Nick Jr. Reaches Out to Moms

Nick Jr. will put its toddler-targeted content to bed during the late-night hours in an effort to target moms with adult-themed comedy programming.

The NickMom block — to run nightly from 10 p.m. to midnight, then immediately repeat on the network — will feature stand-up comedy, docu-reality series and a late-night talk show that executives say will provide a major contrast to Dora the Explorer and other kids-targeted programming fare.

“There really wasn’t anything that was speaking to moms directly in a tone that wasn’t all about the precious moments of parenting,” Bronwen O’Keefe, senior vice president of NickMom, said. “Moms today feel very confl icted about letting go and having fun, so we hope to give them permission to look at the insanity that is the parenting experience and find the humor in it.”

The NickMom block represents Nickelodeon’s first foray into targeting adult viewers — Nick at Nite provides more family and co-viewing, while Nickelodeon and TeenNick target kids from toddlers to teens. O’Keefe described the network’s content as “authentic” to the issues that parents deal with in raising children, which does not lend itself to co-viewing.


The signature show of the block is NickMom Night Out, which features more than 100 stand-up comics — both men and women — either discussing their roles as moms or talking about personal experiences with their own mothers.

Other shows set include a late-night talk show, Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder-Taylor; MFF: Moms Friends Forever, a docu-comedy series that follows the lives of two Midwestern moms who host a video blog on parenting; and What Was Carol Brady Thinking?, a takeoff on the popular 1970s series The Brady Bunch.

The network has also green-lighted My 63 Moms, a docu-series that follows comedian/new mom Andrea Rosen, who each week turns to a different group of moms to answer questions about motherhood, O’Keefe said. The show will debut in 2013.

Three of the four shows slated to premiere in the block carry a TV-PG rating, while Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder-Taylor draws a TV-14 rating.

“It is an adult destination and not intended for a co-viewing opportunity,” O’Keefe said. “We want to showcase an authentic experience of motherhood and finding the humor in that authenticity, which could lead you to a place where some people could consider edgy, but it’s never there for shock value. It comes out of either adding to the humor or coming from character.”

The NickMom block helps differentiate Nick Jr. from its preschool-programming competitors Disney Junior and Sprout. The network also hopes the block will spur ratings: With one week left in the third quarter the network is down 7% among total viewers and 11% among women 18-49.

The network will run ads for the block on both Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon’s five-hour Nick Jr. morning block in an effort to reach moms, although O’Keefe said the spots will be sensitive to the content given that kids will be viewing.


“We have to be mindful of the way we talk about it in a daypart when kids are watching,” she said. “We’re very aware that moms are watching with their kids on the Nick Jr. channel but we’re very sensitive about not making viewers feel uncomfortable with content that doesn’t feel kid-appropriate.”

O’Keefe said the network is prepared for potential backlash from Nick Jr. viewers uneasy with the adulttargeted content within the NickMom block, but said that more kid-appropriate content would be available both online and on video-on-demand.

“Viewers have been incredibly loyal to Nick Jr.,” said O’Keefe. “Anytime you do something new you have to be prepared for that, but we have a lot of offerings for preschool kids online and on VOD, so if they happen to be up at that time we have other platforms within the Nickelodeon family to direct them to.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.