I was recently talking to a friend of mine, who has a ton of knowledge about the ins and outs of the television industry, and we got talking about two of the most popular channels in the realm of children/preteen programing: Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
First and foremost, these channels are in a competitive and highly lucrative industry. With this comes a scary combination of starstruck actors and money hungry executives. Both the talent and the executives are becoming their own worst enemy. No one understands that careers take time. The society we are in is an impatient one. The producers want money now and the actors/actresses want fame now. This is where the bottleneck begins.
These child actors have agents and managers who just want the money, and the sad part is that a lot of these kids have real talent. If you take them out of the “lol, farts are funny” dumb humor that comes with these networks and give them a real script and some formal training, they could be great actors. But Nick and Disney stall that.
I will admit, however, that Nick is way better than Disney in the quality of actors. Just look at the stars: Amanda Bynes, Kenan Thompson, Josh Peck, Drake Bell, and Victoria Justice. The only good actress that escaped Disney (at least in recent years) is Selena Gomez. And that’s because she’s smart enough to recognize a career beyond Wizards of Waverly Place.
So what’s happening with these two ex-powerhouses? It may come as a surprise, but both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel’s ratings are tanking! After Wizards of Waverly Place ended, Disney has been grasping at smoke to save itself. And Nickelodeon is holding on to the rapidly deteriorating success of iCarly. What these channels need is to come up with a few solid new ideas that appeal to a wide demographic. I know- no shit, Sherlock. But it’s not just the novel ideas that will sell. It’s continuity and consistency. They need to make new episodes each week and release them regularly. As long as Nickelodeon doesn’t have the attention of kids anymore, they are going to continue their downward spiral. So, hey, if you happen to come up with a new, kid-friendly sitcom idea, sell it to Nick or Disney and try to save their sorry asses from television extinction.