PBS scores big with Daytime Emmy awards

Just in case you missed it, the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were given our last Friday, and many of our favorite kid’ shows were recognized for excellence. PBS topped the list with 10 awards; for example, Sesame Street won “Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series,” bringing that show’s total Emmy count to seventy gagillion*.

Other awards of note to those of us with ankle-biters in the house:

  • Curious George won “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program”
  • The Backyardigans won “Outstanding Special Class Animated Program”
  • Wonder Pets won “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition”
  • Both Greatest Inventions with Bill Nye and Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild won for “Outstanding Children’s Series”
  • Between the Lions won “Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series”
  • “Outstanding Writing in Animation” went to both Peep and the Big Wide World and WordGirl

There are other awards, of course, but those are the ones of greatest interest to me. Of course, if you’re deeply moved by the Emmy The Price Is Right won for make-up, well then, to each his own. (My reaction, upon reading that: “Wait… The Price Is Right is still on the air? Isn’t Bob Barker 104?”)

Anyway, it was a pretty exciting day for some great children’s shows. Congratulations to all the winners!

* A “gajillion” is not really a number. Sesame Street has, in fact, won 117 Daytime Emmys, which is very close to seventy gajillion.

Pirate Week on Nickelodeon

If you’ve got a preschooler in the house, good news—next week Nick Jr. is hosting Pirate Week!

And really, who doesn’t love pirates? No one who’s any fun, right?

It may not be quite as much fun as International Talk Like a Pirate Day (sorry, that’s not until September), but starting June 9th, 2008, your little darlings will be able to enjoy a week of pirate-themed episodes of their favorite shows.

It’s all being kicked off with a special episode wherein The Backyardigans go to camp:

The young audience and early education television programming block Nick Jr. continues to send springtime adventures to audiences early this year, as it schedules an early June broadcast of a new episode of The Backyardigans sets to air. A fantasy-adventure series that sets its characters’ escapades to song and dance, The Backyardigans, during the second full week of June, will accompany other Nick Jr. programs during a week of pirate-themed television cartoons. Nick Jr. is a specially designed programming block airing on Nickelodeon weekdays from 9:00am-2:00pm (ET). The programming block is dedicated to preschoolers, is curriculum based, and best-of-all, commercial free.


In “Pirate Camp,” Uniqua really wants to be a pirate, so she convinces a fearful Pablo to join her at Camp Walk-A-Planka. Under the tutelage of the great pirate captain Austin, the campers learn about “pirattitude” and dance the scalawag to a Garage Band soundtrack. When Austin is captured by pirate captain Red Boots, a fearsome ghost played by Tasha, it’s up to the pirate campers to use their “pirattitude” to help set him free. But can they escape being tickled and turned into ghosts by captain Red Boots?

There will also be themed episodes of your other favorites—Wonder Pets, Max and Ruby, and Dora the Explorer.

Your favorite preschoolers shows and piracy go together like… like… chocolate and peanut butter! Or maybe gum and hair, seeing as how we are talking about preschoolers…. Either way, it looks to be a great week of programming, matey!

The Backyardigans get positively medieval

Fans of The Backyardigans have less than a week to go before the next big hour-long movie event, “Tale of the Mighty Knights,” according to a recent press release:

[P]remiering Monday, Jan. 14 (7 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET/PT) [...] in “Tale of the Mighty Knights,” royal knights Uniqua and Tyrone are ready to do mighty deeds in service to their King (Pablo). It seems like a pretty simple task until the King asks them to babysit an egg, which grows legs and runs away! A rock opera soundtrack moves the action along as the knights pursue their egg in Goblin Land and encounter a grabbing goblin (Austin), through Fairyland where they meet a tiny and mischievous fairy (Tasha), and finally to Dragon Mountain where they face a mighty baby dragon (Adam Pascal). Will the knights conquer their greatest challenge yet?

And as if that isn’t exciting enough, the movie will spawn a live stage show, too:

Based on the primetime special, The Backyardigans Live! will follow the success of previous Nickelodeon touring shows Go, Diego, Go Live! and Dora The Explorer Live!. The Backyardigans Live! tour will visit over 50 cities across the USA kicking off in York, Pennsylvania on March 28, 2008. Nickelodeon’s live stage shows have been among the top grossing touring family shows at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

During Backyardigans Live!, Pablo, Uniqua, Tasha, Tyrone and Austin will need the audience’s help as they face a mighty dragon and return the egg to the king. The stage show will have the entire family singing, dancing and laughing along to songs from the rock opera.

Other scheduled tour stops include: New York, NY; Boston, Massachusetts; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; Camden, New Jersey; Atlanta, Georgia; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tampa, Florida, San Antonio, Texas; and Houston, Texas. For schedule information visit http://www.nickjr.com.

Personally, I always find live versions of animated characters to be a bit frightening. (Then again, I’m also scared of clowns. Draw your own conclusions.) But with the wild success of the Backyardigans (not to mention the music being something adults can enjoy without bleeding eardrums), my guess is the stage show will be wildly successful.

Rock on, Backyardigans!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (at Nickelodeon)

As if it isn’t enough that this is the season when all of the old favorite holiday specials are on television, the regular programming schedule is getting a little jolt of the holiday spirit, as well. I am especially loving this on account of my family’s recent relocation to warmer climes.

(Those of you who’ve always lived where it’s still arcing into the 70s in December may be used to this, but we aren’t. A few holiday television shows featuring plenty of yuletide glee along with some snow are just what the doctor ordered.)

Anyway, Nickelodeon is running all sorts of great stuff this month. Tomorrow (that’s Friday, December 14th, 2007) your preschooler can get into the spirit all afternoon long:

December 14 (12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

12:00 p.m. The Wonder Pets! “Save the Reindeer”
12:30 p.m. Blue’s Clues “Blue’s First Holiday”
1:00 p.m. Go, Diego, Go! “Diego Saves Christmas”
1:30 p.m. Wow Wow Wubbzy! “O Figgity-Fig Tree/Snow Day” (PREMIERE)

The winter holidays are here, and the kids are building a winter festival, Madame Zabinga is rehearsing the Nutty-Nutcracker, and Walden is waiting for the arrival of blue snow. Best of all is the lighting of the Figgity-Fig Tree, and this year Wubbzy wants to make it the best tree ever! But as usual, he overdoes it by adding too many lights and blows out the generator. Without any lights, the Wuzzleburg townspeople must come up with novel ways of decorating the tree. In “Snow Day,” Wubbzy goes sledding and Widget brings out his snow-shoveling machine. Walden begins building a snow sculpture of a Woly-Polar Bear, but soon Wubbzy sleds right into it, knocks it down and buries Widget’s machine in the snow. Now Wubbzy and Widget scramble frantically to fix the sculpture before Walden finds out.

Later on in the day, Christmas comes to the Wayside School:

Friday, December 14 – Wayside “Sideways Christmas” (PREMIERE)

“Extra-Curricular Ridicular”
All the kids are forming bizarre after-school clubs, except for Todd, who creates a plain old “Science Club.” Myron laughs at him, believing his club will be better, until he sees Todd’s club has managed to build a functioning rocket. Jealous Myron tries to form a “Science Club” and build a rocket of his own.

“Sideways Christmas”
A series of haphazard events confuse Myron into thinking he’s actually stuck in his own version of “The Christmas Carol.” The other kids are baffled as he mistakes them for Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and in the end, Myron learns his lesson.

On Sunday you’ll find a holiday-themed marathon taking place on Nick in the afternoon (featuring Spongebob, Jimmy Neutron, Danny Phantom, and others), and of course there’s plenty more holiday cartoon goodness as we move closer in towards Christmas. See the entire schedule here if you need to plan around your favorite shows.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Get ready for Shocktober on Nickelodeon

Oh, I know how you’re feeling. I do. “School just started again!” you’re lamenting. “It can’t possibly be time for Halloween mania already!” But alas, I am here to tell you that no matter how busy your days nor how perplexed you are over how this happened, October is almost here. And that means Halloween is coming.

(Do I even need to tell you that you need to be getting on the stick about buying costumes? Here, go have a look at this year’s stock at Ty’s before all the other slacker parents remember they need costumes. I’m partial to the Miss Spider costumes but my rotten children want something scary. Hmph.)

Anyway, the Halloween programming over at Nickelodeon has been announced, and there’s something for everyone, starting in just a couple of weeks. There’s iCarly and Naked Brothers Band and other TEENick offerings, and plenty of Nick Jr. options for the little ones (Wonder Pets, Backyardigans, Blues Clues, Max and Ruby, to name just a few) and everything in-between. Of particular interest (aside from the programming schedule):

Nickelodeon’s kids’ websites, Nick.com and Nicktropolis, will also dress up in costume to complement “Shocktober.” Throughout the month of October, Nick’s virtual world, Nicktropolis (http://www.nicktropolis.com), will transform its Downtown into a haunted destination featuring a Haunted House, Dracula’s Lair and The Mummy’s Tomb. Kids can visit a pumpkin patch and pick one to put in their personalized rooms, or play a brand new online multiplayer game as team werewolf or vampire, with a goal of persuading the other species to join their team.

Beginning Saturday, October 13, Nick.com will introduce a scream-themed mini-site — http://www.nick.com/shocktober — featuring scary games and videos for Halloween. Kids can log on and participate in the “Scare-acter Transformer” online kids’ game where they can transform their favorite Nicktoon character into a “Scare-acter” with scary parts or swapping body parts with other Nicktoon characters. The “scare-acters” can then be submitted online into the “Shocktober Halloween Parade,” and Nickelodeon will randomly pick some to display on the bottom of the screen during the on-air Halloween Day marathon on Wednesday, October 31.

So there’ll be plenty to do, next month, and only some of it will involve pumpkin guts. I know you’re relieved.