The company’s Universal Kids will place a bigger bet on its ties to DreamWorks Animation, which NBCU bought in August of 2016 for approximately $3.8 billion. The network will stop developing original shows that are not based on DreamWorks properties, according to a person familiar with the matter, though it will continue to acquire series made by third-party producers.
The move takes place amid declining ratings and an executive restructure that has the network’s operations reporting directly to Frances Berwick, the executive who oversees NBCU’s lifestyle-based cable networks, including Bravo and Oxygen. Deirdre Brennan, the former general manager of Universal Kids, left in February. Universal Kids has been the primary vehicle NBCU hoped to ride to get into the multi-billion dollar market for kids entertainment, jockeying with rivals like Walt Disney, Viacom’s Nickelodeon and WarnerMedia’s Cartoon Network.