September 9, 1995
April 28, 2008
May 17, 2008
|Network||The WB (1995–2006)
The CW (2006–2008)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Format||Animated programming block (1995–2008)
Video on demand (2008–present)
Kids' WB was an American children's programming block that originally aired on The WB Television Network from September 9, 1995 to September 16, 2006. On September 23, 2006, the block moved to The CW, which was created by CBS Corporation and Time Warner as a replacement for both The WB and UPN. The Kids' WB television block was discontinued on May 17, 2008, with its Saturday morning programming slot being sold to 4Kids Entertainment and launched as The CW4Kids.
Kids' WB was relaunched as an online network on April 28, 2008, a few weeks before it was replaced by The CW4Kids. The service allows viewers to live-action and animated content, including those from Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics. The website operates different zones based on programming type: Kids' WB, Kids' WB, Jr. (for shows aimed at younger children) and DC HeroZone (for action-oriented animated series). It is also available on Fancast featuring Looney Tunes shorts, and full episodes of television series such as Scooby Doo, The Flintstones and The Jetsons.
Kids' WB debuted on The WB on September 9, 1995, airing on Saturday mornings from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., and weekdays from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. (the block was structured to air in all time zones, airing on a tape delay outside of the Eastern Time Zone, to adjust the recommended airtime of the block to each time zone). On September 7, 1996, the Saturday block was extended by a full hour, airing from 8:00 to 12:00 p.m. ET. Although the Kids' WB block aired on almost all WB-affiliated stations (including those later affiliated with The WB 100+ Station Group), the network's Chicago affiliate WGN-TV – owned by The WB's co-parent, the Tribune Company – declined to air the weekday and Saturday blocks to air its weekday and weekend morning newscasts and other locally produced programming (such as The Bozo Super Sunday Show) in the morning hours, and syndicated programming in the afternoons (ironically, WGN's superstation feed carried the block for its four-year run as a WB affiliate for markets without an in-market affiliate; Kids' WB would later move to WGN-TV's Chicago broadcast signal from WCIU-TV in 2004).
On September 1, 1997, a weekday morning block was added from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., and the weekday afternoon block was extended by one hour, airing from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Some WB affiliates (such as WPIX in New York City, New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, California and KWGN-TV in Denver, Colorado) aired the weekday morning block in conjunction with the weekday afternoon block, extending it to three hours, running from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. On the same date, the block received an on-air rebranding – that included a revised logo and graphics package centered upon the Warner Bros. Studios lot theme that was also used in promotions for The WB's primetime programming during the network's first eight years on the air – which was developed by Riverstreet Productions, and lasted until 2005.
Changes at Kids' WB
On February 13, 1999, Kids' WB made a breakthrough when the English dub of the anime series Pokémon by 4Kids Entertainment moved to the network from broadcast syndication. It became a major hit for the programming block, beating Fox Kids with its animated block backed by Warner Bros. Other anime shows aired on Kids' WB in later years, such as Cardcaptors, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Astro Boy, Megaman NT Warrior and Viewtiful Joe.
In July 2001, Kids' WB's afternoon lineup was rebranded Toonami on Kids' WB, extending the Cartoon Network action-cartoon brand Toonami to broadcast television, and bringing shows such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z and The Powerpuff Girls to network television. In addition, non-action programming such as the live-action children's horror anthology series The Nightmare Room were also aired on the Toonami block. The afternoon block stopped using the Toonami name in June 2002. On September 3, 2001, the Kids' WB weekday morning block was discontinued, with The WB giving that slot back to its local affiliates to carry locally produced shows, syndicated programming and/or infomercials.
On May 31, 2005, The WB announced that the weekday afternoon Kids' WB block would be discontinued "at the request of the local affiliates", as it became financially unattractive due to the fact broadcast stations perceived that children's programming viewership on afternoon timeslots had gravitated more towards cable networks – these stations began to target more adult audiences with talk shows and sitcom reruns in the daytime. Kids' WB's weekday programming continued, but with redundant programming and theme weeks until December 30, 2005 (the block began to increasingly promote Cartoon Network's afternoon Miguzi block and the Kids' WB Saturday morning lineup during the transition). The weekday afternoon Kids' WB block aired for the last time on December 30, 2005, and was replaced on January 2, 2006 by "Daytime WB", a more adult-targeted general entertainment block featuring repeats of sitcoms and drama series formerly seen on the major networks. As a result, the Saturday morning Kids' WB lineup that remained was extended by one hour on January 7, 2006, running from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., no longer affected by time zone variances.
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner (owner of Kids' WB's original broadcaster, The WB) and CBS Corporation (owners of UPN) announced that The WB and UPN would be shut down and replaced by The CW. The combined network utilized The WB's scheduling practices (inherting the 30-hour weekly programming schedule that the network utilized at the time of the announcement) and brought the Kids' WB block, still run by Warner Bros. Television and maintaining the same name, to the new lineup.
The end and rebirth of Kids' WB
On October 2, 2007, the network announced that due to a joint decision between Time Warner and CBS Corporation (parent companies of The CW), it would discontinue the Kids' WB programming block due to the effects of children's advertising limits and cable competition, and would sell the programming time to 4Kids Entertainment. The Kids' WB block aired for the last time on May 17, 2008 (for some stations that aired the block on a day-behind basis, the block's last airdate was on May 18).
On May 24, 2008, 4Kids launched The CW4Kids in place of Kids' WB. The lineup for the block consisted of 4Kids-produced shows, such as Chaotic, as well as new seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh! and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The official site, http://www.cw4kids.com, officially launched on April 20, 2008.
On April 28, 2008, Warner Bros. Entertainment announced that The WB and Kids' WB brands would be relaunched as online networks, with the Kids' WB network consisting of five subchannels: Kids' WB, Kids' WB Jr., Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, and DC Hero Zone. After the dissolution of In2TV, the Kids' WB online portal absorbed most of that service's children's programming. The service was significantly scaled back in 2013 and most of the archival video was removed.
Voice over announcements
- Jim Cummings
- Rino Romano
- Jeff Bennett
- Harland Williams
- Maurice LaMarche
- Jonathan David Cook
- Tom Kenny
- Dana Snyder
- Kevin Michael Richardson
- Mendoza, N.F. (October 22, 1995). "WB Raises the Animation Ante". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Pokemon Takes 'Em All!". Press release. USA: Time Warner. May 6, 1999. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- "One-Two Punch of Pokémon and Batman Beyond Flattens Competition for Kids' WB". Press release. USA: Time Warner. June 4, 1999. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Carter, Bill (January 24, 2006). "UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network". New York Times. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
- CW turns to 4Kids on Saturdays, Variety.com, October 2, 2007
- Brands Old and New for 4Kids at Licensing Expo 2008, AWN Headline News
- Online Kids' WB Venture, DC Hero Zone Press Release, The World's Finest, April 29, 2008
- WB Revived as Online Platform, Variety.com, April 28, 2008
- Warner Moves Toon Content Online to KidsWB.com, KidScreen Magazine, April 29, 2008