According to Common Sense Media, Nickelodeon’s Glenn Martin, D.D.S. is “iffy at best” for kids under 16 due to sexual content and some gruesome violence.
Nickelodeon agrees, saying they never intended for the show to be watched by children in the first place. “There’s certainly no ploy for publicity,” Nickelodeon spokesman David Bittler told the St. Petersburg Times. “This is a funny show for the Nick at Nite audience … which is 18 to 49.”
So why are parents writing angry letters and filling up Internet forums with their complaints? Because Glenn Martin, D.D.S. comes on at 8 p.m., immediately following Spongebob Squarepants.
There are lots of cartoons that aren’t appropriate for young children. Family Guy, for one. And just about anything on Adult Swim. But those shows don’t air until later in the evening, and they aren’t mixed with programming that targets young children.
Nickelodeon says that parents should expect to see them “blur the lines” between Nick, Jr. and Nick at Night. But this seems to be less of a blur and more of an abrupt leap from friendly cartoon sponge to friendly cartoon sex.
Remember how Noggin used to “turn off” at 6 p.m.? That goodnight song was a nice reminder to parents that the upcoming shows weren’t appropriate for the preschool set. It was a clear signal that it was time to change the channel or put the little ones to bed.
Maybe Nickelodean should bring that goodnight song back, or some other warning that the upcoming lineup is for older teens and adults. Or maybe parents just need to pay more attention to what their kids are watching at night. What do you think?