The late night talk show and news program format isn’t just for adults anymore. Recently, these streaming services created kid-friendly versions to reach viewers of all ages…
YPulse’s recent TV and Entertainment report found that the majority of Millennial parents say their child watches more content on streaming services than cable. And we told you how these streaming services have been competing with each other and investing in kid-friendly content to become the dominant family viewing destination.
According to Parrot Analytics, monthly demand for children’s content on TV and streaming has increased since last year. We know platforms have been upping their animated content and releasing diverse and inclusive shows to meet this demand, but there’s another kind of kids’ content that’s beginning to trend in the battle to reach families: kid-friendly talk shows and news programs. Our news consumption and trust report shows that 79% of Millennial parents say they want their kids to watch kid-friendly news shows—and clearly, brands want to reach their kids this way too. Here are four streaming services that have launched talk shows and news programs in the last year:
HBO Max’s The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo
We told you how HBO Max is prioritizing diversity and inclusion with its Sesame Street specials by addressing current issues like racism and discrimination. YPulse research found that nearly a quarter of kids watch HBO Max to watch video content weekly—and last spring, the streaming service used the long-running series to reach families and their kids in a different way: by creating The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo, a talk show spin-off starring Elmo, and Cookie Monster as the co-host. In each episode, Elmo interviews a different celebrity guest and has them participate in different scenarios and challenges. In the pilot episode, Elmo interviewed fellow talk show host Jimmy Fallon and country-pop musician Kacey Musgraves, who sang familiar songs from the show. Other guests included Blake Lively, who participated in a “Cookie Monster Says” challenge, the Jonas Brothers, who found themselves in a Silly Freeze Dance contest, and Batman, who played a contest of Beach Ball Ballyhoo. Clearly the show is a hit with families because earlier this year, the streaming platform announced that it was renewed for a second season “with more interactive games and a new look.”
Disney+’s Earth to Ned
Elmo isn’t the only puppet with his own talk show. Produced by the Jim Henson Company and Marwar Junction Productions, Disney+ debuted its “first alien-hosted talk show” that stars fictional aliens Ned and Cornelius who interview various celebrities on the topics of comedy, sports, social media, and fashion. According to the streaming platform, Ned is an alien who came to Earth on a mission to invade it, but when he arrived, he fell in love with its pop culture and instead decided to host a late night talk show. The puppet alien “beams in celebrity guests from across the known universe, and the more he learns about our human culture, the more obsessed he becomes.” Teen pop star Olivia Roridgo, Joshua Bassett, Raven Symoné, Rachel Bilson, Jenny Slate, Molly Ringwald, and Bindi and Robert Irwin were among some of the celebrity guests that were interviewed in the first season.
Peacock’s The Kids Tonight Show
NBCUniversal has always been known for its popular talk shows, including The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers. But to attract a younger audience to its new streaming service, the company decided to make The Kids Tonight Show, a new kid-friendly and “family-skewing” series produced by Jimmy Fallon that follows the late night talk show format. It features four kids hosting their own talk show. Each 15-minute episode features the kid hosts playing a series of games and participating in various challenges, while also interviewing celebrities like the D’Amelio sisters, JoJo Siwa, Kristen Bell, Meghan Trainor, Yara Shahidi, Questlove and Black Thought, and of course, Jimmy Fallon. According to executive producer James Sunderland, they wanted to take the popularity of Fallon’s original talk show and add more “silliness” to keep kids entertained. While this is the streaming service’s first kids talk show, he is” interested in doing more with the format,” since there is a “demand” for this type of kids content. He told Kidscreen: “If you want a show that will entertain, make you laugh and also have a learning moment, then this is the one.”
YouTube’s Kid Correspondents
YPulse’s latest media consumption report found that YouTube is the top platform that kids watch, according to Millennial parents. And last year, YouTube premiered a news program produced by SoulPancake, which follows kid reporters who explore different topics through sketch comedy and real-world interviews. Each episode features recurring segments like “Kid on the Street,” “Kid of the Week,” “Pep Talk, “Dance Party,” and “Ask A Grown-Up” that has featured celebrity guests including Rainn Wilson, Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Sophia Bush, Auliʻi Cravalho, and many others. Ahead of the election last year, the show hosted a four-part series to help kids better understand politics and the ways they can get involved, even at a young age.
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