Despite the concerns, children today are watching more television on a traditional television set than they did five years ago. Children ages 2 to 11 now spend an average of 111 hours, 47 minutes a month [about three and a half hours a day!] watching traditional television, according to Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Report for the first quarter of 2014.
That is up from the average of 108 hours, 45 minutes a month children in that age group spent watching traditional television in 2009. ...
After its ratings dropped, Nickelodeon overhauled its operations. The network researched the next generation of children, those born since 2005, who in addition to watching television grew up searching for funny cat videos on YouTube.
These youngsters love their families, want to save the world, are very well behaved, have few close friends but wide social circles and do not like bad language, meanness and bloody violence, the research showed, according to Ms. Zarghami. “Kids are looking for nuggets of funny,” she said.
--Emily Steel, NYT, on the eternal draw of television