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Nick Tries a ‘Nitely’ Novela

2/06/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

The Nickelodeon Networks group
is rolling the dice on the series strip format,
hoping to get viewers hooked on daily runs
of primetime original
series.

Nick at Nite this summer
will try to duplicate
the ratings success of
Nickelodeon’s weekday
stripped sophomore
series House of Anubis
and TeenNick’s highschool
drama Degrassi
with a daily, telenovela-
themed series airing
weekdays into the fall.

Nickelodeon Networks
president Cyma
Zarghami said the
daily series format offers
a new way to build
consistent viewership
for Nickelodeon networks. She pointed to
success the format has garnered internationally
on mostly Spanish-language networks,
including Nickelodeon Latin America.

“We‘ve watched what happens internationally
enough to know that if something
rises so far to the top in one market that its
worth trying in another market,” she said.
“It’s a format that’s had an incredible track
record of success.”

Nick at Nite is partnering with producer
Televisa for 80 episodes of Reach for a Star, a
U.S. adaptation of the popular Mexican telenovela
Alcanzar una Estrella.

Here in the U.S., TeenNick in July 2010
stripped popular drama series Degrassi over
a six-week period and drew nearly 1 million
viewers while posting triple-digit gains
among the core 12-to-17 teen demo, according
to network officials.

More recently, Nickelodeon last month
launched season two of drama/mystery
House of Anubis in a daily, serialized format.
The series drew more than 2 million viewers
over 26 episodes during its 2011 freshman
season run.

“It’s event television the way sports is …
you can’t miss it,” Zarghami said.

Zarghami hopes to bring viewers to Nick
at Nite, which posted a 22% decline in total
primetime viewers in 2011. She said the network’s
early prime hours suffered from lower
than expected performance by Nickelodeon’s
lead-in programming.

Zarghami called Nickelodeon’s recent ratings
decline a “mystery” but said the network
is doing what it can to reverse the trend with
new episodes of original shows such as iCarly,
as well as the Feb. 4 debut of its live action
music/comedy series How to Rock.

“During the first quarter we started to put
new shows on the air with House of Anubis,
iCarly, a new season of Victorious and the debut
of How to Rock,” she said. “Once all the collection
of momentum gathers for all the stuff
that we’re putting on, the whole Nickelodeon
day will start to move in the right direction and
that will boost Nick at Nite as well.”

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