Litton's Weekend Adventure
|Type||Saturday morning block|
|September 3, 2011|
Litton's Weekend Adventure (originally known as ABC Weekend Adventure) is an American programming block that is programmed by Litton Entertainment, which is broadcast Saturday (and/or Sunday) mornings on the owned-and-operated stations and affiliates of ABC; the block features live-action documentary and lifestyle series aimed at a family audience. Announced on May 24, 2011, Litton's Weekend Adventure launched on September 3, 2011, replacing the ABC Kids block.
The block came as a result of ABC's decision in early 2011 to no longer provide E/I programming as part of its Saturday morning network lineup to its affiliates; the network had not introduced any new E/I programs for its ABC Kids block since 2008, and the E/I programs that had been airing on the network at the time of the decision had all been repurposed Disney Channel sitcoms in reruns for three years, some of which were fully out of production without remaining drawing power to children's audiences. Also, before The Walt Disney Company returned the rights to the Power Rangers franchise in 2010 to Haim Saban, several station groups that owned ABC affiliates (such as Hearst Television) refused to carry any series from that franchise or chose to run them only in low-rated early morning timeslots, and had demanded any lineup be fully educational so the stations would not have to purchase E/I programming from syndication distributors.
As a compromise, the network's affiliate board agreed to instead look for a broadcast syndication package that would air exclusively on ABC stations. Litton Entertainment was eventually selected to program the block, beating out two other competitors. Although the block airs exclusively on ABC owned-and-operated and affiliate stations, Litton's Weekend Adventure does not contain any ABC branding (though some stations may insert their own logo "bug", like they do for syndicated programming; the only on-screen graphic appearing on the block's programs otherwise is an "E/I" symbol that appears on the top right of the screen to denote its educational and informative nature), does not carry any advertising supplied by ABC (such as promotions for other network shows), and likewise is not promoted directly by ABC on-air or mentioned on the network's website. In addition, commercial breaks within the block do not feature any product advertisements aimed at children. Litton's Weekend Adventure is the first Saturday morning block among the major U.S. broadcast networks to feature programs that are produced in high definition.
The Litton's Weekend Adventure block follows federally mandated educational programming guidelines, thus allowing ABC stations to carry it and comply with the manadatory weekly three-hour E/I programming rule implemented by the Federal Communications Commission. Programming featured on the block promotes a co-viewing experience for the entire family. Several ABC affiliates have chosen not to carry the block and instead air their own E/I-compliant children's programming; these stations include KDNL-TV in St. Louis; WAWV-TV in Terre Haute, Indiana; and WXLV-TV in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In Burlington, Vermont, Litton's Weekend Adventure was for several months in 2013 seen on both WVNY, that market's ABC affiliate, and the second digital subchannel of sister station WFFF-TV; the subchannel, which otherwise had no network affiliation, was the only non-ABC affiliate to carry the block (the arrangement, which started after the subchannel dropped The CW in March 2013, ended when it became a standard definition version of WFFF's main Fox programming in October; the block remains on WVNY). During college football season, some ABC affiliates (particularly those located in the Western United States) may air the block on Saturday afternoons or during the daytime hours on Sundays depending on regional or network game scheduling.
On September 24, 2012, it was announced that a television version of Everyday Health's YouTube series Recipe Rehab would premiere on the block beginning on October 6, 2012. The series was notably one of several web series directly funded by YouTube as a part of a push towards generating more "premium" content on the site.
On September 28, 2013, Litton introduced its second Saturday morning television block, CBS Dream Team, on ABC competitor CBS; focusing on teenagers 13 to 16 years old, that block replaced CBS's previous block, Cookie Jar TV. The following week on October 4, 2013, the Weekend Adventure block's "Health and Wellness Hour" (consisting of health and culinary programs that filled the third hour of the block) was discontinued as part of a refocusing towards exclusively wildlife-focused programs; with the move, Recipe Rehab migrated to CBS's Dream Team block (Its former lead-out, Food for Thought with Claire Thomas, was canceled outright).
Actual times may vary by station, and the lineup might be split over Saturday and Sunday to accommodate an affiliate's local news or local interest programming.
|Mountain||Show name||Program host(s)|
|9:00 am||8:00 am||7:00 am||Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown||Jack Hanna|
|9:30 am||8:30 am||7:30 am||Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin||Jeff Corwin|
|10:00 am||9:00 am||8:00 am||Born to Explore with Richard Wiese||Richard Wiese|
|10:30 am||9:30 am||8:30 am||Sea Rescue||Sam Champion|
|11:00 am||10:00 am||9:00 am||The Wildlife Docs||Rachel Reenstra|
|11:30 am||10:30 am||9:30 am||Expedition Wild||Casey Anderson|
- Culture Click (hosted by Nzinga Blake) – September 3, 2011–February 11, 2012
- Everyday Health (hosted by Leila Ali, Jenna Morasca, and Ethan Zohn) – September 3, 2011–September 29, 2012
- Food for Thought with Claire Thomas (hosted by Claire Thomas) – September 3, 2011–September 28, 2013
- Recipe Rehab (hosted by Danny Boome) – October 6, 2012–September 28, 2013
- "Litton's Weekend Adventure". Litton Entertainment. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "Everyday Health, Inc. and Litton Entertainment Announce New Television Series, "Everyday Health," to Premiere on ABC Affiliates". KFVS-TV. July 8, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "ABC Orders Saturday Kids Block From Litton". TVNewsCheck. May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Albiniak, Paige (May 24, 2011). "ABC to Premiere ABC Weekend Adventure on Sept. 3". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "Litton Announces "ABC Weekend Adventure"". Business Wire. May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- "Cynopsis: Kids! 05/26/11". Cynopsis. May 26, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
- Shields, Mike (September 24, 2012). "YouTube Hit Jumps to TV—Albeit Saturday A.M.". AdWeek. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
- James, Meg (July 24, 2013). "CBS partners with Litton Entertainment for Saturday teen block". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2013.