Kids WB! has been the home for animated superheroes for years, with a lineage that can be traced back at least as far as Batman: The Animated Series. Since then there has been at least one superhero-themed cartoon in the Saturday morning line-up from Kids WB! ever since. Their current season includes The Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes and starting in March, The Spectacular Spider-Man.
That may be coming to an end with the announcement that 4Kids Entertainment is taking over the CW's Saturday morning kids block, beginning with the 2008-2009 season.
From the press release:
4Kids Entertainment, Inc, a global provider of children's entertainment and merchandise licensing, announced today that it has partnered with The CW Network to program its Saturday morning kids block for five years beginning with the 2008-2009 broadcast season. 4Kids will be supplying five hours of children's programming per week to The CW Network for the block, which is broadcast on The CW on Saturday mornings between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. 4Kids will also sell the national commercial advertising in The CW Network's kids block.
"We are delighted to be in business with The CW and secure distribution of 4Kids'content for the next five broadcast seasons," said Alfred R. Kahn, 4Kids Entertainment's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We have had tremendous success over the years collaborating with CW Network partner Warner Bros., to whom we licensed 4Kids' hit TV series and movies such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! We think The CW's outstanding affiliate lineup and young target demographic make the network a perfect fit for our programming and business initiatives," said Kahn.
"The last number of years have seen significant consolidation in the world of kids' programming," said John Maatta, Chief Operating Officer, The CW. "It is important to us to continue to present young viewers with quality entertainment choices on free-over-the-air television. This is a great transaction for both The CW and 4Kids Entertainment. It is especially gratifying to work again with 4Kids, a recognized leader in children's programming, with whom we have shared so much past success. The agreement with 4Kids with its substantial resources and laser-focus in this arena, will position The CW to continue as a leading supplier of kids programming on broadcast television."
Under the terms of the deal, The CW and 4Kids will share in national ad revenue from the block, with the network's share of revenue to be applied against a guarantee to be paid by 4Kids to The CW. 4Kids and The CW will work closely to maximize the ratings and economic success of the block.
"We have tremendous faith in Saturday morning kids television, and with this deal we've renewed our commitment to remain a major player in children's entertainment," said Norman Grossfeld, President of 4Kids' subsidiary 4Kids Productions. "We look forward to embracing the fans of Kids' WB! and we welcome the opportunity to work with all the production companies, program distributors and advertisers that share our passion for the kids business. We also continue to value our relationship with the Fox Network and its affiliates. Fox recently exercised its option to extend the term of our deal with them through the end of the 2008-2009 broadcast season."