Saturday ayem kids race opens up

ABC wins morning among kids 2-11 despite repeats

If last week’s ratings were any indication, the broadcast TV Saturday morning kids race could be wide open this fall.

Despite airing a lineup of repeats, ABC won the morning among kids 2 to 11 — tied with Fox Kids, which was in its third week of original programming. Last year’s victor, “Pokemon” on Kids’ WB, also aired reruns but landed in third place.

Cabler Nickelodeon completely dominated the morning contest, scoring a 4.4 Nielsen rating in the demo vs. ABC’s and Fox’s 2.6. Kids’ WB lagged with a 2.1.

The broadcast win was a victory of sorts for ABC, which hasn’t won the kids network demo outright since July 9, 1999.

ABC’s strength came from the younger crowd, while Fox Kids soared far ahead with the 6-11 group. Among that older demo, Nick ruled with a 4.8 rating, followed by Fox (3.2), Kids’ WB (2.4) and ABC (2.3).

Once ABC’s “Disney’s One Saturday Morning” and Kids’ WB’s “Pokemon” return with fresh installments, the tyke broadcasters may have a tight three-way race on their hands.

In the battle of the mini-monsters, Fox’s 9 a.m. installment of “Digimon: Digital Monsters” took the lead among kids 2-11 over Kids’ WB’s 10 a.m. entry “Pokemon” (4.2 vs. 4.0). Standings were similar with the 6-11 aud.

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