By COURTNEY ADELMAN
Nickelodeon is now one of the top children networks surpassing Disney. The network has now decided to try something they don’t normally do. They are putting their weight behind a princess.
In past years, Nickelodeon has tended to leave princesses to Disney. But the Viacom-owned cable network is now generating $5.5 billion a year in merchandise alone for their new princess “Nella the princess Knight.”
“Nella the Princess Knight,” will be aired on Nickelodeon beginning next Monday in a programming block specifically for pre-schoolers.
There has been negative connotations towards Disney princesses in the past. Academics have used princesses like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to make points about negative impacts on young girls. Will Nickelodeon now find itself in a similar situation?
“Nella” is a self- empowered girl who isn’t afraid to push boundaries. She is bi-racial with a white mother and a black father.
Studies have shown that by 2020 most children under 12 will be biracial. The character also mashes gender roles.
“Nickelodeon’s princess may strike some adults as subversive, particularly given the surge of conservatism that helped push Donald J. Trump into office. But children see mixed-race families and the blurring of gender lines as normal,” Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon’s longtime chief told The New York Times.
“Adults might say, ‘Oh, look — she’s biracial,’ but our viewers just say, ‘that looks like my friend,” she added.
Zarghami said that she led Nickelodeon to ratings strength in 2016 among all viewers. She is super excited about the new series because it is already taking a life of its own.