Talkin’ TV

We asked kids to tell us about their favorite TV shows and characters, what they're looking forward to this season, and what they'd like to see more of. Once again, our kids had tons to say including one notable finding: The...
November 1, 1998

We asked kids to tell us about their favorite TV shows and characters, what they’re looking forward to this season, and what they’d like to see more of. Once again, our kids had tons to say including one notable finding: The Brady Bunch is back with a bang.

What we found:

The kids we contacted spend an average of 2.8 hours a day watching TV. Not surprisingly, Nickelodeon got the most kid-kudos, with Nick-at-Nite following close behind (thanks, in part, to its reincarnation of The Brady Bunch). Kids list comedies as their favorite show genre-most said the number one reason they watch TV is because it makes them laugh.

Rugrats (Nick) won an easy gold medal as favorite kids show. Tommy Pickles and the rest of the Rugrats have garnered a substantial following of baby-watchers (kids love those little guys). They also crowned Tommy as king of the animated characters. Alyssa, age 10, told us why: ‘He likes adventures like I do, and he always goes on them even if Chuckie says no.’

The Brady Bunch (Nick) placed second in the fave show category (not bad for a 30-year-old series). The Bradys were also named favorite TV family, beating out the Simpsons. The kids’ reasoning was priceless: they like watching a big family being nice to one another.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch (ABC – TGIF) rounded out the top three. Why? Sabrina does magic and her cat can talk. Sabrina was also elected favorite ‘real-life’ character.

When we compared TV ratings to the above popularity poll, the two seemed to correspond. But one-third of our panel agreed that more educational ‘science shows’ are needed. Kids love shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy (ABC) and the Magic School Bus (Fox) because they make learning fun. Our poll participants also want more kid/teen sitcoms and dramas. Ari, age 9, explains. ‘I would like to see shows for kids that are not cartoons that are about kids.’

Two of a Kind (ABC), known as the ‘new Olsen twins show,’ and Animorphs (Nick) tied for kid awareness among the new fall shows. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen win again for starring in the show kids are looking forward to the most.

What kids said:

We asked each of our kids to create a TV series of their own. It didn’t take long for them to invent creative shows with great titles, intricate plots and, for the most part (you gotta love kids), starring their very favorite characters: themselves. Here are the details:

‘Stephanie’s Game Show – Players have to pick from categories and answer questions about different things. Kind of like Jeopardy, but for kids. They could win anything that they want!!! That would be cool. They would have to wear special clothes and good luck charms. I would be the host.’ Stephanie, age 8, New York

‘My show would be a cartoon for kids called The Cave Age, with a mom named Jana, a dad named Dan and a girl named Cindy. It would be set in the past, in the times of the caveman, and there would be no cars or electricity. It would be more serious than a show like The Flintstones. It would show how they invented things to use.’ Caitlin, age 9, California

‘If I could invent my own TV show, it would be about living in the NYC housing projects. It would be called, Life in the Projects. There are five kids that the show centers around from different ethnic backgrounds and totally different family upbringings. The names of the kids would be Shavez, Steven, Marky, Paul and Peeper. They’re always getting into trouble, but not purposely, and they always think of fun and honest ways to get out of it. They are the best of friends, no matter what. This show would be different and cool because it would show what friendship is really about; plus, it would be based on a true life story.’ Shavez, age 12, New York

And finally, Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders meets Animorphs. . .

‘It would be about a family that went out camping (the Mackinsies). The teenage daughter, Kristen, finds a jewel down by the lake, and she picks it up and gets magic powers. With the jewel, she would have to fight evil villains to keep the world safe. Her family doesn’t know she has these powers. The show would be called The Magic Jewel. She would be able to talk to animals and animals could talk to her. The animals would help her fight the evil villains.’ Alex, age 8, Alaska

Next month:

Kid Think

listens as kids pan and praise

commercials aimed at them and talk about how they would design their own advertising spots.

About The Author


Brand Menu