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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Sex, blood and raunch -- this is Nickelodeon?



Glennmartin The jungle drums of the Mommy Industrial Complex are rumbling with complaints about Nickelodeon's change of lineup that is putting more adult shows on much earlier than usual, especially the Nick at Nite hit Glenn Martin, DDS. It's produced by Michael Eisner, ex-CEO of Disney, and headed in the voice cast by Kevin Nealon of SNL fame, so it's got major cool points, right? Not so fast, some parents are saying. See my story today with some who were caught off guard by the sex jokes and gory violence in a show that comes on at 8 p.m., right after SpongeBob Squarepants.

Common Sense Media, a parental review site gives it an "iffy at best" rating for young kids.

Their review notes:

Parents need to know that, even though Nickelodeon is touting this animated series as "a new twist on the classic family sitcom that tweens and their parents can both enjoy," it's pretty iffy viewing for kids. For one thing, it's a little cheeky when it comes to sexual references (a scene shows a character watching porn while he's babysitting an infant, for example -- although no sensitive body parts are shown). For another, characters occasionally use words like "bastard" and "whore," and there's also some blood-inducing cartoonish violence.

Nick at Nite's lineup of old sitcoms used to start at 9 p.m. But this August, the network announced it was "blurring the lines" between kid-oriented Nickelodeon and the more teen-skewed (actually 18-49 according their press materials) Nick at Nite because teens and tweens like to watch TV as a family. Nickelodeon's earlier bedtime isn't sitting will parents of SpongeBob fans caught off guard. The message board at are full of complaints.

I get into a lot of debates with my colleagues in the media who are understandably nervous about any kind of censorship (especially the ones who don't have kids). But most parents I know have no problem with any kind of content on TV shows and movies -- they just want to see some fence lines. They don't want to outlaw HBO or the Playboy Channel, but please do tell parents clearly what to expect so their 6 year old won't hear cartoon characters joking about make-up sex or prostitutes at 8 on a Monday night while he's winding down for bed.

Photo: Glenn Martin, DDS, (Nickelodeon)

-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:03am]


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