See you there, without the kids.
|Launched||October 1, 2012|
|Closed||September 28, 2015|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Owner||Viacom Media Networks|
|Running time||4 hours|
NickMom was a late evening programming block that was aired on the channel space of the American preschool-oriented cable channel Nick Jr.. The brand debuted online in November 2011, ahead of its television launch in October 2012. The block carried commercial-supported comedy programming targeting an adult female demographic, particularly mothers, from 10:00 p.m ET nightly.
The launch of NickMom initially generated controversy; as Nick Jr. only operated a single feed out of the Eastern Time Zone, the normally child-oriented network would transition into content inappropriate for such audiences in the early evening or afternoon depending on time zones. On launch, viewership of the block was significantly lower than that of the children's programming it replaced, and other 24-hour preschool networks such as Disney Junior, Sprout and BabyFirstTV took advantage of the gap in programming to build their own audiences.
NickMom was discontinued in September 2015 due to acquired programming cutbacks by Viacom and poor ratings.
In November 2011, Viacom announced that it would launch a new block on Nick Jr. for the 2012-13 television season known as NickMom, which would be aimed towards young mothers, as part of the company's "cradle-to-grave" strategy where viewers grow into watching other Viacom networks (from Nick Jr. to Nickelodeon, then MTV, VH1 and then TV Land and formerly, CBS and Showtime). The company explained that "today's moms who grew up with Nickelodeon have a renewed relationship with us through their kids", and that the new brand would "offer a destination that is unique in today's entertainment landscape with content that taps into Nickelodeon's comedic DNA". Unlike Nick Jr.'s main programming, which was commercial-free at the time, NickMom was to be commercially supported, having already reached sponsorship deals with General Mills and Reckitt Benckiser. Over 30 projects were in development for the block at the time of the announcement.
On September 9, 2015, the network's Twitter and Facebook accounts released a statement saying that the NickMom programming block and website would end operations by the end of September 2015 due to Viacom's 2015 cutbacks involving acquired programming and also due to the programming block's low ratings. The programming block ended at 2 a.m. ET on September 28 after a showing of the film Guarding Tess, three days shy to its third anniversary, without embellishment at its end. Shortly after, the network's website address was redirected to Nickelodeon's site for parental resources.
Original programming which launched with the block included Parental Discretion with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, MFF: Mom Friends Forever, NickMom Night Out, and What Was Carol Brady Thinking?, featuring comedic commentary from Carol Brady within episodes of The Brady Bunch in the style of Pop-Up Video (Florence Henderson herself had no involvement in What Was Carol Brady Thinking?, with commentary penned by writers not involved with the original series).
By June 2013, some of the programs and movies (Yours, Mine and Ours (2005 film), Imagine That (film), Nacho Libre, and The Spiderwick Chronicles (film)) airing on the block had been replaced with syndicated shows already airing on Nick at Nite (or with their rights dormant on that channel), such as The New Adventures of Old Christine and Yes, Dear. Excluding Instant Mom (whose second season aired on Nickelodeon and NickMom, but moved to TV Land for its third), the majority of the block's original shows were canceled due to low ratings or creative differences.
In 2015, feature-film presentations were added to the schedule, with family-friendly films such as Babe and its sequel Pig in the City most prevalent, along with other female-focused titles such as Eat Pray Love. After acquiring its syndication rights, NickMom began airing the 2010 iteration of the NBC family drama, Parenthood, in April 2015 (rights for that show transferred to Up after NickMom's demise as a complement to Gilmore Girls being carried by that network already and featuring Lauren Graham as a star in both series).
The block launched with heavy controversy. As Nick Jr. operated on only one feed that broadcast on a default Eastern Time Zone schedule without a secondary feed for the Pacific Time Zone, NickMom programming started at 7 p.m. Pacific Time, and in time zones further west outside the continental United States, 6 p.m. in the Alaska Time Zone, and 5 p.m. in the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone (4 p.m. from mid-March to early November, as Hawaii does not observe DST). Many parents found the scheduling inappropriate, given the supposed sexual, coarse, and child-bashing humor, and uncensored light profanity of the network's launch schedule of programming. Parents also felt that the purpose and lure of the network with full-time preschool programming was nullified in the pursuit of increasing ratings with content not meant for children. The inappropriate scheduling due to one feed was rectified in mid-February 2013, when VMN launched a second Pacific Time Zone-based feed for Nick Jr. which also applied to NickMom.
The content of the block's website was also criticized early on for the same reasons, along with earlier allegations that the staff of the network's website took content from other websites, including pictures of children, without any attribution or credit, and without permission.
Subsequently, Nielsen ratings for the NickMom block's first week plunged 75% from that same period the year prior when Nick Jr. and Noggin programs aired in the timeslot, with some shows registering a "scratch" as being unrated due to a low sample size. Petitions were organized to encourage advertisers to pull their sponsorships from the block, with some online parenting community forum members demanding that children's programming return to the channel during that timeslot. Fisher Price and the General Mills brands Cheerios and Green Giant later pulled their advertising from the block by October 26, due to consumer reactions on social media. General Mills returned to advertising during the NickMom block once some of the more controversial shows were canceled or replaced with Nick at Nite-sourced content.
A 2013 report from SNL Kagan and distributed by the Parents Television Council, which was opposed to the block, reported Nick Jr. as a network had a large loss of half their viewers in primetime, and of advertisers during the time the most racy of NickMom content was available before the addition of Nick at Nite content, along with a surge in the ratings of competitors Disney Junior and Sprout, which continued to air preschool-targeted programming in primetime. The report noted the ratings were among the lowest in primetime for cable networks. Although the report also listed that the network had a cash flow of -27%, Nick Jr. ran traditional advertising only during the NickMom block and sustained advertising for the rest of the broadcast day, and mainly was a loss leader as part of Nickelodeon's portion of the Viacom digital cable network suite; those networks usually make little money for the company and feature little to no advertising.
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