On Saturday morning, Nickelodeon will take the lid off a slicker, hipper version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," the latest effort by the children's network to combat a dramatic ratings plunge.
Over the past year, Nickelodeon has lost 28% of its young audience, according to ratings firm Nielsen. ... "I can't think of another instance in television history in which a network that has been so dominant for so long has fallen so far and so fast," said Todd Juenger, media analyst with investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. ...
There have been a lot of changes in the exec lineup at Nick over the past eighteen months, so the company knows it has ... ahm ... issues. And along with new personnel, some administrative attitudes have changed, because I now get accompanied by a guard when I walk through Nick's Burbank studio. (They must be concerned I'll shoplift a Cintiq.)
But the artists and the show-runners are great, and the company appears to have stopped sitting on its (now vanished) lead and thrown more new ideas and concepts against the proverbial wall. As the Times says, there are more projects and production money now sliding through the pipeline, and that should help in righting the ship.
The historic reality of animation is, no entity stays on top forever. Disney was a powerhouse before it wasn't, and Cartoon Network went through a ratings slump before clawing its way back to prosperity. The Disney Channel might be on top today, but wait a year. Nick could come roaring back. They're shelling out cash for new and higher grade product, so I think today's status quo will change.