[[caption-width-right:350:Free to grow.]]

Sprout was a cable/satellite network that originated as a subnetwork of Creator/PBSKids which originated from {{UsefulNotes/Philadelphia}}. Originally launched as a Video on Demand service, Sprout replaced the 24/7 PBS Kids network in 2005. It was a partnership of Sesame Workshop, Apax Partners (a share owned by Creator/HiTEntertainment prior to its purchase by Mattel), PBS and [=NBCUniversal=] (via the Comcast merger). The latter company became the sole owner late in 2013, with NBCU's international kids' channel joint venture [=KidsCo=] ending in the process.

Since its creation, Sprout has had a regular feature in "The Sunny Side Up Show," a morning block with live hosts and the channel's kazoo-voiced puppet mascot Chica the chicken (who received her own series, ''The Chica Show'', in 2012). It also regularly aired "The Good Night Show," a block of programming themed around getting children for bed. Notably, unlike most U.S. networks of this type (i.e. Nick Jr., Disney Junior), Sprout actually aired advertising in-between programs. They had a stated policy of only airing ads targeted at children's parents, rather than children themselves, though naturally some ads might blur those lines.

In July 2012, Sprout kicked Creator/{{Qubo}} to the curb and took over programming NBC and Telemundo's Saturday morning blocks, under the names NBC Kids and [=MiTelemundo=] respectively. With the demise of Creator/{{Vortexx}}, NBC Kids became one of the last traditional Saturday morning blocks on a major English-language U.S. commercial TV network to air [[SaturdayMorningCartoon cartoons]], albeit of an educational nature. The block would come to an end in October on 2016, replaced by a Litton Entertainment block branded "The More You Know", based off NBC's long running series of {{public service announcement}}s. [[note]]Traditional Saturday morning programming would return in markets with Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned network affiliates and their in-house Creator/KidsClick block in 2017.[[/note]]

On April 30, 2017, Sprout general manager Deirdre Brennan [[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/30/business/media/nbcuniversal-childrens-channel.html?_r=0 announced]] that [=NBCUniversal=] Cable would relaunch Sprout, effective September 9, and re-brand the network as '''Creator/UniversalKids''' in an attempt to broaden the channel's demographics. Under this new structure, the Sprout brand will be used for preschool programming, running from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m, while Universal Kids will focus on children's content from the Universal archives. Content will include those from Creator/DreamWorksAnimation (and its subsidiary [=DreamWorks=] Classics), and potentially Universal Animation Studios, Creator/WalterLantz Productions and Creator/IlluminationEntertainment. Additionally, it will also carry both live-action and animated original programming, with the channel's inaugural show being ''Top Chef Junior'', a spin-off of the Bravo RealityShow ''Series/TopChef'', as well as a revival of ''Series/BeatTheClock'' with kids as contestants. If the effort goes well, this could potentially make the channel a viable competitor to Creator/DisneyChannel and Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}, among others.

Despite this, it should be noted that [[BrokenBase not everyone is happy with the revamp]], especially those that had witnessed what [=NBCUniversal=] had done to [[Creator/{{Syfy}} other]] [[Creator/{{G4TV}} networks]] under its wings. A number of people see this as ExecutiveMeddling, [[ScrewedByTheNetwork network screwing]] and/or NetworkDecay, and those who subscribed to the channel for its wholesome educational content are especially weary of the change. It doesn't help that despite being a re-brand, preschool programming continued to air under the Sprout branding and still makes up the majority of the channel's airtime, likening Universal Kids' to a youth-oriented Creator/AdultSwim or a less-raunchy [[Creator/NickJr NickMom]]. The concerns grew larger after the channel did away with the Sprout branding in January 2018, absorbing the still-dominant preschool programming under the Universal Kids Preschool branding.

!The following programs were broadcast on Sprout in the United States (a (*) indicates it aired on NBC Kids prior to that block's ending):
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Astroblast}}'' (*)
* ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears''
* ''Boj''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Caillou}}''
* ''The Chica Show'' (*)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheClangers'' (The {{remake}}; *)
* ''WesternAnimation/ChloesCloset''
* ''Earth To Luna!'' (*)
* ''Floogals'' (*)
* ''The Good Night Show'' (nighttime programming block)
* ''WesternAnimation/LilysDriftwoodBay''
* ''WesternAnimation/LittlePeople'' (2013 reboot, started airing in March 2016)
* ''Literature/MayaTheBee'' (2014 movie and series)
* ''Noodle and Doodle'' (*)
* ''Jim Henson's [[Series/ThePajanimals Pajanimals]]'' (*)
* ''Nina's Little Fables''
* ''WesternAnimation/NinasWorld'' (*)
* ''[[WesternAnimation/NoddysToylandAdventures Noddy, Toyland Detective]]''
* ''Poppy Cat'' (*)
* ''Ruff Ruff, Tweet, and Dave'' (*)
* ''WesternAnimation/SarahAndDuck''
* ''WesternAnimation/SpaceRacers''
* ''Stella and Sam''
* ''The Sunny Side Up Show'' (morning programming block)
* ''Anime/SuperWings''
* ''Tree Fu Tom'' (*)
* ''Zerby Derby''
* ''Zou'' (US only, airs in foreign markets on Disney Junior; *)

!The following programs no longer air on Sprout but were previously seen on either the channel or on demand:
* ''64 Zoo Lane'' [[/index]](Previously seen on [[Creator/ABCFamily Fox Family]] as part of ''It's Itsy Bitsy Time!'' and then on [[Creator/NickJr Noggin]])[[index]]
* ''Angelina Ballerina'' (the original series)
* ''WesternAnimation/AngelinaBallerina: The Next Steps''
* ''Series/BarneyAndFriends''
* ''WesternAnimation/BobTheBuilder''
* ''Big Sister, Little Brother''
* ''Literature/BramblyHedge''
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPugwash''
* ''[[ComicBook/DennisTheMenaceUK Dennis and Gnasher]]''
* ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales''
* ''Driver Dan's Story Train''
* ''WesternAnimation/FiremanSam''
* ''WesternAnimation/GeorgeShrinks'' (remains available on demand in Spanish)
* ''Series/TheHoobs''
* ''James the Cat''
* ''WesternAnimation/JustinTime'' (*; U.S. only -- airs on Family Junior (the former Disney Junior prior to Disney's deal with Corus) in Canada; owner DHX Media has signed a deal to co-produce the third season, which will otherwise air exclusively on Creator/{{Netflix}} in its current territories)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kipper}}''
* ''Series/LazyTown'' (*)
* ''[[WesternAnimation/NoddysToylandAdventures Make Way For Noddy]]'' (*)
* ''Monkey See, Monkey Do''
* ''Olive the Ostrich''
* ''Panwapa''
* ''Percy the Park Keeper''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Pingu}}''
* ''Series/PlayWithMeSesame'' (the show has moved to Creator/{{HBO}})
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rubbadubbers}}''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Dirtgirlworld}} dirtgirlworld]]''
* ''WesternAnimation/MamaMirabellesHomeMovies'' (available on demand)
* ''Series/SesameStreet'' (the show has moved to Creator/{{HBO}})
* ''WesternAnimation/SidTheScienceKid''
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperWhy''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas & Friends]]''
* ''Wibbly Pig''
* ''Music/TheWiggles'' (*)

!These programs air on [=MiTelemundo=] and Sprout (Spanish for the former):
* ''WesternAnimation/JayJayTheJetPlane'' (previously offered in English on the U.S. Sprout)
* ''The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon''
* ''Series/WimziesHouse''
* ''Raggs Kids Club Band''
* ''Noodle and Doodle''