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Welcome to Classic Nick Homepage. Please be sure and check out the What's New? page for updates.

NEW: Want to obtain videos of all your favorite videos? Classic Nick Trading Post now open! Click here to visit.

The Legacy of Nick

About December, 1977, a Pay-Per-View type channel called "Nick's Flicks" went on the air on a local station in Columbus, OH. This small channel was the main inspiration for Nickelodeon.

On April 1st 1979 a network called The Pinwheel Network debuted on Warner-Amex's QUBE cable system. There are varied reports as to the availability of this network. I have heard that it was only on the air in Columbus, OH and Buffalo, NY. I have also heard that it was available nationwide. I was not yet born in 1979, so obviously I don't remember. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this.

The Pinwheel Network ran it's flagship program Pinwheel 3-5 hours in the morning. The rest of what was shown on this network was mostly forgettable. A lot of old cartoons graced the airwaves. The employees of this network referred to at as a "green vegetable network" because, beyond Pinwheel, it had all the kid appeal of spinach. In the Nielson ratings, only a couple shows even got numbers!

In 1981, The Pinwheel Network was renamed Nickelodeon and became available nationwide, if not before (varied accounts). It featured no commercials at first and showed mostly reruns of cartoons, children's shows, special reports, and of course Pinwheel.

In 1982 Nick won it's first Peabody award, and also picks up the U.S. rights to You Can't Do That On Television, which was a popular sketch comedy in Canada. You Can't, along with Pinwheel, helped put Nick on the map.

Nick used many foreign shows on its schedule. Shows from Britain, other parts of Europe, Canada, and Japan were Nick mainstays. In the early years, Nick ran the likes of the aforementioned Pinwheel and You Can't in addition too Mr. Wizard's World, Livewire, Teacher to Teacher (hosted by "Mr. Wizard" Don Herbert, a science program for teachers), Standby... Lights! Camera! Action!, Sharon, Lois, and Bram's Elephant Show, and Today's Special, among others. They also aired reruns of 1950s and 1960s classics Lassie and Dennis the Menace.

Around 1985 is where my earliest memories of Nick began. I was four years old then, so I have a few vague memories even before that, but they are only bits and pieces and hard to understand. I remember all my old favorites: Pinwheel, Today's Special, Double Dare, Danger Mouse, The Noozles, The Adventure of the Little Koala, Mr. Wizard's World, Mapletown, Sparticus, Maya the Bee, Inspector Gadget, Mysterious Cities of Gold, and many others.

In 1985 Nick jumps from next-to-last to second place in ratings, and also launches Nick-At-Nite, which as we all know, shows classic TV shows such as Mister Ed (always a favorite of mine), Get Smart, and Car 54.

When I was a very young child, in the mid-1980s, some of my fondest memories where of watching Nick and Nick Jr. at my adopted Grandparents house. We didn't get cable until about 1986, so I couldn't watch Nick at home. But I made the most of my time there. There were so many great shows.. Pinwheel, Today's Special, The Little Prince, David the Gnome, reruns of Lassie and Dennis the Menace, Bill Cosby's Picture Pages, Maple Town, The Adventure's of the Little Koala, Noozles, Maya the Bee, Mysterious Cities of Gold, Dr. Snuggles, You Can't Do That on Television to name a few.

I have been fortunate to acquire a Nickelodeon Schedule. This was Mon-Fri, from 5/4/87-Aug 1987, the typical time period I was watching Nick. I was six at this time.

6AM: Curious George
6:30AM: Dennis The Menace
7AM: Lassie
7:30AM: Mr. Wizard's World
8AM: The Little Prince
8:30AM: Today's Special
9AM: Shari Show (with Shari Lewis and Lambchop
9:30AM: Kids' Writes
10AM Pinwheel (4 hours)
2PM: Today's Special (repeat)
2:30PM: Little Prince (repeat)
3PM Spartikus
3:30PM: Turkey TV
4PM: You Can't Do That On Television
4:30PM: Lassie
5PM: Dennis the Menace
5:30PM Double Dare
6PM: The Monkees
6:30PM: Nick Rocks
7PM: You Can't Do That On Television
7:30PM: Danger Mouse (followed by Bananaman)

Thanks to Kenneth for the image. To view it full size, click here

In 1989, Pinwheel was cancelled. This indeed marked the end of an era, and I have been hoping for it to return ever since.

Even after the departure of Pinwheel however, Nick continued to have quality shows. Then it happened. The Nicktoons came, which brings us to....

Nick Today

Since 1990, Nick has, at least in my opinion, took a severe downswereve in quality. I really hate to place blame on the original Nicktoons (Doug, Rugrats and Ren and Stimpy), because they were enjoyable programs. But after they debuted, more followed, each one worse than the one before. The shows today just don't measure up to the old classics. Cat-Dog and Sponge Bob Square Pants are just stupid. They lack any kind of intelligence and creativity. I don't know what ever became of all the great executives that ran Nick during the 1980s, but I sincerely wish they would come back, and restore the glory that once was Nickelodeon. To the credit of Cat-Dog and Sponge Bob Square Pants, both are hits, but I'm not sure if that's a sadder statement about Nickelodeon today, or the viewing public.

If you have any questions, comments, etc. please feel free to contact me.

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