THE WORST TV-RELATED ANNOUNCEMENT SINCE "COMING UP NEXT: A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE OF 'PRIVATE PRACTICE'"

Transformers2007vv6vr4 Discovery Communications announced that it will replace its Discovery Kids network with a new channel jointly owned and operated by Hasbro. The toy giant will invest $300 million to obtain a 50% share of the new channel, whose lineup is expected to feature wall-to-wall shows based on company properties like Tonka, My Little Pony, G.I. Joe and the Transformers.

An ownership share of a network targeting children is "just a logical next step," said Brian Goldner, chief executive of Hasbro. But to the surprise of absolutely no one, groups looking out for quality children's television are concerned that the company has just bought itself a channel which goes into 60 million homes. Commercial Alert says that the network "sounds like nothing more than a scheme to deliver program-length advertisements to children," and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said it "will make a mockery of existing ad limits."

Discovery, however, defended the deal, business-wise, as part of its plan to sell low-rated networks in its stable which still have value because of their widespread carriage on the nation's cable systems. Further, a Discovery executive said, the new network will have quality, meaningful programming for children. He began to add that the new channel will also devote a certain number of hours per day to educational programming, until a Hasbro executive standing nearby did that Sith Lord thing where he sticks out two fingers, slowly moves them closer together, and makes a guy choke to death.

[PS: Low-rated or not, we'll still miss Discovery Kids, its peppy morning show Hi-5, and that show's super-coolest cast member, Jennifer.]

May 7, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack | Subscribe to RSS

FREELANCE DAD: NATURALLY BETTER AT PARENTING. JUST ASK HIS WIFE

OK, that's actually the subhead that Parent & Child magazine put on our latest column, on newsstands now. Although in the piece, we do tell people who've never been in our apartment why we're so much better at parenting than anyone else we live with. Here's an excerpt:

<<My wife is a wonderful parent. I tell you that because she’s standing over my shoulder as I write this. OK, I’m also telling you because I love her and because it’s true. She adores our three kids, ages 2, 6, and 8. She takes them on trips, cooks with them, and keeps them in new shoes.

But when it comes to day-to-day parenting, I’m better at it than she is. That might be a surprising thing to hear a dad say, but here’s my case: I do more. I pack their lunches, indulge their nightly pile-ons, and monitor their homework. They look to me for comfort and laughs and, when necessary, discipline. I know the songs they like best and the t-shirts that make them itch.

How did I get here? I was a part-time, at-home dad for much of my oldest son’s first four years. Also, my jobs have tended to be less demanding than my wife’s. Then there’s the fact that I’m more immature and neurotic than she is — which sets me up perfectly both to play Stratego with them after bedtime and keep up with all the memos from their schools [more  . . . .]

May 7, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Subscribe to RSS

A PRISM HAS ALWAYS WORKED FOR US

This note came home in Fellow's backpack today:

Come to a Parenting Workshop in the Library

Breaking Patterns: How to Diffuse Power Struggles with Your Child

May 4, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Subscribe to RSS

FOR THE LAST TIME: DON'T LET YOUR DAUGHTER PUT THE JONAS BROTHERS IN HER MOUTH!

 

77521166e817_Main200Hasbro's Tooth Tunes promise "Music in Your Mouth" for your kids, especially the ones who are physically unable to spend 120 seconds away from Disney-sanctioned tween pop.

HE'S REPORTEDLY LINED UP RUSSELL CROWE TO PLAY THE WHEELBARROW, HARRISON FORD TO PLAY THE TOP HAT AND JESSICA SIMPSON AS COMMUNITY CHEST

Ridley Scott has signed to direct the screen version of Monopoly, promising to give the board game "a futuristic sheen" along the lines of his classic, Blade Runner. In other news, Bryan Singer will direct Boggle, promising to give it "a suspenseful sheen" along the lines of his classic The Usual Suspects, and M. Night Shyamalan is in talks to helm Chutes and Ladders, promising to make it "a piece of crap," like The Happening.

May 3, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Subscribe to RSS