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Disney Channel Finally Beats Nickelodeon

In 1995 Nickelodeon knocked The Disney Channel off the top of the ratings perch and the mouse house has been struggling to regain its lead ever since.  The switch finally happened, although not so much from the ascendance of The Disney Channel but rather the decline of the repeat show.

The total viewers category counts all those 2 and older. But cable networks — and especially kids’ networks — carefully parse ratings data to find areas where they won. Accordingly, Nick notes that it beat Disney among 2-to-11 year olds in March, and in total daily viewers in the first quarter of the year.

Nick also points out that its mouse-eared rival lost viewers from March 2011 to this month, which is true. It’s just that Nick lost far more.

The Disney Channel’s policy of capping shows at around 100 episodes does seem like it would prevent anyone to really get attached to specific characters, that could be problem. But Disney has been really good at creating characters that have immediate appeal. A regular crop of new shows prevents the ocean of repeats that has been dragging down Nick in ratings as of late.

All this new ranking means is that it’s time to really innovate again to stay atop of the list. What would you suggest The Disney Channel do next?

More at The Wrap.

6 thoughts on “Disney Channel Finally Beats Nickelodeon”

  1. My suggestion is bring back the cartoon shows of the 90s and early 200s such as The House of Mouse, Kim Possible etc, especially for the older people who missed most of these shows when one originally had to pay to view Disney Channel. A lot of the shows now are geared towards a certain audience – tweens – so it would be better if there were shows that the whole family could enjoy. Or do what Walt used to do in the 1950-60s with the Disneyland/Wonderful World of Disney shows and show classic short features considering we now have Cinemagic for the feature length films.

  2. My suggestion to Disney Channel is to add more variety. From what I’ve seen on Disney Channel they seem to gear more towards their tween demographic with their It’s a Laugh production shows. I say rather than have the multi-camera sitcoms, they should have some single camera sitcoms in the mix. They should also add more action based shows on the main channel and not shove them to Disney XD which not many people get (Or at least transfer shows from XD to DC).

    Finally, cartoons. I’ve only seen two cartoons on the show and while Phineas and Ferb is a great show, I want more toons that give variety. I saw that Craig McCracken got greenlit for Wonder Over Yonder so I hope that does well enough to open up more cartoons on the channel.

    Overall though, Disney needs to expand their audience beyond the female tween demographic if they want more viewership. That’s how I see it.

    1. I believe it’s spelled WANder Over Yonder, and I think Craig McCracken may be on to something.

      If I could make a suggestion, why doesn’t Disney reintroduce MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob? Think about it. He could have his own show that would resemble something that would have been part of the Disney Afternoon in the early 1990s.
      And you know what? Paula Abdul’s 50th birthday is coming soon, and Abdul really deserves to see Skat back in action. Believe it or not, her “Under My Spell” Live program aired numerous times on the Disney Channel in the early 1990s. Also, Abdul got to perform “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” for part of Disney’s “For Our Children” concert and album.
      The reason I think Disney should bring back Skat Kat and his friends is that they were animated by Disney artists in the making of the “Opposites Attract” video and quite possibly the video for “Skat Strut.” What better way to expand the audience than with a decent, animated role model for aspiring rap artists? Of course, it would be best to contact Michael Patterson, the creator, for permission.

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