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Hub’s Primetime Fosters ‘Ties’

3/28/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

While The Hub’s programming is targeted
primarily to the young boys’ demographic, the upstart
network is finding that it’s drawing a significant
amount of co-viewing between kids and adults with
its primetime lineup of classic TV shows.

The Discovery Communications/Hasbro Inc.-joint
venture’s new upfront programming slate has a number
of new shows — including TV versions of popular
family games like
Scrabble and Clue —
designed to appeal
to both kids and parents,
according to
The Hub president
and CEO Margaret
Loesch.

Such shows will
build on the network’s
already successful
daily 7 p.m. to
11 p.m. lineup of such
television classics as
Happy Days, Family
Ties
, The Wonder
Years
and Laverne &
Shirley
, along with its
original game show
Family Game Night,
that draws from two
demographics — kids
2 to 11 and adults 18
to 49 — who want to
watch television together,
she said.

In developing the
programming strategy for the now-six-month-old
channel, research uncovered comments from both
viewers and advertisers calling for more family-oriented
programming that parents and their kids can
watch together, Loesch said. The sentiment was just as
strong from kids who wanted to watch with their parents
as it was from parents seeking wholesome programming
to watch with their children.

“As we were developing our strategies, it became
evident that there was an opportunity for us that
would be embraced by parents and kids, as well as
advertisers,” she said. “Our goal was that we identified programming that delivered on those opportunities.”

The strategy isn’t new: Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite
have used off -network shows like My Wife and Kids,
Everybody Loves Chris and George Lopez to encourage
co-viewing between kids and adults in primetime.

Thus far, The Hub’s strategy has worked. From its
October launch through last week, The Hub said, 34%
of kids age 2 to 11 watch the network alongside adults
age 18 to 49. Th at’s tops among all networks airing
kids’ programming during primetime.

“It’s a win-win situation — the kids and families
are enjoying it; the advertisers are buying into it,
and it’s really fun to hear from families about how
much they’re enjoying watching these programs
together,” she said.

Loesch said the network’s co-viewing prowess
extends beyond primetime, pointing to double-
digit co-viewing numbers during its daytime
afternoon block with shows like My Little Pony,
Pound Puppies and Fraggle Rock averaging nearly
a 50-50 viewer split between adult women and
girls. Parents who grew up watching these shows as
kids are now watching again with their children, she
said.

“It’s really the power of the nostalgic brands,” she
said. “These programs were beloved by older viewers,
and now they’re encouraging their kids to watch it and
are watching with them.”

This fall, the network will add new live-action, family
friendly game shows Clue, The Game of Life and
Scrabble Showdown to the mix — part of an ambitious
new slate of original and returning fare.
Loesch said the game shows will most likely inherit
the daily 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. time slot to help build
more co-viewing.

The network’s new music-competition series, Majors
and Minors
— which follows 16 young performers
as they are mentored by established singers and
compete for a record deal with RCA/Jive — as another
show that has co-viewing possibilities, Loesch said.

Among the other new shows slated for the network
are The Aquabats Super Show, featuring the band The
Aquabats, from the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba!; Blythe
Loves the Littlest Pet Shop
, an animated series based
on the toy brand; Rescue Bots, an off shoot of the Transformers
franchise; and Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters,
an animated series based on the trading card game.

Also on tap is Secret Millionaires Club, a series of
four half-hour specials created by investor Warren
Buffett.

Returning series include Transformers Prime;
Pound Puppies; My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic;
Family Game Night
; and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting
Hour: The Series
, said the network.

September
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