It started out innocently enough. A few years ago, I watched a couple of hours of Disney Channel programming to make sure that what my kid was watching was appropriate. You know, “Suite Life,” “Hannah Montana” and all those other silly shows they love so much. I didn’t particularly enjoy them, but as a parent it is my responsibility to know what she’s watching, right?
But then, Nickelodeon got in on the act. I sat down to watch “iCarly” and something happened. I stopped rolling my eyes and started actually enjoying the show. It was well-written and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. That’s when I realized that tween TV had changed.
Since then, I’ve gotten hooked on “Phinneas and Ferb,” “Sponge Bob Square Pants” and Disney’s new “Good Luck Charlie.” And according to Nielsen, I am not alone. Those shows and others draw large adult audiences, some who admit to watching the shows even when their kids aren’t around.
Dana Ewing of the youth marketing firm The Geppetto Group, says that more and more so-called kid shows are being created with adults in mind.
“It’s kind of a new and refreshing trend. It’s a move back to the all-family type programming that the (broadcast) networks, for some reason, abandoned. These kinds of shows come with themes that are relatable and relevant to more than just the kids.”
While I still can’t get my head around the Bieber Fever phenomenon, which has infected mothers along with with their daughters, the appeal of some of these tween shows is obvious. They don’t talk down to kids and the humor is sophisticated enough to engage adults. And as my tween grows older and our relationship changes, these shows provide a way for us to connect and enjoy something together.
What about you? Are you totally in to your kid’s television shows? What’s your favorite?
Image: Luke Wisley/Flickr
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