Monday, April 24, 2006

Animated Legion news 26: Saturday morning lineup info

MediaWeek is reporting that the new Legion show will be airing on the Kids WB! block on Saturday mornings starting this fall on the new CW network. Broadcasting & Cable has some of the same information (and mentions that the Legion show would be "a familiar title to Boomer comic fans"), and notes that 7 of the 8 animated shows on Saturday morning will be produced in-house.

So now we have confirmation that (a) the show will be on Saturday morning at 11 Eastern; (b) it'll be on Kids WB! on CW, not Cartoon Network; (c) the animation block is geared towards boys 6-11; (d) the title of the show is "Legion of Super-Heroes", not "Superboy and the Legion"; and (e) the series is progressing despite the Superboy legal issue.

From the Media Week article, with stuff of interest in boldface:

The new Kids WB! five-hour, Saturday morning block airing on CW this fall will include three new series from Warner Bros. Animation and a new group of programs that comply with the government’s children’s education initiative.

Gone will be longtime Kids WB! staples Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, both which have been falling steadily in the ratings.

The three new series will be Legion of Super Heroes, based on the DC Comics characters, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, and Tom and Jerry Tales.

Betsy McGowen, senior vp and general manager of Kids WB! on CW, the same position she held when the block aired on the WB, said the decision to keep the Kids WB! name after the network ceases to exist was made after surveys showed that the name scored high in recognition among kids 6-11. “With CBS changing to DIC-produced kids programming and NBC dropping Discovery on Saturday mornings, we felt it would be best to keep the name consistent,” said McGowen.

The focus of the block will be boys 6-11, but McGowen said many of the shows have elements that appeal to girls, too. The decision to drop Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! was based on soft ratings and a desire to bring in more Warner Bros. Animation shows that lets the network and the kids block more easily extend the brand with in-house digital rights. “We are still developing with outside producers, but we are working more closely with Warner Bros. Animation,” McGowen said.

On the new fall schedule, the Pillow Head hour will air from 7-8 a.m., followed by Tom and Jerry Tales at 8, Monster Allergy at 8:30 a.m., returning shows Xiaolin Showdown at 9 and Loonatics Unleashed at 9:30, Shaggy & Scooby-Doo at 10, returning Johnny Test at 10:30, Legion of Super Heroes at 11, and returning The Batman at 11:30.

Update: Heidi MacDonald at The Beat broke the news about the same time as the Omnicom, and The Great Curve passed the info along (via The Beat). It seems to be a very pervasive meme that the new show is a spinoff of the JLU episode, so I try to correct everyone where I can. Eventually people are going to see it's not a spinoff - probably in the Fall, when the show comes on.

Scott at Legion Clubhouse pointed out something I missed (in bold):
"McGowen said Kids WB! will not have a formal upfront sales presentation for the new fall schedule, but said that sales and programming executives have already conducted 15 presentations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, with assorted media agencies and media executives." So we are not liable to see much more news except what comes directly from the studio or those who are working on the series.

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