Nickelodeon (Nick for short) is a cable television network for children. Premiering as Pinwheel in 1977, the network now considers 1981, the year the current name was adopted, as its launching year. Its current mascot is SpongeBob SquarePants.
The world's first cable network devoted to programming for children and youth, Nickelodeon debuted on December 1, 1977 as Pinwheel (renamed to Nickelodeon on April 1, 1981). Founded by Warner Cable, the operation was handed over to Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment - a joint venture of American Express and the cable division of Warner Bros. - two years later. In 1984, Warner acquired American Express' share of Warner-Amex, and three years later, the company was sold to Viacom, which renamed it MTV Networks.
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.
In 1989 Nickelodeon's first of many original live action television series premiered: Hey Dude. It has since been followed by shows like, Clarissa Explains It All, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, True Jackson, VP, and others.
In the 1990s, Nickelodeon began producing original animated shows, known as Nicktoons cartoons. The three original Nicktoons, Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Show, debuted in 1991. Following them, Nickelodeon found success in several well-regarded animated series, such as Rocko's Modern Life, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rugrats, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents and others.
Nickelodeon also became known for its iconic green slime, originally used on the Canadian sketch-comedy show You Can't Do That on Television, then adopted by the network as a primary feature of many of its shows, especially Slime Time Live.
Although Nickelodeon originated as an American channel, it has since spread around the globe. Today local Nickelodeon channels exist in several countries and regions, including Japan, Latin America, Australia, UK, the Middle East, Africa, India, Scandinavia, and others.
Nickelodeon has also spawned several additional US channels. Current national sister-channels include Nick Jr. (established as Noggin in 1999), TeenNick (established as The N in 2002) and Nicktoons (established in 2002). A fifth channel, Nick GAS, existed from 1999 to 2009. Additionally, Nickelodeon's nighttime programming block Nick at Nite is occasionally referred to as a separate network sharing space with the mother channel.
While technically not a separate network, satellite and some digital cable providers carry Nick Too, which is simply the west coast feed of Nickelodeon. Nickelodeon HD is a feed providing a selection of Nickelodeon shows in high definition, and Nick on Demand is the networks video-on-demand service, available on most cable systems.
- Program Listing: A complete listing of shows that aired new episodes on Nickelodeon.
- Scripted original series
- Animated original series