Beverly Hills, Calif. -- The remake of Fox Family Channel,
which has included the launch of eight new series since July, has helped the cable network
to attract a larger percentage of advertiser-friendly 18- to 49-year-olds.
According to a presentation by Fox Family Worldwide Inc.
executives at Saban Entertainment's "Saban Summit '99" here, the basic
network has increased its penetration from the 72 million cable households it reached last
August to 74.5 million today, which is considered fully distributed.
The channel went through a format change during the past
year, ousting programming widely derided as "shows for senior citizens" and
investing more in original programming -- especially cartoon comedies such as the
well-reviewed Angela Anaconda; The Kids in Room 402, described as Seinfeld
for elementary-school-aged kids; and Weird-Ohs, a computer-generated cartoon show.
One year ago, executives said, 61 percent of Fox
Family's audience was 50 and older, with only 32 percent in the desirable 18-to-49
Today's audience is more widely distributed: 24
percent are 50-plus; 21 percent are in the 35-to-49 group; 17 percent are 18 to 34; 11
percent are teens; and 27 percent are kids two through 11.
However, Fox Family's format changes drove down its
primetime household ratings by around 30 percent during the past few quarters. But the
network just enjoyed a relatively good October during which it didn't suffer any
audience erosion, posting a 0.9 primetime rating, the same as October 1998, according to
Nielsen Media Research data.
The channel continues to build viewership with strategies
such as holiday blocks. The recently concluded "13 Days of Halloween" ended with
an original movie, Casper Meets Wendy, which executives said attracted the highest
kids' rating for Sunday night against all broadcast and cable networks.