- Fox Kids
network_name = Fox Kids
slogan = Fox Kids is what? Fox Kids is Cool! (1995) Fox Kids Rocks Kids! (1997) Fox Kids Take The Ride! (1998) Fox Kids Where Heroes Live (1999-2001)
network_type = Defunct
Saturday morning cartoonblock and weekday afternoon cartoon block
available = National
News Corporation(50%) Saban Entertainment(50%)
September 8, 1990
September 7, 2002
past_names = The Fox Kids Network (1990-1998)
Fox Kids (officially Fox Family Worldwide, Inc, and prior to that Fox Children's Productions and Fox Kids Worldwide) was the FOX network's children's programming division and brand name from
September 8, 1990until September 7, 2002.
It was a 50/50
joint venturebetween News CorporationLimited and Haim Saban's Saban Entertainment(known for the Power Rangersand Digimonfranchises), airing Monday-Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
Fox Kids ended in 2002 when Fox sold the money-losing Fox Family Channel (now
ABC Family) and the Fox Kids division to The Walt Disney Company, owing to widening competition from cable channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. The block continued to run in repeat form until September 2002, when Fox sold the Saturday morning programming time to 4Kids Entertainmentfor their own children's block. The Walt Disney Companyeventually brought back Fox Kids in 2004but changed the name to Jetix in the United States.
Fox Kids is better remembered as a source of nostalgia for
Generation Yers, due to its varied programming (Traditional cartoons, live-action series, anime and other types)
According to James B. Stewart's "
DisneyWar", Fox Kids' history is intertwined with the history of " The Disney Afternoon". "Afternoon" launched on some of Fox's owned-and-operated stations, as well as the various Fox affiliates. This was due in no small part to the fact that then Disney CEO Michael Eisnerand then Fox head Barry Dillerhad worked together at the ABC network and at Paramount Pictures. When Disney bought a Los Angeles television station, KCAL-TV, it wanted "Afternoon" to be shown on it, thus taking it away from Fox owned & operated KTTV. Furious at the breach of contract, Diller then pulled "Afternoon" from all other Fox owned & operated stations, and encouraged Fox affiliates to do the same. Fox then began the process of launching its own children's programming lineup.
Fox Kids launched in the fall of 1990, originally headed up by division president
Margaret Loeschand airing programming originally for 30 minutes per day Monday-Friday and three hours on Saturday morning. In 1991 it expanded to 90 minutes on weekdays and four hours on Saturday mornings. In 1992 the network eventually expanded to 2½ hours Monday-Friday.
Fox Kids had its own radio lineup as well. Entitled the Fox Kids Radio Countdown, it was two hours in length and was hosted by
Chris Learyof TechTVand ZDTVfame. The show consisted of contests, gags, and funny sound effects. It was later renamed to [http://www.foxallaccess.com Fox All Access] and continues to air currently.
By 1993, Fox Kids was up to three hours on Monday-Fridays (usually 2 p.m.-5 p.m. local time) and four hours on Saturdays (8 a.m.-noon ET/PT, 7 a.m.-11 a.m. CT/MT). Stations had the choice of airing one weekday hour in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, or all three at the same time in the morning or afternoon. This was because some stations had morning
newscasts. In 1995 and early 1996 Fox acquired three former ABC affiliates and Savvoy/Fox (Emmis a few years later) acquired three former NBC affiliates and an ABC affiliate. Those stations all had evening newscasts, but wanted to continue to have regular syndicated programming to lead into the news instead of cartoons, so they would run Fox Kids one hour earlier in the afternoon from 1-4 p.m..
Stations that would run it at this time included;
*New World station (until 1997) becoming Fox
O&O KTVI(Channel 2) in St. Louis. Originally, religious broadcaster KNLC(Channel 24) took the block after it moved from former Fox affiliate KDNL(Channel 30), and was turned down by KTVI, in July 1995. However, the network terminated the agreement as of September 1996 and KTVI began to carry the block, as KNLC used their local commercial time to instead broadcast religious sermons and messages, along with the personal opinions of station owner Rev. Larry Rice, which the network found inappropriate for their young viewership. The station refused to sell the time to advertisers, and would also occasionally censor Fox Kids advertising and programming they found offensive in their view.
*Fox O & O
WGHP(Channel 8) in Greensboro upon becoming a Fox O & O in September 1995. The timeslot here was previously occupied by ABC Soap Operas. Beginning in the Summer of 1996 Fox Kids would move to WBFX (now WTWB) (Channel 20) and run in pattern.
WHBQ (Channel 13) in Memphis became a Fox O & O in September 1995. The weekday schedule was initially shown from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., followed by
Family Matters. In 1998, only two hours of the three hour lineup was shown from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.. Beginning in the fall of 1999, the weekday block was no longer aired at all; instead, the timeslot was occupied by syndicated talk and court shows. Also, beginning in 1996, the Saturday block was split in half; the first half was shown from 5-7 AM local time, followed by syndicated shows like Jack Hanna's Animal Adventuresand The Magic School Bus, then the second half of the block was shown from 9-11 AM local time. This policy continues with 4Kids TVprogramming.
Savvoy/Fox and later Emmis-owned (at the time) stations;
WALA(Channel 10) in Mobile, Alabama
KHON(Channel 2) in Honolulu
WVUE(Channel 8) in New Orleans -- even before switching to Fox from ABC, WVUE was an underperforming station in the market. As a result, WVUE did not have a morning newscast, and as such, Fox Kids aired from 6 to 9 a.m..
WLUK(Channel 11) in Green Bay. In the Fall of 2001 Fox Kids was pushed back to Noon to 2 p.m..
The cities with alternate independent,
UPNor WB stations, Fox contracted to air the Fox Kids block on these other stations so that their O&Oand affiliate stations were free to program all of their hours for older audiences or news. All except one of such stations are those that were owned by New World Communicationswhich were once CBS, ABC, or NBC (in only one case) affiliates. New World (later merged with Newscorp) affiliated its stations with Fox in 1994-1995 when Fox won the contract to air the National Football Conferencepackage. In some cases Fox Kids would be airing on the same station as their competitors, Kids' WBand the former UPN Kidsblock.
WSVN(Channel 7) in Miami, which dropped the block at the end of 1993 and at that time moved to WBZL(Channel 39) and eventually moved to WAMI-TV(Channel 69) in 1997. WSVN was the first Fox affiliate not to take Fox Kids.
*WITI (Channel 6) in Milwaukee, which would opt to not take the block upon becoming a Fox station in 1994, leaving it on
WCGV(Channel 24), which was the previous Fox affiliate and took UPN affiliation shortly thereafter, however WCGV continued to show more preference to Fox Kids than the weaker teen-targeting UPN Kids block.
WJBK(Channel 2) in Detroit also saw no need for Fox Kids, leaving it on WKBD(Channel 50), which was the previous Fox affiliate and would take the UPN affiliation soon after. This arrangement ended in the fall of 1997, of at which time would move to low-rated independent WADL (Channel 38), which is regarded in that market as a station where the main network affiliates dump programming they don't want to broadcast.
*WJW (Channel 8) in Cleveland opted not to take Fox Kids. Former Fox affiliate
WOIO(Channel 19) took CBS affiliation. As a result, low rated newer independent WBNX(Channel 55) would take Fox Kids. After that, WBNX continued to grow and buy better programming eventually taking WB affiliation as well. WBNX's Fox Kids Club became the largest Kids Club in the eastern United States. It's Fox Kids Club magazine circulation was the second largest in the country. WBNX (now affiliated with The CW) continues to air 4Kids TVon Sunday mornings and Kids WBon Saturdays.
*Fox's East Coast
flagship WNYW(Channel 5) in New York in later years deferred the block to sister UPN station WWOR (Channel 9). This was also the case in Los Angeles between Fox West Coast flagship KTTV(Channel 11) and their UPN station, KCOP(Channel 13).
WTVT(Channel 13) in Tampa also opted not to take Fox Kids. Former Fox affiliate WFTS(Channel 28) also could not keep it because they were taking ABC affiliation which moved from WTSP(Channel 10) which replaced that with CBS affiliation that WTVT originally had. Fox Kids therefore moved to an independent station WTTA(Channel 38) owned by Sinclair which also picked up other syndicated shows that WFTS could no longer air. WTTA eventually took WB programming in 1998. This arrangement for WTTA to air Fox Kids continued until the end of 2001 when Fox Kids ended weekdays but continued reruns on Saturdays. Those as well as Fox Box/4Kids TV (which would replace Fox Kids in the Fall of 2002) would air on WMOR (Channel 32) which was a WB station from 1995 to 1998.
KSAZ-TV(Channel 10) in Phoenix also did not take Fox Kids upon beginning Fox Affiliation in December 1994. It remained on KNXV(Channel 15) the former Fox affiliate soon to become an ABC affiliate. This station would run for a month as an independent station. This affiliation switch was complicated. CBS would move from KSAZ to KPHO(Channel 5) previously an independent September 1994. KSAZ then became an indepdendent until that December. ABC would remain on KTVK(Channel 3) until January 1995. At that time Fox Kids moved to KTVK in place of the ABC Soap Operas. That Fall though Fox Kids would move to KTVK's managed station KASW(Channel 61) which also took WB affiliation as well. This arrangement still continues with 4Kids TV even though Fox owned KUTP(Channel 45) is a former UPN station now affiliated with My Network TV.
WDAF-TV(Channel 4) in Kansas City also did not take Fox Kids in 1994. In that market it would move to KSMO-TV(Channel 62) as former Fox affiliate KSHB(Channel 41) took NBC from WDAF. KSMO became the UPN affiliate in 1995. In 1998 when KSMO took WB affiliation, Fox Kids along with UPN programming moved to KCWB (now KCWE) (Channel 29). In the fall of 1999 though it moved to KMCI(Channel 38).
*WAGA (Channel 5) in Atlanta also did not take Fox Kids. It remained on then Fox Owned WATL (Channel 36) which would give up primary Fox affiliation while keeping children's programming. That station would take WB affiliation and be sold to Qwest and Tribune. When WHOT (Channel 34) in nearby Athens dropped its shopping format for general entertainment in 1999, Fox Kids moved there and remained until it was canceled nationally in 2002.
KDFW(Channel 4) Dallas/Ft. Worth also did not take Fox Kids in 1995. Fox continued to own KDAF(Channel 33) so they kept it there as well as taking WB affiliation. Soon after that, the station was sold to Tribune. In 1997 upon Fox's acquisition of KDFW in a group deal, Fox Kids would move to newly co-managed independent station which is now a My Network TVstation KDFI(Channel 27).
WBRC(Channel 6) Birmingham in the Fall of 1996 was originally going to take Fox Kids and run it in place of ABC soaps because they would be a Fox O & O (not a New World station) and this was the original policy for such stations. But former Fox affiliate WTTO(Channel 21) approached Fox about being allowed to keep it even though they were becoming an independent. Fox decided that WTTO could keep Fox Kids and they changed the policy of the new O & O's allowing those stations to also assign Fox Kids elsewhere. At the same time WGHP in Greensboro also dropped Fox Kids moving it to the WB station there.
KTBC(Channel 7) Austin only took the Saturday lineup of Fox Kids in 1995, while (now-defunct) sister station K13VC would pick up the weekday and Saturday lineup. KTBC and K13VC both simulcasted the Saturday lineup until KTBC dropped it in 1997.
WOLF-TV(Channel 5/38/56) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the area Fox on the air waves FOX originally started out on 38, but when the WB took over the air wave channel of 38, FOX was moved to 56. But FOX has remained the entire time on Cable Channel 5.
In 1996, Fox Kids merged with Haim Saban's Saban Entertainment, Inc.; some of this programming also aired on Fox Family Channel (now
In 1999, the Fox Kids programming weekday block was trimmed to 2 hours, and added "
The Magic School Bus", which had previously aired on PBS. In 2000, affiliates were all given options to push the block up to 2-4 p.m. instead of 3-5 p.m.. In the 6 or so markets with 5 p.m. newscasts that carried Fox Kids (such as St. Louis and New Orleans for example) they already were running the block an hour early back in 1996. Some affiliates (like WLUK) would even tape delaythe block to air between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., one of the lowest-rated time periods on US television. A few only aired "The Magic School Bus" in this inconvenient slot, in order to fulfill FCC-mandated 'educational/informational programming' requirements, which require a station air 3 hours of E/I shows per week and to reduce the hit taken by airing lower-cost children's advertisinginstead of higher-rated syndicated programming with more advertising revenue.
End of Fox Kids
By 2001, Fox stations felt they were on much more even footing with "The Big Three" networks and wanted to take back the Fox Kids programming blocks to air their own programming. Saturday mornings, long only the province of children's programming, had become a liability as the other networks started to extend their weekday
morning showfranchises to the weekends, and the local Fox stations wanted to start Saturday morning newscasts, owing to the cultural change of Saturday becoming the theoretical "sixth weekday".
Fox Kids, long the #1 kids network since at least 1992, had been overtaken by
Kids' WB!two years prior with the stronger animated block backed by Warner Brothersand containing " Pokémon" as well as other video gameand anime-based shows like " Yu-Gi-Oh". ABC aired the 'tween-coms' primarily on its sister network Disney Channel, while CBS aired preschool programming from Nick Jr., splintering the audience. The added factor of Nickelodeon's aggressive schedule that out-rated all the broadcast networks among children on Saturday mornings left Fox Kids behind, and the programmers could find no way to catch up and stand out in this crowded field.
In October 2001, Saban and News Corp sold the group to
The Walt Disney Company, at which time Fox discontinued the daytime children's programming, giving the time back to their affiliates. FOX put their programming up for bidding, and 4Kids Entertainment, producers of "Pokémon", won. Fox Kids maintained a Saturday morning schedule, programmed by Disney, until September 14, 2002, when it gave the time to 4Kids Entertainment. The block was renamed FoxBox and in January 2005, three years later renamed again to 4Kids TV.
After Fox Kids
While Fox Kids was ending on
United States broadcast television, Disney instituted a two-hour morning block on its newly acquired ABC Family, programmed similarly to Fox Kids. Internationally, Fox Kids continued to air under the same name, despite its new Disney ownership.
It was not until 2004 that Disney unveiled its new brand name for action and adventure programming,
Jetix. The new name was applied first in the United States on the ABC Family morning block and a new primetime lineup on Toon Disney. Internationally, the name was phased in, first as a programming block, then the new network name.
Disney now holds the rights to nearly all of the Fox Family/Saban archives, including "Power Rangers", "Digimon", "The Tick", and "Eek The Cat". Most of these shows air on Jetix, although "Eek!", "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes", and select other shows are being streamed online (complete with Fox Family branding during end credits) at abcfamily.com.
Programming timeline for Fox Kids USA
* (1990 - 1992)
Fun House (game show)(1990-1991)
Peter Pan and the Pirates(1990 - 1991)
Piggsburg Pigs(1990 - 1991)
Tom and Jerry Kids Show(1990 - 1993)
Zazoo U(1990 - 1991)
Droopy, Master Detective(1993-1994)
Incredible Crash Dummies(1993)
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers(1993-1996)
*The Fox Cubhouse (1994-1996)
Jim Henson's Animal Show with Stinky & Jake(1994-1996) (as part of the Fox Cubhouse)
**Johnson and Friends (1994-1996) (as part of the Fox Cubhouse)
Rimba's Island(1994-1996 as part of the Fox Cubhouse; 1997-98 independently)
**Britt Allcroft's Magic Adventures of Mumfie (1996 as part of the Fox Cubhouse)
Budgie the Little Helicopter(1995-1996 as part of the Fox Cubhouse, 1996-1997 independently)
* (1994-Early 1998 late 2001)
*Eek! Stravaganza (1994-1997, formerly Eek! The Cat and EeK! And The Terrible Thunderlizards)
*The Tick (1994-1996)
Life with Louie(1994-1998)
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?(1994 - 1996)
*Red Planet (3 part mini-series, repeated in early 1995 and Spring of 1996)
Big Bad Beetleborgs(1996-1997)
C Bear and Jamal(1996-1997, 1999)
* (1996, miniseries)
Chimp Lips Theatre(1997)
Round the Twist(1997)
*Cartoon Cabana (Summer 1998)
Mad Jack the Pirate
The Magic School Bus(1998-2002) (reruns of 1994-1997 PBSshow)
The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog(1998-1999)
Power Rangers in Space(1998)
The Secret Files of the Spy Dogs(1998-1999)
*The Silver Surfer (1998)
The Mr. Potato Head Show(1998-1999)(Donkey Kong Country was not part of the Original Fox Kids lineup, they only showed 2 Episodes as Specials in December 1998 on Fox Kids and they aired all 40 episodes on Fox Family.)
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot(1999, 2000-2002)
Digimon Adventure(season 1) (1999-2000)
The New Woody Woodpecker Show(1999-2003)
Oggy and the Cockroaches
Spider-Man Unlimited(1999, 2000-2001)
Big Wolf on Campus
Digimon Tamers(season 3) (2001-2002)
Mon Colle Knights
The Ripping Friends
FoxBox/ 4Kids TV
* [http://www.fox.com Fox]
* [http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/133/ Retrojunk: The Fox Kids Club: The End of An Era]
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