Why did Disney Channel never have a late-night division?

TheMisterManGuy

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At around 8 or 9 PM, as their target audience goes to bed, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network sign off, and hand the channel air time over to their mature-geared programming arms. Nick @ Nite in Nick's case, and Adult Swim for Cartoon Network. Disney Channel however, is an odd duck of the bunch. They're the only one of the big three who runs 24 hours, and I doubt 8 year olds are watching the channel after 8 PM on most days. With this in mind, why did Disney never thought about filling its overnight hours with a more adult (or at least teen) oriented day-part? They had Vault Disney for a little while, which showed vintage Disney content. But from 2002 onward, the overnight hours have been filled with just reruns of Disney Channel's regular programming, which again, I doubt kids are watching that late at night. So why did it never occur to Disney Channel to do something more productive with its night-time segment after Vault Disney was gone?

Disney is no stranger to branding its mature geared content under alternative labels, so I don't think they'd worry about their brand being compromised since they can just remove their name to avoid controversy (ala Touchstone, Miramax, Marvel, ABC, FreeForm, etc.)
 

RegularCapital

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Disney are very careful with their child/family friendly demographic and when to use the Disney brand appropriately, their adult focused content is usually under one of their alternate brands, which is one of the reasons why they bought FOX.

Having an adult block on Disney Channel will skew the integrity of the Disney brand and its message, even if it's using a different brand, the association alone can tarnish Disney's image.
 

Dr.Pepper

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The Disney name is associated with family friendliness. They would not put adult content on a channel with Disney in the title. With that being said, I wouldn’t mind seeing another Vault Disney type block.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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Disney are very careful with their child/family friendly demographic and when to use the Disney brand appropriately, their adult focused content is usually under one of their alternate brands, which is one of the reasons why they bought FOX.

Having an adult block on Disney Channel will skew the integrity of the Disney brand and its message, even if it's using a different brand, the association alone can tarnish Disney's image.

I could see that. But perhaps Disney could do what Cartoon Network does with Adult Swim, or what Noggin did with The N, classify and brand it as a separate network in both management and presence for advertisers and Nelson, and make it very clear to parents that they're not one in the same. Having Disney Channel "Sign-Off" every night should send a message that the Disney programming is over, and a more mature lineup not associated with the Disney name is starting. Though as you mentioned, that might be more problematic for Disney since there's more at stake with their name than Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon.
 

Mandouga

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UGH! Not this "separate network" bologna again. I don't know about Nick at Nite, or The N, but Adult Swim IS a block, even if TOON wants everyone to think otherwise.

Anyway, The Disney Channel, sort of had something like that back when they were still a premium network. It was called "Disney Nighttime", but even then, the shows that were on are technically still family friendly. Prior to that, they just signed off for the day.

(sigh) Look everyone. I really don't like how some people* actually think that any of the three networks, let alone The Disney Channel itself should have a "watershed"/"safe harbor" block just to please the older viewers in the short term. Nick Jr. tried that very thing back in 2012 (NickMom), and the reaction was actually the opposite of what they had expected. Unfortunately, it took Nick Jr. three years to finally get it (i.e., that was when they went back to being Nick Jr. 24 hours a day).

The last thing any of the Disney Networks need is to only be a family network part of the time, and have shows just for the parents at the rest of the family's expense.

(sigh) I'm sorry if the above sounded like a rant, but I really need to get this out.

*Including those who keep using the tired "but they're supposed to be in bed anyway" excuse. That's not the point and they know it. I've said this before, but families have their own way of dealing with bedtime and late night (family) TV. They don't need the networks telling them when they should or shouldn't be in bed...at least not this way. It's not like how in some Spanish speaking countries, the various terrestrial general entertainment networks (as opposed to actual 24 hour family networks) might play a short video giving the viewers a gentle reminder that it's bedtime, then giving a message about how anyone watching their channel afterwards is the sole responsibility of the parents (look up "protección al menor" on You Tube for some examples). That's completely different from how, for instance, NickMom was trying to make itself out as a nightly vacation away from the family for the parents (let alone just the moms), which is an insult to anyone's intelligence, no matter how old you are, and no matter if you're a parent or not. This is not the same thing at all, and please don't ask me to elaborate. It's a long story, and I don't want to derail this thread.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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UGH! Not this "separate network" bologna again. I don't know about Nick at Nite, or The N, but Adult Swim IS a block, even if TOON wants everyone to think otherwise.

Only in terms of the technical duality of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim being under the same umbrella and airing together on the same channel. In this case, Cartoon Network is a block as well. It's the name the channel goes by during the daytime hours until 8 PM, when it signs off, and switches to the Adult Swim name. Beyond that, Adult Swim has its own ratings reports, program development, web presences, and overall management team separate from Cartoon Network's. That's enough for it to be considered its own network. The N and Noggin were the same, They were both managed by the same umbrella team and aired on the same channel, but were considered separate for ratings and advertising purposes. Up until 2006, all of The N's original programming was copyrighted by Noggin under "©NOGGIN, LLC".
 

Ed Liu

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My very first question would be what would air in this hypothetical block. I guess they could air re-runs of any sitcoms that ran on ABC or something, but I think they have enough other networks for that (like Freeform) to make it a questionable investment.

Disney is no stranger to branding its mature geared content under alternative labels, so I don't think they'd worry about their brand being compromised since they can just remove their name to avoid controversy (ala Touchstone, Miramax, Marvel, ABC, FreeForm, etc.)

To some degree, I think this answers your own question. They already have at least one and arguably two entire networks dedicated to content for older audiences (Freeform for late-teen/young adult, and arguably Disney XD for teenagers) and even if Nick at Night and Adult Swim engage in branding to distinguish them from their younger fare, there is still no question that it's still Nickelodeon under the hood for the former and continuing confusion among the general public about the dividing lines between CN and AS. Disney Channel can't/won't erase its name from the network, at least partially because of the approach Disney takes to branding across all the divisions of the company and partially because, as I noted, they have other networks to do what you're asking about.

Also, as a side note, I can say that parents appreciate the ability to have programming on that isn't likely to include anything too far out of bounds at all hours, since very newborns have no concept of time and sometimes you really need some noise to keep yourself sane while you're getting a little one back to sleep.
 

sasq

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Even if they had launched The Touchstone Channel during DC's early days, it would have built its own identity over the years and, due to the ABC merger and The Disney Channel's name being shortened, be rebranded into something ABC-related and eventually split as a separate network.

Similarly what happened to Touchstone Television (now ABC Studios).
 

LinusFan303

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What Disney Channel currently does must be working for them and they really don't need to make a block for an older audience because Freeform exists as Disney's outlet along with the network of ABC. The option is the Nick at Nite option and why would they need to air repeats of some random network TV shows when they have their own shows that they can repeat, which is less paying for rights worry heavy.
They did try that once a week Throwback Thursday Late night block for a while too.
 

Light Lucario

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While having a late night block could be interesting, I suspect that they never felt the need to go that route. Disney has different channels were it can put out programming aimed at older audiences without changing their general family friendly reputation.
 

Mandouga

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As I've said previously, it wouldn't matter which of the three did it. It would still be a case of a Disney cable network (let alone any family network) only being a Disney cable network part of the time. DISN? DISN-XD? DISN-J? I'm sorry, but there is no in-between, here, especially where Disney is concerned (oh yeah, and using a different, non-DIsney name isn't going to cut it; it's the principle of it). Either they are Disney/family network, or they aren't.The fact is, this is Disney we're talking about. Running a cable TV network isn't the same as releasing movies with PG-13 and R ratings under a different name. If anything, that's another issue entirely, but which goes beyond the scope of this thread. The bottom line is, it's not going to happen. Period.
 

jaylop97

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I never really thought much of a reason for Disney Channel to have a late night block. I always liked Disney Channel being the only one to not have a block since CN and Nick did have AS and N@N respectively, with that it gives DC more of an opportunity to get more viewers for those that don't have Nicktoons or Boomerang, like me in the early 2000s.
 

Mr HooPoe

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...

...

I still wonder why people think Disney Channel needs mature programming for older audiences. I...want to say something, but I do not know what to say. The fact that things like Nick at Nite and [adult swim] even exist and are capable of existing and somehow logically make sense to exist may be the factor, but what exactly are people expecting from Disney Channel?

Again, we had Vault Disney. Why was this dropped? Anne Sweeney stated that it was because children in different time zones would be watching and wanted to watch what they wanted. This was done to appeal to them.

This late night programming now long gone was vintage Disney programming that was the last bit of existence of the premium years, but keep in mind that it technically was kid-friendly. The problem was that it may have been unappealing (and moreso to the adults who missed what the channel was meant to show) and was thus dropped.

Now with Anne Sweeney gone, Disney Channel technically could try this again. The issue under her jurisdiction was that the network looked forwards and never reminisced on whatever "vintage" there was. The short-lived Disney Replay tried doing this with older Disney Channel original series...that people cared about, anyway.

Older audiences do not always want "mature" programming. Besides, other channels exist to satisfy that craving, as mentioned above. What Disney Channel could try is replay shows that appeal to nostalgia of older audiences-- still suitable for children, though probably harder for them to enjoy. This could include movies or programming, as mentioned before in my post with Vault Disney and Disney Replay.

Just like that.
 

TheDaveMaybe

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I don't know, I kind of like the fact Disney Channel airs children's programming 24/7. Makes it a nice distinction from Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network.
 

Tacomaster

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Sorry to bump this thread, but with NatGeo on DXD and ACME Night being hits, I think DC could have shows after kids go to bed aimed at grown-ups, but still family friendly. I could see AFV Animal Edition, Brain Games, and even The Simpsons and Bob's Burgers airing here.
 

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