Why are Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, iCarly, Mission Six, The Rubyz, and a ton of other young bands, musicians, stars, and celebrities making such a huge wave on TV, in movies, and in concert venues across America and around the world? One word, “tweeners,” says it all.
“What are tweeners?” you might be wondering. Market researchers say they’re kids roughly between the ages of 8 and 14, who have a whole set of unique and adventurous tastes in what they want to watch on TV, listen to on their i-Pods, experience online, and share with their friends.
And this spring Smile of a Child, one of the most popular kids networks on cable and satellite TV, has introduced an innovative and lively new weekly series, iShine KNECT, designed specifically with tweens in mind. “We’re really excited to add the iShine team to our awesome group of programs,” said Brenda Rossman, programming director for Smile of a Child TV. “Ages 8 to 14 is such a crucial time for kids, emotionally, relationally, spiritually—in just about every way. From the moment we were introduced to iShine, we knew it was the perfect show to reach our ‘tween’ viewers with Christ-centered, life-affirming messages and themes they need at this time of life.”
Long-time contemporary Christian music veteran Robert Beeson created iShine after recognizing that there was an absence of strong, faith-based entertainment and music for this specific age group. “These kids are hungry for music, but they also want something that applies to their lives, something they can connect with,” explained Beeson. “Disney does a great job bringing entertainment to this emerging market, but as far as the Christian community is concerned, I just found a real lack of music being made specifically for this age group.”
With tweens spending $50 million a year on media, and their parents kicking in another $150 million on them, Beeson realized there was something he could offer that would fill the niche for tweens in need of wholesome entertainment with solid faith-centered values. He created iShine Live, an exciting, colorful, and edgy two-hour touring concert for tweens. Beeson explained the significance of the name. “The ‘I’ stands for identity, who these young people can be in Christ,” he said. “And the ‘shine’ signifies what they do with that identity in Christ.”
When Rossman discovered this hidden treasure of wholesome, faith-based tweener entertainment, She immediately went to work to bring iShine to the Smile of a Child network. “I discovered iShine Live after stumbling upon a Mission Six music video, and that prompted me to contact Robert Beeson,” she said. “Together he and Smile of a Child produced the iShine KNECT series, along with an upcoming iShine KNECT concert special. And since we started broadcasting it, we’ve gotten great feedback both from kids and parents.”
Unapologetically Christian in its approach, iShine KNECT uses the hottest in music videos for tweens, along with interviews and compelling special segments, to bring young people in for a close-up look at how they can discover God’s love and live out a dynamic faith in Christ on a daily basis. Hosted by nationally known teen speaker and cancer survivor Paige Armstrong, the high-energy series is devoted to helping young people connect to the values that matter in life in the middle of the questionable attitudes and behavior that much of the world around them is promoting.
In addition to the weekly iShine KNECT series, an exclusive iShine KNECT Concert Special is scheduled for some time in late spring. The high-energy concert, filmed in Nashville, will include performances by the same singers and bands appearing on the weekly show, including Mission Six, The Rubyz, Jasmine Sagginario, Cooper and Gatlin Green, Logan Charles, Jonnie and Brookie, Kelsey Muse, and Josiah Rea, along with host Jamie-Grace Harper! The concert also features a personal message from Paige Armstrong that will inspire and challenge young viewers to give their complete devotion to Christ.
“’iShine KNECT’ is a special show we’re sure will become a favorite among young viewers,” said Paul Crouch Jr., TBN’s Chief of Staff. “It’s a perfect fit for our SMILE network, and one every parent of a ‘tweener’ will want to watch with their child.”
iShine KNECT can be seen on Smile of a Child TV every Saturday at 3:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). It can also be seen on Trinity Broadcasting Network (www.tbn.org) and JCTV (www.jctv.org). Check network schedules for specific broadcast times. To find out more about Smile of a Child TV, visit www.smileofachildtv.org.
About Smile of a Child TV and TBN
Smile of a Child TV is part of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s family of quality Christian television. TBN is the world’s largest religious network and America’s most watched faith network. Each day TBN offers 24 hours of commercial-free inspirational programming that appeals to people in a wide variety of denominations. Beginning in 1973 as a single UHF station in southern California, TBN now reaches every major continent via 65 satellites and more than 12,500 television and cable affiliates worldwide. In the United States, TBN is available to 92 percent of the total households. Its website receives more than 27 million visitors monthly. For more information on TBN, visit www.tbn.org.
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