Fox shuffles its kids Saturday ayem sked

Net looking to make lineup more 'gender-neutral'

Fox has unveiled its fall Saturday morning lineup, featuring an even mix of new and returning shows.

Season-to-date net — programmed by 4Kids Entertainment– is struggling in seventh place in kids 2-11. Its strength lies with boys, where it ranks third in both boys 6-11 and boys 9-14, although 4Kids prexy Norman Grossfeld says they have been trying to cast the net wider.

“We’re trying not be as boy heavy,” said Grossfeld, pointing out that fall slate features many established characters of interest to all kids. “We’re not making it girl specific, but more gender-neutral.”

Ayem kicks off at 8 with “Cubix,” first animated series entirely produced by 4Kids. Show originally debuted on Kids WB, but 4Kids recently reclaimed rights. “It was beating us,” Grossfeld said. “So if we move it over, kids will move with it. It’s a great way to introduce them to the lineup.”

Also new on the slate: Sega videogame based “Sonic X,” which features the titular hedgehog on a series of adventures, and “Funky Cops,” which pays tribute to the police shows of the 1970s with its disco-dancing cops. “Shaman King” from the creators of Kids WB hit “Yu-Gi-Oh” also features a young boy with special gifts seeking to win a grand tournament.

Returning shows are evergreen “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “The Cramp Twins” and “Ultimate Muscle.” Competitive 10 a.m. spot will be held by Nintendo character “Kirby.”

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