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TV Junkie: Fallon is Tops; Dora Turns 10

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Jimmy Fallon is the most popular late night show host with a digital footprint to match. [Photo by Thomas Attila Lewis]
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Yesterday Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer" celebrated its 10th anniversary. The groundbreaking series was the first animated Latina character on TV in a leading role. Today, she is seen by over 100 million kids around the world. The show airs in over 150 countries, and it is translated in over 30 languages. What was also remarkable about Dora is that she was neither a cutesy Strawberry Shortcake or sexed-up She-Ra female character - she's just intelligent, confident, and independent. Our two kids were brought up watching Dora but there was a very definite time when they had enough of the repetition and static animation style of the series. The Dora formula was easily parodied in "Saturday Night Live"'s "Maraka" by Robert Smigel which made us realize how unwatchable Dora had become.It's an achievement that Dora has made it to 10 years, but it's also a testament to failure that no other show for kids with a strong yet non-sexualized female lead character has manifest itself on Nickelodeon. Dora has made over $11 billion in merchandise sales so it's probably a no-brainer for Nick to keep the show going (without any significant changes). But to us, it's also a no-brainer for Nick to keep "Yo Gabba Gabba" going since it's a show with appeal beyond pre-schoolers as well as being enjoyable for parents to watch.

So, Nickelodeon, it makes sense for you to keep the profitable franchise going but it's obvious that you need to keep innovating with shows like "Yo Gabba Gabba" and a new show with a decent female lead. If you can do that then you might have another 10 years of good shows ahead of you.
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Jimmy Fallon is the top-ranked late night comedian when it comes to popularity and footprint: blogging, online video content, tweeting, and Ustreaming works. Running in second is Conan O'Brien who hasn't even had a show for most of the last year. Conan's replacement, Jay Leno, brings up the last 3rd of late night hosts. Very few people can do what Fallon does, and although he might not have had our full support when he started this venture, he's stepped up his game and performs admirably with the exception of his monologue (get some new writers!). We're looking forward to seeing him host the Emmys later this month, and were happy to talk to him at the Television Critics Association a couple weeks ago.
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The TV Junkie Plan: "Hell's Kitchen", "White Collar", "The Colony", "Louie", Kimmel (Sofýa Vergara, Gordon Ramsay), Ferguson (David Duchovny)