Fox is showing a sweet tooth for children's programming.

In a story from The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has signed a 5 year pact with with DIC Entertainment which will "expand its distribution of Strawberry Shortcake videos and also distribute other content from DIC's library of children's programming."

Since 2003 Fox has been distributing the Shortcake titles but this new deal calls for "additional animated direct-to-video titles, a new CGI-animated movie and a live-action series. Four new DVD titles are expected in 2007."

Fox will also distribute such DIC fare as "Care Bears, Madeline, Inspector Gadget and Dennis the Menace."

For three years, Fox has moved "more than 9 million Shortcake DVDs and videocassettes in the United States." Strawberry Shortcake burst on to the scene 1980 from the American Greetings Corp., and it "has become a major licensed product, with more than 400 licensees worldwide. From 2003-05, Strawberry Shortcake licensed merchandise generated $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales."

Evan Jacobs