Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids
Nickelodeon is the highest rated daytime channel in the country, and its cultural influence has grown at an astounding pace. Why are Nickelodeon shows so popular? How are they developed and marketed? And where do they fit in the economic picture of the children's media industry? Nickelodeon Nation, the first major study of the only TV channel just for children, investigates these questions. Intended for a wide range of readers and illustrated thorughout, the essays in Nickelodeon Nation are grouped into four sections: economics and marketing; the production process; programs and politics; and viewers. The contributorswho include a former employee in Nick's animation department, an investigative journalist, a developmental pyschologist who helped develop Blue's Clues, and television and cultural studies scholorsshow how Nickelodeon succeeds, in large part, by simultaneously satisfying both children and adults. For kids, Nick offers gross-out jokes and no-holds-barred goofiness, while for adults it offers a violence-free world, ethnic and racial diversity, and gender parity. Nick gives kids the fun they want by gently violating adult ideas of propriety, and satisfies adults by conforming to their vision of "quality" children's programming. Nickelodeon Nation shows how, in only twenty years, Nickelodeon has transformed itself from the "green vegetable network"distasteful for kids but "good for them," according to parentsinto a super-cool network with some of the most successful shows on the air. This ground-breaking collection fills a major gap in our understanding of both contemporary children's culture and the television industry. Contributors include: Daniel R. Anderson, Sarah Banet-Weiser, Henry Jenkins, Mark Langer, Vicki Mayer, Susan Murray, Heather Hendershot, Norma Pecora, Kevin S. Sandler, Ellen Seiter, Linda Simensky, and Mimi Swartz.