'iCarly': How Playing To Girls And Boys (But Not Adults) Helped Build A Hit : Monkey See Elizabeth Blair reports on a popular Nickelodeon show that you might never even hear about unless you have kids to watch it with. And we ask an open question about kids' entertainment that works on both boys and girls.
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'iCarly': How Playing To Girls And Boys (But Not Adults) Helped Build A Hit

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'iCarly': How Playing To Girls And Boys (But Not Adults) Helped Build A Hit

'iCarly': How Playing To Girls And Boys (But Not Adults) Helped Build A Hit

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/133462339/133475321" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, if you do know "iCarly," there's a reason.

ELIZABETH BLAIR: Unidentified Man #1: What was that?

BLAIR: Unidentified Man #2: No.

BLAIR: And then I scored.

HECTOR JIMINEZ: My five-year-old niece is obsessed with "iCarly," so she loves it.

BLAIR: And how about you?

JIMENEZ: I actually could get into it, yeah. They're constantly laughing, you know, with the different scenarios that they play.

BLAIR: Unidentified Woman #5 (Actor): (As character) Excellent question.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEVISION PROGRAM, "ICARLY")

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DAN SCHNEIDER: If you don't have any kids in your life, there is chance you don't know show or haven't even heard of it.

BLAIR: Dan Schneider is "iCarly's" executive producer. He's worked with the 'tween audience for years. He created "Drake & Josh" and "Zoey 101." Nickelodeon's target audience ranges from as young as six to 14. But Schneider says he tailors "iCarly" to older kids.

SCHNEIDER: I felt like if I'm getting 13, 14, 15 and 16-year-olds, then the younger kids are just going to come along for the ride because they're going to want to do what their big sisters and brothers are doing.

BLAIR: Boys and girls alike watch "iCarly." According to Nielsen, boys are about 45 percent of its audience. The male characters might explain its popularity with boys. Spencer is Carly's off-the-wall older brother.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEVISION PROGRAM, "ICARLY")

JERRY TRAINOR: Unidentified Woman #6 (Actor): (As character) Yeah, sure.

TRAINOR: Unidentified Woman #6: (As character) You promised you'd stop drinking milk in the shower.

TRAINOR: (As character) Stop trying to change me.

BLAIR: Spencer is also Carly's guardian. The parents are gone. In fact, you don't see grown-ups much on the show. In the same way Dan Schneider doesn't play down to young children, he also isn't playing to adults.

SCHNEIDER: I have definitely avoided the parents in my shows. And I avoid adults as - let's put it this way - I don't bring adults onto the show and have them be a drag because I want kids to love the shows. And the thing is, my shows are about kids, and they're about kids winning and about kids taking power over their lives and doing cool, fun things.

BLAIR: Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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