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BKN Kids bites dust

Say good-bye to the BKN Kids Networks. The 2-year-old syndicated block of children's programming will cease operations Oct. 20. The block, featuring shows including
The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

Monster Rancher
, suffered through sluggish national ratings, low national coverage and stiff competition from cable and broadcast networks.

Executives at BKN say they are changing their focus to become a "pure play content supplier" to the U.S. market. BKN will continue to operate its wholly owned production studio, BKN Studios, which has five new series on the air this season and seven set for production for the 2001-02 season.

BKN has sold the rights to
Monster Rancher

to FOX and is producing 46 additional episodes of the series. In the most recent national syndication ratings,
Monster Rancher
(on 163 stations, covering 33% of the U.S.) averaged a 0.1 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.