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Turn us off, says Nickelodeon


Television is traditionally blamed for instigating and encouraging childhood laziness, but amidst the much-publicized war against childhood obesity and illiteracy, TV networks have no choice but to join in—and speak out against, well, themselves.

The Disney Channel has already featured High School Musical superstars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in short ad spots that encourage children to exercise their brains and pick up a book. The approach seems noble on Disney’s part, as a TV-viewing kid would most likely need to turn off the latest rerun of High School Musical in order to follow Efron’s and Hudgens’ advice.

Now, according to Reuters, Nickelodeon is taking this self-critical publicity to a new level. On September 29th, the fourth annual Worldwide Day of Play, the network and its sister channels will go dark from noon to 3pm. Thus Nickelodeon will not just imply that putting down the remote might be a good idea; it’s giving its young viewers no choice but to do so.

Arranging the blackout during prime TV viewing hours would of be an even more admirable strategy, but we nevertheless give Nickelodeon the thumbs up. Chances are that most parents will agree with us—and the kid-friendly network just might win over more fans. In moderation, of course.

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