Axed: Kids’ WB

Exclusive: After more than 13 years, Nine ends its hosted kids' programming block.

EXCLUSIVE: Nine has axed Kids’ WB, ending its run at just over 13 years.

Presenters Lauren Phillips and Andy Sunderland and staff have been given 2 weeks notice on the in-house production at GTV-9 Melbourne.

Sources suggest the show still had sponsors attached but Nine declined to comment on a reason for the axe.

Since 2013 Kids’ WB has been screening on 9GO! both in an afternoon block and longer on weekends. Consisting of a hosted studio and cartoon block its original hosts were Georgia Sinclair and Shura Taft.

Lauren Phillips has co-hosted since 2011 variously with Shane Crawford and Andy Sunderland. Phillips, who also presents on Victorian travel series Postcards, is understood to be on a network contract whil former Block contestant Sunderland has presented Smashhdown for 9GO!

Other presenters have included Heidi Valkenburg plus reporter Tayla Johnston.

The show has also travelled to Warner Bros. on the Gold Coast and the USA.

Shura Taft told TV Tonight, “This is very sad indeed. This show was the start of my career and was made at a time when free to air TV was still #1. Most of the crew on this show were 20-30 year TV veterans who had worked with the likes of Bert Newton, Daryl Somers, Graham Kennedy and more. We shot in the old Studio 4 (occasionally Studio 9 where the big shows were filmed) and had access to the best props bay and wardrobe in Australia.

“We were actually Live across Australia for many years and most people who work in TV will tell you nothing is better than being live. The feeling that anything could happen at any time, is the best energy you can find. We were lucky to have a cavalcade of stars come through and appear as guests and in the years since I left, Lauren, Andrew, Shane and Andy certainly did the show proud taking over from Georgia, Heidi and I. It was always the little show with the big heart.

“A huge credit should go to Adrian Dellevergin (industry legend who we sadly lost a few years ago), Adrian Beck and Rob Mond for producing what will always be quality kids TV that was enjoyed by plenty of adults. I’m still stopped by adults and kids alike who loved waking up on the weekend to our shenanigans. It’s a sad indictment on the state of free-to-air but sadly the reality. I’ll never forget my years on this show and what it meant for kids around Oz. RIP Kids’ WB.”

The end for Kids WB is another blow to children’s television on Free to Air TV.

Seven children’s show Saturday Disney ended in 2016 after a 26 year run. Commercial Free to Air networks are also pressuring government to drop a requirement for scripted kids’ content (NB: Kids WB does not add to Nine’s Childrens’ quota).

Further episodes already completed will screen soon.


14 Responses

  1. Hi David. Has Toasted TV on 10Peach been axed as well? There have only been 2 episodes aired since the 3rd of November. One was for McHappy Day (16th Nov). And there is no sign of it in the TV guide for the rest of the month?

  2. I loved Shura Taft as a host, I thought he was headed for big things. there was another host in between Shura and Shane, Andrew I think. In the early days it reminded me of my childhood favourites, Cartoon Corner, Super Flying Fun Show and The Early Bird Show. Agro just left me cold, thankfully I was an adult by then.

      1. You did so well with Ugly Dave, can you dig through your magical contact book, David and see where she is at? I loved her as a kid as did two generations of young people. She had great presence and command.

  3. I very much enjoyed Kids WB, especially the Dymocks Book a Club segment, shame the axe has fallen. I’m guessing 9Go will play cartoons and kids shows in the timeslots occupied by Kids WB after the last ever episode airs.

  4. It’s a shame we give kids a raw deal when it comes to new TV programming. The government should be forcing the networks to create new kids content. It’s all news, news, news and dating shows or renovation shows.

  5. Andrew Faulkner was another of the presenters – I thought he was good and had a much better rapport with Lauren Phillips than more recent male hosts. I wonder whether GO! will still show the same cartoons on weekend mornings.

    1. Agro was the only hosted kids block I had ever enjoyed over the years. Everything else was condescending and utterly cringe-inducing and yes, got in the way of the cartoons (and shows were often cut here and there to make room for the hosts/ads). I never saw the point in any of it.

  6. More of this will happen in the future. Why pay for a set & staff when it’s not really required. Remember 11 when it started and had arvo hosts? Won’t be surprised to see the Loop changing to no hosts in the future.

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