CBS delays premiere of kids toons

Exex seek bigger on-air promo push

NEW YORK — In a last-minute schedule shuffle, CBS is pushing back the premiere of its Saturday morning kiddie lineup by two weeks.

The Eye web, which had planned to unveil its slate of Nelvana-produced animated shows on Sept. 19, will instead roll out its toons on Oct. 3. CBS’ current live-action fare will stay on the air until the new premiere date.

CBS execs said they decided on the delay after realizing that an unusually large number of local stations were planning to preempt Eye web Saturday morning programming in favor of sports in the weeks leading up to the original Sept. 19 launch. As a result, CBS programmers feared the new sked wouldn’t get the needed on-air promotional push.

Solid start sought

“We decided to wait two weeks and allow all of our stations to get a solid start on the same Saturday morning,” Lucy Johnson, CBS senior VP for daytime/children’s programming, said in a statement.

CBS spokeswoman said the decision to postpone the overall launch of the lineup was unrelated to last week’s announcement that one of the new Nelvana shows, “Mythic Warriors: Guardians of the Legend,” would not premiere until Nov. 7 be-cause of production delays.

CBS has consistently underperformed on Saturday mornings, losing regularly to stronger kiddie fare on ABC, Fox and Nickelodeon. The web unsuccessfully switched to an unconventional lineup of live-action educational shows last fall.

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