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Return to the start of 'Behind the Bling Blong'


While Mission Hill has many devoted fans, from the viewpoint of the WB, its original network, the show did not succeed and thus the show's production was ceased.  Besides the unusual scheduling and marketing decisions made by the WB, there were other reasons the show may have failed to catch on.

Dan Clowes 'Eightball', one of the inspirations for Mission HillThe show's tone and style was heavily influenced by underground comic books.  Oakley admits that during production, they overestimated the medium's popularity.  He remembers, "we learned after the show was already cancelled that there's only about five thousand people in all of America that are familiar with that stuff!"  The show was also considered by Oakley to be an 'apex' of writing subtle jokes that nobody got.  One example is the story of Andy and Jim working at the advertising agency.  This was a parody of the popular late 80's drama thirtysomething, which also had two friends  working at an advertising agency.  Both shows even featured David Clennon as the character's boss. 

It was this level of sophistication and subtlety to the writing that while appreciated by the show's fans, may have contributed to the show's downfall.  In North America there is a long-standing stigma that animation is targeted towards children.  As a result, many viewers who would have understood all the references and caught the subtle jokes, may have avoided the show because of that.  And children may  not have understood the show's style of humour or appreciated its unusual visuals.

"The show was too rarified for television, but perfect for cable.  It appealed to a small audience," remembers Bill Oakley.  "The Simpsons, everybody watches it, including little kids, if little kids don't watch, you are doomed to obscurity."

"Mission Hill has very little for young kids. For teenagers and up, yes, but nothing for the under 12 set," agreed Josh Weinstein in a 2003 interview with Morphizm.com

Regardless of the reasons why, and despite its newfound life on cable, Mission Hill did not make it past thirteen episodes, and any future the show has is uncertain at best.