Sexual comedy show airs on toddler network

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by Sybil Hoffman

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 1:56 PM

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- It's a popular channel designed just for kids, but recently Nick Jr. launched a new program containing some pretty racy content. It came as a shock for one Valley family as it begins at 7 p.m.

"Parental Discretion" is among the new shows now airing on Nick Jr. Nickelodeon launched the programming block on Oct. 1.

According to the network executives, "NickMom is a new adult-targeted programming block that was created specifically for moms to relax and laugh with at the end of their busy day. It includes stand-up comedy, reality series and vignettes about the very unique and funny experiences of being a mom, told from a mom's point of view, as well as a companion website, nickmom.com."

"I watched it for just a few minutes and I was very shocked because I was like, OK what is this? because they were talking about very vulgar things," Valley mom Tasha Sparks said.

Not only does the host incorporate a lot of sexual content in her monologues, she also uses profanity.

"My son was right next to me hearing this and watching this," Kevin Sparks said.

That's because Nickelodeon sends out the show on a single feed based on the East Coast time zone. So it airs at 10 p.m. there and 7 p.m. here. A time when Kevin and Tasha often let their 3-year-old son, Jackson, watch the popular kids network.

Kevin Sparks is concerned.

"I'm really worried that what he did hear he's going to ask me about it," he said.

"They pick up thing so quickly that I would be so embarrassed if we were out somewhere with friends and he's repeating those things to people," Tasha Sparks pointed out.

Outraged, the couple reached out to the network, even the host, Stephanie Wilder-Taylor. In her email response, she admitted, "for some reason they decided to not have two separate feeds (like most late night shows). I don't understand that decision at all and would probably be upset if my child was watching this type of show. The only thing I can suggest is to supervise your son while he's watching TV."

Tasha Sparks was offended.

"I thought how dare her say for me to supervise my son because actually I do and it's a good thing I did when I turned it on because he would have heard that stuff had I walked away from it and not cared what he was watching," she said.

Dan Martinsen, executive vice president of Corporate Communications, said they warn parents the show is coming on at least 10 times per day.

"I've had Nick Jr. on for five to six days and I've never seen one of these so-called warnings," Kevin Sparks said.

For the Sparks, they just want to alert other parents.

"I don't need that on his channel," Tasha Sparks said. "That's his channel for him to watch." "We are currently exploring adding a second feed," Martinsen told 3TV.

In the meantime, the Sparks aren't the only ones voicing concern. A website called www.cancelnickmom.com has been created.
 

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