executive producer had been sacked midway through production. Everything from the show being grossly over budget to the story being too dark for a young audience, speculation about the show’s future reached fever pitch.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that that executive producer, Eddie Guzelian answered fan questions at RangerCast saying that he was indeed fired but for reasons even he doesn’t know about. He related how Disney wanted him to take the show in a new direction, hoping to attract an older audience. And that is what he did, especially judging from the first two episodes which premiered this weekend.
Production manager Sally Campbell, who’s worked on the show for years, told the New Zealand Herald (where the series has filmed on location since Disney took control) that “at this stage we will not be shooting another season.”