Anticipating ABC’s recent decision to cancel its tween-targeted TGIF Friday night lineup, Nickelodeon has announced that it will extend its Friday U Pick Nick block by another hour starting September 15.
Currently, programming for the 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. block is chosen by kid viewers, who vote by phone or on Nick.com to see their favorite shows. Cyma Zarghami, Nick executive VP and GM, remains hard to pin down about specific content plans for the new 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot, although she admits it could very well feature more of the same.
‘What we have left ourselves is some flexibility,’ she says. ‘If we believe that Friday nights would benefit from an original block, then we’ll do that, but we’re probably going to go with U Pick Nick.’
The strategy behind the extension, according to Zarghami, is primarily to ‘be where the kids are,’ a goal that becomes more important given that the cancellation of TGIF means many kids will be looking for a new place to park their eyeballs on Friday nights. Nick is also looking for a better transition between its staple kids fare and its adult-targeted nighttime lineup by providing more co-viewing opportunities for kids and their parents. To that end, the net has tinkered with its weekday lineup, starting its Nick at Night block at 8:30 p.m. from Monday through Thursday with shows that both demos can enjoy, such as Full House and The Facts of Life.