“Kid Nation” producer answers the $64,000 question

KidnationcouncilWhat kind of parent would let their child participate in “Kid Nation”?

This is the $64,000 question swirling around the CBS reality show that has gotten so much attention during the past few weeks from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the New Mexico attorney general’s office. (Variety also has weighed in.) More than the intricacies of the state’s child labor laws, more than the question of how and when CBS lawyers responded to inquiries from state officials, the big-picture issue hanging over “Kid Nation” has been the incredulous response provoked in many people by the show’s underlying premise: “40 Kids. 40 Days. No Parents.”

Show sent 40 kids, ages 8-15, to a ranch in a New Mexico ghost town to live in rustic conditions while establishing their own social order and “government” to set bed times, work skeds, chores and rules, etc.

My personal view of “Kid Nation” has been pretty dim (not being a fan of much reality-competish TV in general), fueled by the sense of over-my-dead-body righteousness that swells when I consider it not as a journo but as the mother of a rambunctious 6 1/2 year old girl.

So what kind of parent would respond to a reality TV producer from Hollywood asking them to enlist their kid in a parent-free social experiment in the painted desert — during the regular school year, no less? I asked that question of “Kid Nation” exec producer Tom Forman, and frankly I was surprised at how his thoughtful response and description of the conditions during the shoot, took a some of the air out of my indignation. (Not enough to change the over-my-dead-body sentiment as a parent but enough to be more open-minded about the show as a journo.)

“People have very different ideas about what kids are capable of. Certainly, there are parents who wouldn’t let their kids prepare a snack for themselves. Those parents wouldn’t sign their kids up for this show,” says Forman. “We assembled a group of incredibly articulate, incredibly intelligent and very independent kids. And they proved they were capable of much more than people could imagine.”

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  1. Mark says:

    I want to be on this show so badly but it dosnt air any more so please sign the petition so far it has 5015 signatures and please donate

  2. Natalie says:

    I am so with you i want to be on it too really badly!

  3. Alex Johnson says:

    I really wanna be in this show so baddd

  4. ali says:

    i want to be on kid nation soooo bad,so im going to do what ever it takes to get on,whos with me!!!comment me

  5. Alex says:

    Im am trying so hard to get on this show i think im gonna give myself a brain annurism!
    *winks* Alex

  6. Tami says:

    I love this show!!!!!! Olivia, Laurel, and Zach are some of the coolest kids I have ever seen!! BRAVO

  7. john says:

    I have one question how do you know abot the adution for shows like this. I guess waht I’m trying to say is how can I find out about show adution before they happen like I didn’t know that they were here in chicago look for kids for the show I would of loved to be on a survival show like this .but no doubt kid nation is a really good show in my eye and if any one has like info on up and coming show adutions like this can you email me johnsax4@yahoo.com and keep me updated thanks , kid nation Rocks!!!!!!!

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