Five drops Shake block

Five is to consolidate all of its children's programming under the Milkshake banner, dropping its Shake block completely.
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Shake currently runs on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9am, but will stop broadcasting at the end of this month. Its shows include the likes of Round the Twist, Demolition Dad and Don't Blame the Koalas.

The popular Milkshake block will be extended at the weekend, taking some of Shake's old airtime. It will also now skew slightly older, going up to age seven.

Nick Wilson, head of children's programming at Five, explained to ToyNews: "Five has decided to consolidate all its children's programming under the one Milkshake banner. To this end some older children's programmes will be dropped to make way for new and innovative drama and factual programmes for four to seven year-olds.

"Five's commitment and spend on children's programmes will remain undiminished."

Milkshake has built up a good reputation for high quality children's shows. Current hits include Peppa Pig, Rupert Bear: Follow the Magic, Fifi and the Flowertots and Noddy. Roary the Racing Car is due to debut soon.

Meanwhile, Target Entertainment has granted the publishing rights to Milkshake to Random House Children's Books.

The three-year deal will see the publication of novelty and activity titles and will include a Milkshake annual featuring favourite characters from the pre-school strand. The first books are due in spring 2008 and will include at least two - and up to four - titles, plus the annual.

"We were delighted when Five entrusted Target with the task of developing a licensing programme for Milkshake and are thrilled to announce this new partnership with Random House; a partnership that shares our vision and understanding of the Milkshake brand," said Helen Howells, director of international licensing at Target.

Target's next steps for the brand are to expand further into arts, crafts and educational toys to encourage children to extend their Milkshake experience beyond the screen.

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