Discovery Kids' three-hour morning block on NBC next fall will have a
Three of the five shows announced Wednesday as part of the 'Discovery Kids on
NBC' slate, which bows Oct. 5, have their roots in programming that has run or
is running on Discovery Networks U.S. services.
Discovery has ordered 13 episodes of each series.
Scheduled for 10 a.m., Discovery Kids will draw from the highly rated
Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Prehistoric Beasts
specials that were originally produced in conjunction with the British
Broadcasting Corp. for a new half-hour version.
Produced in association with Stonehouse Productions, the Walking with
Dinosaurs series will follow the stories of the giant reptiles and other
prehistoric beasts, recreating the sights and sounds of the their world to shed
new light on these creatures.
Next up will be Croc Files, a repurposed version of the Steve
Irwin-starrer that appears on Discovery Kids' digital service and Crocodile
Hunter, which appears on Animal Planet.
At 11 a.m., the block will feature TLC's Junkyard Dogs, a kid-friendly
rendition of The Learning Channel's popular Junkyard Wars skein. The
children's version will pit two teams of four kids against each other in a test
of wits, skill and creativity in which they have one weekend to transform trash
into a functional machine.
Next up is Endurance, a new series from the makers of Moolah
Beach that tests kids' knowledge, athleticism, savvy and team skills and
asks them to succeed in a world without malls, TV or video games. A team will be
eliminated every other week until one team is crowned champions.
At 12:30 p.m., Discovery Kids on NBC will go scripted with Black Hole
High, a school where the natural laws of science don't necessarily apply.
The series is produced by Fireworks Entertainment (Real Kids, Real
Adventure, Mutant X) in association with producer, director and actor
Discovery Kids is also developing a new drama, being shot on location in
Africa, with Tom Lynch Co. (Just Deal, Skate) centering on a young
American girl's coming of age in that exotic land.
Although it principally targets tweens, the block, according to officials
from both companies, will also appeal to kids under 12.
This will allow NBC affiliates to meet guidelines under the Federal
Communications Commission's Children's Television Act of 1990 mandating a
minimum of three weekly hours of educational and informational programming for
Neither Discovery Kids senior vice president and general manager Marjorie
Kaplan nor NBC VP of Saturday-morning and family programming Lee Gaither would
discuss if the time is being leased from NBC or whether the Peacock would gain a
share of the ad sales that are being handled by Discovery.
However, sources indicated that NBC will derive some $6 million annually from
the three-year partnership, which was announced last December.
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