Fox is scrapping a programming block that airs weekly. B&C reports that the broadcast network will pull the plug on the Saturday late-night installment of Animation Domination HD.
The block's last evening is slated for June 28, the story reports. No replacement has been announced, although the report notes that it’s likely Fox will air repeats in the 11 p.m. ET time slot.
Sunday’s animation block, which features fan favorites such as “The Simpsons" and "Family Guy,” is remaining on air, the story adds.
The story reports: “The Animation Domination High Def (ADHD) brand will continue on digital platforms, including FoxADHD.com. New programs will be hatched as part of the brand with hopes that they’ll graduate to prime time, says a Fox representative, and two that were ‘incubated’ in ADHD will air in prime next year. The Fox rep stressed that late-night was never designed as the ultimate destination for ADHD content.”
The plan to scrap the Saturday animation block was mentioned at an affiliates meeting earlier this month, after an affiliate pointed out the difference in tone between “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” and the more low-brow animation block on Saturdays. Some viewers “feel the content is too risque. That prompted a network exec to say the Saturday block would be going away,” the story reports.
The report adds: "College football games that go long on Fox Saturday nights were a factor in the decision to take ADHD off the air, according to the Fox representative, as well as the 18-34-targeted block not ideally matching up with Fox’s older late night demos."
The story points out that the block was also a target of decency watchdogs, noting: "On April 16, the Parents Television Council called on Fox to take down an ADHD promotional video, called 'Easter Bunny’s Coming,' that the PTC called 'the most explicit material we’ve ever seen produced by a broadcast television network.'”
Fox requested that affiliates not talk to the media about the meeting earlier this month, but the report notes that station execs "did not appear sorry to see the ADHD program block go. Some had tired of fielding calls from upset viewers. One said the decision to scrap it might affect the revenue equation in the larger markets, but would not move the needle in his DMA."