The Hub, a joint venture network between Discovery and toy giant Hasbro, launches Sunday in approximately 60 million U.S. households on the former Discovery Kids channel. "We love the name," says CEO and President Margaret Loesch. "It means to us a place where kids and their families can come together. It's very inclusive." And fabulously retro! "We're purposely including a lot of things that parents grew up with," Loesch explains before citing Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures and Transformers Prime along with other animated updates of '80s favorites like Pound Puppies, My Little Pony and G.I. Joe.
Daily programming blocks will cater to preschoolers from 9am to 1pm, then, in the afternoon, the focus shifts to older kids, ages 6 to 12, and capping off the day are family-friendly programs like repeats of Meerkat Manor, Wonder Years, Family Ties, Doogie Howser, M.D. and the classic 1960's Batman. Original prime-time programming includes a new live-action anthology series based on children's horror writer R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. "I'm very excited — I think it's really going to grab kids," says Loesch, whose ultimate goal is to celebrate play and promote a sense of exploration among young viewers. For more programming information go to hubworld.com.