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Fox Kids

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Country  United States
Founder  Margaret Loesch
Acquisition date  2002
Availability  National International
Founded  8 September 1990
Former affiliation  FOX
Fox Kids httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Type  Defunct children's network: US (1990–2002) Defunct children's television channel: Europe (1996–2005) Australia (1995–2004) Current daily morning cartoon block: Finland (2012–present)
Slogan  It's On Fox (1992–1993) Fox Kids Is What? Fox Kids Is Cool! (1995–1997) Fox Kids Rocks Kids! (1997–1998) Fox Kids, Take the Ride! (1998–2001) Fox Kids, Where Heroes Live! (2001–2002)
Key people  Haim Saban (CEO, Saban Entertainment)
Launch date  September 8, 1990; 26 years ago (1990-09-08) (United States) October 1, 1995; 21 years ago (1995-10-01) (Australia) October 19, 1996; 20 years ago (1996-10-19) (Europe and United Kingdom)
Owners  ABC Family Worldwide (1990–2001), FOX (2001–2002)
TV shows  Power Rangers, Batman: The Animated, Bobby's World, Mighty Morphin Power Ra, Animaniacs

Fox s peter pan the pirates full opening

Fox Kids (originally known as Fox Children's Network and later as the Fox Kids Network) was an American children's programming block and branding for a slate of international children's television channels. Originally a joint venture between the Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox) and its affiliated stations, it was later owned by Fox Kids Worldwide Inc. from 1996 to 2001, then by Fox Television Entertainment from 2001 onwards.


Fox Kids originated as a programming block that aired on the Fox network from the September 8, 1990, to September 7, 2002. The block aired on Saturday mornings throughout its existence, with an additional block on Monday through Friday afternoons airing until January 2002. Fox Kids is the only form of daytime television programming, outside of sports, aired by the Fox network to date. Following then-Fox parent News Corporation's sale of Fox Kids Worldwide to The Walt Disney Company in July 2001, Fox put the remaining Saturday morning timeslot up for bidding, with 4Kids Entertainment winning and securing the rights to program that period. The Fox Kids block continued to air in repeats until September 7, 2002, and was replaced the following week (on September 14) by the 4Kids-programmed FoxBox.

The first Fox Kids-branded television channel launched on October 1, 1995, on Foxtel in Australia. Beginning in 2002, the channels were gradually relaunched under the Jetix brand because of Disney's acquisition of Fox Kids Worldwide.


Fox Kids was launched on September 8, 1990, as the Fox Children's Network, a joint venture between the Fox Broadcasting Company and its affiliates. Originally headed by division president Margaret Loesch, its programming aired for 30 minutes per day on Monday through Fridays, and for 3 hours on Saturday mornings.

In September 1991, the block was rebranded as the Fox Kids Network, with its programming expanding to 90 minutes on weekdays and 4 hours on Saturday mornings. The weekday editions of the block grew to 2½ hours the following year. From 1992 to 1998, Fox Kids aired "The Fox Kids T.V. Takeover," a special programming block on Thanksgiving Day that led into the network's NFL coverage.


By 1993, Fox Kids increased its schedule to 3 hours on Monday through Fridays, airing usually from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time (making Fox the first network to air programming in the 4:00 p.m. hour since 1986), and 4 hours on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon Eastern and Pacific Time (7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Central and Mountain). Many stations split the weekday lineup programming into a one-hour block in the morning and a two-hour block in the afternoon (though this varied slightly in some markets), when network programs intertwined with syndicated children's lineups. Other stations aired all three hours combined in the afternoon due to their carriage of local morning newscasts; stations that aired such programming in this case had dropped children's programs acquired via the syndication market, moving them to other "independent" stations. Very few Fox stations aired all three hours of the weekday block in the morning.

Broadcasting ambiguities

When Fox Kids launched, virtually all of Fox's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates carried the block, with few (if any) declining to carry it. The first Fox station to drop the block was Miami affiliate WSVN, the network's first station to maintain a news-intensive format, in 1993 (the station had been a Fox affiliate since January 1989 as a result of NBC purchasing and moving its programming to longtime CBS affiliate WTVJ in a three-station ownership and affiliation swap in the Miami market).

The following year, in May 1994, Fox signed a multi-station affiliation agreement with New World Communications to switch that company's CBS, ABC and NBC affiliates to the network between September 1994, and July 1995, in order to improve its affiliate coverage in certain markets after the National Football League (NFL) awarded the network the contract to the National Football Conference television package. Many of the stations owned by New World (which later merged with Fox's then-parent company News Corporation in July 1996) declined to carry the block in order to air syndicated programs aimed at older audiences or local newscasts. In certain cities with an independent station, or beginning with the launches of those networks in January 1995, affiliates of UPN and The WB, Fox contracted the Fox Kids block to air on one of these stations if a Fox owned-and-operated station or affiliate chose not to carry it. In some cases, Fox Kids would be carried on the same station as one of its two competing children's blocks, The WB's Kids' WB and UPN's UPN Kids block (the latter of which was replaced in 1999 by Disney's One Too).

Examples of stations where Fox Kids aired in lieu of the Fox station in a given market include:

Between 1995 and early 1996, Fox acquired three former ABC-affiliated stations (WHBQ-TV/Memphis, KTVI/St. Louis and WGHP/High Point). Meanwhile, SF Broadcasting (a joint venture between Savoy Pictures and Fox) acquired three former NBC affiliates and one ABC affiliate during the summer of 1994 (which were later sold to Emmis Communications in 1996). Those stations all aired early evening local newscasts, but wanted to continue to run general entertainment syndicated programming to lead into their news programs instead of cartoons; these stations opted to run Fox Kids one hour early, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Stations that would run it at this time included:

Savoy/Fox and later Emmis-owned (at the time) stations:

Later history

Much of the Fox Kids lineup's early programming was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Two of Fox Kids' most popular programs, Animaniacs (following a heated dispute with Fox after it ceded the program's timeslot to carry Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which became one of the block's highest-rated programs when it debuted in 1993) and Batman: The Animated Series, moved to The WB when that network launched in January 1995. Both Animaniacs and Batman served as the linchpin of The WB's new children's block, Kids' WB, when it launched in September of that year (Tiny Toon Adventures, another early Fox Kids program that Warner Bros. produced and also aired on Kids' WB in reruns, had already ended its run).

In 1996, Saban Entertainment acquired a 50% ownership interest in Fox Kids, to form Fox Kids Worldwide Inc., later renamed Fox Family Worldwide. Some of Fox Kids' programming also aired on Fox Family Channel (later known as ABC Family, now Freeform), after News Corporation and Saban acquired the network from International Family Entertainment in 1997.

In 1998, Fox bought out its affiliates' interest in Fox Kids as part of a deal to help pay for the network's NFL package. The Fox Kids weekday block was reduced to two hours, and in an effort to help its affiliates comply with the recently implemented educational programming mandates defined by the Children's Television Act, reruns of former PBS series The Magic School Bus were added to the lineup. In 2000, affiliates were given the option of pushing the block up one hour to air from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. rather than 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. In the six or so markets where a Fox affiliate carried Fox Kids and carried an early evening newscast at 5:00 p.m. (such as St. Louis and New Orleans), the station was already running the block an hour early by 1996. Some affiliates (such as WLUK-TV) would tape delay the block to air between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., one of the lowest-rated time periods on U.S. television (and when virtually all children 5 years of age and older are at school). A few only aired The Magic School Bus in this sort of graveyard slot as an act of malicious compliance with the Children's Television Act.

End of Fox Kids

By 2001, members of the Fox affiliate board had felt they were on much more even footing with the "Big Three" networks and wanted to take back the time allocated to the Fox Kids programming blocks to air their own programming. Saturday mornings, long the only province of children's programming, had become a liability as the other networks started to extend their weekday morning news programs to weekends.

Fox Kids, which had been the top-rated children's program block among the major networks since 1992, had been overtaken in the ratings by Kids' WB two years prior with the stronger animation block backed by Warner Bros. that included shows such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!. ABC and UPN aired mostly comedy-based cartoons at this time, with the exception of live-action teen-oriented sitcoms Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens (both originated on Disney Channel as part of what would be a gradual takeover of ABC's Saturday morning lineup by the cable channel's programming), while CBS aired preschool programming from Nick Jr., and NBC was airing teen-oriented sitcoms (later to be replaced the following year by E/I-compliant programming sourced from Discovery Kids), splintering the audience. The added factor of Nickelodeon's aggressive schedule that outrated all of 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. Fox Family, despite good reviews, had a 35% audience decline, which led to Fox Kids Worldwide and Fox Family Worldwide (along with Saban Entertainment) being sold to The Walt Disney Company in 2001.

After Fox Family Worldwide was sold to The Walt Disney Company in July 2001, Fox Kids was placed under the oversight of Fox Television Entertainment and moved its programming operations to Fox's headquarters on the 20th Century Fox studio lot, at which time Fox discontinued the daytime children's programming, giving the time back to its affiliates. Fox put its children's programming block up for bidding, and 4Kids Entertainment, the producers of the English dub of Pokémon, purchased the remaining four-hour Saturday time period. Fox Kids maintained a Saturday morning-only schedule until September 7, 2002, a week before it gave the time to 4Kids Entertainment.

Fox Kids was replaced by the 4Kids Entertainment-produced FoxBox on September 14, 2002. FoxBox ran until December 27, 2008, marking Fox's complete withdrawal from children's programming. It wasn't until 2014 that Fox would reverse course and return to children's programming with the launch of a E/I programming block called Xploration Station, which is produced by Steve Rotfeld Productions.

After Fox Kids

While Fox Kids ended its existence on broadcast television in the United States, Disney instituted a two-hour morning lineup on its newly acquired ABC Family cable channel (known as the "ABC Family Action Block") that was programmed similarly to Fox Kids and featured content originated on the block. Internationally, Disney temporarily retained the Fox Kids brand for the international channels in Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom and Israel it acquired through the purchase of Fox Kids Worldwide (which became ABC Family Worldwide after the sale was completed). In 2004, Disney began branding its action and adventure programming from the Fox Kids library as Jetix; the new name was first used in the United States on the ABC Family morning block and a new prime-time lineup on Toon Disney.


Despite having been retired in most of the world, the Fox Kids name was revived for use by the children's programming block on the Fox network in Finland, a free-to-air generalist television channel. Initially, it utilized the Fox Kids' global logo and on-screen branding from early 2000s, but it was later replaced by another logo and look. It has also been brought back as part of the streaming service FOX Play in Latin America.


In addition to the program block, Fox Kids had its own radio program, the Fox Kids Radio Countdown. This two-hour broadcast was hosted by Chris Leary of ZDTV and TechTV fame and consisted of contests and gags, with funny sound effects incorporated throughout the program. It was later renamed as Fox All Access and served primarily as a promotional vehicle for Fox television programs, current artists, and films in its later years, before eventually ending its run in 2012.


Fox Kids Wikipedia