Fox Gets Out of Saturday Morning Toon Biz
by Matt Brady
Date: 24 November 2008 Time: 10:35 AM ET
Fox Drops Saturday Morning Cartons
Fox has announced that it is getting out of the Saturday morning cartoon business, completely.4Kids, which had been programming Fox's Saturday morning line-up will cease at the end of December, as previously reported, and as a result, beginning in January, the network will scuttle its Saturday am kids fare in exchange for two-hours of network controlled infomercials, and two hours of local affiliate programming. The announcement from Fox puts a final nail in the coffin of speculation that the network was going to go at Saturday cartoons or kids' programming on its own. Fox has said that it will find space for its mandated 2 and 1/2 hours of Eductational/Instructional programming during the week. The change comes as a result of Fox and 4Kids ending their previous agreement earlier than originally negotiated, on November 9th, rather than September, 2009. The deal between the two saw 4Kids programming Fox’s Saturday morning block under a time-buy agreement, according to Variety, at a cost of $20 million per year. The termination of the agreement between 4Kids and Fox came as a result of an out-of-court settlement after 4Kids sued Fox earlier this year, claiming that the network did not maintain a 90% clearance for its Saturday morning block of shows.
4Kids still programs The CW’s Saturday am block of shows, and will move some of its more popular shows to The CW. Last October, The CW replaced the Kids WB programming block with 4 Kids.