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Kid Networks Experience Major Boom

After succumbing to the recession and food marketing crackdowns, kids cable networks are rebounding quite nicely, reports Mediaweek. Heading into the 2011-12 upfronts, early ad commitments have already exceeded $1 billion.

For the past 16 years, Nickelodeon has been the leader of the 12-and-under clubhouse, ranking first in all kid-demos in total viewing. The network had a first quarter average of 2.4 million daily viewers. The top kids network also saw increases in merchandise sales last year with $21.9 billion, a 2% increase.

Cartoon Network is planning on staying true to its name by doubling up on the animation. The network will bring back the ever-popular Looney Tunes brand, with The Looney Tunes Show, premiering May 3. Cartoon Network is also in the development stages of a series based on DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon.

After posting double digit growth in the first quarter, Disney is beefing up its ad model, including development of multiplatform packages for Microsoft, Verizon and Best Western. The network negotiated a deal with Chrystler's 2011 Town & Country minivan to be the official sponsor of Disney's original movie musical Lemonade Mouth.

Newcomer The Hub finished out its first quarter with an average of 77,000 daily viewers, and even though the network is partially owned by Hasbro, the Hub has deals with 30 toy and game clients.