|Network||Syndicated (primarily Fox stations)|
|Launched||September 13, 2014|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Format||E/I programming block|
|Running time||2 hours (2014–2016) |
3 hours (2016–present)
Xploration Station is an American syndicated programming block that is programmed by Steve Rotfeld Productions, distributed by Fox, and debuted on September 13, 2014. It airs weekends (typically on Saturday mornings), primarily on Fox-affiliated stations. Aimed towards teenagers, the block consists of six half-hour shows focusing on the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. All of the programs in the three-hour block are produced to meet federally mandated educational programming guidelines (stations carrying the block continue to provide E/I-compliant programs acquired from the syndication market to comply with the full three-hour requirement defined by the Federal Communications Commission for television stations to devote to educational programming each week). Boat Rocker Rights owns the shows' international rights.
On December 17, 2013, Steve Rotfeld Productions announced that it would launch a two-hour syndicated block of live-action educational programs under the working title Xploration Nation, with Fox Television Stations and Tribune Broadcasting initially set to carry the block across their respective Fox owned-and-operated and affiliated stations. The block, aimed towards teenagers between 13 and 16 years of age, features programs focused on the STEM fields – such as marine biology, astronomy, and animal science. Production on one of the four shows, Xploration Outer Space, began in April 2014. The block, by then renamed Xploration Station, premiered on September 13, 2014.
On Fox owned and operated stations, Xploration Station replaced Weekend Marketplace, a two-hour block of infomercials first introduced in January 2009 following the discontinuation of 4Kids TV due to conflicts between Fox and the block's programmer 4Kids Entertainment.
On January 20, 2015, Fox Television Stations renewed the block for the group's Fox owned-and-operated stations through 2017. The block was made available worldwide with the pick up of non-US distribution by Boat Rocker Rights in February 2016.
One of the more notable holdouts for Xploration Station in its first two seasons was Fox's largest affiliate group, Sinclair Broadcast Group. In September 2016, when Sinclair began to carry Xploration Station on their Fox stations and two other Sinclair stations associated with a netlet under a five-year agreement with Steve Rotfeld Productions. While Rotfeld Productions added another hour, or two series, to the block. Also with the third season starting September 10, 2016, Xploration Station returned 3 shows and adding 3 new shows.
NOTE: Some stations would usually only air 1 program, or have a different schedule due to Public affairs, wanting to make room for other programs to air, or news broadcasting.
Animal Science was nominated in 2014 for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Series.
At the 45th Daytime Emmy Awards, Xploration Earth 2050 won the award for Outstanding Special Class Series. At the 46th Daytime Emmy Awards, Weird but True! won the award for Outstanding Education or Informational Series.