The CW to end Kids WB! in 2008
For many of us the rite of passage that was Saturday morning cartoons died years ago. The following news just puts a final nail in its coffin.
Last week The CW announced that it was dropping the 13-year-old Kids WB! franchise at the end of this season. Replacing it will be content from 4Kids Entertainment, which has been providing FOX with Saturday morning programming for the last six years. Leasing the space made "the most business sense" according to Bruce Rosenblum of Warner Brothers TV Groups. Despite high ratings, Kids WB! was losing viewers to cable networks like Nickelodeon. Currently, only 10 staffers remain with Kids WB!. A spokesperson for The CW said that they would try to find new positions for these people at the network.
In a world where the other major networks dropped their original Saturday morning programming years ago due to the increasing dominance of 24-hour cable networks dedicated to children, Kids WB! was an island unto itself. There seemed to be a resurgence in the programming block over the last few seasons with the introduction of such shows as Tom & Jerry Tales, Shaggy & Scooby Doo Get a Clue, The Batman and Legion of Super-Heroes. There was additional excitement over the summer when Kids WB! announced it would be airing a new Spider-Man cartoon beginning in 2008.
Where all of these cartoons will go now is up in the air. Rosenblum said that Warner Brothers Animation "would continue to produce for cable, direct-to-DVD, broadband and wireless". There's a good chance that many of these shows will end up on the company's online animation platform T-Works, which will be up and running next spring. There's also a chance that some of the product will end up on Toon Disney's Jetix block of programming, which currently airs Batman: The Animated Series, Superman :The Animated Series and soon Pinky and the Brain.
I doff my cap to you, Kids WB!: you did your best for many years and I give you credit for that.