4Kids TV (often stylized as 4K!DSTV and formerly known as FoxBox from September 14, 2002 to January 15, 2005) was an American television programming block and Internet-based video on demand children's network operated by 4Kids Entertainment. It originated as a weekly block on Saturday mornings on the Fox network, which was created out of a four-year agreement reached on January 22, 2002, between 4Kids Entertainment and Fox to lease the five-hour Saturday morning time slot occupied by the network's existing children's program block, Fox Kids. It was targeted at children aged 7–11. The 4Kids TV block was part of the Fox network schedule, although it was syndicated to other broadcast television stations in certain markets where a Fox affiliate declined to air it.
|Launched||September 14, 2002|
|Closed||December 27, 2008|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Formerly known as||FoxBox (2002–2005)|
The block aired a preview special on September 1, 2002, and was formally launched on September 14, 2002, under the name "FoxBox," a joint venture between the Fox Broadcasting Company and 4Kids Entertainment, replacing Fox Kids, which the network announced it would discontinue as a result of the 2001 purchase of Fox Family Worldwide by The Walt Disney Company (which resulted in much of the content featured on the block moving to Disney's networks and blocks). The block was rebranded as 4Kids TV on January 22, 2005. 4Kids Entertainment was fully responsible for the content of the block and collected all of the advertising revenue accrued from it. However, Fox's standards and practices department still handled content approval and responsibility of editing the series to meet FCC broadcast standards.
The programming block aired on Saturday mornings in most areas of the United States, though some stations carried it on Sundays (often due to scheduling conflicts resulting from the block airing on stations affiliated with other minor networks that had their own older children's anime program blocks which competed with FoxBox/4Kids TV, including the Kids' WB on The WB and later The CW, and for its first year, the Disney's One Too block on UPN). On October 2, 2007, 4Kids Entertainment announced it would program a competing Saturday morning lineup for The CW, the new block, The CW4Kids (later renamed Toonzai, with the original name becoming a secondary brand), premiered on May 24, 2008, replacing the Kids' WB programming block, which had been carried over to The CW from one of its predecessors, The WB, when it launched on September 23, 2006. The block was renamed as Toonzai on August 14, 2010, and continued to air until it ended August 18, 2012, being replaced by Vortexx a week later and the block continued to air until it ended on September 27, 2014.
On November 10, 2008, 4Kids Entertainment announced that 4Kids TV would conclude at the end of the year due to intervening conflicts between Fox and 4Kids, as the latter company had not paid the network for the time lease for some time, while the network was unable to maintain the guaranteed 90% clearance for the block due to affiliate refusals and an inability to secure secondary affiliates to carry the programming in markets where the Fox station denied clearance for the block. 4Kids TV ended on December 27, 2008.[failed verification] Fox announced that the four-hour time period would no longer be used for children's programming, owing that it was no longer viable due to the insurmountable competition from children's cable channels (such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel). On January 3, 2009, the network gave two hours of the programming time that the 4Kids TV block occupied back to its affiliates, while the other two hours would be retained by the network for a paid programming block titled Weekend Marketplace, which replaced 4Kids TV on January 3, 2009. The 4KidsTV logo now only exists as the closing logo for 4Kids Entertainment for shows produced by the company distributed outside of the United States (particularly those made before the 2012 auction of most of 4Kids' assets to Saban Brands).
Fox would reverse course and indirectly resume airing children's programming for the first time since 4Kids TV ended through an agreement announced on December 17, 2013, when it signed a deal with Steve Rotfeld Productions to launch Xploration Station, a two-hour block of live-action educational programs focused on the STEM fields, which debuted on September 13, 2014. As the block accounts for two of the three weekly hours of educational programming required by the Federal Communications Commission's Children's Television Act, the Fox affiliates that opted against airing 4Kids TV, Fox Kids, or Weekend Marketplace (including those owned by the network that were acquired through its 1996 merger with New World Communications and those acquired through that deal that were owned by Tribune Broadcasting, now Nexstar Media Group) elected to run Xploration Station as it is an E/I-compliant lineup syndicated primarily to the network's affiliates, relieving them of taking on the full burden of purchasing educational programming aimed at children from the syndication market (although some Fox stations, including those owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group—the vast majority of its stations had carried Fox's previous children's blocks, decided to decline the block anyway due to existing commitments to syndicated programs compliant with Children's Television Act recommendations).
|Title||Premiere date||End date||Source(s)||Rights now owned by|
|Ultraman Tiga||September 14, 2002||March 1, 2003|||
|Kirby: Right Back at Ya!||August 6, 2005||||Nintendo|
|July 8, 2006||January 6, 2007|
|June 21, 2008||December 27, 2008|
|Ultimate Muscle||September 14, 2002||May 22, 2004||||Toei Animation|
|June 10, 2006||August 19, 2006|
|Fighting Foodons||September 14, 2002||August 30, 2003||||Discotek Media|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||February 8, 2003||December 27, 2008||||Paramount Global|
|WMAC Masters||July 5, 2003||August 30, 2003|
|Sonic X||August 23, 2003||June 3, 2006||||Discotek Media, Sega, Sonic Team|
|May 5, 2007||December 27, 2008|
|Funky Cops||August 23, 2003||July 3, 2004||||Mediatoon|
|Shaman King||August 30, 2003||September 3, 2005||||Netflix (Discotek Media)|
|Cubix: Robots for EveryoneE/I||September 6, 2003||June 12, 2004||||Hasbro|
|Winx ClubE/I||May 22, 2004||December 27, 2008||||Paramount Global (Rainbow S.R.L.)|
|F-Zero GP Legend||September 4, 2004||March 5, 2005||||Nintendo|
|One Piece||September 18, 2004||November 12, 2005||||Funimation|
|Mew Mew Power||February 19, 2005||July 22, 2006||||HIDIVE (Sentai Filmworks)|
|Magical DoReMiE/I||August 13, 2005||August 19, 2006||||Toei Animation|
|G.I. Joe: Sigma 6||August 27, 2005||December 30, 2006||||Hasbro|
|Viva Piñata||August 26, 2006||August 2, 2008||Xbox Game Studios (Rare Ltd.)|
|Yu-Gi-Oh!||September 2, 2006||August 25, 2007||Konami Cross Media NY|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters||September 9, 2006||November 25, 2006||Konami Cross Media NY|
|Chaotic||October 7, 2006||December 27, 2008||||Epic Story Media|
|Yu-Gi-Oh! GX||September 1, 2007||June 14, 2008||Konami Cross Media NY|
|Dinosaur King||September 8, 2007||September 6, 2008||Discotek Media|
|Title||Premiere date||End date||Source(s)||Rights now owned by|
|Stargate InfinityE/I||September 14, 2002||March 15, 2003||||WildBrain and MGM Television|
|The Cramp Twins[a]||February 8, 2003||August 19, 2005||m4e AG (Studio 100)|
|Pirate Islands||March 8, 2003||August 2, 2003|||
|Back to the Future: The Animated SeriesE/I||March 22, 2003||August 30, 2003||||NBCUniversal (Universal Studios)|
|Martin Mystery||May 8, 2004||June 19, 2004||Banijay|
|The Menu||June 5, 2004||August 27, 2005|
|Alien Racers||May 7, 2005||July 23, 2005|
|Bratz||August 20, 2005||April 7, 2007||||MGA Entertainment|
|Di-Gata Defenders||July 28, 2007||December 27, 2008|
|The Adrenaline ProjectE/I||September 29, 2007||April 5, 2008|
|Biker Mice from Mars||August 9, 2008||December 27, 2008|
|Title||Premiere date||End date||Source(s)|
|Incredible Crash Dummies||September 18, 2004||2005|||
4Kids launched an online video player on its website on September 8, 2007, and gradually added full-length episodes as well as additional video clips and online-exclusive content.
Relationship with Fox and broadcast ambiguitiesEdit
The block had a somewhat infrequent relationship to the Fox network. The programming was produced for Fox and offered to the network's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates first, so the Fox station in any given area had the right of first refusal. In the event that a Fox affiliate or in some cases, an O&O of the network—opted not to carry 4Kids TV, the block then became available for the local broadcast rights to be acquired by another television station. In fact, it was due in part to these carriage ambiguities that 4Kids dissolved the block in 2008, as they had been promised clearance on at least 90% of Fox's stations.
Most of Fox's owned-and-operated stations opted to carry 4Kids TV, these were mainly stations that had been owned by the network since Fox launched in October 1986 or were Fox charter affiliates that Fox Television Stations had acquired since that point. However dating back to the existence of the Fox Kids block, the twelve stations that Fox acquired from New World Communications in 1996 (and had earlier affiliated with the network through a 1994 multi-station affiliation deal—which prior to then, had been affiliated with ABC, NBC, or CBS) generally did not air 4Kids TV. In some of the New World markets, 4Kids was not carried on any station. In a majority of these markets, an independent station carried the block; in others, it was carried by either a WB or UPN affiliate, and later a MyNetworkTV or CW affiliate. The only exception was in St. Louis, Missouri, where Fox O&O (now affiliate) KTVI carried the block (although it aired 4Kids TV two hours earlier that the network's recommended scheduling for the block, beginning at 5:00 a.m., due to the station's Saturday morning newscast).
Some of 4Kids TV's programming (such as Winx Club, The Adrenaline Project, Magical DoReMi, Stargate Infinity, reruns of Back to the Future: the Animated Series, and Cubix) met the criteria to be considered educational and informational under the requirements defined by the Children's Television Act, and counted toward the three-hour-per-week mandatory educational children's programming quotas outlined by the Federal Communications Commission. Outside of Fox, 4Kids TV's programming aired reruns on The WB every Sunday morning after a new episode aired on Saturday on Fox, and new episodes on The WB's children block Kids' WB.
Markets where 4Kids TV did not runEdit
|City of license/market||Fox station||Notes|
|Birmingham, Alabama||WBRC||WBRC (channel 6) refused to air any Fox children's programming upon becoming a Fox owned-and-operated station in September 1995 to focus on a schedule heavy in local news. It reached an agreement to allow outgoing Fox affiliate WTTO (channel 21) to continue carrying the block. WTTO dropped Fox Kids in 2000, resulting in 4Kids TV not being available in the Birmingham/Tuscaloosa/Anniston market as no other station picked up the children's programming block.|
High Point, North Carolina
|WGHP||WGHP (channel 8) dropped 4Kids TV predecessor Fox Kids in March 1996, when it reached an agreement for WB affiliate WTWB-TV (channel 20, now CW affiliate WCWG) to carry the block; WTWB-TV dropped Fox Kids in 2001, resulting in 4Kids TV not being available in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point market as the block was not picked up by WGHP or any other stations in the market.|
|Greenwood, Mississippi||WABG-DT2||ABC affiliate WABG-TV (channel 6) launched a Fox-affiliated digital subchannel in September 2006 after the end of the Foxnet cable service, in a rush to have it running before the start of the 2006 NFL season. WABG did not have enough syndicated programming on hand to fill the subchannel's schedule and chose to air programming only in primetime and during Fox Sports events, including Saturdays, where it did not go on-air until 4 p.m. local time. Thus, 4KidsTV did not air in that market after Foxnet's discontinuation.|
Markets where 4Kids TV ran on a MyNetworkTV affiliateEdit
|City of license/market||Fox station||MyNetworkTV
|Chicago, Illinois||WFLD||WPWR-TV||Duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations, WPWR (channel 50) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|KDFW||KDFI||Duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations, KDFI (channel 27) was an independent station at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Detroit, Michigan||WJBK||WMYD||WMYD (channel 20, now an independent station) aired 4Kids TV on Sunday mornings; that station was a WB affiliate (under its former callsign WDWB) at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Miami, Florida||WSVN||WBFS-TV||WBFS (channel 33, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) was a UPN O&O at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|KMSP-TV||WFTC||Duopoly owned by Fox Television Stations, WFTC (channel 29) was a former UPN affiliate that became a MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Portland, Oregon||KPTV||KPDX||Duopoly owned at the time by the Meredith Corporation, KPDX (channel 49, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|San Antonio, Texas||KABB||KMYS||Duopoly owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group (KMYS has since been sold to Deerfield Media), KMYS (channel 35, now a CW affiliate) was a former WB affiliate (under its former callsign KRRT) at the time it took 4KidsTV from KABB.|
|Tucson, Arizona||KMSB-TV||KTTU||Duopoly owned at the time by Belo (KMSB has since been sold to Sander Media, LLC, while KTTU has since been sold to Tucker Operating Co., LLC), KTTU (channel 18, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) was a UPN affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
Markets where 4Kids TV ran on a CW affiliateEdit
Note: These CW affiliates ran 4Kids TV on Sundays, due to their obligation to carry The CW4Kids Saturday block (or, as in the case of Atlanta CW affiliate WUPA, which ran The CW4Kids on Sundays because of other programming airing on Saturdays).
|City of license/market||Fox station||CW station
|Atlanta, Georgia||WAGA-TV||WUPA||WUPA (channel 69) was a UPN O&O at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Cleveland, Ohio||WJW-TV||WBNX-TV||WBNX (channel 55, now an independent station) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Fresno, California||KMPH-TV||KFRE-TV||Duopoly owned by Pappas Telecasting Companies (the stations have since been sold to the Sinclair Broadcast Group), KFRE (channel 59, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Omaha, Nebraska||KPTM||KXVO||Duopoly owned by Pappas Telecasting Companies (the stations have since been sold to the Sinclair Broadcast Group), KXVO (channel 15, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
|Phoenix, Arizona||KSAZ-TV||KASW||KASW (channel 61, now a CW affiliate) was a WB affiliate at the time it began carrying 4KidsTV.|
Markets where 4Kids TV ran on an independent stationEdit
|City of license/market||Fox station||Independent
|Austin, Texas||KTBC||K13VC||K13VC (channel 13) aired only the FoxBox incarnation of the block from September 14, 2002 until the low-power station shut down on March 29, 2003 to allow Univision owned-and-operated station KAKW-TV to launch its digital signal.|
|Kansas City, Missouri||WDAF-TV||KMCI-TV||KMCI (channel 38) aired the block on a one-hour delay starting at 8:00 a.m.|
|Milwaukee, Wisconsin||WITI||WMLW-CA||WMLW-CA (channel 41, now Me-TV affiliate WBME-CD) aired the block on Sundays starting at 8:00 a.m.|
|Tampa, Florida||WTVT||WMOR-TV||WMOR (channel 32) aired the block on Sundays starting at 8:00 a.m.|
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- Although acquired, 4Kids was the exclusive license and merchandising holder for the series in the United States.