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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nick at Nite targets younger generation

Generation X has officially grown up, and Nick at Nite hopes to lure them to its viewing audience. Nickelodeon, which was born in 1979, is reaching for nightime viewers around its own age.

Many of us who grew up with You can't do that on Television and Double Dare have families of our own now, but that doesn't mean we've lost any appeal to Nick's marketers.

To attract the 25 to 40-year-old audience, Nick has dumped older classics such as Murphy Brown and is now revamping its nightly schedule with original programs such as Glenn Martin D.D.S, an animated comedy series about dentist who travels cross country with his family.

It’s a chance to connect to the second generation of Nick viewers, said Cyma Zarghami, the president of the MTV Networks (Viacom) Nickelodeon Kids and Family group. A round of network research this year estimated that 39 percent of parents watched Nickelodeon when they were growing up.


  Former DIsney CEO Michael Eisner is among the marketers pushing the new programs, including Glenn Martin D.D.S. He failed to find a niche with his old pals at the Disney Channel, but is already making his mark at Nick. At first glance, Glenn Martin DDS has a similar appearance to the hit shows on Cartoon Network's hit Robot Chicken on Adult Swim.

The program was inspired, in part, by a Swiss mountain dog kept by Thomas O. Staggs, the chief financial officer of Disney. The dog is the funniest-looking dog I’ve ever seen, Mr. Eisner said in a telephone interview. Every time I see him, I tell him his dog’s going to be a star.

Mr. Eisner asked Mr. Staggs to send him a picture of the dog, and the animal’s likeness will be evident in the show, which is scheduled to premiere next summer. Mr. Eisner said the show was inspired by the idea of a comedic look at what it’s like to see America.


Nick at Nite has also revived recently cancelled comedies. Currently, it's highest -rated show is  "The George Lopez Show", which ABC cancelled in  2007. Nick at Nite is also developing newer spinoffs of classic game shows, such as "My Family has got GUTS!", a revised version of the 90's action game show "GUTS",which was basicically a teenager's version of American Gladiators. They will also debut their first primetime family movie "Gym Teache/"

Personally, I understand the need to test new products, but  think Nick should focus on a central theme  for its nightly programming . As a 27-year old, I fall right into the middle of their new target market, and when it's 10 p.m. and  I crash on the couch and turn on TBS or Cartoon Network to watch Family Guy , I don't want it interrupted by a different genre, such as an extreme sports game show or full-length family movie. But maybe that's just me.



By Matt O'Hern at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

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