Answer the question, or take the physical challenge? Kids who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s might be listening to their own children hear those words, if Nickelodeon’s announced return of Double Dare succeeds.
Nickelodeon announced Wednesday that it’s reviving the iconic ’80s and ’90s kids’ game show Double Dare. The network has ordered 40 episodes of the series, to premiere in the summer.
Originally running (under various titles like Family Double Dare and Super Slimy Double Dare) from 1986 to 1993, the Marc Summers-hosted show had families compete at trivia and physical challenges before making it to the grand finale: running through a messy obstacle course that culminated in pulling a slimy snot-covered flag out of a giant disembodied nose. It ruled, which is why the revival will keep the format.
But more than nostalgia is behind such a move. Nickelodeon, long the king of Kids TV networks, is losing ratings, along with Disney Channel and Cartoon Network.
— Lucas Shaw (@Lucas_Shaw) April 25, 2018
And the reason for that decline:Streaming
The cable networks for children, in decline for years, are now in a free fall. This season’s ratings for the 2-to-11 set are shaping up to be the worst yet. And few in the industry predict a turnaround.
The implications are enormous for giants like Viacom Inc. and Walt Disney Co. Viewership of the three most-popular networks for the very young — Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network — is down more than 20 percent this season from year earlier, according to data from Nielsen. It’s a low point in a long-running trend as Netflix Inc., YouTube and other streaming services have taken off.
Media companies still make money from children’s TV, with the most-watched cartoons spawning toy brands and licensing deals that can generate millions of dollars. So “the traditional brands are stuck in a tough position,” said Birk Rawlings, who left Nickelodeon to run DreamWorksTV, a kids media company that includes a YouTube channel. “They can see what is changing, but to embrace what’s new they must run away from a healthy business.”
It will be good for some to see an old friend, but the new ways of viewing kids programming are both posing tough questions and a physical challenge to broadcasters.
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