Another one bites the dust.
Variety reported yesterday that the Fox broadcast network will abandon running cartoons on Saturday morning – and will replace the programming block with infomercials.
Saturday Morning broadcast television lost its allure as a kids destination since the advent of multiple 24 hour-a-day kids cable networks (Nick, Disney, CN), home video (DVD) and the internet, so this is no surprise. And besides, was anyone watching the crap 4KidsTV programmed on that channel? 4Kids was paying Fox $20 million dollars a year to foist things like Kirby: Right Back At Ya! on unsuspecting toddlers.
Fox is actually only replacing two hours (of the four hour block) with infomercials. The other two hours are being returned to local stations. Some of those may run news or sitcom reruns in that slot. If we’re lucky, perhaps some clever independent Fox affiliates will pick up some syndicated animation programming – or better yet, something like the Warner Bros. cartoons. Currently the classic Looney Tunes shorts are homeless (they were dropped by Cartoon Network two years ago) and Warners is actively seeking a new place for them on the tube.
Will Warners syndication execs and local Fox TV programmers see a golden opportunity here? Not likely, but we can always hope.