'Kid Nation' Exec Claims Show was Hurt By Early Controversy
'Kid Nation' Exec Claims Show was Hurt By Early Controversy
CBS' Kid Nation was on the receiving end of much criticism even before it premiered in September, and even though all the negative talk that surrounded the series eventually faded, executive producer Tom Forman knows that the early controversy had a crippling impact on the show's performance.

"It's not the kind of buzz you want to launch with,” Forman told USA Today

Kid Nation, a reality series that follows 40 children as they try to run a society with minimum adult supervision, ended its debut run on Wednesday, December 12.  CBS has yet to announce whether or not they are willing to give the show another run, but Forman has been busy casting for a possible second season.

According to Horizon Media Analyst Brad Adgate, the chances that Kid Nation will see a renewal are very slim, unless a prolonged writers' strike increases the demand for more unscripted series.

Despite Kid Nation's less-than-stellar ratings and uncertain future, Forman is “very proud” of the series, which he claims was a hit among young viewers and families.

"I'm very proud of this show and very proud of the kids," he told USA Today.  "It's a family show.  At the end of the day, it makes you feel very good."

Ghen Maynard, CBS' head of alternative programming, acknowledged the show's ratings struggle, but claims that it was able to meet the network's content goal.

“I thought the storytelling was terrific and the casting was fantastic," Maynard said.

One of the 40 children who appeared in the series is 12-year-old Randi Buchanan from Sparks, Nevada.  Buchanan was unable to stay in Bonanza City, the setting of the show, for 40 days, as she had grown homesick and decided to leave early.  However, Buchanan now wishes that she had completed her stint on the show, calling Kid Nation “a great experience.”

"It was a great challenge — and hard," she told USA Today, remembering tasks that included cooking, cleaning, washing dishes and doing laundry.  "It teaches people it's not all about sleeping and being lazy.  You've got to work."

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: USA Today
(Image Courtesy of CBS)