Discovery launches kids channel with toy firm Hasbro

International channel operator Discovery Communications is to launch a joint venture kids network in the United States with toy manufacturer Hasbro and has called for independent producers to pitch new kids series.

The channel, which will replace Discovery Kids in the States, is set to launch next year and will air programming based on Hasbro toys including My Little Pony, G.I Joe and Transformers as well as Discovery programming including Bindi The Jungle Girl and Peep and the Big Wide World.

David  Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said: “We also want to work with third party producers. We want to bring in the best creative stewarts.”

Hasbro is also expected to launch its own production company to remake its classic series and preschool characters.

The new channel, which will be in 60 million homes at launch, will be named later this year. 

However, Discovery will keep its Discovery Kids brand internationally for the time being  and is unlikely to launch the joint venture channel outside of the US in the foreseeable future.