As of May 22nd, like in just a few days, Nick Jr. programming (or anything owned by Viacom) will not be available on Netflix, according to the research I can turn up.
This news nugget was tucked into Netflix‘s letter to investors that CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells released today: They say that at the end of May they won’t renew their broad deal with Viacom Networks that enables Netflix to carry programming from Nickelodeon, BET and MTV.
If you find yourself relying on the help of a Nick Jr. show on Netflix – like Dora, Diego, Yo Gabba Gabba, Fresh Beat Band, or (for us) Wonder Pets- to help you through getting dinner on the table, finding time to get yourself dressed, or as a babysitter for a last minute, important business call you must take from inside the closet, you might be looking for the nearest paper bag to breathe into right now.
I felt similarly when I read Elizabeth Ross‘ Facebook status about the situation. She bemoaned losing Dora, Diego, and Blue’s Clues. I felt a twinge of empathy for her, but was mostly fine with it because my kids don’t watch those shows anymore… until I made the connection. Netflix isn’t just picking off shows willy nilly, but axing all Viacom programming, which encompasses every Nick Jr show.
Say what you will about the Wonder Pets. It’s certainly not MY favorite show, but it’s the only one both of my kids will agree to watch together, and Leyna is infatuated with it. So much so that she’s been singing “What’s gonna work? Team work!” for the last 4 months every time she needs help with something. Beyond that show, nearly every other show that’s in our “recently watched” list is a Nick Jr. show.
We don’t have Netflix for us anymore. We’ve seen all the documentaries on food that we can stomach. We don’t have time to watch old movies or start whole new TV series. We have Netflix for the kids, for now. It’s very possible we won’t be keeping it after this.
Oh sure, there will still be other children’s programming, including a recently added to Disney lineup, but all you parents know how hard/impossible it is to tell your kid, “Oh, yeah. That favorite show of yours isn’t actually on here anymore, BUT here’s another one I know you’ll like just as much.” I mean, you CAN tell them that. You can try. But kids… they know what they want. And they’ll whine and ask eleventy billion questions if it suddenly disappears.
Now, there are other options for accessing Nick Jr. shows on demand. Of course, if you have cable and a DVR, you can always just record those shows, or possibly stream them from your cable provider’s on demand library. We, however, do not have cable. We gave it up quite a while ago, and haven’t missed it, in large part because of how easy it was to access these shows via Netflix and other streaming services through our Wii. I know there are many cable-free families now, doing the same.
It seems Amazon Prime Instant Videos have free streaming of at least a couple seasons of Nick Jr. shows. Wonder Pets, for example, only allows free streaming of the first 2 seasons, and we’re to pay for episodes from season 3 (even as Prime members). I find the Amazon interface not as easy to navigate when looking for the kids’ shows, though, and we can only access it through our Wii U at this time, not the Wii in our bedroom (which is where the majority of the kids TV watching happens these days while I catch a pregnant nap).
I know, this whole thing reeks of first world problems that we wouldn’t even have if we were better parents who didn’t let our kids watch TV. Whatever.
But I had to come here and tell you all to prepare yourselves because I know so many of us rely on that 20 minutes of our kids’ favorite show to get us through a rough spot in the day. At least this way you won’t be caught off guard when you get an email requesting an important phone call in 15 minutes, and you can’t find Dora to save your life.
**Tip- If you want to see if your favorite show is going to disappear, head to your Recently Watched list when you’re logged in online (I’m told this doesn’t work on the mobile site). Click on the show, then scroll down to the description. On the bottom right side, it will tell you how long it’s available (for the shows Netflix is ditching). It seems the shows that aren’t going anywhere don’t say anything about how long they are available.