DIC Entertainment Corp. is adding The Smurfs to the three-hour block of Federal Communications Commission-friendly kids' shows it syndicates.
DIC has bought 26 half-hours of the Hanna-Barbera animated series from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution.
The Smurfs episodes, which DIC says were produced with an educational element to meet FCC guidelines for educational children's programming, will be added to the block beginning in January 2005.
DIC Chairman Andy Heyward worked at Hanna-Barbera in the 1970s and early '80s and saw The Smurfs grab a 60 share for NBC on Saturday mornings, become a very profitable franchise, and spawn toy lines and books. DIC is counting on a retro wave to carry the little blue Smurfs to the land of big green once again.
DIC's block covers 100% of the country and is cleared on over 450 stations.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.