December 1, 1977
Viacom International, Incorporated
Nickelodeon (usually abbreviated as "Nick", and originally named Pinwheel from December 1, 1977 to March 31, 1979), is a cable television network owned by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom International. As of 2010, Nickelodeon is ranked as the #1 cable channel among the kids 2-11 and 6-11 demographics. For most of its history, the channel had been promoted as "The First Kids' Network," as Nickelodeon was the first American television network aimed at children, dating back to its days under the Pinwheel name. Nickelodeon's broadcast day runs on Sunday through Thursdays from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Fridays from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific Time).
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 Pinwheel, a cable channel offering children's programming, which ran for only about six hours each day, quite usual for the era.
Current programming on Nickelodeon includes SpongeBob SquarePants, The Backyardigans, iCarly, The Troop, The Fairly OddParents, True Jackson, VP, Victorious, The Penguins of Madagascar (co-produced with DreamWorks Animation and based on the popular Madagascar movies), Big Time Rush, T.U.F.F. Puppy, Fanboy and Chum Chum and Planet Sheen (a spinoff of the Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius). Reruns of discontinued Nickelodeon shows also air including All Grown Up! (a spinoff of the popular 1991-2005 Nickelodeon series Rugrats) and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (based on the Nickelodeon-produced feature film Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius). SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly are the most frequently aired programs on Nickelodeon, with SpongeBob in particular typically airing about 7-9 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).
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. 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.
Unlike its competitors Disney Channel, Disney XD, Cartoon Network and The Hub, Nickelodeon 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. Some are based on a Nickelodeon series, such as The Backyardigans' International Super Spy. 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: The Original Party Animals 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 and Victorious, 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).
Nickelodeon Games and Sports for Kids
Nickelodeon Games and Sports for Kids (commonly referred to in on-air usage as Nickelodeon GAS or Nick GAS), was an American digital cable and satellite television channel that was launched on March 1, 1999 as part of MTV Networks' suite of digital cable channels. Nick GAS was essentially a children's version of (and Viacom's answer to) Game Show Network (now branded as GSN), which had launched in December 1994. The channel ceased operations on December 31, 2007 on digital cable providers. However, Dish Network kept an automated loop of the network on the air on channel 177 for fifteen months until April 23, 2009, when it was replaced with the west coast feed of Cartoon Network.
Nickelodeon also had three of the top six rated shows with Kids 2-11: SpongeBob SquarePants (#1); The Penguins of Madagascar (#3); The Backyardigans (#5).
Nick.com is Nickelodeon's main online portal. It features online games based on Nickelodeon television shows. It also features virtual clubhouses, seasonal costumes for your avatar, and additional trivia games featuring questions about TV shows airing on the channel.
Nick Arcade is one of Nick.com's sister websites, featuring PC downloadable games. The games are not free, though, and you need to pay at least $19.99 per game. If you pay for it, you can get unlimited access to the game on your PC as long as you want. Some games, including all Backyardigans games, have free try-outs.
Nick Shop is also one of Nick.com's sister websites. It does not feature games, instead it features collectible merchandise you pay for.
Nickelodeon Movies is the channel's motion picture production arm founded in 1995. It has produced films based on Nickelodeon animated programs including Rugrats and SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as other adaptations and original projects. The studio's films are released by Paramount Pictures. Nickelodeon Movies initially did not introduce a new logo when Nickelodeon's current logo came into effect as part of its September 2009 rebrand; Nickelodeon Movies eventually instituted a new logo on January 1, 2010, which officially made its debut with the release of the film The Last Airbender on July 1, 2010.
Current Television Programs
- SpongeBob SquarePants
- The Fairly OddParents
- Penguins of Madagascar
- T.U.F.F. Puppy
- Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness
- Monsters vs. Aliens: The Series
- Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles
- Big Time Rush
- Wendell and Vinnie
- Super Ninjas
- Power Ninjas Megaforce