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Hasbro, Discovery Joint-Venture TV Network Unveils Programs

By Mary Ellen Lloyd Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Hasbro Inc. (HAS) and Discovery Communications Inc.'s (DISCA,DISCB) joint venture television network for children called "The Hub" will begin airing on Oct. 10 with programming that includes several original series as well as some older ones, such as The Jim Henson Co.'s "Fraggle Rock." In a press release, the Hub President and Chief Executive Margaret Loesch announced six original programs, including "Family Game Night," "G.I. Joe Renegades," "Pound Puppies," and "R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour." Among other series in the network's U.S. premiere lineup: "Meerkat Manor," a family movie night, and "Animal Mechanicals," a DHX Media Ltd (DHX.T) preschool series previously licensed to Disney Channels in the U.K., France and Asia and to other channels outside the U.S. "Fraggle Rock" was a children's TV series in the mid 1980s that featured Henson's "Muppet"-like creatures. "I'm delighted with the caliber of programming -- which includes some beloved and popular brands -- that we are bringing to the network's new lineup," said Loesch. The network's programming will be targeted at preschoolers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., ages 6 to 12 between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and families from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The network will be available to 60 million households when it launches, it said. Shares of Hasbro traded up 3.3% at $41.60, while Discovery Communications' class A shares recently fell 0.8% to $37.20. Class B shares of Discovery were down 1.3% at $37.60. -By Mary Ellen Lloyd, Dow Jones Newswires, 704-948-9145; maryellen.lloyd@dowjones.com

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