Author Archives: amyleal

For Kids or Not For Kids – That is the Question

When Nick first asked me to write a family show for Nick@Nite they said “please aim for adults, mainly women, 18-45. That’s our audience!”  So, since I’m a man, I figured I’d just write something that means something to me and hopefully the characters and emotion would attract the 18-45 ladies. I looked at the shows on Nick@Nite. Friends and George Lopez were huge with the audience of adults and kids. So for tone, that was my model. I basically took my life but I made everyone single to allow for romance which is something I heard women like. I also put a love interest next door figuring the “will they, won’t they” will be fun to write and watch. Plus, raising a genius orphan boy is irresistible. From James Bond to Oliver to Annie orphans tap into that part of us that’s afraid of being alone.  It always works for me.  I’ll cry at ‘or’ … you don’t even have to get to ‘phan’.  So I was set. I liked the world and the characters and hoped the audience would come.

My hope was that they’d rebrand NICK@NITE like they did TVLand. Make it shows for the whole family. Set it apart from the kids programs on “normal” Nickelodeon. But as we started making shows there was a shift. They started being more concerned with kids. But the Network has always been, first and foremost, a kid’s network. And they loved our show so much they decided it belonged on Saturday night, which is their big kid’s night. Now, I say Saturday knowing they show it all week long but our success is determined by the night we are new! Reruns don’t count. I’m not sure why.

We suddenly went from a family show like Friends to a kid’s show like Spongebob. While I love kids’ shows and would love to make one for NICK, Wendell & Vinnie was for adults. Our stories, our themes, our language, our casting was all designed to be for adults. But NICK can only really market the show to kids on commercials in-between their other shows.

So, for the whole time we’ve been airing, we’ve been trying to meet the expectations of adults while trying to make it a bit more friendly to kids. My question for you, the fans, is this: “How are we doing and what more can we do to make this show more friendly to families?

– Jay

Tweet me @WendellVinnie_ with your thoughts and remember to add #VinnieQuestions!

Welcome to Vinnie’s Mantiques

Welcome to Vinnie’s Mantiques, the official “unofficial” website for all things “Wendell & Vinnie!”

My name is Jay Kogen. I am a TV writer guy. I’ve written for a lot of shows: “The Simpsons,” “Frasier,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” but my favorite show I’ve ever worked on is “Wendell & Vinnie.” So my friends and I created this website with one purpose in mind: to get the word out about our show and get closer to the people who watch. I want to have a conversation with the fans about what they love and don’t love about the show. I want to know what you want to see. We’re trying to make great show here. It’s not easy to make a show that’s funny. It’s even harder to make a funny show that you kind of care about. And the hardest thing of all is to make a funny show with characters you care about that’s saying something true to our lives. But that is our goal with every episode.

I am proud to say the first season really hits the high mark a lot of the time. This coming from a lot of hard work from a whole crew of people. (If you check in here, you’ll get to meet them!) Most of the episodes are based on something very personal that has happened to me or my writers. And since they’re real we hope they ring true to you. At Vinnie’s Mantiques, we’ll talk about what’s worth showing and what isn’t. You’ll get a chance ask questions of the writers and the stars. And hopefully you’ll think of this show as your show.

Talk to you soon – Jay