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Television Hours Devoted to Kids (1990). Cable: 60% Public Broadcasting: 20% Fox and independent stations: 17% ABC, CBS, NBC: 3%. What happened to Saturday morning cartoons?.

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Television Hours Devoted to Kids(1990)

  • Cable: 60%

  • Public Broadcasting: 20%

  • Fox and independent stations: 17%

  • ABC, CBS, NBC: 3%


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What happened to Saturday morning cartoons?

  • 1992: NBC began phaseout of animated shows for live action show, hoping to attract “teens and tweens,” which were more desirable to advertisers

  • 1996: CBS did the same thing

  • 1997: ABC was down to les than 12 hours of children’s programming weekly


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Smaller Nets and Cable

  • At the same time the Big Nets were dropping kids’ shows, Fox, WB and UPN went after that audience

  • 1992: Turner launches Cartoon Network with his Hanna-Barbera library. Merger with Time-Warner added Warner Brothers collection.


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Other Cable for Kids

  • Fox Family Channel

  • Learning Channel

  • Animal Planet

  • Discovery Kids

  • Disney Channel


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Nick Takes Over

  • By 1995 Nickelodeon became the principal channel for kids: 60% of TV viewing by kids 2-11

  • 1997 Nick launches “TV Land” aimed more at adults

  • “Slime Time Live” shot at Universal Studios Orlando is one of the most recognized programs for children


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Telecom Act of 1996

  • FCC mandates minimum 3 hours of children’s programs weekly between 7am and 10pm

  • Limited the amount of advertising that could be sold during these programs

  • Required manufacturers of TV sets to install a V-chip to block programs containing objectionable content


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TV Program Ratings System

  • Adopted by the industry itself… not established by the FCC

  • Adopted only for entertainment… not news

  • Superimposes rating on screen for 15 seconds at beginning of program

  • Initially based on child’s age, rather than content


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Critics blast the initial ratings system

  • They wanted it based on content of program, rather than age of child

  • Wanted ratings symbols on screen to be larger and superimposed longer

  • Complained the system was too confusing for parents


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New system: October, 1997

  • Industry (except NBC) agreed to make symbols larger and add content warnings:

  • (V) Violence

  • (S) Sexual Content

  • (L) Strong Language

  • (D) Suggestive Dialogue

  • (FV) Fantasy Violence


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TV Kids Watch Today

  • Nickelodeon 49%

  • Cartoon Network 29%

  • WB 8%

  • Fox 5%

  • Fox Family 4%

  • UPN 3%

  • ABC 2%

  • CBS & NBC less than 1%


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Paying Big Bird’s Way!

Other Debates about Kids

Should taxpayers pay for PBS?

Is this really “Socialism”

Is PBS providing “quality shows?”

Market Model should be untainted

It was supposed to expand content?

It was supposed to add diversity?

Is it worth 340 million in 2001?


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