LaunchedSeptember[email protected]13, 1997; 19 years ago (1997-09-13) ClosedSeptember 9, 2000; 16 years ago (2000-09-09) FormatSaturday morning children's program block Running time4 hours (1997 and 1998–2000)3 hours (1998) SimilarUPN Kids, Toonturama, Disney's One Too
The CBS Kidshow (originally known as Think CBS Kids) was an American children's programming block that aired on CBS from September 13, 1997 to September 9, 2000. Originally a network-programmed block, Nelvana took over programming responsibilities in September 1998.
In 1997, taking advantage of the tightened Children's Television Act regulations instituted the previous year by the Federal Communications Commission that required broadcasters to carry three hours of educational programming each week, CBS launched an all-"educational/informational" Saturday morning lineup for the 1997-98 season, known as Think CBS Kids (which served as both the block's branding and tagline). The block consisted entirely of live-action series (marking the first time that CBS did not feature animated series within its children's program lineup) – including the youth-oriented game showWheel 2000 (a spin-off of the syndicated game show Wheel of Fortune), which aired simultaneously on the Game Show Network; Sports Illustrated for Kids (a series based on the youth-oriented magazine spun off from Sports Illustrated); The Weird Al Show; and The New Ghostwriter Mysteries. The one-minute youth-oriented series of segments, In the News, was also briefly revived as part of the new block, hosted by Dan Raviv, a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for CBS Radio News.
However, the block suffered from low ratings as a whole, resulting the network canceling most of the shows after four months. Many of the programs were subsequently replaced by reruns of Beakman's World, CBS Storybreak and Tales from the Cryptkeeper (which formerly aired as part of the predecessor CBS Kidz block). The block was also cut to three hours as a result of a short-lived expansion of CBS News Saturday Morning (which was replaced the following year by the Saturday edition of The Early Show) into a two-hour broadcast.
Relaunch as the CBS Kidshow
In early 1998, CBS entered into a programming agreement with the Canadian animation studio Nelvana to program the Saturday morning time slot allocated to children's programming. The block was relaunched as the four-hour-long CBS Kidshow (using the tagline, "The CBS Kidshow: Get in the Act."), on September 19 of that year. The new block featured several first-run Nelvana-produced series such as Anatole, Mythic Warriors, Rescue Heroes and Flying Rhino Junior High.
In June 2000, a few months after Viacom (which CBS founded in 1952 as television syndication distributor CBS Films, Inc., and later spun off in 1971 after the then-recently implemented Financial Interest and Syndication Rules barred networks from holding financial interest in syndicated programming content) completed its $37 billion merger with CBS Corporation, CBS reached an agreement with new corporate sister Nickelodeon to air programming from the cable channel's preschool-oriented block Nick Jr. beginning that September. Prior to the deal, former Nick Jr. series Franklin moved to the CBS Kidshow block in January 1999, as part of an agreement in which both it and another animated series, Rupert, swapped networks (with Rupert moving from CBS to the Nick Jr. block on Nickelodeon). The CBS Kidshow block ended its run on September 9, 2000, and was replaced the following week on September 16 by Nick on CBS. Nelvana then proceeded to create a new Saturday morning cartoon block, the Bookworm Bunch (so named because all of that block's series were adaptations of children's books), for CBS' non-commercial rival, PBS.
Scheduling variances and pre-emptions
Although the block was intended to air on Saturday mornings, some CBS affiliates deferred some programs over the course of the Think CBS Kids/CBS Kidshow block's run to Sunday or early Saturday morning time slots or tape delayed the entire block in order to accommodate local weekend morning newscasts, CBS News Saturday Morning (which debuted alongside Think CBS Kids, and was later replaced in 1999 by the Saturday edition of The Early Show) or other programs of local interest (for example, then-affiliate KTVT in Fort Worth, Texas – now owned-and-operated by CBS – aired the Think CBS Kids block from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays and 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. on Sundays from 1997 to 1998). Other stations pre-empted some programs outright for these same reasons, as well as due to professional and college sports telecasts scheduled by CBS (especially in the case of college football and basketball games) or its stations (primarily through sports syndication services), although most affiliates aired the block in its entirety.