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TV Tries to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus

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Nickelodeon, Disney and Sesame Workshop, three of the nation’s finest identified makers of children’ leisure, are going to begin tackling extra dramatic stuff.

The ViacomCBS youngsters’ community will tonight at 7 p.m. jap current “#KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon City Corridor,” an hour-long particular that goals to assist youngsters acquire extra understanding about modifications wrought of their lives by the unfold of coronavirus. Disney Channel, in the meantime, on Friday unveiled a sequence of messages from lots of the actors who populate its applications that present up in breaks between exhibits. And Sesame Workshop this week will distribute movies that speak about tips on how to sneeze correctly and offering consolation, amongst different matters. One spotlight: a “Washy Wash” music from Elmo.

Getting the tone proper is essential. “We need to strike a steadiness between being informative and never scary youngsters,” says Paula Kaplan, government vp of expertise for Nickelodeon, in an interview.

All three media retailers sometimes provide comedy, music and humor. However additionally they really feel a duty to assist their youthful viewers by a tumultuous period.

Nickelodeon’s Kaplan says the information present might be hosted by actor Kristen Bell (pictured, above), whom many viewers will know by her affiliation with Disney’s “Frozen” franchise, and blend in suggestions for staying wholesome whereas inspecting modifications introduced on by social distancing and sheltering at house. Company, who linked with Bell by way of video from all around the United States, embody Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the California Surgeon Basic in addition to former U.S. Surgeon Basic Vivek H. Murthy, together with Ellen Degeneres Charli D’Amelio, Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Russell and Ciara Wilson, JoJo Siwa, Jayden Bartles, Lea Michele, John Cena and Tia Mowry.

The present will deal with every thing from tips on how to ask a mother or father to assist with a math downside as to whether a pet canine can get the contagion, Kaplan says, together with different matters.

The Disney interstitials embody cameos from Milo Manheim, Kylie Cantrall, Meg Donnelly and Sky Katz, amongst others. The corporate consulted with Dr. Arthur Pober, a specialist in media, schooling and little one psychology. Animated Sesame spots might be distributed animated spots might be distributed by way of companions together with  HBO, PBS KIDS and native PBS stations, Univision, the Advert Council and YouTube. Further instruments that embody coping methods and child-friendly explanations for powerful questions can be found on SesameStreet.org/caring

Nickelodeon has a well-regarded historical past in chatting with kids throughout moments of disaster or confusion. Between 1992 and 2015, the youngsters’ outlet produced greater than 150 episodes of “Nick Information” with well-regarded anchor Linda Ellerbee. The sequence tackled points starting from international warming to hate crimes and sexual harassment. Disney has additionally lately labored to speak to youngsters about severe points, together with a sequence of vignettes that talked about what to do if a baby finds a gun in the home. The Disney Channel sequence “Andi Mack” tackled gun questions of safety in 2018. And Sesame Workshop has for many years talked to youngsters about all types of points starting from loss of life to having a mother or father who could also be incarcerated.

However these efforts had been ready with plenty of advance time. Nickelodeon’s Kaplan says the brand new particular got here collectively over the past seven days, with producers reaching out to actor Bell after seeing her social-media postings about how her household has coped with the pandemic. “She has been residing thorough this. Her husband was quarantined and for a time was away from the household,” explains Kaplan. “She has dealt with this with humor and empathy and actually simply talks immediately and particularly to youngsters.”

Producers had been engaged on this system, which might be taped, over the weekend, says Kaplan. Many earlier youngsters’ information specials featured friends speaking to kids within the studio, however “this was a really totally different mannequin,” the chief says. “No person might be collectively.”

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