- Children's television series
Children's television series, are commercial television programs designed for, and marketed to children, normally scheduled for broadcast during the morning and afternoon when children are awake. They can sometimes run in the early evening, for the children that go to school. The purpose of the shows is mainly to entertain and sometimes to educate.
Children's television is nearly as old as television itself, with early examples including shows such as Blue Peter, Play School, Captain Tugg, The Magic Roundabout, Howdy Doody, Ivor the Engine Clangers, Noggin the Nog, Flower Pot Men, The Singing Ringing Tree, TUGS, Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood . In the United States, early children's television was often a marketing branch of a larger corporate product, such as Disney, and it rarely contained any educational elements (for instance, The Magic Clown, a popular early children's program, was primarily an advertisement for Bonomo's Turkish taffy product). This practice continued, albeit in a much toned-down manner, through the 1980s in the United States, when the Federal Communications Commission prohibited tie-in advertising on broadcast television (it does not apply to cable, which is out of the reach of the FCC's content regulations). Though there is some debate on the intended audience, later non-educational children's television programs included the science fiction programmes of Irwin Allen (most notably Lost in Space), the fantasy series of Sid and Marty Krofft, and the extensive cartoon empire of Hanna-Barbera.
Many children's programs also have a large adult following, sometimes due to perceived quality and educational value, and sometimes among adults who watched the shows as children or with their own children and now have a nostalgic emotional connection such as Nickelodeon's classic programming.
Since the mid 1980s, there have been teen comedies and teen dramas such as in the UK; Byker Grove (1989-2006) and Grange Hill (1978-2008) and that are geared toward older children (typically between the ages of 12 and 15).
In the US there are three main children's commercial television channels: Nickelodeon which gained popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s, Cartoon Network which gained popularity in the early to mid-1990s, and the Disney Channel which gained its popularity in the mid-1990s. Nick was the first channel devoted to children's programming and remains the most popular of the three. Other children's channels in the US include Hub, PBS Kids Sprout, NickToons, TeenNick, Disney XD and Nick Jr.. Under current mandates, all broadcast stations in the United States, including digital subchannels, must show a minimum of three hours per week of educational children's programming, regardless of the station's format.
In the UK there is CBBC, CBeebies, CITV, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Nick Jr., POP, Tiny Pop, Cartoonito, Disney Cinemagic, Pop Girl and Kix!.
In Japan there is NHK Educational TV, Kids Station, Disney XD, Nickelodeon (Now under a block on Animax known as "Nick Time") and Cartoon Network. It should be noted that Cartoon Network's age demographic is getting to more older viewers with shows like Regular Show, Adventure Time, and others.
- PBS Kids
- List of local children's television series (United States)
- Saturday morning cartoon for an in-depth history of children's television in the United States
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