|Type||Defunct Saturday morning cartoon block and Weekday afternoon cartoon block:
United States (1990–2002)
Defunct children's television channel:
Current daily morning cartoon block:
|Slogan||It's On Fox (1992–1993)
Fox Kids Is What? Fox Kids Is Cool! (1995–1997)
Fox Kids Rocks Kids! (1997–1998)
Fox Kids, Take the Ride! (1998–2001)
Fox Kids, Where Heroes Live! (2001–2002)
|Owner||Fox Kids Worldwide Inc. (1996–2001)
Fox Television Entertainment (2001–2002)
|September 8, 1990 (USA)
October 1, 1995 (AUS)
October 19, 1996 (Europe, UK)
|Dissolved||September 7, 2002 (USA)
January 31, 2004 (AUS)
January 1, 2005 (Europe, UK)
April 1, 2005 (Israel)
|Fox Children's Network (1990–1991)
Fox Kids Network (1991–1998)
|Replaced by||Jetix: USA (2004–2010)
Disney XD (Europe, UK, USA; 2009–present)
Weekend Marketplace (2008–present)
Xploration Station (effective fall 2014)
Fox Kids was an American children's programming block that aired on the Fox Broadcasting Company from September 8, 1990 to September 7, 2002, as well as the former branding for a slate of international children's television channels. It was owned by Fox Television Entertainment beginning in 2001; The programming block aired on Saturday mornings throughout its existence; an additional block on Monday through Friday afternoons aired until January 2002 (as such, Fox Kids is the only daytime television block ever aired by the Fox network to date).
Depending on the show, the programming block was aimed at young children aged 6–11, and pre-teens ages 12–14. It continued to run in repeats until September 7, 2002. At that time, Fox put the remaining Saturday morning timeslot up for bidding, with 4Kids Entertainment winning and securing the rights to program that block. Fox Kids had managed to achieve high ratings for most of its 12-year run.
According to James B. Stewart's book DisneyWar, Fox Kids' history is intertwined with that of the syndicated children's program block The Disney Afternoon. DuckTales, the series which served as the launching pad for The Disney Afternoon, premiered in syndication in September 1987, airing on Fox's owned-and-operated stations as well as various Fox affiliates in many markets. This may have been due in no small part to the fact that The Walt Disney Company's chief operating officer at the time, Michael Eisner and his then-Fox counterpart, Barry Diller, had worked together at ABC and at Paramount Pictures.
In 1988, Disney purchased Los Angeles independent television station KHJ-TV, later changing its call letters to KCAL-TV. The station's new owners wanted DuckTales to be shown on KCAL, thus taking the local television rights to the animated series away from Fox-owned KTTV. Furious at the breach of contract, Diller pulled DuckTales from all of Fox's other owned-and-operated stations in the fall of 1989. Diller also encouraged the network's affiliates to do the same, though most did not initially. As Disney went forward in developing The Disney Afternoon, Fox began the process of launching its own children's programming lineup.
Fox Kids was launched on September 8, 1990 as the Fox Children's Network, a joint venture between the Fox Broadcasting Company and its affiliates. Originally headed up by division president Margaret Loesch, its programming originally aired for 30 minutes per day on Monday through Fridays, and for three hours on Saturday mornings. In 1991, the block was rebranded as the Fox Kids Network, with its programming expanding to 90 minutes on weekdays and four hours on Saturday mornings; it grew to 2½ hours on weekdays the following year. Every November, from 1992 to 1998, Fox Kids aired "The Fox Kids T.V. Takeover," a special programming block on Thanksgiving Day that led into the network's NFL coverage during the final four years of its run.
In addition to the program block, Fox Kids had its own radio program, the Fox Kids Radio Countdown; the two-hour broadcast was hosted by Chris Leary of ZDTV and TechTV fame and consisted of contests and gags, with funny sound effects incorporated throughout the program. It was later renamed as Fox All Access and served primarily as a promotional vehicle for Fox television programs, current artists, and films in its later years, before eventually ending its run in 2012.
By 1993, Fox Kids increased its schedule to a total of three hours each Monday through Friday, usually from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. local time (making Fox the first network to air in programming in the 4:00 p.m. hour since 1986 with that expansion), and four hours on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon Eastern and Pacific Time (7:00 to 11:00 a.m. Central and Mountain Time). Many stations split the weekday lineup's programming into a one-hour block in the morning and a two-hour block in the afternoon (though this varied slightly in some markets), when network programs intertwined with syndicated children's lineups. Other stations aired all three hours combined in the afternoon due to their carriage of local morning newscasts; stations that aired such programming in this case had dropped syndicated children programs, moving them to other "independent" stations. Very few Fox stations aired all three hours of the weekday block in the morning.
When Fox Kids launched, virtually all of Fox's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates carried the block with few (if any) declining to carry it. The first Fox station to drop the block was Miami affiliate WSVN, the network's first station to maintain a news-intensive format, in 1993. The following year, in May 1994, Fox signed a multi-station affiliation agreement with New World Communications to switch that company's CBS, ABC and (in only one case) NBC affiliates to the network between September 1994 and July 1995, in order to improve its affiliate coverage in certain markets after the network won the contract to the NFL's National Football Conference television package. Many of the stations owned by New World (which later merged with Fox's then-parent company News Corporation in July 1996) declined to carry the block in order to air syndicated programs aimed at older audiences or local newscasts. In certain cities with an |independent station, or beginning in January 1995, affiliates of UPN and The WB, Fox contracted the Fox Kids block to air on one of these stations if a Fox owned-and-operated station or affiliate chose not to carry it. In some cases, Fox Kids would be carried on the same station as one of its two competing children's blocks, The WB's Kids' WB and UPN's UPN Kids block (the latter of which was replaced in 1999 by Disney's One Too).
Examples of stations where Fox Kids aired in lieu of the Fox station in a given market include:
|City of license/market||Fox station||Notes|
|Atlanta, Georgia||WAGA||WAGA (channel 5) declined carriage of Fox Kids when it switched to Fox from CBS in December 1994. The block remained on outgoing Fox O&O WATL (channel 36, which became a WB affiliate in January 1995), as it lost Fox's primetime and sports programming to WAGA. Fox Kids later moved to WHOT (channel 34, now Univision owned-and-operated station WUVG-DT) in 1999, after that station dropped its affiliation with the Home Shopping Network and converted into a general entertainment independent station, where it remained until the weekday block was dropped nationally in 2002.|
|Austin, Texas||KTBC||KTBC (channel 7) only carried the Saturday morning Fox Kids block when it joined Fox from CBS in July 1995, while low-power sister station K13VC (which shut down in 2003 to allow Univision owned-and-operated station KAKW-TV to launch its digital signal) carried both the weekday and Saturday lineups. KTBC and K13VC both simulcast the Saturday lineup until KTBC dropped it in 1997.|
|Birmingham, Alabama||WBRC||WBRC (channel 6) planned to carry Fox Kids when it became a Fox owned-and-operated station in September 1996 (through a direct sale to Fox Television Stations as a result of ownership conflicts resulting from New World's simultaneous acquisitions of WBRC and other stations owned by Citicasters, and WVTM-TV and other stations owned by Argyle Communications) and run its weekday block in place of the ABC soap opera lineup once it moved to that network's replacement Birmingham affiliate (which would become low-powered W58CK (channel 58, now WBMA-LD) and former CBS affiliates-turned-satellite stations WCFT-TV (channel 33) and WJSU-TV (channel 40)), this was the original policy for such stations. Former Fox affiliate WTTO (channel 21) approached the network about retaining Fox Kids when it was set to become an independent station upon the switch. Fox allowed WTTO to keep Fox Kids, and changed its policy for its new O&O stations to allow them the right to decline Fox Kids and allow other stations to carry it if they chose to do so.|
|Cleveland, Ohio||WJW-TV||WJW (channel 8) declined to air Fox Kids when the station affiliated with Fox in September 1994, while former Fox affiliate WOIO (channel 19) took WJW's former CBS affiliation at that same time. As a result, low-rated independent station WBNX-TV (channel 55) – which later affiliated with The WB in September 1997, adding the Kids' WB block in addition to Fox Kids and the station's syndicated children's programming inventory – received the local rights to carry Fox Kids. WBNX operated the largest Fox Kids Club of the block's affiliates.|
|Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas||KDFW||KDFW (channel 4) declined to carry Fox Kids when it switched to Fox from CBS in July 1995. Fox Kids remained with Fox's outgoing owned-and-operated station KDAF (channel 33), which became a WB affiliate that same month after the completion of its sale to Renaissance Broadcasting (which later merged with Tribune Broadcasting in 1996). In 1997, upon Fox's acquisition of KDFW through its merger with New World Communications, Fox Kids moved to independent station KDFI (channel 27, now a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station), which Fox managed under a local marketing agreement at the time and would acquire outright in 2001.|
|Detroit, Michigan||WJBK||WJBK (channel 2) chose to decline Fox Kids upon affiliating with Fox in December 1994 (WJBK's former CBS affiliation moved to WGPR (channel 62, now WWJ-TV)), which remained on the market's original Fox affiliate WKBD (channel 50), which itself became a UPN charter affiliate in January 1994. This arrangement ended in the fall of 1997, at which time Fox Kids would move to low-rated independent station WADL (channel 38), which had been used for several years to broadcast programs that Detroit's major network affiliates (WDIV-TV, WXYZ-TV and prior to affiliating with Fox, WJBK) declined to air.|
|Kansas City, Missouri||WDAF-TV||WDAF (channel 4) declined to take Fox Kids when it switched to Fox in September 1994. Fox Kids would move to KSMO-TV (channel 62) – which became the market's UPN affiliate in January 1995 – as former Fox affiliate KSHB-TV (channel 41) took WDAF's former NBC affiliation. In 1998, when KSMO switched to The WB, Fox Kids programming and the UPN affiliation moved to KCWB (channel 29, now KCWE). The block subsequently moved to independent station KMCI-TV (channel 38) in the fall of 1999.|
|Los Angeles, California||KTTV||KTTV (channel 11), Fox's West Coast flagship station, moved the weekday block to its sister UPN (and later MyNetworkTV) station, KCOP (channel 13) upon acquiring that station from Chris-Craft/United Television in 2001. However, KTTV continued to air Fox Kids programming on Saturday mornings.|
|Miami, Florida||WSVN||WSVN (channel 7) became the first Fox affiliate to decline or stop carrying Fox Kids, when it dropped the block at the end of 1993. At that point, Fox Kids moved to WDZL (channel 39, now WSFL-TV); it would eventually move to WAMI-TV (channel 69) in 1997, where it ran until it became a Telefutura owned-and-operated station in January 2002.|
|Milwaukee, Wisconsin||WITI||WITI (channel 6) opted to not carry the block upon becoming a Fox station in December 1994 (its former CBS affiliation moved to independent station WDJT-TV (channel 58)); the block instead stayed on the market's original Fox affiliate WCGV (channel 24), which became a UPN affiliate when that network launched one month later, however WCGV continued to show more preference to Fox Kids than the weaker teen-targeted UPN Kids block.|
|Phoenix, Arizona||KSAZ-TV||KSAZ (channel 10) did not carry Fox Kids upon switching to Fox in December 1994. It initially remained on former Fox affiliate KNXV-TV (channel 15), during its four-month transition from Fox to ABC, in which it added ABC programs (excluding primetime and sports programs, and select daytime soap operas) which that network's longtime affiliate KTVK (channel 3) began turning down. KNXV spent a month during the switchover as hybrid independent station/secondary ABC affiliate. KNXV and KSAZ's affiliation switches were part of a complicated four-way network swap that had CBS moving from KSAZ to independent station KPHO-TV (channel 5) in September 1994, with KSAZ becoming an indepdendent until December of that year; ABC would remain on KTVK until January 1995, where Fox Kids also moved once the remaining shows that the station continued to carry from ABC's daytime lineup had moved to KNXV. By the time that KTVK became the market's original WB affiliate (it aired that network's Wednesday programming on Saturday nights on tape delay) in January 1995, it owned a large syndicated programming inventory; as such, KTVK lacked enough time in its broadcast day to air all of this programming even after dropping ABC, due to its news-intensive schedule.
As such, when the Brooks family launched KASW (channel 61) in September 1995, KTVK's then-owner MAC America Communications immediately entered into an LMA with that station. Both Fox Kids and the WB affiliation promptly moved to KASW, rendering KTVK an independent station. Fox's children's block remained on KASW in its 4Kids TV iteration until that block ended in December 2008, even after Fox acquired then-UPN affiliate KUTP (channel 45, now a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station) in 2000. It was thought that 4Kids TV would move to KUTP, but KSAZ still passed on it even for its duopoly partner in that market; it therefore remained on KASW.
|New York City, New York||WNYW||WNYW (channel 5), Fox's East Coast flagship station, deferred the weekday block to sister UPN (and later MyNetworkTV) station WWOR-TV (channel 9) in September 2001. However, WNYW continued to air Fox Kids programming on Saturday mornings.|
|Tampa, Florida||WTVT||When WTVT (channel 13) opted not to carry Fox Kids upon switching to Fox in December 1994, former Fox affiliate WFTS (channel 28) was unable to continue carrying it as it had taken the ABC affiliation from WTSP (channel 10), which in turn affiliated with WTVT's former network partner, CBS. Fox Kids programming moved to independent station WTTA (channel 38) – which would eventually join The WB in 1998; that station also picked up certain syndicated shows that WFTS was no longer able to air. WTTA's arrangement to air Fox Kids continued until December 2001, upon the weekday block's discontinuance; the Saturday morning lineup that remained, carrying over to its Fox Box and 4Kids TV iterations, moved to independent WMOR-TV (channel 32) – the market's original WB affiliate from 1995 to 1998.|
Between 1995 and early 1996, Fox acquired three former ABC-affiliated stations (WHBQ-TV/Memphis, KTVI/St. Louis and WGHP/High Point), while SF Broadcasting (a joint venture between Savoy Pictures and Fox) acquired three former NBC affiliates and one ABC affiliate (which were later sold to Emmis Communications a few years later). Those stations all aired early evening local newscasts, but wanted to continue to run general entertainment syndicated programming to lead into their news programs instead of cartoons; these stations opted to run Fox Kids one hour early, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Stations that would run it at this time included:
|Fox station||City of license/market||Notes|
|KTVI||St. Louis, Missouri||As a result of the New World affiliation deal, KTVI (channel 2) took the Fox affiliation from KDNL-TV (channel 30) in July 1995. Fox Kids was picked up by religious independent station KNLC (channel 24), which used its local commercial time to air religious sermons and messages, along with the personal opinions of station owner Rev. Larry Rice; the station refused to sell the time to advertisers, and would also occasionally censor advertising and programming shown during the block that its ownership found offensive. For these reasons as well as the fact that the network found the messages and opinion pieces inappropriate for Fox Kids' younger viewership, the network terminated the agreement with KNLC in September 1996, with the block being moved to KTVI (several months before it became a Fox O&O upon New World's merger with Fox).|
/High Point, North Carolina
|WGHP (channel 8) ran Fox Kids upon becoming an owned-and-operated station of the network in September 1995 (its former ABC affiliation moved to former Fox affiliate WNRW (channel 45, now WXLV-TV)), and aired the weekday block from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., a time period that was previously occupied by ABC soap operas. In March 1996, WGHP became the first Fox-owned station that did not run Fox Kids when the block moved to WB affiliate WBFX (channel 20, now CW affiliate WCWG), which began airing the weekday block in pattern.|
|WHBQ-TV||Memphis, Tennessee||When WHBQ (channel 13) became a Fox O&O in September 1995; it originally ran the Fox Kids weekday schedule from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., followed by syndicated reruns (initially Family Matters). In 1998, the station began to clear only two hours of the three-hour lineup from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. WHBQ dropped the weekday block in September 1999, replacing it with syndicated programming in the timeslot. In addition, in 1996, the station began splitting the Saturday block into two blocks, the first two hours aired from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. and the last two in patter from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. (the two-hour breakaway from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. was filled by syndicated children's programs such as Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and The Magic School Bus); this scheduling for the Saturday block was carried over to 4Kids TV until it was discontinued in December 2008.|
Savoy/Fox and later Emmis-owned (at the time) stations:
|Fox station||City of license/market||Notes|
|KHON-TV||Honolulu||KHON (channel 2) ran Fox Kids from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. from when it switched to Fox from NBC (which moved to former Fox affiliate KHNL (channel 8)) in January 1996 until the weekday block was discontinued in December 2001.|
|WALA-TV||Mobile, Alabama||WALA (channel 10) ran Fox Kids from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. from when it switched to Fox from NBC (which moved to former Fox affiliate WPMI-TV (channel 15)) in January 1996 until the weekday block was discontinued in December 2001.|
|WLUK||Green Bay, Wisconsin||WLUK (channel 11) ran Fox Kids from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. from when it switched to Fox from NBC (which moved to former Fox affiliate WGBA-TV (channel 26)) in August 1995 until the fall of 2001, when it pushed the Fox Kids weekday block back by one hour to 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.|
|WVUE||New Orleans, Louisiana||WVUE (channel 8), even before switching to Fox from ABC (which moved to former independent station WGNO (channel 26)) in January 1996, was an underperforming station in the market. The station did not have a weekday morning newscast at the time (and would not add one until 2002 after the Fox Kids weekday block was discontinued); as such, Fox Kids aired on WVUE from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. weekdays until the weekday block was discontinued in December 2001.|
Much of the Fox Kids lineup's early programming was produced by Warner Bros. Animation. After The WB launched in January 1995, two of Fox Kids' most popular programs, Animaniacs (following a heated dispute with Fox after it ceded the program's timeslot to carry Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Batman: The Animated Series, moved to that network with both serving as the linchpin of The WB's new children's block, Kids' WB, when it launched in September of that year (Tiny Toon Adventures, another early Fox Kids program that Warner Bros. produced and also aired on Kids' WB, had already ended its run).
In 1996, Saban Entertainment acquired a half-interest in Fox Kids, to form Fox Kids Worldwide Inc., later renamed Fox Family Worldwide. Some of Fox Kids' programming also aired on Fox Family Channel (now ABC Family), after News Corporation and Saban acquired the network from International Family Entertainment in 1997.
In 1998, Fox bought out its affiliates' interest in Fox Kids as part of a deal to help pay for the network's expensive NFL football package. The Fox Kids weekday block was trimmed to two hours, and in an effort to help its affiliates comply with the recently implemented educational programming mandates, reruns of the former PBS series The Magic School Bus were added to the lineup. In 2000, affiliates were given the option of pushing the block up one hour to 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. instead of running it from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. In the six or so markets where a Fox affiliate carried Fox Kids and carried an early evening newscast at 5:00 p.m. (such as St. Louis and New Orleans), the station was already running the block an hour early by 1996. Some affiliates (such as WLUK-TV) would even tape delay the block to air between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., one of the lowest-rated time periods on U.S. television (and when virtually all children 5 years of age and older are at school). A few only aired The Magic School Bus in this sort of graveyard slot specifically as an act of malicious compliance with the educational mandates (the Federal Communications Commission requires E/I programming to air between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., although few carry such programming in evening or weekday late morning/afternoon timeslots).
End of Fox Kids
By 2001, Fox stations felt they were on much more even footing with the "Big Three" networks and wanted to take back the Fox Kids programming blocks to air their own programming. Saturday mornings, long only the province of children's programming, had become a liability as the other networks started to extend their weekday morning news programs to weekends, and some of the local Fox stations wanted to start Saturday morning newscasts, owing to the cultural change of Saturday becoming the theoretical "sixth weekday".
Fox Kids, long the #1 children's program block among the major networks since at least 1992, had been overtaken by Kids' WB two years prior with the stronger animation block backed by Warner Bros. that included shows like Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!. ABC and UPN aired mostly comedy-based cartoons at this time, with the exception of live-action teen-oriented sitcoms Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens, while CBS aired preschool programming from Nick Jr., and NBC was airing teen-oriented sitcoms (later to be replaced the following year by E/I programming from Discovery Kids), splintering the audience. The added factor of Nickelodeon's aggressive schedule that outrated all of the broadcast networks among children on Saturday mornings left Fox Kids behind, and the programmers could find no way to catch up and stand out in this crowded field.
After Fox Family Worldwide was sold to The Walt Disney Company in July 2001, Fox Kids was placed under the oversight of Fox Television Entertainment and moved its programming operations to Fox's headquarters on the 20th Century Fox studio lot, at which time Fox discontinued the daytime children's programming, giving the time back to their affiliates rather than retaining the slot to run daytime programs aimed at adult viewers as NBC, ABC and CBS had long done. Fox put its children's programming block up for bidding, and 4Kids Entertainment, the producers of the English dub of Pokémon, purchased the remaining four-hour Saturday time period. Fox Kids maintained a Saturday morning-only schedule until September 14, 2002, when it gave the time to 4Kids Entertainment.
The block was renamed FoxBox and before being renamed again to 4Kids TV three years later in January 2005. 4Kids TV lasted until December 27, 2008, due to intervening conflicts between Fox and 4Kids that led to the two parties terminating the contract to produce the block, as 4Kids had not paid the network for the time lease for some time, while the network was unable to maintain a set 90% clearance rate among Fox's stations due to affiliate refusals and an inability to secure secondary affiliates to carry the programming. Fox gave two hours of programming on Saturday mornings back to its affiliates, while the other two hours were used to launch an informercial block titled Weekend Marketplace, that debuted on January 3, 2009. Saban would not program another children's block until it acquired 4Kids' assets in 2012, and began producing the Vortexx Saturday morning block for The CW through the acquisition (that block – which eventually became the last remaining traditional children's program block among the major networks due to ABC and CBS later joining NBC in opting to carry E/I-compliant blocks through time lease agreements – will be discontinued in September 2014 in favor of One Magnificent Morning, an all-E/I lineup produced by Litton Entertainment).
After Fox Kids
While Fox Kids was ending on broadcast television in the United States, Disney instituted a two-hour morning lineup on its newly acquired ABC Family cable channel that was programmed similarly to Fox Kids. Internationally, Fox Kids continued to air under the same name, despite its new Disney ownership. At the same time, ABC rebranded its Saturday morning cartoon block – then known as One Saturday Morning – to ABC Kids (other than Power Rangers, no Fox Kids programming actually aired on ABC Kids). It was not until 2004 that Disney branded its action and adventure programming from the Fox Kids library as Jetix. The new name was first used in the United States on the ABC Family morning block and a new prime-time lineup on Toon Disney. Internationally, the Jetix name was first phased in as a programming block, before the name was adopted by the international networks. The Jetix brand was eventually discontinued shortly after Toon Disney was rebranded as Disney XD in February 2009.
Disney now holds the rights to most of the Fox Family archives under Disney-ABC Domestic Television, including The Tick, Eek! Stravaganza and the Marvel animated titles (which Disney purchased in a separate deal in 2009). Most of these shows aired on Jetix, although Eek! Stravaganza, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and select other shows were streamed online (complete with Fox Family branding during the end credits) on ABC Family's website. Saban Capital Group reacquired most of the Saban Entertainment library beginning in 2010 and licenses most of its library to Nickelodeon's networks. Several of Fox Kids' programs, including Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation and the Warner Bros. Animation-produced series, air on the Hub Network in the United States as of 2014. Despite having been retired in most of the world, the Fox Kids brand was revived for the children's programming block on the Fox cable channel in Finland.
On December 17, 2013, Fox signed a deal with Steve Rotfeld Productions to produce a two-hour block titled Xploration Station, which will feature live-action educational programs focused on the STEM fields; when the block debuts in September 2014, it will mark the first time that Fox has aired children's programming since 4Kids TV ended in 2008. Due to the fact that the block would include two of the three weekly hours of educational programming required by the FCC, several Fox affiliates that opted against airing Fox's non-E/I-contributing children's programming efforts and the successor Weekend Marketplace block may elect to run Xploration Station as it is a network-provided E/I lineup, relieving them of taking on the full burden of purchasing E/I programming from the syndication market.
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