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Hub to unveil live-action series, toons at upfront

Kidvid cabler to add 'Facts of Life,' other vintage laffers

Kidvid cabler the Hub is adding three new toon series to its programming lineup, as well as reruns of vintage sitcoms “The Facts of Life,” “Mork & Mindy” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

At its upfront presentation on Thursday, the Hub, a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, will also unveil the live-action series “Spooksville,” based on the popular tween book series from author Christopher Pike. Jane Startz is set to produce.

“Party of Five” thesp Scott Wolf will lend his voice to animated series “Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters,” from Hasbro Studios. Set to launch in the summer, “Kaijudo” is a fantasy series that follows the adventures of a young hero with the ability to befriend and duel fantastical creatures from a parallel dimension.

Other original toon series arriving this year are “Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot” and “Littlest Pet Shop.”

“We’re building a slate of programs for the 2012-13 season that continues our strategy of presenting series based on well-known names and beloved properties,” said Hub prexy Margaret Loesch. “We’re confident this lineup will further define us as the entertainment destination for kids and their families.”

Looking to broaden its live-action slate, Hub will offer repeats of family-friendly sitcoms “The Facts of Life,” “Mork & Mindy” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” in the second quarter of the year.

All together, net has nine series and specials returning, included its top-rated “Transformers Prime” and “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.”

The Hub, which bowed in October 2010, still faces an uphill climb in competing against dominant kidvid outlets Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. Ratings for the Hub grew 10% in 2011 compared to 2010 among kids 2-11 for total programming day, but it still averaged only 33,000 viewers.

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