Vortexx

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Vortexx
Type Defunct Saturday morning cartoon block
Country United States
Slogan Saturday Mornings So Action-Whacked, It's Gonna Leave A Mark! (2012–2013)
Where Epic Heroes Live (2013–2014)
Owner Saban Brands
Launch date
August 25, 2012 (2012-08-25)
Dissolved September 27, 2014 (2014-09-27)
Official website
www.myvortexx.com (Archive link)

Vortexx was a Saturday morning children's television block that aired on The CW from August 25, 2012 to September 27, 2014. Programmed by Saban Brands, it replaced Toonzai, a block that was programmed by 4Kids Entertainment until its bankruptcy.[1][2][3] The Vortexx block primarily featured animated programs, although it also featured several live-action series, including an old installment in the Power Rangers franchise (which had been re-acquired by Saban), and the WWE wrestling series WWE Saturday Morning Slam.

The block was replaced by Litton Entertainment's One Magnificent Morning, which features live-action educational programming, on October 4, 2014.

History[edit]

On April 6, 2011, following a lawsuit involving the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, 4Kids Entertainment, which programmed the The CW4Kids/Toonzai block for the network, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[4] On May 1, 2012, Kidsco Media Ventures, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, placed a bid to acquire some of 4Kids' assets. On June 26, 2012, after competition from 4K Acquisition Corp, a subsidiary of Konami, the deal was finalized, with 4K Acquisition receiving the U.S. rights to the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise and Saban receiving all other assets, including the programming righs to The CW's Saturday morning block.[5] On July 2, 2012, it was announced that Saban Brands, via Kidsco Media Ventures, would begin programming the block that fall.[6][7][8][9] On July 12, 2012, it was announced that the block would be named Vortexx, which launched on August 25, 2012.[1][2]

On May 31, 2014, The CW announced that Vortexx would be discontinued and replaced on October 4, 2014 by One Magnificent Morning, a block produced by Litton Entertainment that would feature live-action documentary and lifestyle programs aimed at pre-teens and teenagers, similarly to a block also introduced by Litton for CW co-owner CBS the previous year. The move came as part of a shift by broadcast television networks towards using their Saturday morning lineup solely to comply with the educational programming requirements mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), along with the cultural shift towards cable and online video on demand viewing of children's and animated programming.[10] Vortexx aired for the final time on September 27, 2014; it was the last Saturday morning block across the major American broadcast networks that primarily featured non-educational programming aimed at children.[11][12]

Scheduling[edit]

Officially the network preferred the block to air from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in each time zone, though there were local scheduling variances in some areas that may have moved it to different hours, to Sundays, or split the lineup between Saturday or Sunday, along with local pre-emptions of select shows. CW Plus stations in the Central, Mountain and Alaska time zones time zones also aired the block one hour earlier or later, depending on the local time zone, as The CW Plus operates separate feeds based on the network's Eastern and Pacific time zone scheduling for primetime shows. San Antonio CW affiliate KMYS split the Vortexx block over two days, between early Sunday and early Monday mornings before 5:00 a.m., due to an existing arrangement to air Fox's Weekend Marketplace paid programming block in lieu of sister station KABB.

Past exclusions[edit]

WTVW in Evansville, Indiana (which hurriedly joined The CW on January 31, 2013 due to the market's former affiliate going dark) was unable to schedule the block when it initially began its affiliation with the network, due to contractual obligations to paid programming slots and existing syndicated E/I programming on Saturday mornings through March 2013. The station began carrying Vortexx in its network-recommended timeslot on April 6, 2013, with the station's acquired E/I programming moving to Sunday afternoons.[13][14]

Video-on-demand[edit]

On April 29, 2013, Saban Brands announced a separate partnership with Kabillion to add programming from the Vortexx block to the existing Kabillion video on demand service for cable providers. The programs were listed on the service without any separate Vortexx subdivision under their individual show titles, with Vortexx promotional advertising.[15] The shows currently remain on Kabillion with other advertising, even with the discontinuance of Vortexx.

Programming[edit]

Most of the block's programming aired in high definition, with older standard definition content presented in 4:3 or widescreen with stylized pillarboxing and windowboxing.

Vortexx only ran an hour of programming that met the FCC's educational programming guidelines; as a result, The CW's affiliates handled the responsibility of filling the remaining two hours; The CW Plus cable-subchannel affiliates had E/I-compliant programs acquired from the syndication market built into the national schedule, alleviating stations carrying CW network programming via that feed from the responsibility of purchasing the local rights to such programs.

Former programming[edit]

Special programming[edit]

– Former CW4Kids/Toonzai program

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Steinberg, Brian (July 12, 2012). "'Power Rangers' Backer Saban to Reenter Kiddie TV". Advertising Age. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Saban Brands to launch Vortexx kid shows on The CW". L.A. Biz. July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ James, Meg (August 8, 2012). "Haim Saban to unveil Saturday kids' shows, including WWE program". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ "4Kids Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". Anime News Network. May 30, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ "4Kids sells Yu-Gi-Oh CW Network related assets jointly to konami kidsco". Anime News Network. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ Wallenstein, Andrew (July 2, 2012). "Saban Brands to rebuild CW toon block". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ Marcucci, Carl (July 3, 2012). "The CW signs Saban Brands for kids block". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Saban builds CW kids' block". C21Media. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ Dickson, Jeremy (July 3, 2012). "Saban and The CW launch kids TV block". KidScreen. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "CBS Slates Teen-Centric Programming Block For Saturdays". Deadline Hollywood. July 24, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  11. ^ "The CW Sets 5-Hour Saturday Morning Block". Deadline Hollywood. June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ Sullivan, Gail (September 30, 2014). "Saturday morning cartoons are no more". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  13. ^ Newkirk, Jacob (January 28, 2013). "Local 7 picking up CW programming". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jake's DTV Blog: The official announcement from Mission Broadcasting on WTVW and CW". Jake's DTV Blog. January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ Getzler, Wendy (April 29, 2013). "Vortexx on-demand channel launches on Kabillion". Kidscreen.com. Retrieved April 29, 2013. 
  16. ^ Pena, Daniel (October 2, 2013). "Saturday Morning Slam Not Likely To Return, Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella's Relationship, Birthdays". Wrestling, Inc. Retrieved October 2, 2013.