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Crunching The Numbers -- Nickelodeon's Ratings (JN Revival Project)

Updated on January 12, 2012

Nickelodeon's Declining Viewership

This hub is going to discuss Nickelodeon's declining viewership, which has been a top story on the television front for several months.

Nickelodeon vs. Viacom

In September 2011, Nickelodeon averaged 1.8 million viewers a day and 951,000 viewers in the 2-11 age group. In the 6-11 age group, the network averaged around 501,000 viewers. In the 9-14 group, they averaged 373,000, which is a loss of 13%. When you compare that to September 2010, this is a 15% drop in total viewers, a 16% drop in the 2-11 category, and a 17% drop in the 6-11 category.

On the other side of the coin, Disney Channel, which has now become the new #1 network for the first time ever since the channel debuted in 1983, is seeing the opposite effect. Disney (in September) had an average of 1.63 million viewers, up 2.6% from the same month one year prior. In the 2-11 age group, Disney had 921,000 viewers, an increase of 8.8%. In the 6-11 age group, Disney averaged 605,000 viewers, a jump of 11.6%. And in the 9-14 age group, Disney had 488,000 viewers, which is an increase of 5%.

Viacom contacted Nielsen, who is in charge of the overall ratings for all of the networks, to have them look into the matter.

Results of the Investigation

The results of the ratings investigation were announced in early December 2011. It turns out that there was an error in TV viewing data which was corrected, but there were no problems detected with the data regarding Nickelodeon’s declining viewership.

A spokesperson for Nielsen in a written statement said that “no underlying data or ratings were affected by this recalculation.” Nielsen also continues to stand by its data regarding other children’s networks, including the increased ratings for Disney Channel.

What's Changed?

While Nickelodeon has vowed to improve their ratings with over 500 new episodes of programming coming up this year, the ratings are currently still pretty flat. In the next four examples below, I have included some comparisons for January 2011 and January 2012 thus far.

Nickelodeon Ratings Comparison (January 2, 2011 vs. January 3, 2012)

This first chart is a comparison of how many viewers were watching Nickelodeon on January 2nd, 2011 versus how many viewers were watching Nickelodeon on January 3rd, 2012. As you can see, viewership has taken a considerable drop. For the 2-11 age demographic, 1,288,000 viewers were watching Nick on January 2nd 2011 compared to January 3rd, 2012, when only 1,100,000 were watching - a decrease of 15%. For the 6-11 age demographic, 609,000 viewers were watching Nick on January 2nd, 2011 versus 530,000 viewers watching Nick on January 3rd, 2012 – a decrease of 13%. For the 9-14 age group 369,000 viewers were watching Nick on January 2nd, 2011 compared to January 3rd, 2012, when only 321,000 viewers were watching Nick (a decline of 13%).

Nickelodeon Ratings Comparison (January 4, 2011 vs. January 3, 2012)

Here is another ratings comparison for January 4th, 2011 versus January 3rd, 2012. The viewership did not drop as much between these two dates, and there was a modest increase in viewers for in the 9-14 age demographic for January 3rd 2012 versus January 4th 2011.

Nickelodeon Ratings Comparison (January 5, 2011 vs. January 4, 2012)

This next comparison is more of the same – fewer viewers were watching on January 4th, 2012 versus January 5th, 2011.

Nickelodeon Ratings Comparison (January 6, 2011 vs. January 5, 2012)

Perhaps one of the biggest viewership drops is shown in this comparison for January 6th 2011 versus January 5th, 2012. In the 2-11 and 6-11 demographics, viewership declined 25%. For the 9-14 age bracket, viewership has dropped 27%.

Average Change in Kids Demos From January 2011 vs. January 2012 So Far

Below is the average change in kids demos from January 2011 vs. January 2012 so far.

KIDS 2-11

Disney Channel: +21%
Cartoon Network: +19%
Nickelodeon: -9%

KIDS 6-11

Disney Channel: +31%
Cartoon Network: +23%
Nickelodeon: -9%


Cartoon Network: +47%
Disney Channel: +32%
Nickelodeon: -1%

More Numbers (December 27, 2010 to December 2, 2011 vs. December 26 2011 to January 1, 2012)

Here are some more trends for December 27th, 2010 to January 2, 2011 vs. December 26, 2011 to January 1, 2012. Nick's viewership once again was lower than this same time last year.

KIDS 2-11

Cartoon Network - 511,000 to 583,000 +14%
Disney Channel - 1,105,000 to 1,116,000 +1%
Nickelodeon - 1,425,000 to 1,163,000 -18%

KIDS 6-11

Cartoon Network - 343,000 to 376,000 +10%
Disney Channel - 798,000 to 791,000 -1%
Nickelodeon - 882,000 to 701,000 -21%


Cartoon Network - 253,000 to 289,000 +14%
Disney Channel - 649,000 to 626,000 -4%
Nickelodeon - 645,000 to 534,000 -17%

Why This Is Relevant

We all know that one of the reasons why Nickelodeon’s ratings have declined is in part due to them not thinking out of the box like they once did with shows like Jimmy Neutron. Back when Jimmy Neutron was still on the air, even when the movie was released in 2001, Nickelodeon was still the overall #1 network among viewers in all age demographics, including adults who, while not counted in the age demographics, still had an influence on overall viewership numbers. After Jimmy Neutron ended, viewership and ratings have taken an abrupt dive, especially in 2011 as the previous slides have documented.

It is my belief that Jimmy Neutron returning to Nickelodeon would not only boost overall viewership and ratings, but generate just as much if not more profit than it did when it was on the air from 2002 through 2006.

What we as fans need to do when signing the petitions, writing letters, or recording fan videos, is to find ways to tell Nickelodeon how much of a ratings booster Jimmy Neutron would be for the network.


How Reviving Jimmy Neutron Would Boost Ratings and Generate More Profit

  • First and foremost, the show made learning about math and science fun in an entertaining way through exciting adventures in space and beyond when it was on the air.
  • Secondly, when new episodes aired on a regular basis, viewership was always between 4 and 5 million viewers – many of Nickelodeon's current shows in the past couple of years have not had as many viewers as Jimmy Neutron did.
  • Third of all, since the show’s sudden end in 2006, thousands of new fans have become interested in the series. In 2011 alone, I have seen more fan art and fanfiction, a lot of reblogged gifs and screenshots, and have read many fan stories on tumblr and other blogs.
  • Fourth of all, the future of our youth is important. These shows have made so many people like myself better people growing up. We need shows like Jimmy Neutron back on the air. Most of the other networks have not stepped up to the plate with anything exciting and unique like Nickelodeon has.
  • And finally, Jimmy Neutron was just plain fun and amazing, period. I have yet to see another show like Jimmy Neutron with the perfect balance of everything that made it great – action, adventure, romance, comedy. So many of us really miss the show.

Check Out My Other Hubs

To learn more about how you can become a part of the Jimmy Neutron Revival Project, check out my other hubs:


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    • neutronrevival profile image

      neutronrevival 2 months ago from United States

      Matthew: I have read comments on the Internet often from fans about how the series inspired them to pursue science-based careers.

      While you may have a few valid points in your comment, Jimmy Neutron was and still is a very good role model for fans young and old. The show was ahead of its time in many ways.

      Joseph: Hey Arnold's Jungle Movie is airing this Thanksgiving and if all goes well, Nick may greenlight a 6th season. It's technically already been revived.

      Plus, Jimmy Neutron was part of the 2000s era which also had as many unique shows as most of the 90s Nicktoons.

      Why revive Jimmy Neutron? The better question is why not?

    • profile image

      joseph 2 months ago

      I agree with what you're saying and I found your statistics useful, but why Jimmy Neutron? Not that I don't agree the show was interesting and 3-dimensional, but I think there were plenty shows that are a better example of how dope Nick was like Hey Arnold!, Avatar, Old Style Spongebob, etc

    • profile image

      Matthew 3 years ago

      I agree %100, but one problem. Jimmy Neutron didn't teach that much about math and science. The pendulum in "Phantom of Retroland" could have been done, but the rest of the science was completely made up. A dinosaur's skull cannot break diamond (a diamond is 10 on the hardness scale while calcium phosphate i.e. bone is a 5.) A hologram (if a working one existed) would be made of pure light, you would be burned by the raw photons touching you skin if you tried to touch it.

    • profile image

      elizabeth 4 years ago