MTV announced this week that at the close of 2007, Noggin and The N will split, each becoming their own 24-hour channel. If you’ve ever had a toddler who demanded shows on Noggin, you know that horrible sinking feeling of 6:00 PM rolling around, patience wearing thin, and the favorite channel suddenly changing from friendly faces to bright lights and twanging guitars in preparation for a tween crowd rather than a field of preschoolers.
The truth is that it’s been a while since my children relied on Noggin for their television requirements. Nowadays, they’re all about Cartoon Network and ABC Family. And whatever billion episodes of their favorite shows they’ve recorded on the DVR. Given that I don’t let them watch TV nearly often enough (according to them, anyway), when they’re given the chance to veg out in front of the set they’re looking for something a little deeper than what Dora might have in her backpack today.
But there was a time—and it doesn’t seem all that long ago, frankly—when Noggin was the key to my sanity. Times were different, back then. For one thing, I was still idealistic and believed that commercials would harm my precious developing babies. (Now I know that commercials harm them, but, eh, they’re big enough already.) When I discovered Noggin in all of its commercial-free goodness I fell to my knees and thanked the heavens for a channel that provided hours of non-commercial kiddie goodness without ever lapsing into home improvement shows. (Sorry, PBS. It’s nothing personal.)
On those rare occasions when my kids were sick or I really could’ve used another round of kids’ shows past dinnertime, the transformation of the normally innocuous Noggin into the teenybopper “The N” always annoyed me beyond measure. Why couldn’t they just be Noggin? Why did they have to be both?
Well, now they don’t have to be both. Both channels get their own home, which is awesome. And although my kids are a bit too old for Noggin, now, they’re fast approaching the right demographic to love The N. So I should probably look at the programming line up.
[Now I'm feeling all nostalgic for Little Bear. Even though his parents were always fully dressed and he ran around naked. (C'mon, admit it, that's weird.)]