The WB Network has seen fit to scrub its weekday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Kids WB! animation block, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While Kids WB! slot will be expanded from four to five hours on Saturday morning, the afternoon toons will be replaced by syndicated sitcoms Monday through Friday beginning in January.
The move is part of The WBs plan to attract more teens and the coveted, ad-friendly 18-34 demographic to the network as a lead-in audience for its primetime lineup. Network affiliates have reportedly had trouble selling ad space during the weekday cartoon block, which faces a lot of competition from 24-hour kid cable outlets such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel.
Kids’ WB! Saturday morning hits The Batman and Xiaolin Showdown were slated to expand to the weekday schedule, joining favorites such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon in the fall. Now the most popular Monday-Friday offerings will be shifted to the expanded weekend slot.
New Saturday morning acquisitions for the Kids WB! fall season include the original Warner Bros. Animation series Loonatics, Johnny Test and Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island. Loonatics has the classic Looney Tunes characters re-imagined as futuristic superheroes, while Johnny Test centers on the always-eager, experimental team of Johnny and his genetically enhanced dog, Poochie. Meanwhile, Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island takes viewers to the silliest spot in the Seven Seas, where the energetic and eternally optimistic Coconut Fred and his fresh crop of cohorts have adventures in their tropical paradise.