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'Rugrats' spinoff leaves sandbox world behind

Nickelodeon extends the popular franchise by fast-forwarding Chuckie, Angelica, Tommy and pals into adolescence.

November 29, 2003|Michael Mallory | Special to The Times

The producers insist the show won't delve too far into the characters' loss of innocence. While rock 'n' roll is well represented in the new series through the cranked-up musical scores by "Rugrats" veterans Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh (formerly of the band Devo), such perennial teen concerns as sex and drugs will probably not be there to keep it company.

"It's not a show designed for serious subject matter," says Zarghami. "We're focusing on the 9- to 11-year-old issues and probably only dabbling in the 12- to 14-year-old issues. We will stay away from the heavy-duty issues that are not relevant to the younger audience we expect to be watching."

While another Klasky-Csupo series on Nick, "As Told by Ginger," also skews to a slightly older audience, Zarghami insists that the network is not going to forsake its traditional 6-to-11 demo for the sake of tweens. Even if it were to, it might not affect viewership much. "You can ask a 13-year-old if they still watch 'Rugrats' and in public they say no," Zarghami says, "but the research shows many of them still do."

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'All Grown Up'

Where: Nickelodeon

When: Premieres tonight, 8-9

Creators Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, Paul Germain. Directors (tonight's two episodes) Jim Duffy, Michael Kenny. Writers (tonight's two episodes) Sheila Anthony, Erin Ehrlich.

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