4Kids Gets CW Block

4Kids Ent. has inked a deal to program The CW Network’s Saturday morning kids block for five years beginning with the 2008-2009 broadcast season. Airing Saturday mornings between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m., the CW’s children’s block currently features Kids’ WB! shows. Starting next year, 4Kids will be supplying five hours of programming per week, and will also sell the national commercial advertising for the block.

‘We are delighted to be in business with The CW and secure distribution of 4Kids’ content for the next five broadcast seasons,’ says Alfred R. Kahn, 4Kids Ent.’s chairman and CEO. ‘We have had tremendous success over the years collaborating with CW Network partner Warner Bros., to whom we licensed 4Kids’ hit TV series and movies such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!

Responding to the deal, Warner Bros.Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum remarks, ‘Clearly, this was an issue that we examined closely with our partners at CBS. We fully believe it makes the most business sense for The CW in this broadcast marketplace. That being said, Warner Bros. has a long, successful track record in the animation business and we absolutely intend to stay true to our heritage by producing world-class animated entertainment for the children’s market be it for cable, direct-to-DVD, broadband, wireless and platforms of the future. This is an important business that touches many of the Warner Bros. divisions and we have confidence that Lisa Judson and her team at Warner Bros. Animation will continue to build towards future opportunities.

The current Kids’ WB! lineup on The CW includes the Warner Bros. Animation series The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue! and Tom and Jerry Tales, among others. The Spectacular Spider-Man was set to debut in 2008, but will find a new broadcast home when Kids’ WB! forges a new broadcast partnership.

Under the terms of the deal between The CW and 4Kids, the entities will share in national ad revenue from the block, with the network’s share applied against a guarantee to be paid by 4Kids to The CW. 4Kids and The CW will work closely to maximize the ratings and economic success of the block. 4Kids will also continue to supply programming to the FOX Network and its affiliates. FOX exercised its option to extend their deal through the end of the 2008-2009 season.