Creator / Fox Kids

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Fox Kids Rocks Kids!

Fox Kids was a Saturday morning and weekday afternoon programming block that aired from 1990 to 2002 on Fox. It aired shows produced by Saban Entertainment and/or Marvel Productions, as well as those made by DiC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Universal Cartoon Studios, and Gaumont Multimedia/Xilam. It often aired on Fox owned-and-operated stations, though it also aired on those owned by UPN, The WB, and independent stations.

It started as a result of a dispute between Disney and Fox founder Barry Diller over carriage of The Disney Afternoon, which was set to air on Disney's own KCAL in Los Angeles (now owned by CBS), rather than Fox station KTTV. Long story short, Diller rallied against Disney and the four-year-old network started their own kids' division. Much like its prime-time counterpart, Fox Kids had a different scheduling pattern than the Big 3; it aired three hours on Saturdays, and a half-hour on weekdays, something none of the Big 3 have done since 1982, when CBS booted Captain Kangaroo from weekdays in favor of national news. Eventually, as its ratings grew, it was expanded to four hours on Saturdays and three hours on weekdays- it also gained a fan club and magazine (which could be customized for each individual station). However, as the years wore on, possibly thanks to the Moral Guardians pouncing on Power Rangers, the censorship they'd subject their series to got increasingly ridiculous- Woody Woodpecker couldn't peck people on the head, and the stuff they imposed on the staff of Spider-Man: The Animated Series is legendary.

Starting with the launch of Fox Kids in Australia in 1995, Fox Kids started to expand internationally as their own cable channels. By the end of its American life, Fox Kids channels could be seen in Latin America, Europe, and Australia.

They also aired a mini-block called The Fox Cubhouse, which was aimed at preschoolers. This would last from 1994 to 1996.

The death of Fox Kids has its roots in two separate moves in 1994 and 1996. First, Fox's deal with New World Communications to acquire several VHF stations led to Fox Kids being separated from its parent network in many markets, as most of the new Fox affiliates didn't want anything to do with the block (see Disaster Dominoes for more on that whole mess). This relegated Fox Kids to one of two options in the affected markets: be carried by a station taking up a rival network affiliation, or move to a low-rated independent. note  The second move came in 1996 when Saban Entertainment bought a stake in the network. This meant that the company was now a joint venture. Later, they bought a network called The Family Channel. They renamed the network Fox Family, and it became a hub for Fox Kids' programming, as well as programming from Teletoon. Unfortunately, the network struggled in ratings, thanks to infighting between Fox and Saban over who ran it, no clear strategy, mediocre reaction to their new programming, and an ill-fated attempt to create "Boyz" and "Girlz" networks on digital cable, and they needed to sell it to avoid further money drainage. Saban's production houses and the in-house Fox Kids library (which included most of the Marvel Productions and DePatie-Freleng catalog, not including co-productions with Warner Bros., Hasbro, and United Artists) were included in this clause. Long story short, Disney won the bid for Fox Family (now known as Freeform) in late 2001, and Fox put the time space up for bidding. The winner? 4Kids Entertainment.

The operations of Fox Kids were moved to Fox's in-house studios in LA until the fall of 2002, when 4Kids took over and named their block Fox Box, and later 4Kids TV. The block came to an end at the end of 2009 due to issues with Fox (they'd already gotten their hands on Kids' WB!'s time space on The CW by that time), and now the latter half of the space airs infomercials, while the earlier half was given back to the affiliates, allowing them to run the required E/I programs; Fox later partnered with Steve Rotfeld Productions to show the Xploration Station block on several Fox stations, including several that refused to show any other blocks, such as former New World stations owned by Fox and Tribune.

Meanwhile, Disney moved the "Kids" moniker over to ABC, replacing the previous One Saturday Morning block, and shared new Power Rangers episodes until the creation of the Jetix block on ABC Family and Toon Disney, at which point Jetix took over premieres until Power Rangers RPM, which aired exclusively on ABC Kids, as did a re-versioning of the first season until Saban Brands bought back the rights. All of the international Fox Kids channels (except the Australian one which was retained by Fox, but later shut down anyway) became Jetix, and most later became Disney XD, though a few Eastern European countries got their own version of Disney Channel instead.

Fox Kids is widely held in high regard by people raised in The '90s. A side effect of this includes substantial misblame directed towards both Disney and 4Kids for supposedly destroying the block, even though the reality (as explained above) was more complex than that.

Since Disney's purge of the Fox Kids name off its channels, Fox itself has started an In-Name-Only Fox Kids block in Finland.

See also Kids' WB! and One Saturday Morning, two more 1990s kid-centered blocks.


Shows featured on Fox Kids, in the order they appeared:

1990:

1991:

1992:

1993:

1994:

1995:

1996:

1997:

1998:

1999:

2000:

2001:

2002:
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