Nick Extends Kids Friday-Night Block

New York-Nickelodeon is expanding its kids' programming block on Friday nights until 10 p.m. this fall, officials said last week.

The expansion, effective Sept. 15, comes amid speculation that ABC Inc. plans to discontinue its family-oriented "TGIF" lineup Friday nights.

With Nick's change, it will have two later program blocks for kids in the fall lasting beyond its usual 9 p.m.-Friday, as well as Nick's current "Snick" block from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays.

"Friday is the first night of the weekend and obviously important to kids," Nick general manager Cyma Zarghami said in a prepared statement. "Expanding on Friday nights is a natural move for us, and it is in keeping with our strategy to always be where kids are."

In response to the trend of co-viewing by parents and kids, Nick at Nite will start programming the 8:30 p.m. slot Monday through Thursday, putting in shows that appeal to both age groups, also starting Sept. 15.

Initially, the 8:30 p.m. time period will be filled with 1980s sitcom The Facts of Life. Several other acquisitions will occupy the time slot during the next four years, including "TGIF" alumni shows Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (starting in 2003) and Full House (starting in 2004).