Universal Kids is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group subsidiary of NBCUniversal, itself a division of Comcast. The network broadcasts children's programming and takes the branding of the sister company, Universal Pictures. The network's daytime lineup is heavily supplied by preschool-oriented programs, while its evening and primetime lineup are made up of programs aimed generally towards pre-teens and young teenagers.
Universal Kids was originally launched in 2005 as PBS Kids Sprout—a joint venture between PBS, Comcast, Sesame Workshop, and HiT Entertainment devoted to children's television programming aimed at a preschool audience. Following Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, the company gradually bought out the remaining owners' shares in the channel, reaching full ownership in 2013. The network's operations were subsequently relocated from Philadelphia to New York City and the "PBS Kids" name was dropped from its branding. The network re-branded under its current name on September 9, 2017, expanding its primetime programming to focus on a wider youth audience, while continuing to broadcast preschool-oriented programming under the "Universal Kids Preschool" branding during daytime hours.
History with the Macy's Parade
Over its 8-year partnership with the Parade, Universal Kids has had three floats participate. The first float debuted in 2012, and was entitled "Daytime, Playtime, Nighttime Too". This float was made to look like a child constructed it out of various arts and crafts materials such as construction paper, popsicle sticks, buttons, felt, and more. At the front of the float, the "Sunshine Barn" represents the networks' early-morning program lineup. At the rear, the "You and Me Treehouse", represents the network's lineup of nighttime entertainment. In 2015, the float was given a refreshed look, now adding more arts and crafts elements, such as paper plates and bowls, and colored pencils, as well as the removal of the sun, moon, and windmill from the float's previous incarnation. Additionally, the float was renamed "Free To Play". It would retire after the 2016 Parade.
The following year, in 2017, Sprout was rebranded as Universal Kids. As such, a new float would debut in the Parade to promote the rebranding. The float was entitled "Universal Playground", and, much like the previous float, was made to look like it was constructed out of paper and poster board. The float features the ultimate modern playground, with bouncing balls, slides, and a jungle gym. The float was given a refreshed paint job in 2018, and still makes appearances as of 2019.
Below, you will find a list of every performer/celebrity that has performed/appeared on the float, alongside the respective songs which they sang during the NBC Telecast.
Daytime, Playtime, Nighttime Too
- 2012 - Chica & Her Co-stars and Nina & Star; performed "Squeaka with Chica"
- 2013 - Chica & Her Co-stars and Nina & Star; performed "Kindness Counts"
- 2014 - Chica & Her Co-stars and Nina & Star; performed "Every Kind of Day"
Free to Play
- 2015 - Chica & Her Co-stars and Nina & Star; performed "Free To Grow"
- 2016 - Chica & Her Co-stars and Nina & Star; performed "Growing Together"
- 2017 - Angelica Hale; performed "Girl On Fire"
- 2018 - Brynn Cartelli; performed "Walk My Way"
- 2019 - That Girl Lay Lay; performed "Macy's Day Parade"