Tweaks twist Kids’ Choice overseas

Nickelodeon Awards get international makeover

More than 200 million households worldwide watch the Kids’ Choice Awards — and that’s just the U.S. version.

Seven years ago, Nickelodeon began taking the KCAs on the road, engineering foreign replicas of the domestic original.

First it was Brazil, then three years later Mexico and Australia, followed by Holland and Sweden. In 2005 and 2006, China and Italy joined the list, with Germany and the United Kingdom jumping aboard this fall.

“Our international team has been going door to door teaching them how to do their own Kids’ Choice Awards with their own talent,” says Nickelodeon Intl. senior veep Steve Grieder, adding that countries are “taking the U.S. show … and making it their own.”

Tommy Lynch (“South of Nowhere”), the executive producer of the KCAs in China, agrees that tailoring the show makes it successful. He adds that the key is “to give them what they like, not give them what we like.”

Lynch experienced firsthand what it was like seeing Nickelodeon reach out internationally. The Chinese KCAs were complete “pandemonium” for almost three hours, he recalls.

Since China is a little more conservative, children making funny faces took the place of “best burp” award. And one aspect of the U.S. show wasn’t exactly understood upon the initial meeting with the country’s organizers.

“I’m going to be the first guy to slime in China,” Lynch said at the time.

The meeting room of confused faces was left silent as Lynch depicted the action of being slimed. The organizers ultimately understood, however, and it was a hit with the children, figuratively if not literally.

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