Nick Jr. drama: Parents enraged over some cartoons "retiring"

Do you care what's on Nick Jr? I mean, I assume you don't want your toddler watching violent murder scenes or Rush Limbaugh rants, but children's programming could be a blank screen for all I care because I use TV for getting a chance to clean the kitchen and check my email. Apparently my simply not giving a crap is not universal because shiz is going downtown on the Nick Jr. Facebook page. Apparently the network decided to retire Moose and Zee, the nasally, somewhat pathetic woodland duo who teach kids big words between shows. Have you fallen asleep yet? Here are a few sample comments from the Nick Jr. Facebook page:

"I really hope they listen to our parental cries here, I mean we do and can control THEIR RATINGS! sink or swim nick jr? YOU CHOOSE! Bring back moose and zee!"

"You claim to appreciate all our comments. However the big question is: Will You Listen And Reconsider These Changes You've Made? The online petitions, the many emails I'm sure Nick Jr is receiving, the countless comments.... Do they matter? Are we even being heard or just blown off and ignored?

"What ticks me off is the way it was presented to us. Oh wait it wasnt presentd [sic] to us they just fell off the planet! When Steve left Blues Clues we got warning so we could prepare."

"Thoughtful Feedback?" How bout a nice STFU Nick Jr!"

Woah, pipe down there, soldier. Maybe if you didn't spend all day in front of the TV, your life would have meaning outside a cartoon Moose and his Silent-Bob-seeming sidekick. Cartoons are not real people! You do not need to prepare for their retirement! Prepare for your own retirement!

Not that I don't let my kids watch TV, they watch Nick Jr. a little bit every day, but there are other components to our life like swing sets and wrestling things out of Buh-Stell's mouth. I didn't even notice the stupid moose was gone until I saw this go down. Let's read more.

"Your actions are teaching our babies that it is okay to desert and walk out on people or things one cares about."

"[T]his is like the best friend next door picking up and leaving overnight [ . . .] Heartbreaking!!!"

Okay, this is just getting sad. Remember these are gown adult people internet-fighting about a cartoon going off the air. It's not even a show, but a little repetitive whiny moose whose entire body of work includes like three vocab words and two puzzles. This is some Brony level of drama. I need a drink.

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This is real. Hey, have you guys heard that a guy who thinks higher education is "snobby" won three states in the Republican primaries today? Maybe it's time to turn the channel.

Filed under: Freeks, Rage Against The TV

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  • This reads like a parody. I'm actually surprised I didn't notice as Nick Jr. is on in our house a lot, sadly.

    As long as they don't take away the parentless bunnies Max & Ruby I'm okay with it.

  • In reply to Yoga Mom:

    Or that smartass Olivia. Shut your face, pig, you are NOT the center of the universe.

  • We haven't graduated past PBS yet (hello, no commercials!) but hey, change is good and every now and then things need to be shaken up to keep life interesting. But seriously, who are these people who care THAT much?

  • In reply to themamabeth:

    Nick. Jr. doesn't have commercials either - come over to the dark side :)

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    Way to miss the point completely. If we are able, for a moment, step away from the lame "brony" comparison and look at the real issue at hand. One that may not have been missed if you weren't too busy being flip. The real issue is about supplemental educational tools being pushed aside for CG flash with no substance. The Moose and Zee characters were great for teaching the building blocks to younger children. This is apart of a larger trend of flash over substance. As consumers and parents, why shouldn't we get upset with this move by Nick Jr. You may be fine with turning on whatever when you have to check email, but a lot of us aren't. Where Moose and Zee taught basic shapes, letters, songs, community, friendship, politeness, and all the other concepts that most parents want reinforced when we choose to expose them to television, Nick Jr. replaced with mindless adverts. And, if you would of taken the time to read through more of the comments than the one's you found humorous, you would of seen that there is a wide range of reasons children became attached to these characters. Some children are on the autism spectrum and one child was actually speaking more by singing with Moose and Zee. There were quite a few stories that rang similar. Some children are just lonely for some reason and Moose and Zee were familiar and friendly. There are also, sadly, children whose parents do just sit them in front of the television all day. And good parents aren't perfect, why wouldn't we want a show that may fill some gaps we miss from time to time. But go ahead, be snarky and dismissive. Personally, as a proud father, I'm glad to have met parents from all areas, political stances, and parenting philosophies stand up against the over commercialisation of a great supplemental tool in education. And the unceremonious end to a lot of children's friend.

  • In reply to Jess Boldt:

    Why don't you just turn on PBS or watch Moose and Zee on You Tube?

    As for your insinuation that I just plop my kids in front of anything because I don't care about them is false. My point was that the plopping is for such a short few minutes that we don't sink ourselves into the world of Nick Jr. programming.

    You do make a great point about the children of more neglectful parents who do set their kids in front of the TV, but Nick Jr. can't take the fries out of their hands too. If this were PBS? Hell yes, I'd be writing those letters too and getting myself all in a jumble. But it's not, Nick Jr. is a private company and there are more options to entertain kids than TV.

    You guys ought to check out the library. It's a fun place and there are zero commercials!

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    We are a family that does encourage reading. That includes going to the library. So are we engaging in assumptions? Which by the tone of your article, you are well versed in.

    So why would PBS (Which we actually enjoy and donate to) deserve your letters and anger if they changed from an educational platform to a commercial and not Nick Jr.? Because one is publicly funded (and rightly so, IMHO) and one is consumer based? I fail to see how that changes the metric. In fact, as consumers, don't we have a right to complain when we feel the product starts lacking in the quality we expect? In fact, isn't that one of the more productive aspects of social networking? Instead of companies tha

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    In reply to Jess Boldt:

    t keep skimming from the product, we stand up and demand better.

    And besides that, who are you to judge the reasons for why people are upset about this? As stated before, there are many reasons people came to that forum and got together. To assume it's a bunch of entitled, library avoiding, tv babysitting, whinny parents, take the time to see the larger issues at hand. Maybe, instead of writing a snarky blog because, what I can only assume, is that you thought you found an easy target on a clear cut issue that bordered on absurdity in your view, take time to to understand the entire issue.

  • In reply to Jess Boldt:

    Herein lies the audacity of consumers. An entertainment company doesn't owe you anything. A *government* program funded by tax dollars you have no choice but to pay does. Raise all the hell about PBS you want. But Nick. Jr. doesn't take a cent from you against your will. You have the freedom to cancel your cable or even express your opinion, but when it gets into the realm of "you owe me something and are harming my children" it has crossed the line.

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    The audacity of consumers? So is that some sort of Ayn Randian laissez faire market place argument? If you haven't noticed, parents are moving away from Nick Jr.. So, if consumers purchase a product, they forfeit their right to assemble and complain because they paid for it? So, it's a matter of audacity to complain for getting lesser quality? All that attitude does is create a culture of mediocrity. A market environment where "meh" becomes good enough. What is wrong with parents demanding a better learning tool from Viacom?

    But none of that speaks to the points made earlier about those kids who have grown close to these characters, for many reasons. And it's extremely short sided and self-absorbed to write those reasons off based on your assumptions. Why chose to live in such a small world where you can place a template over others reasoning for doing things like this? Instead of taking a careful eye to understand a micro social phenomenon, you chose to paint over it with your own stereotypes of the parent who relies solely of television to baby sit their children. Your previous comment regarding "take the fries out of their hands" is evidence of your cookie cutter mentality regarding parenting. If not a deceleration of assumptions, please explain what that comment had to do with anything.

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    In reply to Jess Boldt:

    "As for your insinuation that I just plop my kids in front of anything because I don't' care about them is false."

    I never said you didn't care about your kids. Just that you may not be concerned what they watch. There is a difference.

    "...but children's programming could be a blank screen for all I care because I use TV for getting a chance to clean the kitchen and check my email."

  • In reply to Jess Boldt:

    Is "meh" good enough? Apparently to people who let their kids be zombified in front of the television. Over-comsumption of TV is the definition of "meh" parenting. I made the remark about the fries because you expressed concern over the suffering of children whose parents overuse TV instead of parenting. Nick. Jr. can't solve those woes. It's not the television companies' job to raise your kids, it's the parents'.

    We're not talking about school or public television where all of your misguided rage would make sense. We're talking about cable TV that isn't responsible for teaching morals and vocabulary to your children.

    Solution: Parents should interact with their kids more and watch less TV. Maybe they will become attached to the characters in their home instead of Moose and Zee - like most children. The parents who are mad over they Moose and Zee thing are in the vast minority.

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    Wow, stawman much? Of course over exposure to television is bad. Of course children need interaction. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who on the Occupy Nick Jr. page would disagree with either of those statements. And if you weren't so busy avoiding the points made to save face (or whatever) then you would of clearly understood that. You would of perhaps gotten to better know the reasoning behind Occupy Nick Jr. instead of beating the same out of tune drum again and again.

    I'm sure other parents greatly appreciate your generalizations and assumptions. It must be amazing to be so wise and all seeing to know that every parent who is upset with the lose of valuable supplemental.... again, supplemental learning tool that was replaced by commercialization believe that television should raise their kids. And that their kids are obviously are zombified because we allow the occasional educational television in their lives. Why aren't you out teaching parenting classes?

    Sorry, I thought it I communicated in snark and sarcasm, you would be able to, maybe, just maybe, comprehend these concepts. But if you don't care what is on children's television, why are you even wasting your wordsmith genius on a snarky post that does nothing but make asinine assumptions and gross generalizations about caring parents? Maybe you should take some time and do some real journalism, if you are capable of functioning beyond and amateur blog standard. Talk to the parents, get a story. Go beyond your already made up assumptions and show some vague sense of intellectual curiosity and emotional understanding.

    Or just be happy with your snarky, fly-by, Steppford-esque, hit piece that seems to amuse you so. Quite honestly, I don't care, nor do I have any more time or attention to give to this matter.

  • In reply to Jess Boldt:

    So you challenge me to a higher journalistic standard and you're fighting a war on Nick. Jr. eliminating a passing character who appears for what? Five minutes a day?

    You seem like a very intelligent person. In all sincerity I'd love to see you go to bat for real causes that actually matter. Like public schools. WHERE are the Jess Boldts when it comes to wading through union problems, budget cuts and the problem of teaching to the test?

    If you're this bent up over Moose & Zee while your kids are young, I do feel honored to have you amongst us when our kids go to school. Hats off to your efforts.

  • I so hate this about America these days. Social media has given rise to the vocal minority.

    Additionally free speech is under attack mostly from the groups that said they are progressives and used to protect it violently.

    Just because you disagree with either someone's words OR what cable/network TV does with their OWN business does not give you right to threaten their livelihoods. They have a right to be ignorant, or in this case, make business decisions and you have a right to turn the channel, not support them or their sponsors and in the end, if you and your vocal minions DO have the impact you like to threaten about, then it'll change.

    I watch SouthPark (and the Simpsons) and both took HEAVY FIRE for their content and material but their bosses stood behind them, weathered the storms and they are still as strong as ever and frankly, as offensive as they can be. It's the media owners and advertisers who cow-tow to perceived majority pressure that give the minority the power they think they have and ruin it for all the rest of us.

    We watch a fair amount of Nick, Jr. in our house and my son hasn't even realized that this 1 minute blip between shows is gone. He couldn't care less.

  • I banned a commenter for claiming I need a visit from the Dept. of Youth and Family Services . . . because in the 15 minutes my kids watch TV a day they don't form dependent relationships on cartoons to teach them things.

    This world? Clearly screwed. Someone wants to call CPS on a parent for not thinking it's a big deal that a cartoon moose is going away on cable TV.

    My daughter is in preschool, play group, ballet and gymnastics. We read. We go to the play ground. We play. If that makes me a horrible mother, then I'll be a horrible mother all day and you can watch television until your eyes rot out.

  • Ok first of all I take offense that you used my comment (the first one) and then mocked me when you don't even know me. It was meant to be playful in attempt to get back my daughter's favorite characters not to "fight". I know it's not the end of the world but hey if can voice my opposition I will and certainly can. And as for me turning off the television and going to the library, we frequent the library often but unlike most women who are SAHM's and have the time to do this I was earning my advanced degree so often times between my work and getting my degree my daughter did frequently watch moose and zee. It certainly didn't do her harm considering she has already advanced a grade beyond and is in the gifted program. I do agree there are plenty of people who are going overboard with this, posting curse words is unnacceptable but I was simply going for a more humorous approach, I felt there was truth in what I said, we can control their ratings, it's not harming anyone and I think you are making yourself look just as silly as the parents you are making fun of. I am an educated woman and my daughter is gifted and is involved in gymnatics,dance, cheer, and softball as well as girl scouts so I don't think I Should have to defend myself on her television watching. So what that she wants moose and zee back? She's a kid! I was simply commenting on behalf of her.

  • In reply to danielle1446:

    I'm glad you got the chance to defend yourself. Please note I did not publish your name or attack you personally, I chose your quote because it's emotionally charged and demonstrates the intensity of your collective POV without profanity.

  • I agree completely with Jess. While it is within your rights, it is ignorant to see something like the wall on Nick Jr. and make a post on your assumptions/opinions formed as if they are the end-all (do you have any company there, in the minority party?). But frankly I don't think, Jenna, that anything you say will have any impact. I mean, what do you have to lose/win? You admitted you don't mind either way what's on the screen. So to you, new Nick Jr. is fine, and old Nick Jr. was fine. If people want to post about their experiences and their children's relationships with a fictional character who teaches them and sings songs with them, then great--the world's not going to fall apart. But to form assumptions and generalizations and judge them is a whole other thing.
    We all have lives, busy-not busy, complicated-relaxed, whatever. The point is that no matter where we fall, we will always be certain to fail our children at some point and another. If I know I won't have the time to sit my child down and talk to them about how you can't pet a strange dog or bite your friends or even to go over shapes and colors thoroughly, then I'd be glad for something that can do that successfully AND hold my child's attention. I think the shows on Nick Jr. are/were a great learning tool. I look back fondly on my years spent watching Mr. Rodgers and Barney and Lamb Chops and all the Wee Sing videos. I'd be a totally different person today if my parents hadn't made me watch such informative television shows at an age where my mind was a sponge. I shudder to think that in 20 years my kids will look back on their first memories of television and not have the fond memories of learning and opportunities for imagination and creativity. And if parents are fighting so hard for their kids now, at this age, then GOOD FOR THEM. It may be silly to you, overly dramatic, whatever. But I think if parents are fighting for their kids right to an education (on television though it may be), then they are doing more than the government who is probably frankly, patting Nick Jr. on the back right now. And you're right, there are other networks out there--private ones, public ones, etc. The point is, Nick Jr. presented itself as this great learning tool for your children of a specific age that cared about their growth and education. This whole almost, bait-n-switch, is like a slap in the face. Okay we got you, now we're going to give you something else and you're going to like it because it at least looks good.
    No thanks, Nick Jr. Really. My kids will be watching Veggie Tales and old Disney movies and PBS.

  • In reply to salvo87:

    The plot thickens: I saw the press release today about Nick Jr's rebranding with the help of an agency called Gretel.

    Now I see the problem as the marketing strategy of the brand has shifted from "Preschool on TV" to a focus on older children, a demographic largely covered by Nickelodeon and other stations. THAT I can see begin something to stand up about.

    At the time I wrote this, nearly all public complaints were focused strictly on Moose and Zee, a detail I don't see as important. Changing the entire content of the station to focus on an older age group, abandoning the desires of younger clientele? Much more impacting.

    Perhaps I will do a follow-up post. Not sure yet. I haven't made too many friends with this ordeal.

  • This would almost be acceptable, if it weren't for the fact that you're incorrect in stating that nearly all complaints were about Moose and Zee. Even in the comments section here it seems that you were informed of the bigger picture, and you did nothing but argue, belittle and make assumptions about these parents who cared enough to protest this change...

  • In reply to Jeni:

    No, it's pretty much all "Moose & Zee 4EVER" over there and yes, I think it's pretty stupid. The press release is new information that (surprise!) I'm not going to follow up on because this is a clusterfuck that devolved into someone threatening to turn me into Child Protective Services. For people who call yourselves good people, that was nice. Guess what? Comments are hereby closed. Go start your own blog to fight your own battles. Good day!

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