Jetix Weekend Block Expands

Buoyed by initial returns from its boys-targeted Jetix programming, Toon Disney will expand the block’s weekend primetime slot by two hours, beginning June 26.

As part of the expanded lineup, Toon Disney will premiere the 1990s animated Spider-Man series, said network executives. Other shows to air during the four-hour weekend block include Disney’s The Legend Of Tarzan, Power Rangers, DinoThunder, Digimon and Beyblade Vforce, said Toon Disney officials.

Jetix programming, which currently runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, will now extend to 11 p.m. The Jetix block also airs on Toon Disney as part of a two-hour primetime block Monday-Thursday. Sister service ABC Family distributes Jetix programming weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. to noon.

Since the block’s launch in February, Jetix has increased Toon Disney’s boys 6-to-11 audience by 83% to a 1.1 rating, according to Disney. The weekend block has boosted ratings for boys 2 to 11 and boys 6 to 11 by 25% and 57%, respectively, compared to the same time period 14 weeks prior to its launch.

Combined, Jetix’s weekday and weekend blocks have lifted Toon Disney’s ratings for kids 6 to 11 by 29% and boys 6 to 11 by 75% compared to the year-earlier period.

“Since its launch in February, Jetix has established itself as a dynamic, primetime destination for kids,” said ABC Kids and Toon Disney senior vice president and general manager Jonathan Barzilay in a statement. “This great success has allowed us to expand the weekend Jetix block sooner than we had planned, to take advantage of kids’ summer schedules.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.