Will old-time Disney radio serial fly with DVR kids?

Disney was able to revive the musical with the “High School Musical” series and now it’s trying to revive the old-fashioned serial radio show.

Beginning July 5, Radio Disney will begin broadcasting a 20-episode series that follows a 14-year-old girl as she pursues her dream of becoming a singer and songwriter.

A new episode debuts each weekday at 9:25 a.m. on Radio Disney. Listeners who miss them can hear the 90-second episodes later on the station’s website or via mobile phone. (Ninety seconds? Could that be right? It seems way too short to develop any type of story line. Seems like it should be at least 15-minute segments to get anywhere.)

AP reports:

“The idea recalls serials that were popular in the early days of radio, a format that was essentially destroyed when television arrived. Radio Disney says it will wait to see how the first serial fares before committing to others, said Ray De La Garza, the network’s vice president of programming.

” ‘We thought, `let’s create something that can keep the kids entertained andwanting to come back day after day,’ De La Garza said.”

“Televised musicals were considered risky business when Disney launched the ‘High School Musical’ series. They became big hits, reviving a genre that includes Fox’s “Glee,” a breakout series particularly popular with youngsters.”

I think this DVR generation of kids will do better listening to it on re-broadcast on the computer because then they can stop and start it at will and catch back up just like they can with a DVR on TV.

My dad loved serials on radio growing up and they play a lot of the old ones now on Sirius Satellite radio. I try to get my kids to listen to the serial shows on Sirius, but usually without much luck. But it may be the suject matter more than the format.

We’ve been trying a lot of books on CD. Walsh especially likes to fall asleep to the “Magic Tree House” series on CD.  The books on CD are very calming.

So what do you think: Can kids embrace appointment radio? Will they tune into everyday to find out what happens? Can they deal with not being to start and stop it at their will? Could this type of entertainment help to develop patience and calmness in our kids? (The series would have to be longer than 90 seconds.)

43 comments Add your comment

Probably...

June 30th, 2010
7:30 am

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Photius

June 30th, 2010
8:09 am

No, the radio show will not work with children in today’s world because parents have over saturated kids with “entertainment”. Parents don’t even dare allow their kid to get bored anymore or just stare out the car window on a drive to the grocery store; now Mommy must play a DVD in the back seat of the mini van cruising to Wal-Mart so Junior won’t dare get cranky since he is not being entertained 100% of the time.

Becky

June 30th, 2010
8:15 am

My two would probably love it..They have a DVD player in the car, but very seldom watch anything..She is a reader and will grab 2-3 books as we go out the door..The boy is always looking for old cars and trucks..They both like stories, so we will try it..

NicNac

June 30th, 2010
8:18 am

It would actually be a really cool idea if it came on a little earlier in the morning. That sounds like something I would have loved to listen to while getting ready for school/on the way to school. In the summers at 9:25 a.m., I was at various day camps and sports practices and would have never had a chance to listen. And during the school year, class would have been well under way by then. Move it to 6:45 or 7.Just a thought.

Bryan

June 30th, 2010
8:19 am

This is a sophisticated Podcast and marketing campaign from Disney. The fact that they call it a radio serial and broadcast it on Disney Radio gets the attention of media, including this blog. However, the ultimate goal is probably to make this a successful Podcast, a medium that is already popular with this age group. This series will live and die on the Internet.

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
8:39 am

Not sure if the kids will buy into it.

@ Photius…the DVD in the back seat of the car thing makes me NUTS, especially when the driving parent is on his/her cell phone. TURN OFF THE ELECTRONICS AND TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN!
Conversation is the ultimate vocabulary stimulator and kids with strong vocabularies are better readers writers and speakers….YES this is one of my soapboxes and my career too! An exception
( to me) is if you are using an audio CD and singing along with your kids…they are participating and learning.

I can perhaps see it if you were on on 12 hour car tip but 15 minutes to the store or on the way to preschool?

KUDOS T, for giving Walsh a Cd to fall asleep to! My kids listened to cassettes ( 15-22 years ago) every night, after their bath, snack, toothbrush, and story. This was a routine that was predictable and caused them to relax and USUALLY drift off.

I have no research here but having to create your own visuals while listening to a story might help brain development. Maybe catlady can chime in on this one. I love to read and often take books on CD with me when I am on the road.

Tip on start and stop: this could be impulse control…kids today have a big problem with this ( as some parents do not want to argue and just let them do what they want). Impulse control is a learned skill and some adults do not have it…the ones who blast their horn at you ( while behind you in traffic) the SECOND the light turns green ( if you were waiting at a stop light). Taking turns is a learned skill that many children have lost, since so few play board games and when they are playing electronic games they can start and stop whenever they want as there is not the same amount of peer interaction. This is kind of like the kids who dump the game board over ( out of anger) when they are not winning.

Or…how about the child who is screaming he wants to get on the airplane NOW….the boarding door has just opened and the mom is running around the gate trying to catch him before he slips down the run way….HELLO…WE TAKE TURNS. The gate agent is not amused.

Becky

June 30th, 2010
9:00 am

@MJG..The DVD player was put in the car 2 years ago when I drove two five year olds to VA.. They each have their own CD player and the girl listens to country music (loves Alan Jackson) and the boy listens to rock music, but he also loves Marty Robbins..

@NicNac..A change of time would be much better I would think for most people..

What has happened to NewMom and nurse and mother? Does anyone know?
Wayne and Tiger, have we lost y’all also?

Wayne

June 30th, 2010
9:11 am

Hi Becky! Just lurking.

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
9:13 am

@ Becky…I just e-mailed newmom…I am sure she is busy with her children. Wayne was in last week but I do not know about the rest nor how to contact them.

A

June 30th, 2010
9:23 am

Seeing moms in minivans/huge SUVs with phone to ear (apparently they can afford an Escalade but not a $20 Bluetooth device) while driving with who knows how many kids in the back just grates on my nerves. I applaud the no texting while driving law that goes into effect soon, but the GA legislature needs to get tougher and ban all phone use by a driver in a moving car unless using a hands-free device!

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
9:31 am

@ A…here is a question I have…does anyone know/

Can you touch the screen of your GPS while driving, without getting a ticket after tomorrow? I do not text, so that should not be a problem. I do use my Tom Tom…just wondering.

I do not have a bluetooth. I am curious, I drive alone 90% of the time and wonder what is the difference of using my right hand to hold my phone or using it to shift the gear when I drove a 5 speed. Both times, I was driving with only one hand: left…maybe I am too stupid to see the difference and someone can tell me. Now using a cell phone AND shifting is tough!

Wayne

June 30th, 2010
9:41 am

I concur MJG, I’ve had to tell folks to hold on while I put my headset on because I can’t drive, hold my cell and shift at the same time.

ahem. Not that I do that. At all.

DB

June 30th, 2010
9:45 am

I’ve always been nuts on the DVD in the car — never had one, never will, not even on long trips. That’s what books and games are for. The idea of a road trip was to GET AWAY from all that stuff, not drag it along with you!

And, I’m going to ask this, just because I’m curious: We used books on tapes on some long car rides (not a big fan of BOT, but I know a lot of people are). It never occurred to me to use a CD at bedtime — I always read bedtime stories to my kids, because it was snuggle time, wind-down time, and that’s when I usually got the dirt on what they were really thinking :-). What would be the advantage of using a CD instead of reading a story aloud? I mean, I can see it occasionally — but every night?

HB

June 30th, 2010
9:52 am

” what is the difference of using my right hand to hold my phone or using it to shift the gear when I drove a 5 speed”

There’s actually a good bit of research going on right now about multitasking and how the human brain doesn’t do it all that well. I wonder if holding a phone might be worse not because of the physical aspect of not having two hands on the wheel, but because one hand is doing a task unrelated to driving.

Becky

June 30th, 2010
9:55 am

@MJG..I thought that might be the case with newmom, but wasn’t positive..Hope all is well with her and the babies..

Hi Wayne, saw you on here last week or so, guess the topics haven’t been of interest..There were a couple that weren’t that interseting to me..Sorry Theresa..Not to mention that we are very short handed at work, so I’m having to fill in at other places and have been super busy..

Hope everyone has a great day, I’m out of here..Have a lot of work to catch up on, then I’m leaving to take the twins shopping and out to a really nice dinner for their 8th birthday today..

FCM

June 30th, 2010
10:18 am

RADIO Disney needs to get on FM so that the get a broader audiance…no, I am no springing for Satellite Radio for the kis…we listen to MY music on that.

FCM

June 30th, 2010
10:23 am

Photius I think parents who put the DVD on in the car for short trips are morons. I have a good friend who does it and my opinion still holds. I do allow DS and DVD for the long trips though…you know, those that are out of state!

JJ

June 30th, 2010
10:46 am

When my daughter was little, she used to listen to classical music at bedtime. It definately relaxed her, and now she has an apprecation for classical music. Actually, she likes ALL music. I’m amazed at her when we are in the car and she will actually sing along with an “oldie”…..

We never had a portable DVD player, but she did have a portable CD player, then graduated to an iPod. Whenever we went on road trips, I would get a big expandable file, and fill it up with paper, colored pencils, stickers, etc, and off we went. Usually though, she would sleep most of the road trip, unless she was up front with me, then she helped me navigate.

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
11:09 am

@ DB…to clarify…we read FIRST together and then listened to cassettes alone ( while Mommy did her things) …I am sure you figured this out. We still play silly games in the car!

@ Becky…newmom is GOOD and her children are precious…she replied to my e-mail. Happy Birthday to the kids!

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
11:58 am

@ FCM…I have learned that long trips are relative to where you live. I once was in a New England state for a conference and the attendance was not as good as they expected. I mentioned that I hoped it was not due to me being the speaker. They replied, “Oh no…..it is because we usually have it at a different location and some folks did not want to drive 30 minutes to get this side of the state….we heard several complaints!”

I drive 30 minutes one way, each day,most days that I am working here in Atlanta.

Wayne

June 30th, 2010
12:32 pm

MJG: You heard that in a NE state? That’s too funny. I drive 40 minutes one way to get to work. And that’s considered ‘normal’. I live in the western part of the state (MA) and most conferences are in the Boston area, because, well, they don’t know the western part of the state exists. That’s at least a 90 minute drive, going full-tilt boogie, no traffic. Which is unheard of.

We don’t have a DVD player in car or van. Books, paper, crayons, markers and pencils. Maybe a Didj, but that’s about it. We have talked about going to PA or FL. If we do, then we’ll probably get a DVD.

A

June 30th, 2010
12:39 pm

Hmm, good question about GPS. I imagine touching the screen for a second is no different than changing radio stations…you probably shouldn’t be doing it on GA 400 but it’s probably not a huge deal in the end. As for manual transmission, I don’t know how to drive a stick, but I’d think even in that case if you are making a turn (especially a left) your hand is probably not on the gear shift…however I get nervous when I see people with their phone to their ear making a turn with just the one hand. Seems like a lot of multitasking and with kids in the back on their DVD too!

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
12:41 pm

Yep, I think it was Vermont. Is that a NE state?

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
12:45 pm

As I recall, my hands was almost always on the gear shift when driving. I cannot remember and maybe Wayne can! My son has a 5 speed but I rarely drive it. Not sure what the difference is with a left or right turn???

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
12:46 pm

oops…hand!

lakerat

June 30th, 2010
12:56 pm

The problem with cell phone texting/GPS usage is not the holding in one hand – it is the constant glancing up and down to read or type, which takes your attention from the real reason you are in the vehicle, and that is to drive. Driving a stick shift does not require you to keep glancing down as you know where the stick is and where on the console the gear locations are – with out looking. I drive one handed much of the time with an automatic – and why, when using a blue tooth headset would you need to keep holding your phone anyway? Can you not just put it down on the seat or console?

And, yes, VT is definitely in NE.

CDD

June 30th, 2010
12:57 pm

Actually there are still radio “shows” still on – or at least one I know of. Saturday mornings at 9:30 on 91.5 is Adventures in Odyssey. It’s Christian programming so I know that wouldn’t appeal to a lot of people, but my kids like listening to it & I used to listen when I was younger too.

FCM

June 30th, 2010
12:59 pm

New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Canada and the state of New York, consisting of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. (wiki)

Anything Macon or south, Douglasville or west, Ringgold or North, and I only go east when I am going out of state….meets MY requirement to get the DVD in the car.

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
1:33 pm

Thanks for the geography lesson all!

This is where the writer’s facial clues and voice inflections get missed when we are reading and not looking at the person who is sharing. I am a bit better at geography now, having been to all 50 states as an adult. I pretty much know where everything is and was being sarcastic but it did not come through on my post.

In Texas, Alaska and perhaps Montana, you could drive longer inside each state than it would take me to get to North or South Carolina from my house. I have learned that ” a fer piece” can mean 45 minutes or 12 hours….depends on where you are.

@ Lakerat, I do not text and am wondering if just TALKING on the phone and holding it…not a blue tooth… is more distracting than shifting. I do use my GPS…has anyone read anything about tickets for using that while driving? I DO NOT have a blue tooth…but I could get one for sure.

Wayne

June 30th, 2010
1:40 pm

You could get a GPS with bluetooth built in!

Stick driving is automatic. So to speak. As lakerat mentions, you just know after driving stick for any length of time. Holding/talking on the phone, well, I guess it depends on the conversation:

Yes Dear.

Yes Dear.

Yes Dear.

Milk. Bread.

You spent how much?

The kid did what?

Just some quick thoughts about some of the conversations one could have and how much attention is needed…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

June 30th, 2010
1:42 pm

MGJ — when the GPS is inside the car, ie not a garmin or hand held, the car will not let you program it while you are moving — you have to be in park – so it sort of prevents someone from htat moving violation.

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
1:50 pm

@ T…mine is a portable, so I can take it with me when I am in all sorts of rental cars ….30 plus times per year….and not pay extra. I use it all the time when I am driving. I have never had a built in kind as that is not practical for me. I just plug mine into to all the cars I drive.

Good points Wayne. I just bought a new Tom Tom when mine kicked into HINDI, while I was in Iowa.
I could see the picture but I had no idea what it was saying and THEN I could not drive and look at it too. It ultimately blitzed out and the techs at Best Buy told me it was TOAST. I brought it home and my husband fixed it ….amazing but true…now my daughter has it.

LOL…my milk, eggs and bread person ( our son) just moved out yesterday. That was his contribution weekly. Guess I will be adding that to my calls too!

JATL

June 30th, 2010
3:41 pm

I hope the radio show takes off! I love the idea and still greatly enjoy listening to NPR radio shows like “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “Prairie Home Companion”(although they’re not serials). I think if the parents will act as a reminder and drive it with the kids, then yes -they’ll love it! Especially when they’re driving around with mom. Parents should push it because, like reading, listening to a story makes you use your imagination too.

On the DVD car thing -we have a rule -unless we’re going on a vacation/LONG road trip (over 2 hours), we do not use the DVD in our mini van. You can listen to music, talk or find some other way to occupy yourself. However, for a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old, 6 and 7 hour road trips are SO much nicer with a DVD player! As for the reading thing -I hope they will read when they’re old enough, but I ALWAYS had motion sickness issues in the back seat, and my oldest already does. I’ve never been able to read in the car without getting sick, so I doubt he will either.

FCM

June 30th, 2010
4:14 pm

One of my children will read in the car even with the movie going. The other child gets motion sickness reading in the car…not going there!

FCM

June 30th, 2010
4:14 pm

One of my children will read in the car even with the movie going. The other child gets motion sickness reading in the car…not going there!

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
6:24 pm

@ HB, thinking about your comment regarding multi tasking. Most studies find that women are better at it than men.

Just being a Mom puts you in multi task mode most of the day, to me.

I RARELY ever sit still and talk on the phone at home.

I have NEVER seen my husband on the phone while cooking, loading the dishwasher, folding clothes, cleaning the bathroom or even just going out to the car to get something or taking the trash out. When he is on the phone…HE IS ON THE PHONE. Driving and talking on his cell phone, is the only time he is doing something else. Just an observation from my world.

newblogger

June 30th, 2010
9:09 pm

We had an SUV with a DVD player and traded the gas sucker for a smaller SUV with no DVD player. We don’t really miss it-only used it for long trips anyway. The other day my 9 year old wanted to take my laptop in the car to play a movie for a short trip. I launched into a speech about how kids today can’t pay attention for any length of time and how they always expect to be entertained and that back in my day…..you know how it goes. The older one who happened to be in the car with us (most unusual) then said, “You should have known not to get her started-she pulls out all that teacher talk on you and you don’t stand a chance.” Sad but true!

fk

June 30th, 2010
9:11 pm

We took a 900 mile car trip every summer for 14 years without a dvd player. Books, ipod (and cd player prior to that) as well as conversation passed the hours. And, we drove straight thru most trips, at least a 13.5 hour trip, but was as long as 16.5 if we hit traffic at the bridges.

Wayne: My sister lives in Berksire County. It’s beautiful up there.

motherjanegoose

June 30th, 2010
9:40 pm

@ new blogger…when my daughter had her HS graduation dinner, last month, I told her she needed to go around to each table and introduce every person there ( to the group), thank them for coming and tell how she knows them.
She darts her eyes at her brother and he says, ” oh yeah…I had to do that too….you may as well get ready for it as Mom will expect it of you…” Social skills are not absorbed from one’s pillow case and this seems to be obvious in today’s society ( to me). I am trying to get mine prepared for life with manners.

Good for you for having children who know you will “pull out all that teacher talk”. I take it as a compliment and I hope you do too.

HB

June 30th, 2010
9:43 pm

I’m a big believer in unplugging, but I do think the DVD player can be a wonderful thing for some families on long trips. I sat for a family with a 6yo, a 3yo, and twin 2yos, and I don’t think we’d have survived a 2+ hour trip without Mary Poppins or The Little Mermaid in the van’s VCR. You can only keep that many toddlers strapped in car seats happy with crayons for so long and they weren’t really old enough yet to enjoy I Spy, card games, etc. Serious multitasking going on 24/7 in that family, MJG.

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deidre_NC

July 1st, 2010
12:23 pm

MJG thats funny!! i drive 30 minutes to the plain old grocery store and almost an hour to work…every day!! to go to a ‘real’ mall its either atlanta or asheville…which are both 2 or so hours.