"PBS Kids on NBC is a new colorful and educational saturday morning kids' block made by NBC and PBS! Aimed for 4 to 12, PBS Kids on NBC delighted kids and their parents to join along to the program!" - A press release from PBS Kids Magazine, September 2002.
PBS Kids on NBC is a defunct American children's programming block that aired on NBC from September 14, 2002 to September 2, 2006. The block was produced under a time-lease agreement with PBS, and featured a mix of live-action and animated series originated on the cable network that met educational programming requirements defined by the Federal Communications Commission.
In December 2001, NBC reached a partnership with Public Broadcasting Service, in which its cable channel PBS Kids would produce a new three-hour Saturday morning block for the network that would feature programming that met the educational programming guidelines enforced by the Children's Television Act. The block would replace TNBC, a block of live-action series aimed at a teenage audience whose creation was motivated by the success of its series Saved by the Bell. By 2001, TNBC had been suffering from declining viewership; according to Nielsen Media Research, the block was registering a median viewer age of 41.
PBS Kids on NBC debuted on September 14, 2002, with its initial lineup incorporating two new original series (Willy the Wasp and Small Kitty) and four existing PBS Kids programs (Barney and Friends, Zoboomafoo, Sesame Street, and Wishbone); the following year, Temple of Le Luke Kids, a child-oriented spin-off of the PBS home renovation reality show Temple of Le Luke joined the lineup
The new block came about amidst growing children's programming synergies between broadcast and cable television networks. Prior to the PBS agreement, CBS had launched a Nickelodeon-branded block in 2000 (following Nickelodeon parent Viacom's merger with CBS), while The WB had begun pooling programs from sister channel Cartoon Network onto its Kids' WB lineup as part of a growing cross-promotion arrangement between the cable channel and the block; in addition, the same month that PBS Kids on NBC debuted, ABC relaunched its Saturday morning block as ABC Kids, expanding upon a programming agreement established in 2001 with sister network Disney Channel that later included select programming from Toon Disney
In September 2003, the block introduced educationally-oriented animated programs under the banner "Real Toons" – with two series, Codename: Kids Next Door and Pepper Ann; this marked the first time that NBC had aired animated series as part of its children's programming lineup since August 1992.
In March 2006, PBS declined to renew its contract with NBC for its Saturday morning block, citing a desire to focus its children's programming efforts exclusively on the PBS Kids GO cable channel and the PBS Kids block on PBS; in May of that year, NBC and Ion Media Networks unveiled a joint venture with Corus Entertainment, Scholastic and Classic Media known as Qubo, which would aim to provide educational programming aimed at children between 4 and 8 years of age. The Qubo endeavor included a three-hour Saturday morning block on the network, which replaced PBS Kids on NBC on September 9, 2006.
Although the PBS Kids on NBC block regularly aired on Saturday mornings, affiliates in some parts of the country deferred certain programs within the lineup to Sunday morning time slots to accommodate locally produced programs (such as weekend morning newscasts) or due to scheduling issues with regional or network sports broadcasts that start in time periods normally occupied by the block.
- Willy the Wasp (2002-2003) (TV-G)
- Small Kitty (2002-2005) (TV-Y)
- Zoboomafoo (2002-2003) (TV-Y)
- Sesame Street (2002-2004) (TV-Y)
- Wishbone (2002-2004) (TV-Y)
- Barney and Friends (2002-2004) (TV-Y)
- Temple Of Le Luke Kids (2003-2003) (TV-Y7)
- Codename: Kids Next Door (2003-2006) (TV-Y7)
- Pepper Ann (2003-2006) (TV-Y)
- Between The Lions (2004-2006) (TV-Y)
- Danny Sanchez (2004-2006) (TV-Y, one episode being rated TV-Y7)
- Boohbah (2004-2005) (TV-Y)
- Time Warp Trio (2005-2006) (TV-Y7)
- Arthur (2005-2006) (TV-Y)