Many parents rely on a dose of "Dora" or "Diego" to help their kids to settle down in the evenings. So when Nick Jr. launched NickMom, a block of comedies aimed at adults, earlier this month, it came as a shock to those who tuned in for toddler-friendly viewing and instead found jokes about stoned busboys, sex, and how much moms dislike their kids.
"At a certain point in the evening, hopefully the little ones are in bed, and this is an opportunity for mom to get some much-needed me-time," Bronwen O'Keefe, senior vice president of NickMom, told Newsday. The NickMom.com homepage — tagline: "Motherfunny" — is crowded with video clips and snarky memes. "Everything we have on the site is a bite-sized piece of content because we know moms are busy and don't have a lot of time," O'Keefe says. (NickMom did not immediately respond to Yahoo! Shine's request for comment.)
But instead of finding the shows — or the website — funny, some parents are furious.
Read on to find out what real moms have to say about NickMom.
"What real mom sits around with other moms and sips margaritas at 9:30 on a school night??" asked Kate Wood of Callahan, Florida. "And why would I want to watch a TV show about women who do??"
The NickMom schedule kicks off at 10 p.m. ET with shows like "Parental Discretion with Stefanie Wilder Taylor," featuring candid commentary on sex, body issues, relationship problems, and the cringeworthy parts of parenting. The problem is that while 10 p.m. may be after a toddler's bedtime on the East Coast, out West the NickMom shows start at 7 p.m. (in Alaska and Hawaii, the adult-themed block starts even earlier.)
A petition on Change.org calling on Viacom to "Say No to NickMom" already has more than 1,000 signatures, mostly from moms who are angry about having toddler-safe programming preempted by R-rated content. More parents are rallying at Cancel Nick Mom and on Facebook.
"Our West Coast kids are still awake at 7 p.m., and are too young to understand why their shows (Diego, Dora, Umizoomi, Yo Gabba Gabba, etc.) are no longer airing," wrote Kimberly Fiskratti at Change.org. "NickJr has been a wholesome staple in our home, as part of our evening bedtime routine. Last week, after dinner and bath time, my 3 year old and I went to tune into NickJr to wind down and begin our bedtime routine. We were greeted with an unrecognized show, and as I was trying to figure out what was going on, the person on the show said the B word and was talking about sex."
Three other half-hour shows — stand-up comedy "NickMom Night Out," video-blog inspired "MFF: Mom Friends Forever," and an annotated "The Brady Bunch" clip-reel called "What Was Carol Brady Thinking?" — round out the roster, which runs until midnight and then repeats until 2 a.m. Judging by the clips at NickMom.com, the jokes center around how much moms hate parenting, sex, how irritating kids can be, sex, how badly Dad messed up when Mom isn't there to set him straight, and sex.
Though they were aiming for trendy Millennial Moms — that generation of 20something consumers with kids — NickMom may have taken the stereotypical "Bad Mommy" joke too far.
"Way to go, Viacom and NickJr. You have completely alienated and offended your demographic by portraying mothers as whining, entitled and weak women who have nothing more to do than complain about their lives and their kids," wrote Patricia Johnson of Apple Valley, California.
— Lylah M. Alphonse
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