The Hollywood Reporter sure has a good network of sources. Today it's reporting on the possibility that Disney will buy the broadcast rights to the sixth season of the Star Wars franchise's current flagship product, the TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Time Warner's Cartoon Network has aired the show's first four seasons and is airing its fifth right now. However, the thinking goes, Disney will soon want to start consolidating its new acquisition's disparate assets under its own umbrella, and The Clone Wars' network switch from Cartoon Network to, say, Disney XD would be one of the company's first steps.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Turner, a division of Time Warner, has the license for Star Wars: The Clone Wars only through the end of the 2012-13 season. Each year it has renewed its deal with Lucasfilm, and reps for both companies say they will make a decision on continuing the show around the end of the season.
In reality, Disney is very likely to move Clone Wars to one of its own networks, most likely Disney XD, an advertiser-supported cable TV channel targeted at boys.
Clone Wars has been one of the highest-rated shows on Cartoon Network, even with a move to Saturday mornings this season. For the month of October, The Clone Wars ranked No. 1 in its time period among boys 9-14 and posted double-digit gains across kids and boys vs. last year -- kids 2-11 grew by 46 percent, kids 6-11 by 34 percent, kids 9-14 by 64 percent, boys 2-11 by 45 percent, boys 6-11 by 36 percent and boys 9-14 by 72 percent, according to a Turner spokesperson.