Second Fall Casualty: Kid Nation?

by Paul William Tenny

I wouldn't bet against it unless you're looking to short the market on this one. Nikki Finke wrote on her site that advertisers are deserting CBS' controversial reality show Kid Nation that places kids - not teenagers but actual kids - in charge of running their own town with little to no adult supervision. The only thing I can't seem to figure out is who is real bad guy here, CBS for exploiting children for entertainment dollars, or the kids parents for involving them in this crap in the first place.

Have you heard that Fox launched into copy-cat mode with a show where kids are tasked with creating their own armies and developing war plans? You know, gangs basically. I don't have any information on that but Keith Olbermann mentioned it on Countdown a few nights ago and I was just appalled, but is anyone actually surprised?

Says Finke, "Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Ford Motor, Verizon Communications, Pepsi-Cola and Anheuser-Busch" have all dropped spot ads on Kid Nation which isn't all that surprising, though I disagree with Nikki in that I don't think they should be given a pat on the back for this. These companies undoubtedly spent a lot of time scrutinizing this show while trying to decide if it was going to be worth their dollars in the first place, and it's not like some secret nugget of information was discovered in CBS' corporate trash bin.

This show was junk from the get-go, and all these companies signed up initially. Right up until people started complaining. Pat on the back? I think not. If you want to rank their deserving punishment by severity, the companies still hanging in there deserve a swift kick in the nuts. P&G and the rest need a stern palm to the back of the head. Only the companies that looked and then used their conscience and opted to take their money elsewhere truly deserve kudos.


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