×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Disney kid block revamped

Four cartoons skedded, live broadcast on hold

ABC will revamp its “Disney’s One Saturday Morning” kids block on Dec. 9, scrapping the lineup’s interstitial elements in favor of four, rather than three, half-hour cartoons.

The network has also put on hold plans to add a live broadcast during the block that would have emphasized interactive elements, guest celebrities and musical performances (Daily Variety, Oct. 26).

Up until now, “One Saturday Morning’s” three series — “Disney’s Recess,” “Disney’s Teacher’s Pet” and “Disney’s the Weekenders” — floated around the two-hour block depending on the length of the interstitial elements (usually animated or live-action shorts).

ABC had already reduced the amount of interstitial time from 22 minutes to 11 minutes in October, adding in a pared-down 11-minute edition of “Recess” to the mix. The complete elimination of the interstitials will make room for a full new series and put shows on the half hour like the rest of the Saturday morning schedule.

“ABC has made a judgment call to expend its resources in producing an additional half-hour show,” said Jonathan Barzilay, senior VP and general manager of ABC’s children’s programming. “One advantage we get from this is we will be able to direct people to specific start times. ‘Recess’ is on at 9, ‘Teacher’s Pet’ at 10. That’s something we couldn’t do in the previous format because of staggered launch times.”

Newcomer “Disney’s Lloyd in Space” joins the lineup early in 2001 (Daily Variety, Nov. 1); until then, ABC will double-run “Recess.”

From a marketing standpoint, the revamp also eliminates confusion between the specific two-hour “Disney’s One Saturday Morning” block and the entire ABC Saturday morning lineup, which also had been branded “One Saturday Morning.”

“It’s fair to say ‘One Saturday Morning’ branding will be consistent throughout the five hours,” said Barzilay, effectively eliminating the two hour block’s separate identity.

ABC immediately rose to the top of the Saturday morning pack in fall 1997 following the debut of “One Saturday Morning.” The net has seen its fortunes drop more recently, however, due to the success of shows such as Kids’ WB’s “Pokemon” and Fox Kids’ “Digimon.” The network took an even bigger hit this fall when its kids aged 2-5 audience flocked to CBS’ new “Nick Jr.” block.

Additionally, ABC’s kids block lost the promotional push of the net’s Friday night “TGIF” sked this season.

Barzilay also blames college football and election coverage pre-emptions.

“We’re very eager to get to the first quarter both because the college football season is over and because the election has to be over,” he said.

As for ABC’s long-range plans to potentially relaunch Saturday mornings, “We have been considering and will continue to consider all kinds of options,” he said.

More TV

  • Televisa Sets Development Pact With Mexico's

    Televisa Sets Development Pact With Mexico's Endemol Shine Boomdog (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Televisa and Endemol Shine have inked a new pact for content development, cementing a long-standing relationship of 17 years. Mexico City-based Endemol Shine Boomdog, run by CEO Alejandro Rincon, and Televisa Studios will co-produce a slew of original scripted and unscripted series for the Hispanic markets of Mexico, the U.S. and the rest of [...]

  • Tamron Hall

    NATPE Briefs: Tamron Hall Adds Stations, HBO Grabs 'Post,' Grammys Set Sales

    The new Disney-distributed talk show fronted by Tamron Hall has reached the 70% national clearance threshold now that stations from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Cox and Meredith have signed on for the topical talker. Hall, the former “Today” anchor, is making the rounds at NATPE on Tuesday in preparation for the show’s fall launch. [...]

  • Super Bowl LI Tom Brady

    Marijuana Advertiser Sees Super Bowl Dreams Go Up in Smoke

    Here’s a lesson for the nation’s burgeoning medical-marijuana market: You may be growing, but you can’t bogart that Super Bowl commercial. Acreage Holdings, a company that works to make marijuana available to adults for medical and/or recreational use where legal, is hoping to spark a haze of publicity by noting CBS declined to run a [...]

  • Beta Sells Alex Pina’s Movistar +

    Beta Film Rolls Out Alex Pina, Esther Martinez Lobato’s ‘The Pier’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI  — Clinching more deals on one of Mipcom’s highest-profile premieres, Beta Film has closed early major territory sales on Movistar + Original “El Embarcadero” (“The Pier”), Alex Pina and Esther Martínez-Lobato’s follow-up to Netflix phenomenon “La casa de papel” (“Money Heist”), identified by the streaming giant in its first-quarter results last April as its [...]

  • Blue Ant Locks Down International Deals

    NATPE: Blue Ant Locks Down International Deals for British ‘Prison’ Series

    The sales arm of Blue Ant has closed a raft of programming deals with international channels, including for British series “Prison,” as the NATPE market gets underway in Miami. Blue Ant International has sold “Prison,” the factual series about life inside a jail in Durham, England, to multiple territories. Germany’s WELT, Belgium’s VRT, Norway’s TV2, [...]

  • NBCU Cooks Up Brazil Deal for

    NATPE: NBCU Cooks Up Brazil Deal for ‘Top Chef’

    Brazilian network Record is adding “Top Chef” to its menu. The popular cooking competition format is on NBCUniversal’s Bravo in the U.S. where it is in its sixteenth season. The format deal with Record will take the number of international remakes of the show to 24. Recent deals include with ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany. NBCUniversal’s International [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content