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Nickelodeon remixes its formula
Published in 22-1-2015
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For years, Nickelodeon arranged and rearranged those children's sitcom building blocks to spectacular effect. [...] children - as ratings declines have taught Nickelodeon and its cable competitors - don't devour entertainment as mindlessly as they used to. [...] Hicks is throwing out some of the cookie cutters and trying to make series for children that reflect more of the sophistication of shows aimed at adults. Children's sitcoms, for instance, are typically taped entirely in the fake bubble of a soundstage. [...] Bella and the Bulldogs," a new Nickelodeon comedy about a high school girl who plays football, brings its cast outside to scrimmage under the actual sun. "Bella," which made its debut Saturday, is also experimenting with story lines that aren't always wrapped up in 22 minutes - breaking with another children's television convention. Firms that keep count have struggled to keep pace with the changing ways in which children consume television programming - TV sets, iPad apps, websites, video-on-demand services.