Starting next week, fans of Nickleodeon’s Fairly OddParents will be able to see the strip nightly at 8 p.m. The move will push huge kid fave SpongeBob SquarePants to 7:30.
Nick programming vice president Pete Danielsen says he doesn’t believe the schedule changes will hurt SpongeBob’s big mo. “In a kid’s life, 7:30 is critical timeslot,” says Danielsen. "SpongeBob is on a roll; it had its best year ever, and there’s a movie coming out next year.”
Now airing only on Friday night and Saturday morning, Fairly OddParents has been hovering in the No. 2 position behind SpongeBob all year. As with any if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-mix-it-up fears, there’s some concerns that even a half-hour shift could knock SpongeBob out of first place in the ratings. The series debuted in July 2001 and quickly became the top kid show on TV–cable and network. Currently, the show averages 2.5 million kid viewers, while Fairly Odd is close behind with a kid audience of 2.4 million. The SpongeBob shift means that perennial Rugrats will now air at 7 p.m. The Fairly OddParents premiered in 2001. Series follows the misadventures of Timmy Turner and his bumbling fairy godparents.