4Kids TV

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4Kids TV
Type Saturday morning cartoon block (2002–2008)
Online network/on-demand channel (2008–2012)
Country United States
Availability National
International
Slogan What's Inside the Fox Box (2002–2003)
The FoxBox Rocks (2003–2004)
The Place to Be (2005–2006)
The Game Station (2007–2008)
Owner 4Kids Entertainment/News Corporation (television)
STAR TV (Asia)
(co-owner with 4Kids and News Corporation)
Key people
Alfred R. Kahn (CEO, 4Kids Entertainment)
Launch date
September 14, 2002 (television; original launch as FoxBox, replacing Fox Kids)
January 22, 2005 (relaunch; as 4Kids TV)
Dissolved December 27, 2008 (television)
November 2, 2012 (online network)
Former names
FoxBox (2002–2005)
Fox

4Kids TV (often stylized as "4K!DS TV" and originally known as FoxBox from 2002 to 2005) is a former television programming block and Internet-based video on demand children's network operated by 4Kids Entertainment. It originated as a weekly block on Saturday mornings on the Fox Broadcasting Company, which was created out of a four-year agreement reached in January 2002 between 4Kids Entertainment and Fox to lease the five-hour Saturday morning time slot occupied by the network's existing children's program block, Fox Kids. The 4Kids TV block was part of the Fox network schedule, although it was syndicated to other broadcast television stations in certain markets where a Fox affiliate declined to air it.[1]

History[edit]

The block launched on September 14, 2002 under the name "FoxBox", a joint venture between the Fox Broadcasting Company and 4Kids Entertainment,[2][3] replacing Fox Kids, which the network announced it would discontinue as a result of the 2001 purchase of Fox Family Worldwide by The Walt Disney Company (which resulted in much of the content featured on the block, including those produced by Fox Kids Worldwide part-owner Saban Entertainment, being absorbed into Disney's syndication unit Buena Vista Television).[4] It was rebranded as 4Kids TV on February 19, 2004.[5] 4Kids Entertainment was wholly responsible for the content of the block and collected all of the advertising revenue accrued from it.[1] However, Fox's standards and practices department still handled content approval and responsibility of editing the series to meet broadcast standards.

The programming block aired on Saturday mornings in most areas of the United States, though some stations carried it on Sundays (often due to scheduling conflicts resulting from the block airing on stations affiliated with other minor networks that had their own children's program blocks which competed with FoxBox/4Kids TV, including the Kids' WB on The WB and later The CW, and for its first year, the Disney's One Too block on UPN). In October 2007, 4Kids Entertainment announced it would program a competing Saturday morning lineup for The CW; the new block, The CW4Kids (later renamed Toonzai, with the original name becoming a secondary brand), debuted on May 24, 2008, replacing the Kids' WB programming block – which had been carried over to The CW from one of its predecessors, The WB, when it launched in September 2006.[6][7]

In November 2008, 4Kids Entertainment announced that 4Kids TV would conclude at the end of the year due to intervening conflicts between Fox and 4Kids, as the latter company had not paid the network for the time lease for some time, while the network was unable to maintain the guaranteed 90% clearance for the block due to affiliate refusals and an inability to secure secondary affiliates to carry the programming in markets where the Fox station denied clearance for the block. 4Kids TV ended on December 27, 2008.[8] Fox announced that the four-hour time period would no longer be used for children's programming, owing that it was no longer viable due to the insurmountable competition from children's cable channels (such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network).[9] On January 3, 2009, the network gave two hours of the programming time that the 4Kids TV block occupied back to its affiliates, while the other two hours would be retained by the network for a paid programming block titled Weekend Marketplace, which replaced 4Kids TV on January 3, 2009.[10] The 4KidsTV logo now only exists as the closing logo for 4Kids Entertainment for shows produced by the company distributed outside of the United States (particularly those made before the 2012 auction of most of 4Kids' assets to Saban Brands).

Fox would reverse course and indirectly resume airing children's programming for the first time since 4Kids TV ended through an agreement announced on December 17, 2013, when it signed a deal with Steve Rotfeld Productions to launch Xploration Station, a two-hour block of live-action educational programs focused on the STEM fields, which debuted on September 13, 2014. As the block accounts for two of the three weekly hours of educational programming required by the Federal Communications Commission's Children's Television Act, the Fox affiliates that opted against airing 4Kids TV, Fox Kids or Weekend Marketplace (including those owned by the network that were acquired through its 1996 merger with New World Communications and those acquired through that deal that are now owned by Tribune Broadcasting) elected to run Xploration Station as it is an E/I-compliant lineup syndicated primarily to the network's affiliates, relieving them of taking on the full burden of purchasing educational programming aimed at children from the syndication market (although some Fox stations, including those owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group – the vast majority of its stations had carried Fox's previous children's blocks, decided to decline the block anyway due to existing commitments to syndicated programs compliant with Children's Television Act recommendations).[11][12]

Programming[edit]

Previous programming[edit]

4KidsTV.com[edit]

Online network[edit]

4Kids launched an online video player on its website on September 8, 2007, and gradually added full-length episodes as well as additional video clips and online-exclusive content. However, it was revamped on September 25, 2008 in beta testing. Promotions stated that 4Kids TV would be "moving online" starting in January 2009, implying that the video player would be fully operational at that time; however it remained in beta testing by that month.[citation needed] However, 4Kids seemed to increase the number of shows that were added to the player at that point. The site fully launched on September 9, 2009, with the player receiving a revamp once again.[citation needed] The online network was shut down on November 2, 2012.

Relationship with Fox and broadcast ambiguities[edit]

The block had a somewhat unusual relationship to the Fox network. The programming was produced for Fox and offered to the network's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates first, so the Fox station in any given area had the right of first refusal. In the event that a Fox affiliate – or in some cases, an O&O of the network – opted not to carry 4Kids TV, the block then became available for the local broadcast rights to be acquired by another television station. In fact, it was due in part to these carriage ambiguities that 4Kids dissolved the block in 2008, as they had been promised clearance on at least 90% of Fox's stations.

Most of Fox's owned-and-operated stations opted to carry 4Kids TV, these were mainly stations that had been owned by the network since Fox launched in October 1986 or were Fox charter affiliates that Fox Television Stations had acquired since that point. However dating back to the existence of the Fox Kids block, the twelve stations that Fox acquired from New World Communications in 1996[14] (and had earlier affiliated with the network through a 1994 multi-station affiliation deal[15] – which prior to then, had been affiliated with ABC, NBC or CBS) generally did not air 4Kids TV. In some of the New World markets, 4Kids was not carried on any station. In a majority of these markets, an independent station carried the block; in others, it was carried by either a UPN, or later, a CW or MyNetworkTV affiliate. The lone exception was in St. Louis, Missouri, where Fox O&O (now affiliate) KTVI carried the block (although it aired 4Kids TV two hours earlier that the network's recommended scheduling for the block, beginning at 5:00 a.m., due to the station's Saturday morning newscast).

Some of 4Kids TV's programming (such as Winx Club, The Adrenaline Project, Magical DoReMi, Stargate Infinity, reruns of Back to the Future: the Animated Series and Cubix) met the criteria to be considered educational and informational under the requirements defined by the Children's Television Act; and counted toward the three-hour-per-week mandatory educational children's programming quotas outlined by the Federal Communications Commission.

Markets where 4Kids TV did not run at all[edit]

City of license/market Fox station Notes
Birmingham, Alabama WBRC WBRC (channel 6) dropped 4Kids TV predecessor Fox Kids upon becoming a Fox owned-and-operated station in September 1995, when it reached an agreement to allow outgoing Fox affiliate WTTO (channel 21) to continue carrying the block; WTTO dropped Fox Kids in 2000, resulting in 4Kids TV not being available in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston market as it was not picked up by WBRC or any other television station in the market.
Greensboro/Winston-Salem/
High Point, North Carolina
WGHP WGHP (channel 8) dropped 4Kids TV predecessor Fox Kids in March 1996, when it reached an agreement for WB affiliate WTWB-TV (channel 20, now CW affiliate WCWG) to carry the block; WTWB-TV dropped Fox Kids in 2001, resulting in 4Kids TV not being available in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point market as the block was not picked up by WGHP or any other stations in the market.
Greenwood, Mississippi WABG-DT2 When ABC affiliate WABG-TV (channel 6) launched a Fox-affiliated digital subchannel in September 2006, the subchannel initially did not start broadcasting on Saturdays until 4:00 p.m. (or earlier if there were sports events scheduled to air), resulting in 4Kids TV not being available in the market during the last two years of its run.

Markets where 4Kids TV ran on a MyNetworkTV affiliate[edit]

City of license/market Fox station MyNetworkTV
station
carrying block
Notes
Chicago, Illinois WFLD WPWR-TV Duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations; WPWR (channel 50) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Dallas-Fort Worth,
Texas
KDFW KDFI Duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations; KDFI (channel 27) was an independent station at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Detroit, Michigan WJBK WMYD WMYD (channel 20, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) aired 4Kids TV on Sunday mornings; that station was a WB affiliate (under its former callsign WDWB) at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Miami, Florida WSVN WBFS-TV WBFS (channel 33, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Minnesota
KMSP-TV WFTC Duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations; WFTC (channel 29) was a former UPN affiliate that became a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Portland, Oregon KPTV KPDX Duopoly owned by the Meredith Corporation; KPDX (channel 49, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
San Antonio, Texas KABB KMYS Duopoly owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group (KMYS has since been sold to Deerfield Media); KMYS (channel 35, now a CW affiliate) was a former WB affiliate (as KRRT) at the time it took 4KidsTV from KABB
Tucson, Arizona KMSB-TV KTTU Duopoly owned at the time by Belo (KMSB has since been sold to Sander Media, LLC; KTTU has since been sold to Tucker Operating Co., LLC); KTTU (channel 18, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV

Markets where 4Kids TV ran on a CW affiliate[edit]

Note: These CW affiliates ran 4Kids TV on Sundays, due to their obligation to carry The CW4Kids Saturday block (or, as in the case of Atlanta CW affiliate WUPA, which ran The CW4Kids on Sundays[16] because of other programming airing on Saturdays).

City of license/market Fox station CW station
carrying block
Notes
Atlanta, Georgia WAGA-TV WUPA WUPA (channel 69) was a UPN O&O at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV; it dropped the block before the station switched to The CW
Cleveland, Ohio WJW-TV WBNX-TV WBNX (channel 55, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Fresno, California KMPH-TV KFRE-TV Duopoly owned by Pappas Telecasting Companies (the stations have since been sold to the Sinclair Broadcast Group); KFRE (channel 59, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Omaha, Nebraska KPTM KXVO Duopoly owned by Pappas Telecasting Companies (the stations have since been sold to the Sinclair Broadcast Group); KXVO (channel 15, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV
Phoenix, Arizona KSAZ-TV KASW KASW (channel 61, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV

Markets where 4Kids TV ran on an independent station[edit]

City of license/market Fox station Independent
carrying block
Notes
Austin, Texas KTBC K13VC K13VC (channel 13) aired only the FoxBox incarnation of the block from September 14, 2002 until the low-power station shut down on March 29, 2003 to allow Univision owned-and-operated station KAKW-TV to launch its digital signal.
Kansas City, Missouri WDAF-TV KMCI-TV KMCI (channel 38) aired the block on a one-hour delay starting at 8:00 a.m.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin WITI WMLW-CA WMLW-CA (channel 41, now Me-TV affiliate WBME-CD; its programmning and the WMLW call letters have since moved to a full-power station on channel 49) aired the block on Sundays starting at 8:00 a.m.
Tampa, Florida WTVT WMOR-TV WMOR (channel 32) aired the block on Sundays starting at 8:00 a.m.

See also[edit]

  • Toonzai – children's program block produced by 4Kids for The CW from September 2008 to September 2012.
  • 4Licensing Corporation – parent company of 4Kids Entertainment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Fox, 4Kids Approach Deal For Children's Programming". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones. January 20, 2002. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "What's Inside the Fox Box!? 4Kids Entertainment Launches An All-New Kind of Kids Broadcast Network Starting September 14, 2002". ToonZone. May 14, 2002. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Paula Bernstein (January 18, 2002). "4Kids buys 4 hours from Fox Kids". Variety. Retrieved August 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Disney buys Fox Family". CNN Money. July 23, 2001. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Fox Box To Be Rebranded 4KIDS TV". Anime News Network. January 18, 2005. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  6. ^ "CW Turns Over Saturday Morning to 4Kids". TelevisionWeek. October 2007. Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ Michael Schneider (October 2, 2007). "CW turns to 4Kids on Saturdays". Variety. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ "4Kids Entertainment Reports Third Quarter 2008 Results and Settlement of Fox Litigation". QuoteMedia.com. November 10, 2008. Retrieved January 11, 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Fox Ends Saturday-Morning Cartoons". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). November 24, 2008. Archived from the original on January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ Michael Schneider (November 23, 2008). "Longform Ads Replace Kid Fare on Fox". Variety. Retrieved January 11, 2009. 
  11. ^ Paige Albiniak (December 17, 2013). "Fox Stations Add SRP's Two-Hour STEM Block". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ Amanda Kondolojy (December 18, 2013). "Steve Rotfield Clears New Science and Technology Two Hour E/I Block With FOX Station Group". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It (Tribune Company). Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ "4Kids TV: Previous Schedules". TVIV.org. 
  14. ^ Brian Lowry (July 18, 1996). "New World Vision : Murdoch's News Corp. to Buy Broadcast Group". Los Angeles Times (Times Mirror Company). Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Fox Gains 12 Stations in New World Deal". Chicago Sun-Times (Sun-Times Media Group). May 23, 1994. Retrieved June 1, 2013 – via HighBeam Research. 
  16. ^ "Program Schedule". WUPA. CBS Television Stations. 

External links[edit]

  • Fox
  • IMDb page for "The Fight for the Fox Box" – a half-hour television special featuring multiple crossovers from various FoxBox shows.