Peacock parent NBC Universal has engineered an elaborate children’s programming blueprint to fill the network’s Saturday-morning schedule beginning in the fall.
Called “Smart Place for Kids,” the three-hour block of children’s shows also will run on two NBC siblings: Telemundo, for its weekend-morning schedules in Spanish, and Ion Media, for its lineup of 60 owned TV stations. NBC’s contract with Discovery Kids, the current supplier of programming for Saturday morning, expires in August.
NBC, Ion and Telemundo declined to talk about specific shows, but they’ve commissioned Scholastic, Classic Media/Big Idea and Nelvana to supply the programming, along with NBC U.
The producers will devise programming to meet the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission for TV stations to program at least three hours a week of educational/informational shows for kids.
Ion plans to draw on its programming partners to eventually create a 24/7 digital broadcast network. The partners will contribute more than 1,000 half-hours of children’s programming to the network, all of it library product except for one original series a year each from the four production operations, led by NBC U.
The majority owner of the new network will be Ion, with a 51% stake. The remaining 49% gets divvied up equally among the remaining partners.