Supposedly aimed at children ages 2-6, the Nick Jr. cable network drove away most of its viewers with its “NickMom” programming block two years ago. Despite its financial and popular failure, the network remains committed to pushing content totally unacceptable for children.
Originally, Nick Jr. was intended as a “safe, educational place [with] curriculum-rich preschool shows [kids] love.” Then, in October of 2012, the network launched its NickMom programming block – a string of shows filled with graphic references to sex, genitals, and drinking. Supposedly, these shows were intended as a “new destination for all things funny, just for moms.”
But moms – along with most other subscribers – recoiled in horror at their toddlers and preschoolers being subjected to skits about “Devil Baby” and “The Boob Boss.” Along with enraged letters to advertisers (and the PTC), viewers boycotted the channel in droves and dropped it from their pay-TV tiers. A year after “NickMom” started, Nick Jr. was a financial and ratings disaster. The network’s ratings had plummeted by 50%, making its performance “the worst among rated cable networks,” according to media analysis firm SNL-Kagan. In fact, even though Nick Jr. is available in 25% more homes than Disney Jr., Disney is trouncing its rival in number of viewers.
In any other business, if an experimental new approach to a product caused the sponsoring company to lose massive amounts of money and popularity, the new product would be withdrawn – and probably, the people responsible for it would be fired. The company would to change back to the original product and then work overtime trying to win back its alienated customers.
But not in Hollywood. Proving once and for all that, in the entertainment industry, depraved creative “vision” trumps cold, hard cash, Nick Jr. remains firmly committed to airing programming inappropriate for kids. In fact, the channel is INCREASING its anti-kid content. Foul-mouthed comedienne Wanda Sykes will be receiving her own series, as will Whoopi Goldberg, whose program will feature “raw, honest conversations.” Among other new shows on NickMom will be Country Mom, City Mom, about a woman who splits her time between raising her two teenage boys in small-town Texas and living in Los Angeles with her second husband and his children; Undercover Cupid (from the creator of the sexist The Man Show), a hidden-camera program following single parents whose teenage children pick dates for them; and returning series Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder-Taylor and the profanity-riddled stand-up comedy series NickMom Night Out.
The next time the entertainment industry claims that TV shows contain graphic sex and language because “sex sells,” remember: that is a lie – and the failure of NickMom proves it.