Fox Family Buys Kids Dramas

To create a new weekend program block for teens, Fox FamilyChannel has acquired more than one-dozen award-winning shows from the ABC AfternoonSpecials and CBS School Break Specials series.

Fox Family plans to use those 16 shows as the base for atwo-hour block, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, which will debut Nov. 7. The network willalso produce original specials for the Sunday block. Those new teen specials will startairing next fall.

The new teen block will debut with two critically hailedshows: Kids Killing Kids, a drama starring Malcolm-Jamal Warner that depicts thetragic consequences when teens use guns to solve their problems; and Daddy's Girl,which features Grammy Award winner Lauryn Hill in the story of a teen who plans a reunionto bring the absent father who left 10 years ago back into her life.

Fox Family also intends to acquire additional shows fromthe ABC and CBS series.

The new block will follow Fox Family's new originalseries, S Club 7, which also debuts in November and airs at 1:30 p.m. Sundays.

For the most part, Fox Family said the specials it hasacquired have only aired twice, which means millions of youths haven't seen them. Andthe network believes the shows will be welcomed by teens' parents because of recentevents such as the violence in Littleton, Colo.

"I remember growing up with these," Fox Familysenior vice president of kids' programming and development Joel Andryc said."But the networks really abandoned these shows. Maybe they couldn't getclearances from broadcast stations. But this is the time when we need things likethis."

He added that Fox Family is trying to skew its weekenddaytime programming older -- to kids aged nine through 14 -- and these specials are meantto help achieve that goal.