[[quoteright:281:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/374px-sprout_logo_svg_9275.png]]
[[caption-width-right:281:Free to Grow]]

Sprout (formerly PBS Kids Sprout) is a cable/satellite network that originated as a subnetwork of PBSKids which originates 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 SesameWorkshop, Apax Partners (a share owned by 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.

Sprout is known for their themed blocks of programming. Since its creation, it 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) that even airs original content on holidays such as Christmas. It also regularly airs "The Good Night Show," a block of programming themed around getting children for bed. The program was originally hosted by Melanie Martinez (no, not [[Music/MelanieMartinez that one]]), prior to Sprout's learning that she had appeared in a parody public service announcement for an online service titled "TechnicalVirgin". Following a brief series of guest stints, including Noel [=MacNeal=] (Bear of ''Series/BearInTheBigBlueHouse''), the program found a new regular host in Michele Lepe, known on the program as "Nina"; she interacts with another puppet character, Star (a - you guessed it - sentient star). Sprout's on-air continuity once partially consisted of miniseries "The Wiggly Waffle Show" and "The Super Sproutlet Show". As of 2015, though, they've more or less stopped with this.

Sprout maintains an [[http://www.sproutonline.com official website]] where much of their content can be viewed, and also continues their Video-on-Demand service, which features programs available in Spanish (including some no longer aired in English on Sprout) and from time-to-time other programming that has never actually aired on the main Sprout network. They have also sponsored a number of public service initiatives, such as "The Great Sprout Tuck-In" and "Kindness Counts", and each year on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning air a "[[UsefulNotes/ChristmasInAmerica snooze-a-thon]]," which depicts the characters from their various programs sleeping, in order to encourage children that they, too, should be asleep. This has been made available on-demand, and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMYJ05SYfDI officially, for free, online.]] All programming on Sprout is rated TV-Y.

Notably, unlike most U.S. networks of this type (i.e. Nick Jr., Disney Junior), Sprout actually airs advertising in-between programs. They have a stated policy of only airing ads targeted at children's parents, rather than children themselves, though naturally some ads might blur those lines. (Ads for ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax'' aired after [=NBCUniversal=] gained ownership of the channel, as have ads for direct-to-video movie ''Franchise/{{Barbie}} Mariposa & The Fairy Princess'', distributed by Universal.)

In July 2012, Sprout kicked {{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 was the last Saturday morning block on a major English-language U.S. commercial TV network to air [[SaturdayMorningCartoon cartoons]], albeit of an educational nature. That came to an end in October 2016 in favor of a block from Litton Entertainment branded "The More You Know", based off NBC's long running series of {{public service announcement}}s. On another note, despite PBS no longer owning a stake, several PBS Kids shows still aired on the network until their contract to do so (except ''Caillou'' and ''The Berenstain Bears'', the latter of which hasn't been seen on PBS nationally in years) expired on September 26, 2015.

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 '''Universal Kids''' in an attempt to broaden the channel's demographics. Under this new structure, the channel will move away from preschool programming (though it will retain the brand and be relegated as a preschool block for the new network, running from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and focus on children's content from the Universal archives, including those from Creator/DreamWorksAnimation (and its subsidiary [=DreamWorks=] Classics), and potentially Universal Animation Studios, Creator/WalterLantz Productions and Creator/IlluminationEntertainment. Additionally, it will also focus on original programming, both live-action and animated, with the channel's inaugural show being ''Top Chef Junior'', a spin-off of the Bravo RealityShow ''Series/TopChef''. If the effort goes well, this could potentially make the channel a viable competitor to Creator/DisneyChannel, Creator/CartoonNetwork and Creator/{{Boomerang}}, among others. It should be noted that not everyone is happy with the rebrand however, especially those that had witnessed what [=NBCUniversal=] had done to the other kids channels under it's wings worldwide. A number of people see this as ExecutiveMeddling, [[ScrewedByTheNetwork network screwing]] and NetworkDecay, and those who depended on the channel for its wholesome educational content are especially weary of the change. Time will tell how this will turn out.

!The following programs are broadcast on Sprout in the United States:
[[index]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Astroblast}}'' (Also airs on NBC Kids)
* ''Literature/TheBerenstainBears''
* ''Boj''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Caillou}}''
* ''The Chica Show'' (Also airs on NBC Kids)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheClangers'' (The {{remake}}, also airs on NBC Kids)
* ''WesternAnimation/ChloesCloset''
* ''Earth To Luna!'' (Previously aired on NBC Kids)
* ''Floogals'' (Also airs on NBC Kids)
* ''The Good Night Show'' (nighttime programming block)
* ''Lily's Driftwood Bay''
* ''WesternAnimation/LittlePeople'' (2013 reboot started airing in March 2016)
* ''Literature/MayaTheBee'' (The 2014 movie and series)
* ''Noodle and Doodle'' (Previously aired on NBC Kids)
* ''Jim Henson's [[Series/ThePajanimals Pajanimals]]'' (Previously aired on NBC Kids)
* ''Nina's Little Fables''
* ''WesternAnimation/NinasWorld'' (Also airs on NBC Kids)
* ''Poppy Cat'' (Previously aired on NBC Kids)
* ''Ruff Ruff, Tweet, and Dave'' (Also airs on NBC Kids)
* ''WesternAnimation/SarahAndDuck''
* ''WesternAnimation/SpaceRacers''
* ''Stella and Sam''
* ''The Sunny Side Up Show'' (morning programming block)
* ''Super Wings''
* ''Tree Fu Tom'' (Previously aired on NBC Kids)
* ''Zerby Derby''
* ''Zou'' (US only, airs in foreign markets on Disney Junior, Previously aired on NBC Kids)

!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 Channel]] 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''
* ''Brambly Hedge''
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPugwash''
* ''WesternAnimation/DennisAndGnasher''
* ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales''
* ''Driver Dan's Story Train''
* ''WesternAnimation/FiremanSam''
* ''WesternAnimation/GeorgeShrinks'' (remains available on demand in Spanish)
* ''Series/TheHoobs''
* ''James the Cat''
* ''WesternAnimation/JustinTime'' (previously aired on NBC Kids, 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 {{Netflix}} in its current territories)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kipper}}''
* ''Monkey See, Monkey Do''
* ''Olive the Ostrich''
* ''Panwapa''
* ''Percy the Park Keeper''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Pingu}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rubbadubbers}}''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Dirtgirlworld}} dirtgirlworld]]''
* ''WesternAnimation/MamaMirabellesHomeMovies'' (available on demand)
* ''Series/SesameStreet'' (And ''Play with Me, Sesame'', The show has moved to Creator/{{HBO}})
* ''WesternAnimation/SidTheScienceKid''
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperWhy''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas & Friends]]''
* ''Wibbly Pig''
* ''Music/TheWiggles'' (Previously aired on NBC Kids)

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