'Power Rangers' Franchise Moving to Nickelodeon
Haim Saban, the original producer of the 'Power Rangers' franchise in the 1990s, has re-acquired the property from the Walt Disney Company and will be bringing it over to rival Nickelodeon starting next year, according to the NY Times.
The history of the 'Power Rangers' franchise in the United States is a long one. Originally produced by Saban and his Saban Entertainment, 'Power Rangers' premiered in 1993 on the FOX Kids programming slate as the very popular 'Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.' For the next eight years, they would go through many other variations, including 'Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers,' 'Power Rangers: Turbo' and 'Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue,' and would appear on the FOX Saturday morning schedule and daily on FOX Family.
When Disney purchased FOX Family in 2001, it acquired all the rights to 'Power Rangers,' which it continued to produce. Unfortunately, the high hopes that the entertainment giant had for the franchise, including a major motion picture, failed as focus groups revealed that parents weren't thrilled with the amount of violence, including the martial arts-based hand-to-hand combat that was the main focus of the series. In the end, Disney tried to distance themselves from the product and, over the last year, began searching for a buyer. Which is how Haim Saban came back into the picture.
In the new deal with Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom, Saban will produce a 20-episode, 18th season of 'Power Rangers' for a 2011 premiere on both the flagship channel and Nicktoons. Meanwhile, episodes from previous seasons -- 700 in total -- will begin airing on Nicktoons later this year.