The Angry Beavers (1997)
This whole controversy involving Angry Beavers first started in 1998, when "Alley Oops!", a story in the series' 24th episode (seen during their 2nd season), contained the following lines
Dag: "You stink!"
Norb: "Oh, shut up, Dag!"
When this episode was first televised in the US on Nick, the "shut" in "shut up" was bleeped out. Apparently, someone complained about the phrase "shut up" in a Nick program, and, because of this, they decided to clamp down any anything seen as even mildly-subversive. "Shut up" is one of them. Of course, "dead" (and associated words) is another, but that's another story. Though what that bleep did was it generated more interest in the show, as some felt that it had vulgar language in the dialog.
However, between airings, Nick has changed Norb's line to "Shush up, stupid!" It was the first time any Nicktoon had a line changed between airings (since Ren & Stimpy, at least).
Its final episode, "Bye Bye Beavers", would've been a memorable one -- Norbert is told that he's part of a TV series that's been cancelled, and has to convince Daggett that they're not real. Here's a transcript from a sound clip from this episode, which surfaced on the internet recently. As you can see, Norb & Dag really bites the hand that feeds them:
Dag: "Norbie, what happens when you're 'over'?"
Norb: "Aw, it's not so bad."
Norb: "New Cartoon's good, even if it isn't. It's rerun-incarnated!" (as in "reincarnated")
Dag: Oooh... Does that hurt?
Norb: No, only when you get the later checks. The cartoon programming guys re-run it over and over and they make lots of well-deserved money.
Dag: Which they share with the people who made the cartoon right?
Norb: NO-HAHAOOOOOOHHHBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!! Uh ha! Woah Yeah right. (Calming down, trying to soothe Dag). Uh, right. So yo see it's all for the better.
Norb: Even though we're vanishing, we'll be back over and over again at (shouting) virtually no cost to the network!
(If you have an MP3 player, you can listen to this clip at: http://homepage.mac.com/leperous/networkslam.mp3. Also, if someone has the transcript of the complete "Bye Bye Beavers" episode, please let me know.)
The episode is along the same line as the 1975 Saturday Night Live sketch, where, in a Star Trek skit, William Shatner is still Captain Kirk, even though the show was cancelled, and the set was being struck.
According to Micah Wright, a staffer who worked on Angry Beavers, and later, created Constant Payne (which was later rejected by Nick) said that Nick hated this episode, as it made fun of Nick's practice of not making new episodes of their Nicktoons and, instead, making money on the constant barrage of repeats instead. And of all the things you can't do in a Nicktoon (including the famous "dead" debacle), there's one more rule -- if your show was cancelled, don't mention in the final episode that the show is ending.
Apparently, this episode had touched a nerve with the Nick staff, and as a result, gave the show seedy time slots, so not many viewers would watch the series. Also, this led to Nick withholding the last 7 episodes of the 5th season from its American viewers. However, this did not stop Nick from selling the entire Angry Beavers run to the international market. As for whether "Bye Bye Beavers" was included with international sales, I don't know.
As for Nick's comment on the situation -- earlier, a regular in the Nickdisk forum had posted a comment about "Bye Bye Beavers" in Nick.Com's forum. That forum is moderated, and, usually, posts that show Nick in a negative light do not show on the board. However, in the case of "Bye Bye Beavers", the poster had received an e-mail from the Nick forum's moderator, informing the person that that episode wasn't very good, and that the posters in the forum wouldn't be interested in it. The moderator did not comment on why that episode was bad, though of course, we know the real reason why "Bye Bye Beavers" did not appear on American airwaves.
While viewers outside the US might have already seen this episode, it's now highly doubtful that viewers in the US will ever see it. There's a chance that "new" episodes will air on the Nicktoons TV channel, where a 60-minute block of Angry Beavers air twice a day -- but don't hold your breath.
There were only 63 episodes produced (not including "Bye Bye Beavers"), just 2 short of 65, the standard amount required for international syndication. They came up short, as Nick cut two half-hours from the line-up, in order to make room for the "Beavers Rock Opera" special (which was to have been separate from the regular run) and a special that features the "Simply Sisters" spinoff pilot. They ended up not airing them at all.
(It should be noted that "Beavers Rock Opera", "Simply Sisters" and "Bye Bye Beavers" were simply extra episodes that were produced after the production of the 5th season has ended; therefore, they don't count towards the 5th season.)
For more on The Angry Beavers' demise, plus information in Micah Wright's other works, visit his site.
(Special thanks to Don Del Grande, and "PCBob2" & "dacp3" of the Nickdisk forum)
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