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Animation Monday: Open Letter to Nickelodeon

I have been wanting to write this post for a while.  And after DirectTV blocked all of the Viacom channels including Nickelodeon the time came to write this post.

Dear Nickelodeon:

Your channel lacks creativity and innovation these days.  When Nickelodeon launched in the 1970’s; the channel was a pioneer.  You helped created such cult classics early on such as Mr. Wizard’s World, Double Dare, and You Can’t Do That on Television.  In fact I really liked all of the opening themes to You Can’t Do That on Television.

These shows were classics that many kids back then enjoyed.  You kept on being creative and being on the leading edge of children’s television with shows such as Salute Your Shorts, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and Hey Dude.  The Pete and Pete opening credits were always a treat.

You were an innovator in children game shows.  Shows such as Double Dare, What Would You Do?, Nick Arcade, Nickelodeon Guts, Get the Picture, and Legends of the Hidden Temple inspired kids to be active and be creative.  Double Dare always featured the craziest obstacles.

You were also a pioneer in cable animation.  You started great animated shows such as Rugrats, Doug, Ren and Stimpy, Hey Arnold, and Rocko’s Modern Life.  The opening credits from Rocko was great.

Throughout the 1990’s you kept on being great.  You started many careers through the shows All That and Kenan and Kel.  And other shows such as Are You Afraid of the Dark, Clarissa Explains It All, and Roundhouse kept you on top.  The intro from Are you Afraid of the Dark was always creepy.

Even into the 2000’s shows such as Drake and Josh, iCarly, Zoey 101, and the favorite SpongeBob SquarePants kept you a favorite from many people.  Who doesn’t love the opening theme to SpongeBob SquarePants?

But starting in 2005 you began to change.  You had a leadership change on top and you also closed the Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando and moving everything to California.  That move did not make many people happy.  At the same time you began to sit on new episodes of many shows you were running.  This in turn made your decision very easy by cancelling good shows such as Jimmy Neutron and Danny Phantom.  You also began to re-air many shows over and over again.  This gets old very quick as people doesn’t want to see the same episodes over and over again.

Of course all TV channels have to put on new shows; but you Nickelodeon had to over-rely on Dreamworks.  You began to air shows from characters on Dreamworks movies.  You also began to air new series that are not popular.  Who is going to watch bad shows such as How to Rock or Fred: The Show?  And when you had a hit on your hands such as The Legend of Korra; you only aired it once a week.  Most all original cable shows repeats their new episodes a few times a week; but not you.  And let’s not talk about your bad scheduling of your shows; such a disgrace.

The DirectTV/Viacom lockout has brought you to a new low.  You are using popular cartoon characters such as Dora and SpongeBob to influence kids to tell their parents that DirectTV is bad.  Plus you did not like the Nielsen ratings for Nickelodeon and you decided to investigate but you can not hide the fact that you are losing ratings.  And that Disney Channel and Cartoon Network is killing you.  You are simply being immature and playing dirty.  These ratings do not lie.

Live + Same Day Ratings Kids Cable Network Averages (000) for Thursday, July 12, 2012, 6am-11pm, ranked by K2-11:
DISNEY CHANNEL: K2-11 1329; K6-11 863; TWEENS 9-14 655
CARTOON NETWORK: K2-11 790; K6-11 523; TWEENS 9-14 425
NICKELODEON: K2-11 607; K6-11 385; TWEENS 9-14 345
DISNEY XD: K2-11 330; K6-11 271; TWEENS 9-14 253
NICKTOONS: K2-11 69; K6-11 46; TWEENS 9-14 44
Source: MTVN Research from Nielsen Media Research Data

I hope all of this will spur new leadership at Nickelodeon.  People at the top needs to be replaced with someone who will take the channel in a new direction.  Nick needs to bring in new shows that will interest many people like Disney Channel and Cartoon Network has done.  They have invested in original shows that we have not seen before and now they are doing very well.  But your new original shows feels like something that is bland and old. SpongeBob is being repeated on your network often and now feels old and stale.  And iCarly is about to come to an end and you have nothing that could replace it.  The new show called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is something I feel like will not do well.  We have seen this series many times before on television.

I hope one day Nickelodeon will come back and reclaim the number one kids network spot again.  But without a new leader and schedule changes nothing will happen.  And this is just very sad.  Oh well; it was nice knowing you Nickelodeon.

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