“Kid Nation”: The world didn’t come to an end after all

KidnationflagWith everything that’s gone on in the TV biz during the past two months, the uproar over CBS’ reality skein “Kid Nation” shortly before the show’s September premiere seems like such a tempest in a teapot.

All the overheated talk about “investigations” by the New Mexico state attorney general’s office petered out barely a week after the show premiered. A complaint from one parent about the show’s treatment of her daughter stirred up a media tsunami about the propriety of the show and whether it violated child labor laws with its premise (40 kids ages 8-15 are sent to a ghost town to live the rugged pioneer life with, ostensibly, no adult supervision) and filming sked.

Interestingly, the advance hubbub never did goose “Kid Nation” ratings. It opened modestly on Sept. 19 and has maintained an average of about 6 million-7 million viewers per week — not great but not a total bomb, either.

The “Kid Nation” finale is set to air tonight at 8 p.m. The denouement is about one contender claiming a cash prize but about a hands-on civics lesson to see if the their community will actually be able to function under the rules and systems that they’ve established through the weekly Town Council governing process.

Most important to “Kid Nation” creator/exec producer Tom Forman is the fact that none of the other families came forward with horror stories, and all the scrutiny of the show’s operations yielded nothing in the way of tangible evidence that he or the show did anything terribly wrong by its young stars.

“It’s a bizarre experience to open the New York Times and read that the newspaper of record is calling you a child abuser. It was head-spinning,” says Forman, who is a former journalist himself, and a father. “We knew what we had shot. We knew once people saw it they’d realize that it was much ado about nothing….We’re all really proud of the show. It’s what we said it would be all along — a show that will get kids thinking and talking about social issues.”

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  1. foo says:

    when will the show come on again?i heard they are not airing it again if they dont ill beat the crap out of them!its the best show every body watches it y wouldnt they show it again?

  2. Kate says:

    i think if a change of setting is wanted it should be in Australia !!! i know heaps of kids ( myself included ) who woul ddo anything to be on the show. i think having teh older kids is important because they comfort the younger kids, without them the kids would just want to go home in like only one week. please please please do another kid nation and bring it to Australia and FAST because i am turning 15 this year!!! and i sooooo want to go on the show

  3. abby says:

    I disagree with the whole less older kids thing. Greg brought a lot of issues to the group in the beginning (pushing Mike, Swearing), but later everyone loved it when he brought some order and became kind of a big brother. Sophia brought lots of ideas to the group. She was often the only person at the town council meetings who complained and stood up for what she wanted. Michael also made good speaches and brought order and good sense. On the younger side, we had taylor, who everyone must admit they loved. My favorite part of the show was when Taylor and Zach ran against eachother, and Zach won. I mean who doesn’t love Zach?? He got a lot of air time. Also, you came to love Alex who was probably the smartest kid there, and Jared, also intelligent but with a unique spin kind of. Also there was Mallory who was extremely cute, but you can’t have more than one of her. I think the cast of the first season of KN will be very hard to match. The group of kids was just so extraordinary. If there were too many younger kids on the show, it wouldn’t work, the older kids come up with different ideas, mediate and are better leaders, even if kids like alex are smarter.

  4. marcus rodriguez says:

    ahh i;m 11 years old and i;m dyning to be on your show kid nation2 and show my stuff

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