DIC Forms FCC-Friendly Panel

DIC Entertainment Corp. has set up an advisory board of academics and physicians to help review the development of its TV programs for children, with an emphasis on children’s-health issues like nutrition, exercise and obesity.

A couple of DIC’s FCC-friendly shows were the subject of FCC challenges last September from activists arguing they were not sufficiently educational.

DIC vigorously defended the shows, Stargate Infinity and Ace Lightning, pointing out that they had been developed by children’s TV researcher and expert Don Roberts of Stanford specifically to meet the FCC’s children’s TV criteria. Roberts will be a member of the new panel.

FCC regulations require stations to broadcast at least three hours of educational programming for children each week. In September 2003, DIC began selling three-hour blocks of programs meeting the government rules. The block is distributed to over 450 stations, airing in every market in the country.

DIC plans to add The Smurfs in September, drawing on 26 episodes with educational messages. Its roster also includes Liberty’s Kids, which chronicles the history of the American Revolution, and Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?