Parents' Guide to

Kid Nation

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Tweens may like it, but parents should check in.

TV CBS Reality TV 2007
Kid Nation Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 5+

KidNation is a scam, beware with your credit card info!

As another reviewer expressed, Common Sense media needs more common sense to provide more options of reviews. This review has nothing to do with the content. It has to do with companies that take your bank info for a "free trial," then charge you without consent. But the most frustrating part is there is absolutely NO member service, so forget being able to call or email should you have any issues -- this operation avoids any public contact as all efforts including emails to the one email they provide have all been ignored. i am not trying to figure how to block my card from further charges! its a shame that such a positive intention is a predatory scam in practice, as any operation of integrity wouldn't shield itself from its users.
age 9+

Come on!

I can't believe that "helped me decide," "had useful details," and "read my mind" are the only options for agreeing or disagreeing with the reviews people have written on this site. And I 100% disagree with the people (100% of people who voted, each) who thought the TV show "Kid Nation" had violence/was too violent and had inappropriate sexual content. Furthermore, people who called for "Kid Nation" to be banned and railed against the show for "child abuse"/"child labor," etc., and critics of "Kid Nation" probably haven't watched the show.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Kid Nation bears a lot of similarities to Survivor in that, although the group must work together to succeed, alliances (or, in kid terms, friendships) are bound to develop, and there's plenty of competition for individual rewards as well as team ones. One-on-one confessionals give cast members time and opportunity to tattle on peers they think aren't pulling their weight -- or in some cases, throwing their weight around too much. Everything you'd expect from a group of tweens and teens emerges here: pre-teen attitude ("I'm a beauty queen -- I don't do dishes," says 10-year-old Taylor), childish pranks (graffiti on rival districts' doors), and clashes of opinion. Strong personalities often take a beating, and one or two superiority complexes flourish under the barrage of challenges. Emotions run high, and more than one participant -- remember, some of these kids are grade-schoolers -- opts out because of homesickness or the harsh, sparse living conditions.

But Kid Nation's main hurdle is what prompted all of the controversy before its premiere: With a cast of kids and absolutely no adult supervision, something disastrous could happen. And, as it happens, serious injuries were reported on the set (including a burn and a broken bone), and some of the kids suffered obvious emotional trauma from the experience. Top it off with charges of child-labor infringement (the kids were filmed for 14 hours a day), and you can't help but wonder -- what were these parents thinking? No doubt kids' intrigue will be piqued by this series, and for tweens, it might be entertaining. But young viewers may need to be reminded about the potential hazards of the unsupervised activities they see (cooking on a wood-burning stove, for instance) and the inherent non-reality of many so-called "reality" shows.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: September 19, 2007
  • Cast: Jonathan Karsh
  • Network: CBS
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: February 24, 2022

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