It’s Saturday morning. Do you know where your parents are?
They may be watching, of all things, Discovery Kids on NBC.
This lineup, which launched last October, replaced the Peacock’s longtime slate of teen programming, dubbed TNBC. TNBC’s heyday was during the early 1990s, but by the 2000-2001 season its ratings had dropped significantly and the median viewing age of the block had climbed to 41.1.
These days, the new Discovery slate has seen marked improvement, kidwise, across the board.
The three-hour Saturday a.m. block consists of half-hour skeins “Prehistoric Planet,” “Croc Files,” “Operation Junkyard,” “Endurance,” “Scouts Safari” and “Strange Days at Blake Holsey High.”
Season to date, the rating among kids 2-11 is up 40%, while the key boys 6-11 demo has increased by 75%.
But those aren’t the only numbers on the rise. Despite the targeting of kids with the new programming block, NBC’s Saturday morning median age has creeped up to 41.7. Adults 65+ make up 19% of the block’s audience, up 6% from last year. Kids 2-11 compose 13%.
This makes the Peacock’s viewers significantly older than the competish. Top-rated nets Nick (9.8), Kids WB (12.4) and ABC Family (12.6) all hit their target audience. But Discovery’s (perhaps appropriately named) “Prehistoric Planet” show pulls in a median viewing age of 50.6. By comparison, the median age tuning into top-rated “SpongeBob Squarepants” on Nick is 10.
“We do want to attract more kids,” agrees Marjorie Kaplan, senior VP and general manager of Discovery Kids. She attributes part of the rise in median age to co-viewing.
“One of the reasons we got into the kids business is that we saw a whole lot of kids watching Discovery with their parents,” she explains. “It’s not surprising that we have a lot of parents watching now with their kids.”
As a new destination, and with the Saturday edition of the “Today Show” for a lead in, Kaplan knows the net will have to continue to work hard to attract a younger demo — and the advertisers that follow them.
“Our goal is to lower that average and bring kids in,” she says. “I’m not concerned about driving away adults.”