Network to market series to students, teachers

CBS is taking its marketing message for “Kid Nation” directly to the show’s target audience: kids.

Without fanfare, net has set up screenings of its controversial reality show at a number of elementary schools around the country. Students, parents and teachers have been invited to screenings set up by local CBS stations in major markets such as Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and Denver.

Net is exposing the show to potential viewers even though it’s decided against making copies of the first episode of “Kid Nation” available to crix. It’s not uncommon for nets to withhold review copies of reality shows, going all the way back to the Eye’s decision against mailing tapes of “Survivor” to journos back in 2000.

But by screening the show for kiddie crix, CBS is bypassing traditional media in an effort to build positive buzz. And by linking those screenings to its local stations, the Eye has given those outlets a good excuse to do news stories on the screenings — further hyping the show.

“Kid Nation” debuts Wednesday.

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