The CW announced late Tuesday it will shut down the Kids' WB! franchise at the end of this season and turn Saturday mornings over to 4Kids Entertainment, which has handled Fox's Saturday morning kids block for the past six years.

According to Variety, Warner Bros. TV Group president Bruce Rosenblum says that the company examined the Saturday morning issue "closely with our partners at CBS," and ultimately decided leasing the space to 4Kids made the most business sense.

Rosenblum added that the move does not signify a retreat from the kids space by Warner Bros. Animation, which he said would continue to produce for cable, direct-to-DVD, broadband and wireless. The company recently announced the launch next spring of T-Works, an online animation platform.

"We absolutely intend to stay true to our heritage," he said. "This is an important business that touches many of the Warner Bros. divisions, and we have confidence that Lisa Judson and her team at Warner Bros. Animation will continue to build toward future opportunities."

There has still no been official word as to what this deal means for the future of The Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes and The Spectacular Spider-Man, but the confirmation that Warner Bros. Animation isn't stopping production provides hope for the future of superhero cartoons on television.

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