The blurring of the YA/Adult audience

  • July 2, 2010
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The Chicago Tribune ran an interesting article today about the growing number of adult viewers who watch tween TV. Nielsen recently reported that a special of the Nickelodeon series, “iCarly,” (“iSaved Your Life”) attracted an audience of 12.4 million views, 2.7 of whom were adults between the ages of 18 and 49. The show is designed for kids between the ages of 8 and 13.

Other TV shows have taken advantage of the trend. They include “Good Luck Charlie,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “Hannah Montana,” among others.

The same crossover phenomenon is evident in books. Consider the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, and other YA/Adult books like The Book Thief and even, Is It Night or Day?. They draw readers from both audiences. A quick glance at the profiles of the readers of these books at confirms this point.

“We want parents to see themselves in those characters,” says Adam Bonnet, senior vice president of orignial programming for the Disney Channel, “or even to see what they were like as a teen and appreciate what the younger characters are going through.”

Yes, exactly, that is the goal of authors of crossover books, too. “It’s a move back to the all-family type programming that the (broadcast) networks, for some reason, abandoned,” says Dana Ewing, senior strategic planner for the Geppetto Group, a New York-based youth marketing firm.

“These kinds of shows [and books] come with themes that are relatable and relevant to more than just the kids.”

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