Nickelodeon 2009 logo.svg
Logo used since September 28, 2009
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersOne Astor Plaza, New York City
  • English
  • Spanish (via SAP audio track)
Picture format
OwnerParamount Media Networks
ParentNickelodeon Networks
Sister channels
LaunchedApril 1, 1979; 43 years ago (1979-04-01)
Former namesPinwheel (1977–1979)

Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television channel which launched on April 1, 1979, as the first cable channel for children.[1] It is run by Paramount Global through its networks division's Kids and Family Group. Its programming is primarily aimed at children aged 2–17,[2] along with a broader family audience through its program blocks.

The channel began life as a test broadcast on December 1, 1977[3] as part of QUBE,[4] an early cable television system broadcast locally in Columbus, Ohio.[5] The channel, now named Nickelodeon, launched to a new countrywide audience on April 1, 1979,[6] with Pinwheel as its inaugural program.[5] The network was initially commercial-free and remained without advertising until 1984.[7][8]

Throughout history, Nickelodeon has introduced several sister channels and programming blocks. Nick Jr. is a preschool morning block launched on January 4, 1988. Nicktoons, based on the flagship brand, launched as a separate sister channel in 2002. In 1999, Nickelodeon partnered with Sesame Workshop to create Noggin, an educational brand consisting of a cable channel and an interactive website. Two blocks aimed at a teenage audience, TEENick (previously on Nickelodeon) and The N (previously on Noggin), were merged into a standalone channel, TeenNick, in 2009.

As of September 2018, the channel is available to about 87.167 million households in the United States.[9]


Main article: History of Nickelodeon

The channel's name comes from the first five-cent movie theaters called nickelodeons. Its history dates back to December 1, 1977, when Warner Cable Communications launched the first 2-way interactive cable system, QUBE,[4] in Columbus, Ohio. The C-3 cable channel carried Pinwheel daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time,[4][10] and the channel was labelled "Pinwheel" on remote controllers, as it was the only program broadcast. Initially scheduled for a February 1979 launch,[11] Nickelodeon launched on April 1, 1979, initially distributed to Warner Cable systems via satellite on the RCA Satcom-1 transponder (the owner of the satellite, RCA Americom, later became GE Americom as a result of General Electric's acquisition of RCA Americom's parent company, RCA Corporation, before merging with Luxembourg-based Société Européenne des Satellites to form SES Global, now SES S.A, which one of the ancestors of the Satcom series, the SES and AMC satellite constellations, still operate, Nickelodeon presently broadcasts on AMC-11).[12] Originally commercial-free, advertising was introduced in January 1984.[7]


Main article: List of programs broadcast by Nickelodeon

Programming seen on Nickelodeon includes animated series (such as SpongeBob SquarePants, The Loud House, Middlemost Post, The Patrick Star Show, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, The Smurfs, Rugrats and Monster High), live-action, scripted series (such as Danger Force, Tyler Perry's Young Dylan and That Girl Lay Lay), and original made-for-TV movies, while the network's daytime schedule is dedicated to shows targeting preschoolers (such as Bubble Guppies, PAW Patrol, and Blue's Clues & You!).

A re-occurring program was bi-monthly special editions of Nick News with Linda Ellerbee,[13] a news magazine series aimed at children that debuted in 1992 as a weekly series and ended in 2015.[14] In June 2020, Nickelodeon announced that they would bring back Nick News in a series of hour-long specials. The first installment, Kids, Race and Unity: A Nick News Special premiered on June 29, 2020, and was hosted by R&B musician Alicia Keys.[15]


Main article: Nicktoons

Nicktoons is the branding for Nickelodeon's original animated television series.[16][17] Until 1991, the animated series that aired on Nickelodeon were largely imported from foreign countries, with some original animated specials that were also featured on the channel up to that point.[18][19] Though the Nicktoons branding has infrequently been used by the network itself since the 2002 launch of the channel of the same name, original animated series continue to make up a substantial portion of Nickelodeon's lineup.[17] Roughly, six to seven hours of these programs are seen on the weekday schedule, and around nine hours on weekends, including a dedicated weekend morning animation block.[18]

In 2006, the channel struck a deal with DreamWorks Animation to develop the studio's animated films into television series (such as The Penguins of Madagascar).[20] Since the early 2010s, Nickelodeon Animation Studio has also produced series based on preexisting IP purchased by ViacomCBS, such as Winx Club and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


Main article: List of Nickelodeon original films

Nickelodeon has produced a variety of original made-for-TV movies, which usually premiere in weekend evening timeslots or on school holidays. Nickelodeon also periodically acquires theatrically-released feature films for broadcast on the channel.

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). Although the film division bears the Nickelodeon brand name, the channel does not have access to most of the movies produced by its film unit. The majority of the live-action feature films produced under the Nickelodeon Movies banner are licensed for broadcast by various free-to-air and pay television outlets within the United States other than Nickelodeon (although the network has aired a few live-action Nickelodeon Movies releases such as Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Good Burger).

Nickelodeon also advertises hour-long episodes of its original series as movies;[citation needed] though the "TV movie" versions of Nickelodeon's original series differ from traditional television films in that they have shorter running times (approximately 45 minutes, as opposed to 75–100 minute run times that most television movies have), and use a traditional multi-camera setup for regular episodes (unless the program is originally shot in the single-camera setup common of films) with some on-location filming.

In 2002, Nickelodeon entered a long-standing broadcast partnership with Mattel to air films and specials based on the toy company's Barbie (and later Monster High) dolls. The first Barbie movie to air on Nickelodeon was Barbie as Rapunzel on November 24, 2002.[21] The Barbie and Monster High films are usually aired under a brokered format in which Mattel purchases the time in order to promote the release of their films on DVD within a few days of the Nickelodeon premiere, an arrangement possible as Nickelodeon does not have to meet the Federal Communications Commission rules which disallow that arrangement for broadcast channels due to regulations banning paid programming to children.

Programming blocks

The network's main programming is usually broadcast from 6:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. on weekdays (the sign-off time varies with holidays and special programming) and 6 a.m. - 10 p.m on weekends (Eastern and Pacific Time).



Special events

Guest appearance of mascots including characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and Paw Patrol from Nickelodeon during the Nickelodeon Slime Cup SG event held in City Square Mall, Singapore in July, 2017
Guest appearance of mascots including characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants and Paw Patrol from Nickelodeon during the Nickelodeon Slime Cup SG event held in City Square Mall, Singapore in July, 2017

Blocks on broadcast networks

The former Nick on CBS logo used until its discontinuation in 2004.
The former Nick on CBS logo used until its discontinuation in 2004.

Related networks and services

Current sister channels

Nick Jr.

Main article: Nick Jr.

Nick Jr. (Nick Jr. Channel on-air to differentiate itself from the block) is a pay television network aimed mainly at children between 2 and 7 years of age. It features a mix of current and former preschool-oriented programs from Nickelodeon, as well as some shows that are exclusive to the channel. The Nick Jr. Channel launched on September 28, 2009, as a spin-off of Nickelodeon's long-running preschool programming block of the same name, which had aired since January 4, 1988.[27] The channel replaced Noggin, which was relaunched as a streaming service in 2015 and acts as a separate sister brand. Noggin's programming is distinct from the Nick Jr. channel's; it mainly carried preteen-oriented programs at its launch,[28] and its 2015 streaming service features a variety of exclusive series. On October 1, 2012, the Nick Jr. Channel introduced NickMom, a four-hour nighttime block aimed at parents,[29] which ran until September 28, 2015.[30][31] While traditional advertising appeared on the channel during the NickMom block, the network otherwise only runs programming promotions and underwriter-style sponsorships in lieu of regular commercials.


Main article: Nicktoons (American TV channel)

Nicktoons is a pay television network that launched on May 1, 2002,[27] as Nicktoons TV; it was renamed Nicktoons in May 2003 and rebranded as Nicktoons Network in 2005 before reverting to its previous name in September 2009. The network airs a mix of newer live-action and animated shows from Nickelodeon such as Henry Danger, The Fairly OddParents, The Loud House, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles alongside original series airing exclusively on Nicktoons.


Main article: TeenNick

TeenNick is a pay television network that is aimed at adolescents and young adults, named after the TEENick block that aired on Nickelodeon from March 2001[32] to February 2009. The channel merged programming from the TEENick block with The N, a former block on Noggin. Although TeenNick has more relaxed program standards than the other Nickelodeon channels (save for Nick at Nite and the NickMom block on Nick Jr.) – allowing for moderate profanity, suggestive dialogue and some violent content – the network has shifted its lineup almost exclusively towards current and former Nickelodeon series (including some that are burned off due to low ratings on the flagship channel) that have stricter content standards. It also airs some acquired sitcoms and drama series.


Main article: NickMusic

NickMusic is a pay television network in the United States mainly featuring music video and music-related programming from younger pop artists that appeal to Nickelodeon's target audience. It launched on the channel space formerly held by MTV Hits on September 9, 2016.

Former sister channels

Nick 2 logo (2010).svg

The timeshift channel was originally offered as part of the MTV Networks Digital Suite, a slate of channels exclusive to high-tier cable packages (many of the networks also earned satellite carriage over time), and was the only American example of two feeds of a non-premium service being provided to cable and IPTV providers. A Nick TOO logo was used on the channel until 2004, when MTV Networks decided to stop using customized branding on the feed (a logo for Nick 2 was only used for identification purposes on electronic program guides as a placeholder image); most television listings thus showed the additional channel under the brandings "Nick Pacific (NICKP)/Nick West (NICKW)," or "Nick East (NICKE)."

DirecTV and Dish Network also offer both Nickelodeon feeds, though they carry both time zone feeds of most of the children's networks that the providers offer by default.

Viacom Media Networks discontinued the Nick 2 digital cable service on November 22, 2018, likely due to video on demand options making timeshift channels for the most part superfluous. Both time zone feeds continue to be offered on Xfinity, unbranded.[34]

Other services

Service Description
Nick HD Logo.svg
Nickelodeon HD
Nickelodeon HD is the high-definition simulcast feed of Nickelodeon that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format; the feed first began broadcasting in 2008.[36] Most of the network's original series since 2008 – mainly its live-action series and some animated content – as well as episodes of programs carried by Nick at Nite (that were either natively produced in HD after 2000 or were remastered in high definition) are broadcast in HD, along with feature films, Nickelodeon original movies made after 2005 and select episodes, films and series produced before 2008. Other programs unavailable in HD broadcast in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition. As of 2018, many subscription providers carry the high-definition feed and downscale it for the standard-definition feed. Nickelodeon’s standard-definition feed uses a downscaled version of the high-definition feed, which is broadcast in 16:9 letterboxed to fit the 4:3 ratio.
Nick on Demand Nick on Demand is the network's video-on-demand service, which is available on most subscription providers. It carries Nickelodeon's live-action, animated and preschool programming. Nick at Nite has no on-demand service due to daypart-defined contractual limits for its programming, as its programs are exclusive to an evening timeslot.
Noggin Noggin launched as a TV channel in a partnership with Sesame Workshop on February 2, 1999. It has transformed into an educational mobile app aimed at preschoolers. The app launched on March 5, 2015.[37]
Nick Pluto TV Launched May 1, 2019, Nick Pluto is one of several free versions of ViacomCBS channels that were introduced on Pluto TV shortly after Viacom acquired the advertiser-supported service in January 2019. It carries mostly archival programs from Nickelodeon's library. Nick Jr. programming is its separate channel, while Nick at Nite programming is instead put under the TV Land branding, and only includes syndicated programming Paramount Global has full day rights to. Pluto TV used to carry additional Nickelodeon-branded networks, among them NickGames (containing the network's game show and reality competition library), and NickMovies (featuring movies produced by Nickelodeon), along with single full-time channels carrying one series and limited-run channels timed to an event or holiday.[38]
Paramount+ The streaming service of Paramount Global, Paramount+ houses much of Nickelodeon's library, adding productions from the "classic" era such as You Can't Do That on Television and Double Dare following its rebrand from CBS All Access in 2021.[39]

Production studios

Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Main article: Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Nickelodeon Animation Studio (formerly Games Productions, Inc.) is a production firm with two main locations (one in Burbank, California, and the other in New York City).[40] They serve as the animation facilities for many of the network's Nicktoons and Nick Jr. series.

Nickelodeon Productions

Nickelodeon Productions is a live-action production studio in New York, that provides original sitcoms and game-related programs for Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon on Sunset

Main article: Nickelodeon on Sunset

Nickelodeon on Sunset was a studio complex in Hollywood, California which served as the primary production facility for Nickelodeon's series from 1997 until 2017; the studio is designated by the National Register for Historic Places as a historical landmark as a result of its prior existence as the Earl Carroll Theater, a prominent dinner theater. It served as the production facilities for several Nickelodeon series.


See also: Nickelodeon Toys and Nickelodeon Rewind

Nickelodeon Games

Nickelodeon Games (formerly Nick Games from 2002 to 2009, from 1997 to 2002, Nickelodeon Software, and from 1993 to 1997, Nickelodeon Interactive) is the video gaming division of Nickelodeon. It was originally a part of Viacom Consumer Products, with early games being published by Viacom New Media.[41] They started a long-standing relationship with game publisher THQ. THQ's relationship with the network started off when THQ published their Ren & Stimpy game for Nintendo consoles in 1992,[42] followed by a full-fledged console deal in 1998 with several Rugrats titles,[43] and expanded in 2001, when THQ acquired some of the assets from Mattel Interactive, namely the computer publishing rights, and all video game rights to The Wild Thornberrys.[44] Nickelodeon also worked, alongside THQ on an original game concept, Tak and the Power of Juju.[45]

Main article: is Nickelodeon's main website, which launched in October 1995 as a component of America Online's Kids Only channel before eventually moving to the full World Wide Web.[46] It provides content, as well as video clips and full episodes of Nickelodeon series available for streaming. The website's popularity grew to the point where in March 1999, became the highest rated website among children aged 6–14 years old. Nickelodeon used the website in conjunction with television programs which increased traffic.[47] In 2001, Nickelodeon partnered with Networks Inc. to provide broadband video games for rent from; the move was a further step in the multimedia direction that the developers wanted to take the website. Skagerlind indicated that over 50% of's audience were using a high speed connection, which allowed them to expand the gaming and video streaming options on the website.[48]

Mobile apps

Nickelodeon released a free mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers operating on the Apple and Android platforms in February 2013.[49] Like, a TV Everywhere login code provided by participating subscription providers is required to view individual episodes of the network's series.

Nickelodeon Movies

Main article: Nickelodeon Movies

Nickelodeon Movies is a motion picture production unit that was founded in 1995, as a family entertainment arm of Paramount Pictures (owned by Nickelodeon's corporate parent, Viacom).[50] The first film released from the studio was the 1996 mystery/comedy Harriet the Spy.[51] Nickelodeon Movies has produced films based on Nickelodeon animated programs including The Rugrats Movie and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, as well as other adaptations and original live-action and animated projects.

Nickelodeon Magazine

Main article: Nickelodeon Magazine

Nickelodeon Magazine was a print magazine that was launched in 1993; the channel had previously published a short-lived magazine effort in 1990. Nickelodeon Magazine incorporated informative non-fiction pieces, humor (including pranks and parodical pieces), interviews, recipes (such as green slime cake), and a comic book section in the center of each issue featuring original comics by leading underground cartoonists as well as strips about popular Nicktoons.[52] It ceased publication after 16 years in December 2009, citing a sluggish magazine industry.[53] A new version of the magazine was published by Papercutz from June 2015[54] to mid-2016.

Nick Radio

Nick Radio was a radio network that launched on September 30, 2013, in a partnership between both the network and iHeartMedia (then called Clear Channel Communications), which distributed the network mainly via its iHeartRadio web platform and mobile app. Its programming was also streamed via the website and on New York City radio station WHTZ as a secondary HD channel. Nick Radio focused on Top 40 and pop music (geared towards the network's target audience of children, with radio edits of some songs incorporated due to inappropriate content), along with celebrity interview features. In addition to regular on-air DJs, Nick Radio also occasionally featured guest DJ stints by popular artists as well as stars from Nickelodeon's original series.[55][56][57]

Nick Radio shut down without warning on July 31, 2019, and was replaced by Hit Nation Junior, likely due to the network's general failure to establish any sustained "triple threat" artists/actors throughout the 2010s, along with the general failure of the children's-only radio format in the streaming age. It was also a non-prime asset in Viacom's current 'six prime networks' strategy, leaving it vulnerable to being terminated.

Marketing and Experiences

Nickelodeon Universe

Main article: Nickelodeon Universe

Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America is the second indoor theme park in the United States. On August 18, 2009, Nickelodeon and Southern Star Amusements announced that it would build a second Nickelodeon Universe in New Orleans, Louisiana on the site of the former Six Flags New Orleans by the end of 2010,[58] which was set to be the first outdoor Nickelodeon Universe theme park. On November 9, 2009, Nickelodeon announced that it had ended the licensing agreement with Southern Star Amusements.[59]

Nickelodeon Universe has a second location at the American Dream Meadowlands complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, that opened on October 25, 2019.[60] Upon opening the New Jersey Nickelodeon Universe became the largest indoor theme park in the western hemisphere, unseating the Minnesota Nickelodeon Universe who had the title from 2008 to 2019.[61]

Theme park areas

Main article: Nickelodeon in amusement parks

Nickelodeon Studios as viewed from the Hard Rock Cafe in March 2004 before it closed
Nickelodeon Studios as viewed from the Hard Rock Cafe in March 2004 before it closed

All except three Nickelodeon-themed theme park areas now closed:

Current attractions

Closed areas

Hotel brands



Further information: Paramount International Networks § Nickelodeon

Between 1993 and 1995, Nickelodeon opened international channels in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany; by the later year, the network had provided its programming to broadcasters in 70 countries. Since the mid-1990s and early 2000s, Nickelodeon as a brand has expanded into include language- or culture-specific channels for various other territories in different parts of the world including Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Canada, and has licensed some of its cartoons and other content, in English and local languages, to free-to-air networks and subscription channels such as KI.KA and Super RTL in Germany, RTÉ Two (English language) and TG4 (Irish language) in Ireland, YTV (in English) and Vrak.TV (in French) in Canada, Canal J in France, Alpha Kids in Greece, CNBC-e in Turkey and 10 Shake in Australia (which is a sister network to Nickelodeon).

See also


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