×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

UPN, BV discuss kids block

'Disney Afternoon' may find home as netlet's Nick talks stall

UPN and Buena Vista TV have resumed negotiations to run a daily two-hour Disney kids block on the netlet, sources say.

The two companies came very close to inking a deal at the NATPE convention in January, but they called off talks a week later and UPN began considering a similar pact with sister cablenet Nickelodeon (Daily Variety, Jan. 27).

Neither UPN nor Buena Vista TV would comment on the chain of events that led to the recent revival of talks on the subject, although one source said UPN’s negotiations with Nickelodeon are also still ongoing.

It’s no secret that UPN CEO Dean Valentine, who helped develop Disney’s animated series when he was president of network TV and TV animation there, would like to have Disney’s kids product on his network.

Mort Marcus, head of Disney’s syndication division Buena Vista TV, is also anxious to find a home for the Disney-Kellogg Alliance, formerly known as the Disney Afternoon. Timeslots for the syndie kids block have been gobbled up as emerging networks UPN and the WB expand.

When talks broke down, sources said the unresolved issues were branding and the amount of FCC-friendly programming, but others speculated that corporate synergy was the true deal-breaking culprit.

Disney may have been concerned about launching a branded Disney kids block on a network that competes with ABC, although a weekday UPN lineup could actually help promote and feed interest in ABC’s Saturday-morning lineup.

Viacom-owned Nickelodeon also may have been worried about UPN launching a Disney kids block that would compete with its dominant kids lineup.

A programming deal with Nickelodeon presents its own problems, though. Sources say some cable operators are furious at the prospect of Nickelodeon programming losing its cable exclusivity, which is viewed as a main reason people subscribe.

UPN could simply be using its Nickelodeon option to get some negotiating leverage with Disney. The talks between UPN and Buena Vista the last time around involved a two-hour block Monday through Friday and Sunday mornings, starting by fall 1999.

– John Dempsey in New York and Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

More TV

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Cancels 'Late Show' New Zealand Trip After Mosque Shootings

    “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” had been scheduled to make a surprise trip to New Zealand this week — but those plans have been put on hold in light of last Friday’s terrorist attack that left 50 people dead. On Monday’s show, Colbert revealed the now-shelved trip, which had been kept under wraps but [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Hollywood Agents, Writers Guild Make Little Progress in Talks

    Leaders of Hollywood agencies and the Writers Guild of America made little progress in Tuesday meeting to negotiate proposed rule revisions to how agents represent writers. The WGA said after the meeting — the fifth since Feb. 5 — that talks would resume later this week but did not give a specific day. “The Agencies [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Monster (T-Pain)

    New-Model Murdochs: Fox Corporation to Emerge Tuesday

    A new era for the Murdoch clan and the media business begins with the debut of Fox Corporation on Tuesday, a day before Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The new-model Fox will begin trading Tuesday on the NASDAQ under the FOXA symbol. On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox will initiate a complex transfer [...]

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Drops 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2' Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has dropped the first trailer for “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2” starring Kiernan Shipka, and former “O.C.” star Rachel Bilson has been cast in Fox’s drama pilot “Lovestruck.” CASTING Former “O.C.” star Rachel Bilson is set to play the female lead in Fox’s new drama pilot “Lovestruck.” The [...]

  • Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

    Imagine TV Sets 'Mindscaping' as First China Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Imagine Television is developing “Mindscaping,” a 24-episode science fiction series written by Oscar Yang (“Medical Examiner Dr. Qin,” “The Ten Deadly Sins”). The series is the first Chinese-language series developed by Imagine Television, part of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment group, for a Chinese audience. The show is pitched as an original sci-fi [...]

  • "The Bow Tie Asymmetry" - Pictured:

    Pilot Season 2019: Multi-Camera Comedies Remain in High Demand

    For the second pilot season in a row, multi-camera comedies have proven to be a hot commodity. The Big 4 have collectively ordered 28 comedy pilots this year, including two animated straight-to-series orders at Fox. Of those 28, 12 are single-cams and 13 are multi-cams (including one multi-cam hybrid at ABC and two at CBS). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content