Nick Gets in Shape

Nickelodeon is getting into shape Oct. 2 for “Worldwide Day of Play,” an event to promote physical activity in kids’ lives.

As previously announced, the kids’ network will first go dark from noon to 3 p.m. to encourage kids to get out and play, the first time in its 25-year history. The rest of the day, Nick will cover city-sponsored outdoor games around the country, including a tumbleweed toss in Phoenix and a Mississippi River Race in St. Louis, as well as activities around the world..

These events, in addition to interactive segments encouraging kids to get active at home, will be peppered throughout Nick’s late afternoon programming. The day will cap off at 8 PM with a celeb-studded live musical wrap-up hosted by Hilary Duff and Romeo.

Kids from 650 local groups, clubs and schools across the country signed up to participate in outdoor sports and festivals to promote the event, which is part of Nick’s two-year-old pro-social grassroots campaign “Let’s Just Play.”

“We see the ‘Worldwide Day of Play’ as a way to empower kids around the world to learn about active, positive lifestyles and to make better, healthier choices,” said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Television.

TV has been under increasing fire from Washington for "junk food" ads in children's programs and for contributing to the sedentary environment that has helped make obesity, childhood and adult, one of the nation's leading health problems.

Mindful of its place as a top TV destination for those kids, and those ads, Nickelodeon has been trying to get ahead of the issue, including allocating 10% of its programming day to healthy-eating themes and similarly focused PSAs.