|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
UPN Kids logo. Its slogan was UPN Kids is Up'n! (pronounced OOOP'N!), and was used from 1996–1998
|Launched||September 10, 1995|
|Closed||September 5, 1999|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Format||Sunday-Friday children's programming block|
|Running time||1-2 hours|
UPN Kids was an American children's programming block that aired on UPN from September 10, 1995 to September 5, 1999. Airing on Sunday through Friday mornings, the block aired for two hours each day (usually from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sundays, regardless of time zone).
UPN Kids launched on September 10, 1995 with a one-hour (the block expanded to two hours per week in 1996) block of cartoons (such as Space Strikers and Teknoman); unlike NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and The WB (the latter of which debuted its own children's program block, Kids' WB, the day before UPN Kids made its debut), UPN ran its weekend morning children's programs on Sundays instead of Saturdays. This was likely due to several UPN affiliates in large markets also dually carrying the Fox Kids block for newer Fox stations (especially those of New World Communications; the former Fox affiliates in those markets mainly also retained the Fox Kids schedule) on Saturday mornings, who refused to carry Fox Kids in order to instead expand Saturday morning newscasts or retain other local programming. This eventually proved to be a conflict for UPN, as the more well-known Fox Kids block was given primacy in advertising and promotions by those affiliates (including local children's fan clubs run by those stations) over UPN's unproven children's programming.
In 1997, UPN incorporated live-action series aimed at teenagers, alongside the animated shows targeted at a younger audience, with the addition of reruns of the syndicated dramedy series Sweet Valley High (based on the young adult novels by Francine Pascal) and a new comedy series, Breaker High (centered on a group of students attending a high-school-at-sea program, which featured a then-unknown Ryan Gosling among its main cast).
In January 1998, UPN began discussions with The Walt Disney Company (owner of rival network ABC) to have the company program a daily two-hour children's block for the network; however attempts to reach a time-lease agreement deal with Disney were called off one week later due to a dispute between Disney and UPN over how the block would be branded and the amount of programming compliant with the Federal Communications Commission's educational programming regulations that Disney would provide for the block. UPN then entered into discussions with then-corporate sister Nickelodeon (both were owned by Viacom). In February 1998, UPN entered into an agreement with Saban Entertainment – the distributor of Sweet Valley High and Breaker High – to program the Sunday morning block; shows such as The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Spider-Man and Beetleborgs soon joined the schedule, with the additional subtitle of "Action Zone" appended to the UPN Kids name for that block.
In March 1998, UPN resumed discussions with Disney and the following month, The Walt Disney Company agreed to develop a weekday and Sunday morning children's block for the network. The new lineup, which was developed as a companion block to Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC, was originally announced under the name "Whomptastic", before being renamed Disney's One Too. UPN Kids aired for the last time on September 5, 1999, and was replaced by Disney's One Too the following day.
- Bureau of Alien Detectors (1996–1997)
- Fantastic Four (1998–1999)
- The Incredible Hulk (1996–1999)
- Iron Man (1998–1999)
- Jumanji (1996–1998)
- The Mouse and the Monster (1996–1997)
- Space Strikers (1995–1996)
- Spider-Man (1998–1999)
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1998–1999)
- Teknoman (1995–1996)
- X-Men (1998–1999)
- Jenny Hontz (January 21, 1998). "Disney kids to play UPN". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Jenny Hontz (January 27, 1998). "UPN kids pick Nick, not Mouse". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Richard Katz (January 29, 1998). "Marvel, Saban set kids shows for UPN". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Richard Katz (February 24, 1998). "UPN serves up superheroes". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Jenny Hontz (March 26, 1998). "UPN, BV discuss kids block". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Jenny Hontz; Cynthia Littleton (Apr 17, 1998). "UPN, Disney in kidvid block deal". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
- Chris Pursell (July 19, 1999). "Mouse brands UPN kidvid". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2009.