Nick Jr, a subset of the Nickelodeon TV channel that has programming directed towards younger kids, became a force to be reckoned with in the children’s TV world when it started airing Yo Gabba Gabba in 2007. Almost immediately upon airing the show became a hit. Kids instantly loved the unique mix of programming styles that were all incorporated into the show. The show is hosted by DJ Lance Rock who acts as an MC through the many segments of the show. Some of the segments are live action, performed with actors in costumes or puppets and human guests. Others are animated sequences featuring familiar characters to the kids watching the shows. Music and dancing are featured in each show which gives kids the chance to get active at home while watching the show and to feel like they are participating in the show. The brilliant mix of programming styles is ideal for keeping children engaged and interested through the course of the show and parents love that the content is age appropriate and fun for kids but also has inside references and jokes for parents who are watching.
Besides DJ Lance Rock the other recurring characters on Yo Gabba Gabba are a red cyclops named Muno, a pink flower named Foofa, a small green hairy monster named Brobee, a blue dragon named Toodee and a yellow magic robot named Plex. Because of the show’s fun format and unique style a lot of big name guests have appeared with DJ Lance Rock and the cast including comedian Jack Black, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, R&B singer Mya, country stars Sugarland, and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. The show, and the guests, are carefully crafted to be modern and appeal to kids today while still retaining the type of educational and functional format that made shows like Sesame Street such a vital part of children’s lives. The show is broadcast in more than a dozen countries around the world and has won numerous children’s programming awards including awards from parent’s groups who praise Yo Gabba Gabba as what children’s programming should be.
Yo Gabba Gabba often features independent musical artists and cultural artists and appeals to modern parents who don’t have mainstream tastes. The show has also found a captivated audience among college students who often watch it just to see the musical performances of their favorite indie rock stars. One of the creators of the show is also a founding member of indie music group the Aquabats and has a strong commitment to showcasing a wide range of musical artists and styles on the show. Because of the cult following that Yo Gabba Gabba has among college students it’s not all uncommon to see college kids and their younger siblings dressing up as popular Yo Gabba Gabba characters for Halloween. Parents who don’t have cable TV can buy Yo Gabba Gabba DVDs for their kids so that they can still have access to this award winning programming.