Nickelodeon, colloquially called Nick, and formerly titled Pinwheel, is a children's cable television channel with programming aimed primarily at children and young adults. First broadcast in the United States, there are now several Nickelodeon channels operating in multiple countries including Australia, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and Canada.
Nickelodeon has produced and aired many programs, including Pinwheel, Double Dare, GUTS, Clarissa Explains It All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Ren and Stimpy, Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, Doug, and Rocko's Modern Life. Shows currently in production include SpongeBob SquarePants, and Nick News. The sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, titled The Legend of Korra, began airing in 2012. In February 2021 it was announced that a new production company, Avatar Studios, helmed by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, would produce brand-new material set in the Avatar universe, including new series, short-form content, spin offs, and theatrical films.
The channel has became known for its iconic green slime, originally used on the Canadian sketch-comedy show You Can't Do That on Television. It was adopted by the station as a primary feature of many of its shows, especially Slime Time Live, U-Pick Live, and Friday Night Slimetime.
Many adults know the channel best for its Nick at Nite classic TV sitcoms broadcast during prime-time and overnight hours.
The world's first cable channel devoted to programming for children and youth, Nickelodeon, debuted in 1977 as Pinwheel (renamed to Nickelodeon" in 1979). Based out of Columbus Ohio, it was originally owned by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, a joint venture of American Express and Warner Communications. It is now part of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom.
In 1986, Nick held the Big Ballot, an award show voted on by kids that would later become the Kids' Choice Awards. Each April, the Kids' Choice Awards show honors kids' favorites in movies, music, television, and sports, and features stereotypically juvenile elements like the Best Fart award and a celebrity burp-off.
After relying heavily on foreign-sourced and vintage programming for its' first half-decade and getting into original live-action production through a "back door" when CTV canceled "You Can't Do That On Television" just as it was the most popular show on the channel, Nickelodeon began producing original animated shows, known as Nicktoons, in 1991. The three original Nicktoons, Doug, Rugrats, and Ren & Stimpy, debuted that year.
Other Nickelodeon channels
The Nick at Nite programming block airs from prime time to early morning. It featured various Paramount Pictures and Viacom-owned programs from the 1980s and '90s such as The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and Cheers. Nick at Nite also introduced Fatherhood, an animated show based on the book by Bill Cosby.
In 1996, Nick at Nite spun off the channel TV Land, which currently airs a variety of older shows, primarily sitcoms from 1951 to 1992.
Nickelodeon has spun off other cable networks: Nick 2 (which is Nick on a three-hour delay), Nick Games and Sports (Nick GAS), NickToons, and Noggin/The-N (originally a joint venture with Sesame Workshop and it is now called Nick jr/TeenNick). It also operates language- or culture-specific Nickelodeon channels for various markets in different parts of the world, and has licensed translated versions of some of its cartoons and other content to TV and cable stations such as Kinderkanal and Super RTL of Germany, YTV (Youth TV) of Canada and Canal J of France.
Outside of the U.S., Nickelodeon appears in Argentina, Australia, Belgium (as a block on MTV), Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Other Nickelodeon projects
Nick's website launched in 1995. The website features many sections and services:
- The "myNick" service allows regular visitors to the website to get personalized information, post on internet forums, and collect e-Collectibles, akin to trading cards (the very first collection commemorated the 10th anniversary of Rugrats in 2001).
- The "All Nick" section features description of Nickelodeon's television shows and movies, the current programming schedule, specials, and information on their magazine, Nick Magazine.
- The "Games" section features games of various sorts (many based on Nick programs) and information on popular video games.
- The "Music" section is devoted to popular music, featuring news on various artists and music videos.
- The "Web Lab" section features has web exclusives, like Shockwave Flash-animated games featuring Agent Pixel and Tony Simiano, among others; shorts featuring the Crimson Chin from The Fairly Oddparents; and e-Cards.
- The "Blab" section features message boards for each Nickelodeon show, and from time to time, celebrities chat in the "Blab-a-torium" chat room.
- The "Your World" section features the Nick GAS (Games and Sports) subsection, sections devoted to entertainment news, e-calendar, weather, horoscopes, jokes, weird news, and "Nick Talk".
- The "TurboNick" section allows visitors to view streaming episodes of shows over the internet.
Nickelodeon also published the Nickelodeon magazine. The magazine was launched in 1993, following a short-lived effort from 1990. It contains informative non-fiction pieces, humor, interviews, pranks, recipes (such as green slime cake), and a big comic book section in the center that features original comics by leading underground cartoonists as well as strips about popular Nicktoons. The final issue of Nickelodeon magazine was in 2009.
Nickelodeon Family Suites is a Nickelodeon-themed Holiday Inn hotel in Orlando, Florida, located near Universal Studios theme park. The property includes Nick-themed suites and entertainment, although mainly geared to children. The hotel also has adult-themed Nick at Nite suites. It is owned by Miller Global Properties of Denver, CO and managed by Maingate Entertainment, LLC of Orlando, FL.
Nickelodeon Studios was an attraction at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida that opened June 1990. It is also the name of a production studio where many Nickelodeon programs were produced before it was moved to Los Angeles, California. Nickelodeon Studios was closed on April 30, 2005 and the Slime Geyser was removed in May 2005.
- Main article: Nickelodeon Movies
Nickelodeon Movies is the motion picture production arm of Nickelodeon, originally launched in 1995. It has produced films based on Nickelodeon programs, as well as other adaptations and original projects, which are released by fellow Viacom division Paramount Pictures.
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- 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Franchise To Expand With Launch Of Nickelodeon's Avatar Studios, Animated Theatrical Film In The Works. Deadline (February 24, 2020). Retrieved on February 24, 2020.