Nickelodeon's broadcast day runs on Sundays from 6 a.m.- 8 p.m., Monday-Thursdays from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturdays from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time). Since 1985, it shares its channel space with Nick at Nite, a night time channel that airs sitcom reruns during the interim hours. It is treated as a separate channel from Nickelodeon by A.C. Nielsen Co. for ratings purposes. The two services are sometimes referred to under the collective name "Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite", due to their association as two individual channels sharing the same channel space.
Early history (1977–1979)Edit
Nickelodeon's pre-history began on December 1, 1977 when QUBE, the first two-way interactive cable TV system was launched in Columbus, Ohio by Warner Cable (owned by Warner Communications, and an ancestor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment). One of the specialized channels available to subscribers of the QUBE system was The Pinwheel Network, a cable channel offering children's programming.
Relaunch as Nickelodeon and national expansion (1979–1990)Edit
Pinwheel was re-launched as Nickelodeon on April 1, 1979, and despite its prior history on the QUBE system under the Pinwheel name, Nickelodeon has declared that 1979 is the network's official launch year. It began airing on various Warner Cable systems, beginning in Buffalo, New York and quickly expanded its audience reach.Originally a commercial-free cable channel, shows airing during its broadcast day (which initially ran from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. ET on weekends) included Video Comic Book, Pop Clips and the long-running Pinwheel (now formatted as a daily hour-long series that ran in a 3-5 hour block format, and was a precursor to the Nick Jr. block) along with other shows such as America Goes Bananaz, Nickel Flicks and By the Way. In 1980, new shows were added to the lineup, including Dusty's Treehouse, First Row Features, Special Delivery, What Will They Think Of Next?, Livewire, and Hocus Focus.
The network's first logo had a mime looking into a Nickelodeon machine that was placed in the N. In between television programs, the in between show interstitial featured a mime who would do various skits and routines to the song Music! Music! Music! and the station ID's featured the same mime who would turn the crank on an old nickelodeon as soon as the next program was about to start. The second logo had the word "Nickelodeon" in Pinwheel's logo font. The third logo was a silver pinball with the "Nickelodeon" title in multicolor. Nickelodeon's first popular children's television series was You Can't Do That on Television, a Canadian sketch comedy that made its American debut on Nickelodeon in late 1981. On April 12, 1981, the channel extended its hours from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. ET by turning its channel over to the Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS) and, later until 1985, A&E Network after ARTS merged with NBC's struggling cable service The Entertainment Channel.
In 1983, Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment began divesting its assets and spun off Nickelodeon and two other channels, MTV and the now-defunct Radio Television Station (RTS) into the newly-formed subsidiary; in order to increase revenue, Nickelodeon began to accept PBS-style corporate underwriting for its programming. The green slime originally featured on You Can't Do That On Television was then adopted by the channel as a primary feature of many of its shows, including Double Dare. In the early years, other shows such as Livewire, Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, The Third Eye and Mr. Wizard's World were part of the regular Nickelodeon time slots.
The channel struggled at first, having lost $10 million by 1984, mostly due to a lack of successful programs including failed shows such as Against the Odds and Going Great, and finishing dead last among the cable channels. After firing the previous staff, MTV Networks president Bob Pittman turned to Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman, who created MTV's iconic IDs a few years earlier, to reinvigorate Nickelodeon. Seibert and Goodman's company, Fred/Alan (now Frederator Studios), teamed up with Tom Corey and Scott Nash of the advertising firm Corey McPherson Nash to replace the "Pinball" logo with the "orange splat" logo with the name Nickelodeon written in Balloon font, that would be used in hundreds of different variations for the next quarter century. Fred/Alan also enlisted the help of animators, writers, producers and doo-wop group The Jive Five to create new channel IDs. Within six months of the rebranding, Nickelodeon would become the dominant channel in children programming and has remained so for more than 25 years, even in the midst of increasing competition in recent years from other kids-oriented cable channels such as Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. The same year as the rebrand, Nickelodeon began accepting traditional advertising.
In January 1985, after A&E dropped its partnership with Nickelodeon and became its own 24-hour channel, Nickelodeon simply went to a test screen after sign-off. That July, Nickelodeon added a new nighttime block called Nick at Nite, and became a 24/7 service. That same year, American Express sold their stake in Warner-Amex to Warner Communications and was renamed Warner Cable; by 1986, Warner Cable turned MTV Networks into a private company, and sold MTV, RTS, Nickelodeon and the new VH1 network to Viacom for $685 million. In 1988, Nick aired the first annual Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards (previously known as The Big Ballot) and introduced Nick Jr., an educational television block for younger children around preschool age. Nick Jr. was made to replace Nickelodeon's former preschool block, Pinwheel.
Success in the 1990s and the 2000s (1990–2009)Edit
In 1990, Nickelodeon opened Nickelodeon Studios, a television studio/attraction at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando which many of its sitcoms and game shows were filmed and entered into a multimillion-dollar joint marketing agreement with international restaurant chain Pizza Hut, which provided Nickelodeon Magazine for free at participating Pizza Hut restaurants (which was put on hiatus for three years). In 1991, Nickelodeon developed its first animated series, Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren and Stimpy Show. These series, known as Nicktoons, premiered on August 11, 1991. The network had previously refused to produce weekly animated series due to high cost.
The three Nicktoons found success by 1993, so Nickelodeon developed its fourth Nicktoon, Rocko's Modern Life, which was also a success. Also, in March 1993, Nickelodeon ran out of shapes with which to display their iconic orange logo. Because of this, they enlisted the help of viewers everywhere in the USA to come up with new shapes to use for their television promos. The final results (which included the logo in 3D and in form of a cap, balloon, gear, rocket, top, etc.) began airing (along with their new TV promo presentation package) in late-June 1993. Later, Nickelodeon partnered with Sony Wonder and released top selling video cassettes of the network's programming until 1997. Doug and The Ren & Stimpy Show would both end production about that time, but still would air reruns up until about 2001. However Doug would find success when Disney Channel picked it up and placed it on its new block. It was called Disney's One Saturday Morning. Rugrats, on the other hand, returned from hiatus on May 9, 1997 (reruns continued to air up until that point). In 1998, The Rugrats Movie was released in theaters. The movie grossed more than $100 million in the United States and became the first non-Disney animated movie to ever earn that much. Then in May 1999, the channel debuted the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, which quickly became one of the most popular Nicktoons in the network's history, and has remained very popular to this day, consistently ranking as the channel's highest-rated series since 2000.
On August 15, 1992, the channel extended its Saturday schedule to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET with the launch of a primetime block called SNICK, which was home to shows such as Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Clarissa Explains It All, All That, The Amanda Show and Kenan & Kel; in 2004, the block was reformatted as the Saturday edition of TEENick (which originally debuted on Sunday evenings in 2000), and the Saturday night block continues today without an official block name (though A Night of Premieres is occasionally used when two or more programs feature new episodes on that night); the TEENick branding, with its spelling altered to TeenNick, has since been used on the Nickelodeon sister channel previously known as The N. In June 1993, Nickelodeon resumed its magazine brand, Nickelodeon Magazine. The success of the Saturday primetime block led Nickelodeon to expand its programming into weeknight primetime in 1996, by extending its broadcast day to 8:30 p.m. ET (and later extended to 9 p.m. ET from 1998 to 2009) on Sunday through Friday nights.
In 1994, Nickelodeon launched The Big Help, which spawned a spinoff program The Big Green Help in 2007; the point of the program is to change yourself and the earth by exercising and protecting the environment to show a difference to the earth. Also that same year, Nickelodeon removed You Can't Do That on Television from its schedule after a thirteen-year run and by the same year the network had launched a new sketch comedy show, All That. For many years, until its cancellation in 2005, All That would launch the careers of many actors and actresses including Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, and Jamie Lynn Spears. The show's executive producer, Dan Schneider, would go on to create and produce several hit series for Nickelodeon including among others Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh and Zoey 101, and more recently iCarly and Victorious. In October and December 1994, Nickelodeon sold Halloween and Christmas themed episodes of its Nicktoons through syndication to local markets across the United States, with then-new former corporate relative, Paramount Domestic Television (now CBS Television Distribution).
In October 1995, Nickelodeon ventured in the World Wide Web and launched Nick.com. Initially the website was available only using America Online's internet service, but was later available to all internet service providers. The website's popularity grew and in March 1999, Nick.com became the highest-rated website aimed at children aged 6–14 years old. Nickelodeon used the website in conjunction with television programs which increased traffic. In 2001, Nickelodeon partnered with Networks Inc. to provide broadband video games for rent from Nick.com. The move was a further step in the multimedia direction that the developers wanted to take the website. Skagerlind indicated that over 50% of Nick.com's audience are using a high speed connection which allows them to expand the gaming options on the website. To accompany the broadband content, TurboNick was created. Initially it was a popup panel which showcased broadband content on Nick.com.
In March 2004, Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite were split up in the Nielsen primetime and total day ratings, due to the different programming, advertisers and target audiences between the two services; this caused controversy by cable executives believing this manipulated the ratings, given that Nick at Nite's broadcast day takes up only a fraction of Nickelodeon's programming schedule. Nickelodeon's and Nick at Nite's respective ratings periods encompasses only the hours they each operate under the total day rankings, though Nickelodeon only is rated for the daytime ratings; this is due to a ruling by Nielsen in July 2004, that networks have program for 51% or more of a daypart to qualify for ratings for a particular daypart.
Nickelodeon Studios closed down in 2005 and was converted into the Blue Man Group Sharp Aquos Theatre in 2007; Nickelodeon now tapes its live-action series at the Nickelodeon On Sunset studios (formerly the Earl Carroll Theatre) in Hollywood, California and other studio locations in Hollywood and other areas. In 2007, Nickelodeon began a four-year development deal with Sony Music to produce music-themed series for the channel, help fund and launch albums in conjunction with the label tied to Nickelodeon shows and produce original songs for the programs to be released as singles as result; the only series produced under the partnership that was greenlit as a series, Victorious debuted in 2010, though a similar hit music-themed sitcom, Big Time Rush that debuted the same year features a similar partnership with Columbia Records, though with Columbia only being involved with the show's music, Sony Music became involved with that show's production midway through its first season. Big Time Rush soon, after less than a month on the air, became a hit series, garnering 6.8 million viewers for its debut on January 18, 2010, and setting a new record for highest-rated live-action series premiere in the network's history.
Rebranding and plans for the future (2009–present)Edit
Nickelodeon announced in February 2009 that Noggin and The N were to be rebranded as Nick Jr. and TeenNick to bring both channels in line with the Nickelodeon brand identity. Nickelodeon later announced in May 2009 that Nick Magazine would be discontinued by the end of the year. In July 2009, Nickelodeon unveiled a new logo for the first time in 25 years on the packaging of Nickelodeon DVDs coming out beginning that month, the Australian service, and that year's Nickelodeon Animation Festival, intending to create a unified look that can better be conveyed across all of MTV Networks's children's channels. On September 28, 2009, the new logo is used across Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite, along with the rebranded TeenNick, Nick Jr. and Nicktoons (formerly The N, Noggin and Nicktoons Network, respectively) channels in varying versions customized for brand unification and refreshment purposes; a new logo for Nickelodeon Productions also began being used in end credit tags on all Nickelodeon shows, even on episodes aired before the new logo took effect (end credit tags of programs airing on TeenNick, Nick Jr. and some shows on Nicktoons only use the current Nickelodeon Productions logo and variants for their respective channel's original programming on episodes of series made after the rebrand). New York based creative director/designer Eric Zim rebranded Nickelodeon, creating the new identity, logos, and the look and feel. In addition to creating the new Nickelodeon corporate logo, he created a whole new logo system to represent the company’s entire family of sub-brands (including digital networks Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick at Nite).
Though it is mainly a wordmark, during the days prior to the 2010 and 2011 Kids' Choice Awards, the logo bug was given a blimp background to match the award given out at the show; and beginning the week of September 7, 2010 the logo was formed by a splat design (a la the 2006-2009 logo) in the on-screen program bug during new episodes of its original series. The new logo was adopted in the UK on February 15, 2010, in Spain on February 19, 2010, in Asia on March 15, 2010 and in Latin America on April 5, 2010. The "Nickelodeon on ABS-CBN" block on ABS-CBN in the Philippines adopted the rebranded logo on July 26, 2010. On November 2, 2009, a Canadian version of Nickelodeon was launched, in partnership between Viacom and Corus Entertainment (owners of YTV, which has aired Nick shows for several years, and will continue to do so); as a result, versions of Nickelodeon now exist in most of North America.
On May 12, 2010, after an agreement was reached with Haim Saban (who earlier that month had bought back rights to the Power Rangers franchise from The Walt Disney Company), Nickelodeon agreed to air an eighteenth season of the series, and the production resumed in late 2010 for. The new show, Power Rangers Samurai, debuted in February 7, 2011; as part of the deal, Nickelodeon also plans to air the existing 700-episode catalog of the series on the Nicktoons cable channel later that year.
On January 1, 2011, Nickelodeon debuted a new original series, House of Anubis. The show, which was based on the series Het Huis Anubis which aired on an international version of Nickelodeon in The Netherlands, became the first original scripted series to be broadcast in a weekdaily strip (in a similar format to a soap opera) and the first original series produced by the flagship Nickelodeon in the United States not to be produced in the United States or Canada.
Main article: List of programs broadcast by NickelodeonCurrent programming on Nickelodeon includes SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, The Penguins of Madagascar, Fanboy and Chum Chum, The Fairly Oddparents, Supah Ninjas, Planet Sheen, Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures, Victorious, Big Time Rush, House of Anubis, Power Rangers Samurai, T.U.F.F. Puppy and The Troop with reruns of Rugrats, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Avatar: The Last Airbender, All Grown Up!, Zoey 101, Rocket Power, and My Life as a Teenage Robot. SpongeBob, iCarly and Big Time Rush are the most frequently aired programs on Nickelodeon, with SpongeBob in particular typically airing about 9-11 times each day on average. iCarly currently ranks as of 2010 as the channel's highest-rated original series and the highest-rated cable program among children ages 2 and up, according to Nielsen Media Research. Nickelodeon also continues to air bi-monthly special editions of the long-running magazine series Nick News, hosted by Linda Ellerbee since its debut in 1992 (until the early 2000s, Nick News had aired on Nick on an almost weekly basis on Sunday nights).
On February 2, 2009, Nickelodeon discontinued the TEENick and Nick Jr. programming blocks but the programming within the blocks remained; the former TEENick Saturday evening and Sunday late afternoon blocks no longer carry a name.
On October 21, 2009, it was announced that Nickelodeon secured the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise from Mirage Studios. The network plans to develop a new CGI-animated TMNT television series and will partner with fellow Viacom company Paramount Pictures to bring a new TMNT movie to theaters. Both are expected for 2012.
On March 15, 2010, Nickelodeon announced the renewals of 16 of its existing series for the 2010-11 season that include the second season renewals of freshman series The Troop and Big Time Rush (the latter series was picked up for another season after only 10 episodes aired) and veteran series such as iCarly (whose fourth season renewal was already announced in late 2009 and it was announced later that it would be renewed for a 5th season as well), True Jackson, VP and SpongeBob SquarePants. The channel also announced the additions of an English-language version of the Belgian/Dutch live-action Nickelodeon series Het Huis Anubis called House of Anubis, a Kung Fu Panda' animated series, and the preschool series Bubble Guppies for the Nick Play Date block.
Unlike most cable channels (save for sports-oriented channels), Nickelodeon is sometimes susceptible to programs overrunning their designated timeslot because of short-form segments airing in commercial breaks during special programming which add time to commercial breaks with no limiting of the number of commercials shown when these segments air between breaks, this often causes program start times to be disrupted, which is problematic for those recording Nick programs as part of the program may be cut off. In these circumstances, commercial breaks may be shortened during some programs on Nick at Nite's late evening and overnight schedules and regular "top-and-bottom of the hour" start times would not be restored until early the next morning; similar issues in which programming schedules become off-sync also occur periodically on sister channels MTV and VH1.
Main article: Nicktoons Nicktoons are animated television series produced by and aired on Nickelodeon. Until 1991, the animated series that aired on Nickelodeon were largely imported from foreign countries, and some original animated specials were also featured on the channel up to that point as well. Nicktoons continue to make up a substantial portion of Nickelodeon's lineup, with roughly 6–7 hours airing on weekdays and around nine hours on weekends including a five-hour weekend morning block. Since the late 2000s, after the channel struck a deal with DreamWorks Animation in 2006 to develop the studio's animated films into weekly series, there has been a gradual shift towards Nicktoon series using three-dimensional computer animation rather than traditional or digital two-dimensional ink and paint; the introductions of The Penguins of Madagascar and Fanboy and Chum Chum to the channel's lineup reflect this.
Main article: List of films broadcast by NickelodeonNickelodeon does not air movies on a regular basis; however, it does produce its own original made-for-cable television movies, which usually premiere in weekend evening timeslots.
The channel occasionally airs feature films produced by the network's Nickelodeon Movies film production division (whose films are distributed by sister company Paramount Pictures); however, despite the fact that the film division bears the Nickelodeon name, the Nickelodeon cable channel does not have access to most Nickelodeon Movies-produced films released through Paramount. Nickelodeon does have broadcast access to most feature films based on or that served as the basis for original series produced by the channel (such as Barnyard and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie); the majority of live-action feature films produced under the Nickelodeon Movies banner are licensed for broadcast by various television outlets, primarily cable networks (however, Nickelodeon has aired a small number of live-action features from Nickelodeon Movies including Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Good Burger, which have aired on the channel's Nick at Nite nighttime block).
Nickelodeon also advertises hour-long episodes of its original series, such as iCarly, True Jackson, VP, Big Time Rush, Victorious and House of Anubis as movies; though these technically do not qualify as such as the "TV movie" versions of Nickelodeon's original series are shorter than the standard length of a television movie (approximately 45 minutes without commercials, compared to the typical 75–100 minutes for television movies), the hour-long episodes of the channel's multi-camera comedies are shot using that camera setup (whereas feature films and television movies are standardly shot in a single-camera setup), laugh tracks are used and the programs are shot on videotape instead of film (though the video frame rate of its multi-camera comedies are reduced to the 24p film frame rate, using the filmizing process). Films not produced by Nickelodeon or its Nickelodeon Movies division also occasionally air on the channel including Universal's Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles Forever (which was later released by Nickelodeon through Paramount DVD for DVD release). Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom is to air on January 2012. Its sequel Winx Club 3D: Magical Adventure will be released in 2012.
Main article: Nickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsThe Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards are an annual event held on the last Saturday night in March, and airs live and is usually held and telecast live (though with a three-hour time delay for those watching in the Pacific Time Zone or on the Nick 2 feed on digital cable that, on systems in the Eastern and Central time zones, simulcasts the Pacific time zone feed), which honors the year's biggest television, movie, and music acts, as voted by Nickelodeon viewers. Winners receive a hollow orange blimp figurine, a logo outline for much of the network's 1984-2009 "splat logo" era.
The show features numerous celebrity guests and about two or three musical acts. In recent years, slime stunts have been incorporated into the show. The KCA's also host live entertainment. It has also been known to overwhelmingly cover people with the network's trademark green slime. Will Smith has won the most KCA awards; Rosie O'Donnell has hosted the most KCA awards. In 2011, the first monster truck slime stunt was held.
On October 2, 2004, Nickelodeon launched an annual event to mark the conclusion of its six-month long "Let's Just Play" campaign launched that same year called the Worldwide Day of Play, designed to influence kids to get active and participate in outdoor activities; schools and educational organizations are also encouraged to host events to promote activity among children. Nickelodeon and its sister channels Nick Jr., TeenNick and Nicktoons (along with some international versions of the channel) suspend programming for three hours from 12-3 p.m. ET/PT on a Saturday afternoon in late September (since 2005) during the event and show their testcards instead, and the respective websites of all four Nickelodeon channels are taken offline during that same three-hour time period.
All four Nickelodeon channels display a message on-screen encouraging viewers to participate in outdoor activities during that time and notifying them that the channels will resume normal programming at 3 p.m. ET/PT (the west coast feed of the main Nickelodeon channel viewable via basic cable in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, and on digital cable and satellite nationwide will begin suspending regular programming at the same time the east coast feed resumes programming). Since 2010, the Worldwide Day of Play event became part of The Big Help program, as part of an added focus on healthy lifestyles in addition to the program's main focus on environmental issues. New episodes of Nickelodeon's original series are commonly aired during its Saturday primetime lineup on the night of the event.
Various types of programs are broadcast on Nickelodeon in named programming blocks.
Nickelodeon currently programs shows targeted at preschool-age children on Monday through Fridays from 7 a.m.-12 p.m. ET/PT. This block was known as "Nick Jr." from January 1988 to February 2009 and has been known as the "Play Date" since February 2009. The block exists because Nickelodeon's usual audience of school-age children are in school at that time; as such, on holidays and during the summer months, a shorter block of preschool shows will air in the earlier time period of 7-10 a.m. ET/PT, and the block does not air on weekends at any time of the year.
Programming in the Nick Play Date block is somewhat fluid, but currently, Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Max and Ruby, Team Umizoomi, The Fresh Beat Band, and Bubble Guppies have a permanent place in the schedule.
Nickelodeon airs first-run or recent episodes of its original series on Friday nights from 8-9 p.m. ET, Saturday mornings, Saturday nights from 8-10 p.m. ET, and Sunday nights from 7-7:30 p.m. ET. As of July 2011, Friday nights feature primarily reruns of various original series, the Saturday night schedule (sometimes called "A Night of Premieres", when new episodes of three or four of its original programs are scheduled to air) features episode premieres or repeats of iCarly, Big Time Rush and Victorious, along with periodic episode premieres of Supah Ninjas (all first-run episodes are cycled on the schedule, giving a variable schedule) and occasional original movie premieres, while Sunday nights feature first-run episodes of Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures and bi-monthly episode premieres of Nick News (the latter of which after Nickelodeon gave the Sunday 8 p.m. ET hour to Nick at Nite in June 2010, currently airs during what is technically part of the Nick at Nite schedule). The Saturday morning lineup (also sometimes called "A Morning of Premieres", when new episodes of at least three of its original animated series are scheduled to air), features episode premieres of many of the channel's animated series, including SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, The Penguins of Madagascar, Planet Sheen and T.U.F.F. Puppy.
Nickelodeon program blocks on other channelsEdit
On November 9, 1998, Spanish-dubbed versions of Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, KaBlam! and Blue's Clues debuted on Telemundo. Nickelodeon programs were seen on Telemundo on weekdays until September 5, 2000, when they were relegated on weekends only, to make room for a morning news program; Telemundo terminated the lineup in November 2001 after NBC purchased that network and now carries qubo programming on Saturday mornings. On September 14, 2002, a two-hour block featuring Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, As Told by Ginger, The Wild Thornberrys, Hey Arnold!, and Pelswick debuted on most CBS stations. Then in 2005, a two-hour block featuring Nick Jr. shows returned on most CBS stations until September 2006 after the Viacom-CBS split, when the airtime was leased to DiC Entertainment and then later DiC purchaser Cookie Jar Group for their Cookie Jar TV block. In April 2008 Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go! and Pinky Dinky Doo from Nick Jr. were picked up by Univision for a block called Planeta U. The 90's Are All That is a programing block on TeenNick.
- Nick Jr.