Prior to March 1 Nick, Jr. had a first class approach to educational and commercial free programming that targeted preschoolers – after all their slogan was “It’s like preschool on TV”. Nick, Jr. had a flawless format that showcased twenty-four hours of shows and each would nurture every aspect of what parents and caregivers teach otherwise – manners, numbers and colors, for example. Within their programming they had classic animated cartoons along with computer generated and even the time-honored puppet shows. Some of these shows captured the hearts of many children (and adults’) hearts – shows like Jack’s Big Music Show, a puppet show which featured artists like the wholesome Laurie Berkner Band and even whistling extraordinaire Andrew Bird. Other favorites included Franklin, Little Bear, Little Bill, Yo Gabba Gabba and Dora the Explorer – a lineup that flourished with diversity. To parents and caregivers, Nick Jr. had an irreproachable arrangement. In between every show children were guided by the adoring twosome, Moose and Zee, in lieu of the conventional and all too familiar commercial. Moose and Zee chaperoned kids through memory games, counting, letters games and songs that even adults grew to love. They were, in essence, the mascots for the only twenty-four hour spot for children on television. Whether meals were being prepared, beds were being made or laundry was being put away, the content of Nick, Jr – with the supplementary teachings of Moose and Zee – could be trusted by parents and caregivers alike. The tutelage of Moose and Zee along with the caliber of education offered are what set Nick, Jr. apart from the alternative. March 1 many households entered upon like any other morning. As coffee was brewed and breakfast cooked a multitude of parents and children noticed a change – no Moose and Zee. While the content was still educational, the format seemed to target a different audience – an older audience. Nick, Jr. was now “The smart place to play” – without notice and without comment. Many parents felt deserving of an explanation or even to have been prepared– that would have been the appropriate course of action by Viacom (who owns Nick, Jr.). Admittedly, Nick, Jr. is the only all day children’s station, however, there were others that targeted the preschool audience during the first part of the day. Nonetheless, many families were loyal to Nick, Jr. and the audience demanded clarification. That day, and each day thereafter, hundreds of viewers commented on Nick, Jr’s Facebook page inquiring about the absence of Moose and Zee and the new format. It is bright, it is bold and it is in your face. Dora the Explorer and Go Diego, Go are great shows that portray two young kids who teach Spanish – which is great, but Nick, Jr. has inundated its audience with back to back Dora and Diego episodes. Other modern type shows are present too that are educational but are lacking in the classic style that was the composition of Nick, Jr. Since Moose and Zee are no longer present to usher our children they have been replaced with self-promoting commercials and the divergence of ethnicities in shows like Little Bill, Yo Gabba Gabba and Ni Hau have been pushed past the midnight hour or cancelled altogether. With the exception of a “refer to our FAQ section of our website for answers”, the audience is without clarification. In their FAQ section, where many parents and caregivers referred to for an answer were told to simply explain to the children that Moose and Zee were now working “behind the scenes” – does any parent or caregiver truly believe that? How insulting! Something had to be done – our inquiries were being ignored by executives whose bottom dollar was more important than the classic educational format families love and miss so much! The hordes of angry parents and let’s not forget the heavyhearted children, have banded together to get our children’s beloved pair of best buddies back where they belong and to reestablish a once sound format that Nick, Jr. was known for. Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant as the old adage says. But, there is another old adage – don’t fix it if it’s not broken…right? And that’s the sentiment regarding the conversion Nick, Jr. has insincerely brought to pass.
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