Discovery Kids on NBC
|Premiered||September 14, 2002|
|Discontinued||September 2, 2006|
|Network||NBC (programmed by Discovery Kids)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Format||Saturday morning children's program block|
|Running time||3 hours|
Discovery Kids on NBC was an American children's programming block that aired on NBC from September 14, 2002 to September 2, 2006. The block was produced under a time-lease agreement with Discovery Kids, and featured a mix of live-action and animated series originated on the cable network that met educational programming requirements defined by the Federal Communications Commission.
In December 2001, NBC reached a partnership with Discovery Communications, in which its cable channel Discovery Kids would produce a new three-hour Saturday morning block for the network that would feature programming that met the educational programming guidelines enforced by the Children's Television Act. The block would replace TNBC, a block of live-action series aimed at a teenage audience whose creation was motivated by the success of its series Saved by the Bell. By 2001, TNBC had been suffering from declining viewership; according to Nielsen Media Research, the block was, ironically, registering a median viewer age of 41.
Discovery Kids on NBC debuted on September 14, 2002, with its initial lineup incorporating three new original series (the Survivor-style reality competition series Endurance, and the scripted series Scout's Safari and Strange Days at Blake Holsey High) and one existing Discovery Kids program (Operation Junkyard); the following year, Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls, a child-oriented spin-off of the TLC home renovation reality show Trading Spaces joined the lineup.
The new block came about amidst growing children's programming synergies between broadcast and cable television networks. Prior to the Discovery agreement, CBS had launched a Nickelodeon-branded block in 2000 (following Nickelodeon parent Viacom's merger with CBS), while The WB had begun pooling programs from sister channel Cartoon Network onto its Kids' WB lineup as part of a growing cross-promotion arrangement between the cable channel and the block; in addition, the same month that Discovery Kids on NBC debuted, ABC relaunched its Saturday morning block as ABC Kids, expanding upon a programming agreement established in 2001 with sister network Disney Channel that later included select programming from Toon Disney.
In September 2003, the block introduced educationally-oriented animated programs under the banner "Real Toons" – with two series, Kenny the Shark and Tutenstein; this marked the first time that NBC had aired animated series as part of its children's programming lineup since August 1992.
Transition to Qubo
In March 2006, Discovery declined to renew its contract with NBC for its Saturday morning block, citing a desire to focus its children's programming efforts exclusively on the Discovery Kids cable channel; in May of that year, NBC and Ion Media Networks unveiled a joint venture with Corus Entertainment, Scholastic and Classic Media known as Qubo, which would aim to provide educational programming aimed at children between 4 and 8 years of age. The Qubo endeavor included a three-hour Saturday morning block on the network, which replaced Discovery Kids on NBC on September 9, 2006.
Although the Discovery Kids on NBC block regularly aired on Saturday mornings, affiliates in some parts of the country deferred certain programs within the lineup to Sunday morning time slots to accommodate locally produced programs (such as weekend morning newscasts) or due to scheduling issues with regional or network sports broadcasts that start in time periods normally occupied by the block.
- Darcy's Wild Life (2004–06)
- Endurance (2002–06)
- Flight 29 Down (2005–06)
- Kenny the Shark (2003–06)
- Operation Junkyard (2002–03)
- Scout's Safari (2002–04)
- Strange Days at Blake Holsey High (2002–06)
- Skunked TV (2004–05)
- Time Warp Trio (2005–06)
- Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls (2003–06)
- Tutenstein (2003–06)
- Discovery Kids – a digital cable and satellite channel that operated from 1996 to 2010, and served as the programmer of the Discovery Kids on NBC block.
- Qubo – successor block to Discovery Kids on NBC, which is now exclusive to a program block on Ion Television and a digital multicast network.
- NBC Kids – children's program block produced by Sprout that debuted on NBC in July 2012.
- Paula Bernstein (December 4, 2001). "Discovery set to kid around with Peacock". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved August 13, 2009.
- "Discovery set to kid around with Peacock". Variety. Reed Business Information. December 2001. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
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- "Adults ‘Discover’ kiddie programs". Variety. Reed Business Information. 2003. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- Lily Oei (April 2, 2002). "Discovery Kids sets NBC sked". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Paula Bernstein (September 29, 2002). "Kid skeds tread on joint strategy". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Lily Oei; Pamela McClintock (November 6, 2003). "Kids mixed on new skeds". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Lily Oei (August 24, 2003). "Nets face back to school blues". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Robert Riddell (March 19, 2006). "Discovery Kids parts with NBC". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- Andrew Hampp (August 24, 2006). "NBC Debuts Kids Programming Brand Qubo". Advertising Age. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Luis Clemens. "Qubo's Rodriguez: Offering a 'Building Block’ to Kids". Multichannel News. Retrieved September 23, 2014.