What would you do if you were in charge of Universal Kids?


I Actually Like Pizza More
Aug 31, 2018
Right behind you.
Launched in 2017 as a replacement for Sprout, Universal Kids has widely been seen as a flop. Poor reviews, tanking viewership and an overall lack of focus have led to its recent decision to halt all original programs, and possibly it’s demise. But what would you do if you were in charge? Personally, I’d morph Universal Kids into an umbrella brand(consisting of YouTube channels, a website, and the DreamWorks, Illumination, and Universal animation studios) of which the channel would play an admittedly minor part(seeing as how cable is dying anyway, the linear network is not the brand’s future) to display library content(Rocky and Bullwinkle, Back to the Future), DreamWorks’s streaming shows(Trolls, Captain Underpants), Peacock Original kid shows(New Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell), acquired series(Mighty Mike, Totally Spies), and yes... even original shows, which will debut on the website and YT channels before the TV channel. Speaking of which, I’d bring back original programming, as several original programs on UK(specifically, Get Out of My Room and American Ninja Warrior Junior) are casually making multiple times UK’s average monthly viewership just days after their release. I would also debut older series that never reached US TV(the NBCU owned ZuZu and the Supernuffs, the US-DVD-exclusive Frankenstein’s Cat, and the super obscure Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde come to mind), as well as rerun series from IPs that have rides at Universal parks at the Moment(The Mummy, Men in Black, Transformers, Dr. Seuss) or the future(Mario and Other Nintendo properties), or have upcoming Universal or DreamWorks films(once again, Mario). I would also partner up with previously partnered companies like Banjay/Zodiak(Kody Kapow, Totally Spies, Floogals), WildBrain(The Deep, Inspector Gadget, Hank Zipzer, Bajillionaires), and Sinking Ship(Dino Dan, Just Add Magic, Annedroids, Endlings) to provide programming to distribute on the site, YouTube channels, and TV channel(Horrid Henry, Super Agent Jon Le Bon, Extreme FootballSoccer, Dino Dana, The Unlisted, Rank the Prank). What about you?


Staff member
Aug 10, 2003
East Coast of USA
I’d likely shut it down too. I read in a Kidscreen article that show producers avoid having their new shows on the platform, as no toy company would want to sign up for a show on a network barely anyone watches.
Universal would be better off investing efforts into producing new content for kids on Peacock instead.

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Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2019
The middle of nowhere
Instead of having the preschool shows be under the Universal Kids brand, I would create a new block called Universal Kids Jr. (Similar to Disney Junior or Nick Jr.) The Block would air 6am-1pm each day. Then 1-6pm would be the home for animated shows like DreamWorks, Totally Spies, and Where’s Waldo. Then 6pm-1am would be some of Universal Kids live-action shows like Top Chef Junior, Junk Drawer, Get Out of My Room, and American Ninja Warrior Junior. Then 1-6am would be a jumble of both animated and live-action shows.

If this fails, I would switch focus to DreamWorks shows and rename the network DreamWorks TV. If that fails, I would shut down the network.


Fight the darkness all around
Mar 17, 2010
I'd make sure my resume is up to date and I'd start asking other companies if they were hiring.

If I was actually in that unenviable position, I think there are only two realistic paths:

1) Zombie channel that scrapes by through pre-existing cable subscriptions. Cut spending to the bare minimum. Content mainly consists of library material with a rare foreign acquisition. The goal here wouldn't be to increase viewership or build a brand. It's simply to leach off of existing infrastructure and bail once that's no longer viable. This seems to be the "strategy" for a number of deep cable channels and probably is a realistic fate for Universal Kids.

2) Admit defeat, revert back to a preschool format. Universal Kids experienced big drops in eyeballs after rebranding from Sprout. If you look at the linear children's market in the U.S., you've seen huge viewership declines on channels like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. In the face of waning interest in the biggest players, I think it would unwise to try to compete for a general kid audience. Preschool channels like Nick Jr. and Disney Junior are the only deep cable kids spinoff channels that haven't been zombified. Parents of young children are willing to pay for cable because VOD options often times are sketchy places. Take advantage of that.

Differentiate from the pack by stressing the educational value of the shows while making things that are more real to kids (there aren't many live-action shows on Disney Junior or Nick Jr., for instance). Make the channel known a place for premium, educational children's content. If you amass/produce enough of that, you can launch a direct to consumer app. Make sure parents know you have a quality content library. If you're really desperate, launch spinoffs of Universal and DreamWorks IP. Make a Jurassic Park show centred around teaching kids archaeology. Create a distant Fast and Furious spinoff educating children on mechanics and the engineering behind cars. Do that so people start talking about the channel.


Well-Known Member
May 13, 2016
As in that it really depends on which would work well to improve the channel.

But if anything, I would rebrand the channel as Dreamworks Channel to align with their South East Asian channels of the same name and would show content from DWA, which would also include Netflix originals like Voltron: Legendary Defender, Tales of Arcadia and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.


New Member
Oct 8, 2020
United States
Turn it back into Sprout and bring back most of the retro Hit/PBS content that is available. If it ain't broken don't fix it. The current shows can just be on Netflix. I mostly blame the loss of Hit/PBS program for the low ratings. They had their chance when bringing back Bob and Barney for awhile but now the channel has been sent to the dump.
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