Before The Hub’s Upfront: Where the Network Stands Right Now
The Hub will have their first of three upfront presentations to advertisers and the media this Thursday, March 24 in New York City. The second will follow on March 29 in Chicago and the last on March 31 in Los Angeles. During the upfront, The Hub will be announcing new series and new episode renewals for current shows. So, before the upfront gets here, let’s take a look at what The Hub has done in their first five months on the air.
The Hub launched on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 10 a.m. ET, replacing the Discovery Kids network, as a join-venture between Discovery Communications and Hasbro, Inc. The network started out in approximately 61 million U.S. households. The first original series (from Hasbro Studios) to premiere on the network that day were Pound Puppies, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Family Game Night. Other acquisitions included new series (such as The Twisted Whiskers Show, Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Bitty Adventures, Dennis and Gnasher and Cosmic Quantum Ray) and older series (like Batman Beyond and Men in Black: The Series).
The Hub’s first day on-air ratings were a great improvement from the prior week as Discovery Kids, reaching triple digit percentage gains with households, total viewers, kids 2-11, 6-11, adults 18-49 and quadruple percentage gains with women 18-49. The network even beat established network TeenNick in all those demos as well. The Hub mainly noted how well Family Game Night did on the premiere day, with 267,000 total viewers, of which 145,000 were kids 2-11. The show even beat Disney XD, Nicktoons and TeenNick in the timeslot with kids 2-11.
Since then, only occasional ratings press reports have been released, many of which did not seem to indicate the same kind of ratings the first day and first two weeks received. Based on press releases, the only premiere to beat the Family Game Night episode on 10/15/10 at 7pm with total viewers 2+ was a new Transformers Prime on 2/18/11 at 6:30pm (337,000 vs. 312,000). However, since we haven’t seen regular reports (nor full ratings information), it’s hard to tell how the network has done overall on a week-to-week basis. It’s assumed they have been doing better than Discovery Kids, but by how much is a good question.
More original series continued to roll out within the next three months of the network’s launch: Pictureka! on October 11, The Adventures of Chuck & Friends (the network’s only original preschool series) on October 15, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series on October 29 for a one-hour Halloween special presentation and fully on December 25, Hubworld on November 5, G.I. Joe Renegades on November 26, Transformers Prime on November 26 for the five-part mini-series and February 11 for the full series launch and lastly Dan Vs. on January 1.
We’ve yet to hear anything new on two series that were originally announced for the network: The 99 and Clue.
Currently, The Hub has to rely on a large amount of acquired programming, including classic sitcoms (like Happy Days, Family Ties and The Wonder Years) along with mainly ‘80s and ‘90s movies to fill programming hours. Even original series are currently short on episode totals. The worst case is with Pound Puppies, which to date has only aired a total of seven episodes, despite premiering on the day the network launched. However, the show has aired at least four times per week since the network launched. All other original shows are still under 26 episodes.
We’ve already heard that the network has renewed Transformers Prime for a second season (of 26 episodes) and will most likely renew more of what’s already on the network. Plus, it was announced by Deadline.com that The Hub has picked-up Know It Alls, a series about a group of kids who attend a school for geniuses, created by Wizards of Waverly Place creator Todd Greenwald and produced by Cookie Jar’s The Jar.
So, what else can we expect to be renewed? What new shows, both original and acquired, will be announced? We’ll hopefully find out those answers this Thursday during The Hub’s upfront presentation. Stayed tuned!