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Author Topic: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?  (Read 4354 times)

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Offline TMC1982

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Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« on: October 09, 2007, 08:48:47 PM »
I'm pretty sure that was a contributing factor in why The CW is going to do away with Kids' WB in the coming year or so. It's Here's some background info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weekday_cartoon#Decline

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Telecommunications Act of 1996, relaxing radio and television ownership limits. But it would regulate children's television substantially. All television stations would be required to air three hours of educational and informative ("E/I") children's programming. With a few exceptions, however, the weekday cartoons were not considered E/I under the requirements. Also, the Federal Communications Commission regulated content in advertising, making selling such programming difficult on over-the-air stations. Cable channels would not be as regulated. In 1997, the decline of the weekday cartoon began. FCC regulations in children's programming resulted in complaints from local affiliates in terms of ability to make money airing cartoons.

Regardless of the new regulations, UPN attempted to run a teen sitcom block in 1997, only to end the following year. Warner Brothers would stop syndicating their vintage theatrical and made-for-TV cartoons to local stations in 1997, relegating those to cable. They still continued their Kids' WB! block for their affiliates.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_morning_cartoon#Current_state_of_Saturday_morning_cartoons

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While animated production is still present on most broadcast networks on Saturday mornings, it has been noticeably reduced. Because of FCC-mandated regulations that began in the mid-1990s, broadcast stations were forced to program a minimum of three hours of children's educational/informational ("E/I") programming.

To help their affiliates comply with the regulations, broadcast networks began to reorganize their efforts to adhere to the mandates, so its affiliates wouldn't bear the burden of scheduling the shows themselves on their own time.
NBC abandoned its Saturday morning cartoon lineup in 1992, replacing it with a Saturday morning edition of The Today Show and added an all live-action teen-oriented block, TNBC, which featured Saved By The Bell, California Dreams, and other teen comedies. Even though the educational content was minimal to nonexistent, NBC labelled all the live-action shows with an E/I rating.


CBS followed NBC's example by producing a Saturday edition of The Early Show in the first two hours of its lineup and an all live-action block of children's programming. The experiment lasted a few months, and CBS brought back their animated CBS Storybreak series.

In 2004, ABC was the last of the broadcast networks to add a Saturday morning edition of their morning news program, Good Morning America in the first hour of its lineup. Prior to that, especially through the 1990s, it was not uncommon for ABC affiliates to preempt part or all of ABC's cartoon lineup with local news programming.

"Netlets" like Fox and The WB carried little or no E/I programming, leaving the responsibility of scheduling the E/I shows to the affiliates themselves.

It really agonizes me because personally, I don't want the government to dictate how television networks and/or stations should conduct their business operations. They want to make money first and for most, not raise your children. It's the whole latch-key kid effect in which, television (we already have PBS to teach our children) is now obligated to do the educating instead of the parents and school teachers.

Don't get me wrong, cable television is another major factor in why Saturday morning programming as gradually gone downhill in the past 10-15 years. But I feel that the FCC rules has only made things happen much, much sooner.


Offline pyro

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 08:56:33 PM »
Not to mention Nickelodian has Nick JR anyway even though I'm pretty sure they're not under FCC regulation....


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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 01:53:14 AM »
Ahh the rule that killed the Weird Al show. If you want to hear exactly what Mr Yankovic thinks about the E/I rule, listen to the commentary for the Weird Al show. It's funnier than they'd ever let the show itself become. :^)


Offline RoninFox

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2007, 06:02:06 AM »
Might have to pick up that dvd.  Never cared much for the show, even though I've been a Weird Al fan for over a decade, but I'd be interested to hear his thoughts and analysis etc.

You know, I remember my parents actually paying attention to me when I was a kid.  I didn't learn a lot from television, but I didn't have to.  I just watched shows I liked, then I had things like books and talks with mom and dad and school to teach me things.  It's a weird concept, but I think the FCC should look into it.
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2007, 08:01:51 AM »
Yes truly the only thing TV teaches a kid is to watch TV.

Even those Baby Einstein DVDs are frowned on by pediatricians.


Offline msmpls

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 10:22:00 AM »
It really agonizes me because personally, I don't want the government to dictate how television networks and/or stations should conduct their business operations. They want to make money first and for most, not raise your children. It's the whole latch-key kid effect in which, television (we already have PBS to teach our children) is now obligated to do the educating instead of the parents and school teachers.

Don't get me wrong, cable television is another major factor in why Saturday morning programming as gradually gone downhill in the past 10-15 years. But I feel that the FCC rules has only made things happen much, much sooner.
how do you feel about the regulations put on advertising to children?
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Offline RoninFox

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2007, 05:42:12 PM »
It really agonizes me because personally, I don't want the government to dictate how television networks and/or stations should conduct their business operations. They want to make money first and for most, not raise your children. It's the whole latch-key kid effect in which, television (we already have PBS to teach our children) is now obligated to do the educating instead of the parents and school teachers.

Don't get me wrong, cable television is another major factor in why Saturday morning programming as gradually gone downhill in the past 10-15 years. But I feel that the FCC rules has only made things happen much, much sooner.
how do you feel about the regulations put on advertising to children?


I'm not sure of the specifics here, but limiting advertising to children does seem like a good idea to me.
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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2007, 05:45:12 PM »
Hadn't the cartoon lineups degraded into nothing but  pokemon, digimon and various something-imons anyway? Good riddance.


Offline msmpls

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 07:42:02 PM »
Hadn't the cartoon lineups degraded into nothing but  pokemon, digimon and various something-imons anyway? Good riddance.
this is my sentiment. Most television for children is incredibly stupid (most television in general is incredibly stupid) and I don't have much of a problem with there being some guidelines as to what can be aired on television and when.

However, I'd like it a helluva lot more if these regulations were put in place because concerned parents across the country had taken to the streets in protest until the broadcasting agencies were forced to provide something of substance in the mornings and afternoons. I'm an education student and I'd like nothing more than parents to come to their senses and stop letting TV raise their children, but unless there are some dramatic changes here in the states, people need to realise that the reality is TV is not going anywhere and if there are things that can be done to keep it from totally polluting America's youth, so be it...
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Offline pyro

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 07:50:35 PM »
Might have to pick up that dvd.  Never cared much for the show, even though I've been a Weird Al fan for over a decade, but I'd be interested to hear his thoughts and analysis etc.

You know, I remember my parents actually paying attention to me when I was a kid.  I didn't learn a lot from television, but I didn't have to.  I just watched shows I liked, then I had things like books and talks with mom and dad and school to teach me things.  It's a weird concept, but I think the FCC should look into it.

Never even occurred to me but I didn't watch much TV at first beyond movies... I remember having a game room for a while, shit loads of books, being read to, put in classes at community college for drawing and stuff.....  First show I ever remember actually watching is Rugrats, but I guess now that I think harder I do remember watching Sesame Street, Mr Rodgers and I can't even think of anything else besides a couple VHS's like one about a snowman....

edit - and when I think more I remember lots of stuff like cardboard blocks that looked like bricks, a plastic easel to draw and paint on, and all this other art stuff that was kinesthetically stimulating instead of just visually....  I can't tell how much of all of this is normal or not though...  I think my aunt and uncle used to have more for my little cousins before but by the third one had sorta ran out of space and patience... 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2007, 07:54:02 PM by pyro »


Offline RoninFox

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 05:09:09 AM »
We didn't have much space in the house for a play room when I was a kid, but my bedroom was full of mind-stimulating types of toys.  I would always watch cartoons all Saturday morning, and once school started for me I'd come home and watch an hour or so of them in the afternoons, but there was always something else to do too, both on my own or with the family.  For me, the cartoons were great, and I cherished them, but for the most part when they were over I could just walk away, because that's what my parents trained me to do.  I see some kids today sit around and either watch tv or sit on the net all day, while others go outside, but neither group actually seem supervised.
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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 10:45:59 AM »
Hadn't the cartoon lineups degraded into nothing but  pokemon, digimon and various something-imons anyway? Good riddance.
Yeah but that happened AFTER the rule was put into place. The rule hit during the gloriou\s reign of The Tick, Eek! the Cat, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Earthworm Jim. As soon as the rule hit, all the studios shifted their focus to educational programming and they started importing their non-educational stuff. The new shows they DID come up with were square pegs jammed into the round hole of education. This is where Prehysteria came from and what turned the Weird Al show into a somewhat lame affair. The writers were put under too many restrictions about what they could do with their educational shows.

It might even be that the rise of anime is due to the fact that they were the only shows on the air created without the restrictions...


Offline msmpls

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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 10:55:52 AM »
A-hem..Bill Nye? whatever happened to him?
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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2007, 11:36:16 AM »
Hadn't the cartoon lineups degraded into nothing but  pokemon, digimon and various something-imons anyway? Good riddance.
Yeah but that happened AFTER the rule was put into place. The rule hit during the gloriou\s reign of The Tick, Eek! the Cat, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Earthworm Jim. As soon as the rule hit, all the studios shifted their focus to educational programming and they started importing their non-educational stuff. The new shows they DID come up with were square pegs jammed into the round hole of education. This is where Prehysteria came from and what turned the Weird Al show into a somewhat lame affair. The writers were put under too many restrictions about what they could do with their educational shows.

It might even be that the rise of anime is due to the fact that they were the only shows on the air created without the restrictions...
With the advent of so many cable television channels devoted solely to cartoons, doesn't that make the Saturday morning network programming more or less obsolete? I imagine it's hard for them to compete with these channels that have superior shows on 24 hours a day. I, for one, never liked to get up at 7am to watch cartoons when I was a kid anyway.


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Re: Does Anybody Else Hate the "E/I" Children's Television Rule?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2007, 01:02:26 PM »
Hadn't the cartoon lineups degraded into nothing but  pokemon, digimon and various something-imons anyway? Good riddance.
Yeah but that happened AFTER the rule was put into place. The rule hit during the gloriou\s reign of The Tick, Eek! the Cat, Animaniacs, Freakazoid and Earthworm Jim. As soon as the rule hit, all the studios shifted their focus to educational programming and they started importing their non-educational stuff. The new shows they DID come up with were square pegs jammed into the round hole of education. This is where Prehysteria came from and what turned the Weird Al show into a somewhat lame affair. The writers were put under too many restrictions about what they could do with their educational shows.

It might even be that the rise of anime is due to the fact that they were the only shows on the air created without the restrictions...
With the advent of so many cable television channels devoted solely to cartoons, doesn't that make the Saturday morning network programming more or less obsolete? I imagine it's hard for them to compete with these channels that have superior shows on 24 hours a day. I, for one, never liked to get up at 7am to watch cartoons when I was a kid anyway.

You know, there ARE still some people who don't have cable.

Besides which, the majority of cartoons on cable find a way to suck anyway.
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