Upgrading Nickelodeon…

Upgrading Nickelodeon
On Viacom’s call, Dauman [Philippe Dauman, chief executive of Viacom], also discussed plans to upgrade Nickelodeon, where a “rich slate of new shows” is planned to begin airing just after Labor Day.
At Nickelodeon, ratings have been about flat. In the second quarter, it generated a 1.6, or about 1.72 million viewers, about even with the average 1.73 million who watched in the same quarter last year.
At Nickelodeon, what you’re looking at is the emergence of Disney Channel,” said Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming at the media-buying firm Katz Television Group. “When you can create a phenomenon like ‘High School Musical,’ that really has a big impact.”
“High School Musical,” a TV movie that first aired in early 2006 about a romance between two teenagers, was extremely successful, spawning a hit soundtrack album and a sequel that premiered earlier this month.
Erlich sees Nickelodeon’s ratings performance as “holding steady,” given the power of Disney Channel. Disney offers a morning block called “Playhouse Disney” that has strong appeal to children 2 to 11 years old, and the sitcom “Hannah Montana” has galvanized the 6-11 set.
Some StarLink clients, such as CEC Entertainment’s pizza chain Chuck E. Cheese’s and privately held gaming concern Cranium, are looking at Nickelodeon’s very solid showing among video-on-demand viewers to find ways to reach those young consumers, Erlich said. End of Story

Viacom’s MTV, Nickelodeon facing challenges – MarketWatch

Hannah Montana & High School Musical are the BIG boxers in a ring match versus Viacom.  Funny… both include musical numbers & original scores.  Hmmm. AND both have run CONSTANTLY over the last few months.

Seriously– if you watch Disney, HM is on quite often.  Disney has been known for putting huge viewing efforts behind it’s favorites– to the level where at ANY point you could switch on the Disney channel and have a HIGH chance of seeing that program.  Sure, Nickelodeon does this too, from time to time (ahem, Spongebob).  Disney is good about coming in at you from all sides– CDs, tours, ice shows, radio, books– the works.  I remember when HM first appeared on the scene… I didn’t know much about her, other than the fact this blonde tween singer was EVERYWHERE.  And then the secret was reveal– she’s MILEY CYRUS!  Tricky Tricky! 

She’s still everywhere– my cousin’s girls are going to a Hannah Montana concert (they watch Disney morning/noon/night).  Bekah (age 6) was rockin’ out to her Hannah soundtrack.  They have the HM clothing.  They have the HM accessories.  But you know what they DON’T really have?? (Bless their wee wonderful hearts)  They don’t have a clear understand that Hannah Montana is the fake personality and Miley is the real girl.  They think Miley is just a character.  They see Hannah Montana EVERYWHERE, not Miley.  That means something.

Nickelodeon’s only musical effort comes in the form of a boy band (and girl) named The Naked Brothers Band — unique title, awesomely dorky program.  I don’t mean that as a slam because I am indeed a fan… but seriously… it bounces from unique/goofy/clever to down right awkward/hokey at times (you have to see it to understand what I’m talking about– it’s the kind of awkward/hokey that makes your cheeks hurt and you hide behind your hands, while peeking through your fingers).

It’s been a while since Nickelodeon has produce a show with a Lucy & Ethel feeling (gaining back the girls hopefully) like Disney’s Hannah Montana.  Sure– there’s Zoey 101, but that’s more of an assemble cast (Chase being the easiest to relate to, and Zoey being the cool, popular chick).  Ned’s Declassified is another Assemble, following the male lead of Ned (although the girl who plays Mos is GREAT at that part).  And Unfabulous feels more gritty than any of the happy-go-lucky-bright-Disnified shows.  It reminds me of some of the N’s programming– a bit more in the drama & tween emotions.  iCarly is going to be GREAT for Nick (smart, smart Dan Schneider of Schneider’s Bakery– the creator of the show).  Miranda Cosgroves already has a big following, and the interactive element will be fun for this generation (first of its kind to break the UGC-Video barrier the PROPER way).  As for Josh & Drake?  It’s been fantastic for the girls crushes with Drake, and hilarious with its vaudeville hilarity.  But poor Drake Bell.  Just talked to an 8-year-old here at the office who used to be a HUGE Drake Bell fan… I am sad to report she’s defected to (dun dun duuuuuun) Zac Efron. 

So… other than iCarly, what does this mean for Nickelodeon? If Cartoon Network is beloved by (en masse, mind you) Anime-kids & Boys.  And Disney has the (en masse again, mind you) Families & Girls… Nickelodeon has the goofy kids with some elements for boys, and some for girls.  They counter-balance their shows a little more. It’s steady.  Rides the line. 

In my opinion– Nickelodeon has the better odds of the other two kid stations.  Why?  Because they appeal to both masses.  It just so happens at this point Disney is holding the attention of the girls a little better.  Cartoon Network, at the moment, is holding boy’s attention too, taking away viewers (at times) from Nick.  (Cartoon Network is coming out with some live-action shows that might tip the ballot a little their way too.)  But Nick has interests in BOTH demos.  Steady is as it goes, Nick. 

Needless to say– I’m eager to see what this fall brings that changes my theories & impresses my entertainment/media-obsessed mind. 

p.s. NEW EPISODES OF AVATAR SOOON!!!!  And the Avatar live-action movie is closer to hitting the screens!  I’m pumped.

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  1. September 8, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    In my house, Disney is #1 by a wide margin. Cartoon Network is probably #2 followed by Nick.

  1. September 10, 2007 at 6:46 pm

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