New skeins, '5th Grader' make slate

Hasbro and Discovery Communications’ joint venture the Hub announced new deals with Sony Music’s RCA/Jive label and Warren Buffett at the kid net’s inaugural upfront Thursday.

The Hub is making a major investment in its programming with 425 half-hours of new production. Only 6 months old, the Hub is trying to draw young eyeballs already addicted to long-established nets Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.

“We’re going in the right direction,” topper Margaret Loesch told Variety. “Our shows are resonating more and more, but we have to build and earn loyalty. It’s hard to break a habit. … Kids are interested and like our shows but don’t necessarily stick with us.”

The Hub ordered nine new original series. The highest profile could be “Majors and Minors,” a reality series that follows 16 performers mentored by established recording industry artists, with one winner earning a recording deal with RCA/Jive and a cross-country tour.

Skedded to participate are Leona Lewis, “American Idol” champ Jordin Sparks, Sean Kingston and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder. Show is created by Rihanna and Beyonce songwriter Evan Bogart, Tim Bogart and Gary A. Randall. The Boardwalk Entertainment Group is producing in partnership with Sony Music’s RCA/Jive label group and BMI.

Other shows include “Secret Millionaire’s Club,” a series of four half-hour animated specials created by Buffett. The tycoon will also be a character — a secret adviser to a group of kids who want to learn about business. Buffett will voice himself. Show is produced by A Squared Entertainment and former DIC chief exec Andy Heyward.

There is also “The Aquabats Super Show,” featuring “Yo Gabba Gabba!” creator Christian Jacobs’ eponymous rock band, the Aquabats; a live-action scripted series based on the board game “Clue”; “Scrabble Showdown”; and “Rescue Bots,” about a group of Autobots too young to go out adventuring with the grownup Transformers. Net has also acquired syndie rights to “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

Loesch added that it’s important to provide programming that will not only attract the tyke set but their parents as well. It’s mom and dad, of course, who buy the products advertised on the Hub.

“Before we launched, we did some research,” Loesch explained. “Kids said, ‘Hey I like that show and watch it with my brother and sister, and I think my parents would like it too.’ That excited me.”In grading how the Hub has performed since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”

In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”In grading how the Hub has performed so far since its October launch, Loesch said: “From a creative standpoint and look of the channel, I’d give us an A-plus. From a delivery standpoint, a B-. We need to reach more kids and be in more homes.”Net is in about 60 million households.

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