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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Lookback: Children's TV : The Fox Box and Beyond

The Flashback Children's TV 

We will return to FOX post Fox kids in the future .
                                                                               - Joshuaonline 2014   

 
       Well it is the future (what it is?, where's the flying dolphins I've been hearing about?)  and time to tackle that Fox after Fox Kids thing.  Now we wrote that on Saturday, September 7, 2002 that FOX Kids  packed up and left .  What did FOX do on  Saturday Mornings?   Well much like the other networks were doing at the time, minus the WB , they leased out their mornings to another company, 4 Kids Entertainment.  4 Kids entertianment  was a company created by the creator of Thundercats  and the creator of G.I Joe series .   4 Kids got it's big break , it could be called when they brought the Pokemon Anime  to America. (more on that in our Kids WB article)  They started dubbing other anime and other programming for the American children's TV market , the other program of note , would be Yu-Gi-Oh, which was brought in 2001 to Kids WB.  FOX ending FOX Kids gave them an opportunity. FOX and 4 Kids entered into an agreement , they would get to control 4 hours of FOX programming  and they also got the ad money, (what a deal)

FOX BOX , or FB OX 
           The first programs on this block were:  Stargate Infinity (you know , this site seems to be attracted  to  animated versions of  Live action shows ) , Fighting Foodons, Kirby:Right back at ya , Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy, and Ultraman Tiga. (Apparently some shows got repeated twice in the 4 hour block, lazy lazy. )  
         Pretty much they were like a port for 4 Kids to take their licensing deals  of Anime and some European cartoons to import them into the U.S . Anyway in 2005, they decided that the FOX BOX name had too much lacking of the name 4 kids in it , so they renamed the block , 4 KIDS TV. 
   
    
        
         G.I Joe .... hmmm interesting.
        In 2006  , they lost rights to  dub Pokemon in English... going to umm  Pokemon itself,  Yu Gi Oh it's self did move to Fox from the WB.  They otherwise continued to their path of dubbing , they also worked a deal with MGA to make a TV show based off the Bratz toys, and a TV Show based off a video game called Viva Pinata, (remember this is company that was has half created by a guy who a made GI Joe a TV series)  Their other top series was Teenage Mutant Nijia Turtle related  , which they revived as animated series in 2003.

       This is where the story gets more ... beyond ish. In our Kids WB post  we noted how the block ended... the CW decided to sell it's Saturday Morning slot from outside the ownership structure...and that buyer was ... 4 Kids entertainment.  In 2007 ,it was announced that  Kids WB was ending in 2008. (sad isn't it?)
  Back to FOX ,,, you could maybe tell something was going to give , when the 4Kids block on the CW began in May 2008, a few programs moved networks.   Ironically , Yu Gi Oh, and the 2008 fall schedule on FOX was all repeats and show burn off. (sniffs the channel)
    Maybe Fox was unhappy about the CW thing , or the CW thing was  result of FOX being un happy with 4 kids , which ever way it was  (or some third thing)  4 Kids announced in November that FOX was going to end the block.   In 2009, the 4 hour block was broken up , where 2 hours were given to the affiliates. (to air things like news, infomercials, E/I shows , boring stuff ) and 2 hour networked (!) infomercial block , called Weekend Marketplace. (uhhhh)
"The New Action on Saturday Mornings"/ Copyright Oreck 

More after the Jump 
      Hello you still here huh? , oh we said follow us ... ok well anyway Let's take a look at what 4 Kids did while on the CW.(Yay?!)
   
     First off the block was called CW4kids , (why didn't they think of that for FOX? FOX 4KIDS, would have worked guys)  it took the Kids WB 5 hours slot on Saturday Mornings in May 2008. I am guessing the timing was to let it bed in before the new TV season in September.   In fact for some part of the summer , they kept some of the Kids WB shows on it. Johnny Test , World of  Quest,  The Batman , and more.  They launched their official line up in fall 2008. 

                           
               "Hey Guys.  I know you were on the CW , but that music really?"
     Their line up was pretty much the same as the late FOX,with a couple new shows thrown in and well new reruns thrown in.
 
  In our FOX Kids Article we mentioned this :
  Fox Kids was merged with Saban Entertainment in 1996 , providing it with more program rights and programs themselves. 
 and Saban and FOX had a falling out of over FOX Kids, and when FOX Kids worldwide was sold , that including the Saban part , also to Disney.  That was Saban Entertianment, which was gone now, but Saban comes back.  Haim  Saban decided to get back into the Children's TV business with a company called Saban Brands and they made a deal with 4 kids in 2010 , to  half control the 4 kids block on the CW. It was renamed Toonzai.
   
                                        Well kind of...
     So , did the schedule change?  For a 5 hour block ,they 3 had shows (fine 4)  : Sonic X  (Repeats!), classic Yu Gi Oh , Dragonball Z Kai (Repeats!) , and  Yu Gi  Oh 5d's (shared with Disney XD). Well that's a line up.   In 2011, they added   Magi-Nation (well at least it was new to  America) , a new Yu Gi Oh series, "Zexal"  and  Tai Chi Chasers (At least that was new to the US too) .

    In speaking of Yu Gi Oh, TV Tokyo  and other groups involved with the whole franchise  sued 4 kids Entertainment in 2011.  They alleged the 4 kids could get royalties from the show  and not pay  TV Tokyo (which seems like a good deal... for 4 Kids ... not for TV Tokyo )  They sued for  $5 million  in damages, also 4 Kids'  Yu Gi Oh license was terminated.  They filed for bankruptcy in April 2011, (well this escalated quickly)   It ended in settlement.   Kidsco Media Ventures (Saban) decided to buy up the assets of 4  Kids , including the Saturday block.   They still exist today as a company called 4 licensing. (but TV block because   CW 4 Licensing would be an odd name)

   In 2012,  Toonzai was gone and a Saban powered block called  Vortex was launched  (which is gone now) and that's the end.  

  The programming story was kind of dry , yes I deiced not to add any section about how many anime fans didn't like their edits... then again .. I question the business logic of taking a show not for children , editing it down to fit something.   They were that last element of old broadcast children's TV , that even when they began was still falling apart around them. When they began in 2002, each network had a traditional (well CBS depending on the year)  children's TV Saturday Morning block , and by 2012, well it was just the CW.

That's our lookback...  tune in next time when we launch a  new block on Fox filled with Infomercials for kids.  Or the how many times can we mention Yu Gi Oh.
   




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