|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Launched||February 2, 1999
September 28, 2009
(relaunch, as Nick Jr.)
|Owned by||Viacom Media Networks
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||The Smart Place To Play|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
Channel 1301 (VOD)
|Dish Network||Channel 169|
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 - Channel 210|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 256 (East/West)|
|Starhub TV||Channel 304|
|Time Warner Cable||Channel 129|
|Virgin Media||Channel 715|
|Comcast||Channel 120, 223|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 320|
|UniFi Malaysia (Hypp.TV)||Channel 552|
Nick Jr. is an American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by the MTV Networks Kids & Family Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel, which is aimed at younger children between 2 and 6 years old, features a mix of originally-produced programming, and series previously and concurrently aired on the "Nick: The Smart Place to Play" block – and its previous iterations – on Nickelodeon.
The channel was originally known as Noggin from its February 2, 1999 launch until September 28, 2009. Sister channel The N was relaunched as TeenNick at the same time as Noggin's relaunch as Nick Jr.; like with TeenNick, Nick Jr.'s name was taken from a former program block on parent channel Nickelodeon, which aired weekday mornings from 1988 to 2009 under the Nick Jr. name; and still survives today on Nickelodeon as a block known in promotions as "Nick: The Smart Place to Play" (which regularly airs from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET; 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. ET on designated school break periods and major national holidays), which has traditional commercial breaks and no common continuity between each series.
As of August 2013, Nick Jr. is available to approximately 76,389,000 pay television households (66.89% of households with television) in the United States.
As Noggin (1999–2009)
Nick Jr. originally launched as Noggin on February 2, 1999, as a joint venture between Viacom's Nickelodeon and the Children's Television Workshop (a.k.a. Sesame Workshop); Sesame Workshop later sold its interest in the channel to Viacom at some point in 2002. The network's name was derived from a slang term for "head" and, by extension, had reflected its original purpose as an educational channel. Noggin's programming was originally targeted primarily at pre-teens from 1999 to 2002, although a few programs airing on the channel were aimed at preschoolers. This had the unintended consequence of creating a redundant audience with parent network Nickelodeon, which also primarily targets a pre-teen audience, despite Noggin's programming being more educational in nature than the entertainment-based Nickelodeon. The channel's first official mascot was Phred, a strange pickle character, who was seen on the channel from 1999 to 2002.
There were no commercials played during Noggin. Although Noggin did not air standard ads, it showed interstitials between shows such as Connie the Cow's Milk Break, as well as other "tie-in" media such as music videos that tied in with promotions for programs on the other Nickelodeon channels. Much of the channel's revenue comes primarily from carriage fees paid by pay television providers.
Due to low ratings, the format of Noggin was changed on April 1, 2002, shifting its target audience to preschoolers full-time. That same date, Viacom launched The N, a teen-oriented program block that targeted an older audience and featured programming edgier in content that Noggin or Nickelodeon. Similarly to the shared-time format of Nickelodeon (which had shared channel space with other cable channels throughout much of its history including The Movie Channel, BET, the Alpha Repertory Television Service and its successor A&E) and Nick at Nite, Noggin and The N aired their respective programming over the same channel space and in a block format: Noggin ran from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, while The N ran from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. ET seven nights a week. This was acknowledged in Noggin's daily sign-off message, which explained that Noggin would resume its programming at 6:00 a.m. ET the next morning. With the rebrand, Noggin introduced its first mascot named "Feetface", its introduction brought about one of the first examples of a new animation style called "photo-puppetry", in which an animation is created by the use of manipulation of photographs.
Noggin's last day of the "Feetface" era signed off at 6:00pm on Sunday, April 6, 2003, with the last "Feetface" show to air on that day on the channel was Maurice Sendak's Little Bear, right before the last "Feetface" footage. After that, it showed a sneak preview at the new mascots, "Moose A. Moose" and "Zee Bird", followed by the last goodbyes to everyone on Noggin, the 2002-2003 mascot, "Feetface", the last Noggin station ID, followed by the schedule to The N's Sunday programming. At 6:00am on Monday, April 7, 2003, Noggin added their new mascots named "Moose A. Moose" and "Zee Bird", and they hosted their shows and segments.
In addition to airing classic Nickelodeon preschool series such as Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer, and original shows such as Jack's Big Music Show, Noggin also aired many preschool-oriented shows originating from English-speaking countries outside of the United States (including the Canadian series Maurice Sendak's Little Bear and Franklin the Turtle, and British series Connie the Cow and Tiny Planets). The channel also served as the launching pad for music videos by children's music artists such as Laurie Berkner, Lisa Loeb and Dan Zanes, initially as filler between 23-minute-long shows that ran commercial-free, and (because of their success in that format) now as music video shows like Move to the Music. The channel continued to carry classic Sesame Workshop series until September 12, 2005. Around this time, Noggin began to air versions of classic shows from the Sesame Workshop library (such as The Electric Company), that were edited for running time.
In August 2007, Nickelodeon announced that it would shut down sister channel Nickelodeon Games and Sports on December 31, 2007, turning it into an online-only service on TurboNick, with The N becoming its own 24-hour channel that would take over Nickelodeon GAS's channel space. At 6:00 p.m. ET on December 30, 2007, Noggin officially ended its run as a time-shared service. However, due to technical issues, Dish Network continued to carry Nickelodeon GAS on its usual channel slot, with Noggin continuing to timeshare with The N on the satellite provider until April 2009, when Dish replaced GAS with the Pacific Time Zone feed of Cartoon Network; Dish Network began to carry The N and Noggin as separate channels on May 5, 2009.
In 2008, Noggin began to decrease its reliance on foreign children's programs; Tweenies was permanently pulled from the schedule in January, with Tiny Planets being dropped that April. Tiny Planets was previously shown intermittently – but not on a daily basis – at 6 a.m. ET, as Tweenies was for a year until it was pulled. However, the channel later acquired the Australian series The Upside Down Show (which like Tiny Planets, has American origins through Sesame Workshop).
As Nick Jr. (2009–present)
On February 24, 2009, Nickelodeon announced that Noggin and The N were to be rebranded as Nick Jr. and TeenNick to bring both channels in line with the Nickelodeon brand identity. In July of that year, Nickelodeon unveiled new standardized logos for its five channels, intending to create a unified look that could better be conveyed across the services.
On September 28, 2009 at 6:00 a.m. ET, Noggin relaunched as Nick Jr., accompanied by the debut of the new logo (which was designed by New York City-based creative director/designer Eric Zim). Although the use of an orange "adult" and blue "child" figure was discontinued in the new wordmark logo, the tradition of the "Nick" text being orange (representing the adult) and the "Jr." text remaining in blue (as the child) was retained. As is common with newer networks which have taken another former network's channel slot, some cable providers have confusingly continued to display the channel's logos as either Noggin, The N or both as that of Nick Jr.'s current logo on electronic program guides. The Nick Jr. channel retained Noggin's mascots Moose A. Moose and Zee; it also continued not to accept traditional advertising or marginalize closing credits for promotion of other shows on the channel.
A Spanish language block featuring Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon programs debuted on July 12, 2010 on sister channel Tr3́s. "Tr3́s Jr." aired Spanish dubs of Blue's Clues and Wonder Pets; the block was later discontinued.
On March 1, 2012, an update of Nick Jr.'s image debuted that was produced by Gretel Inc., with a new advertising campaign produced by BBDO. The Moose A. Moose and Zee D. Bird mascots were retired completely, removing one of the last vestiges of the channel's former Noggin identity; as a result, some of the interstitial learning activities that originally featured Moose's narration were recycled and replaced by the voice of a female continuity announcer. Disappointed parents organized a social media effort to bring back the characters. The channel changed its slogan from "It's Like Preschool on TV" to "The Smart Place to Play" (which is also used as the branding for the Nickelodeon's preschool block). The channel's programming at this point began to be hosted by characters from Nick Jr. shows. The channel also began incorporating programming promotions and short features on that date; seven months later, on October 1, 2012, Nick Jr. started airing limited traditional advertising (for companies such as ABCMouse, Kmart and Playskool) in the form of underwriter sponsorships airing in-between shows.
On October 1, 2012, Viacom launched a new program block at mothers called NickMom (stylized as nickmom), a comedy-themed block (which broadcasts traditional advertising, as opposed to the limited sponsorship format of Nick Jr.'s preschool programming) that airs nightly from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET, with a replay from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. ET. Programs featured in the block include Parental Discretion with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, MFF: Mom Friends Forever, NickMom Night Out, and What Was Carol Brady Thinking?, featuring comedic commentary from Carol Brady within episodes of The Brady Bunch in the style of Pop-Up Video (Florence Henderson herself has no involvement in What Was Carol Brady Thinking?, with commentary penned by writers not involved with the original series). On October 23, 2012, NickMom moved its start time five minutes earlier to 9:55 p.m. ET, in order to fit stories from NickMom.com into the block.
The block launched with heavy controversy. As Nick Jr. operates only one feed that broadcasts on a default Eastern Time Zone schedule and does not operate a secondary feed for the Pacific Time Zone, NickMom programming starts at 7 p.m. Pacific Time, and in time zones further west outside the continental United States, 6 p.m. in the Alaska Time Zone, and 5 p.m in the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone. Many parents have found the scheduling inappropriate, also given the supposed sexual, coarse, and child-bashing humor, and uncensored light profanity (although similar content can be found on some programs seen on sister channel TeenNick, which has looser content restrictions than the other Nickelodeon channels). Parents also felt that the purpose and lure of the network with full-time preschool programming was nullified in the pursuit of increasing ratings with content not meant for children.
The content of the block's website has also been criticized for the same reasons, along with earlier allegations that the staff of the network's website took content from other websites, including pictures of children, without any attribution or credit, and without permission.
Subsequently, Nielsen ratings for the NickMom block's first week plunged 75% from that same period the year prior when Nick Jr. programs aired in the timeslot, with some shows registering a "scratch" as being unrated due to a low sample size. Parents have encouraged advertisers to pull their sponsorships from the block, and members of some online parenting communities have demanded that children's programming return to the channel during that timeslot. Fisher Price and the General Mills brands Cheerios and Green Giant later pulled their advertising from the block by October 26, due to consumer reactions on social media.
By June 2013 though, some programs had been replaced with syndicated shows already airing on Nick at Nite (or with their rights dormant on that channel) such as The New Adventures of Old Christine and Yes, Dear, with some of the original NickMom shows such as Carol Brady being cancelled due to low ratings. General Mills has since returned to advertising during the NickMom block.
Nick Jr. HD
Nick Jr. HD is a high definition simulcast of Nick Jr. that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format; it was launched on August 1, 2013, making Nick Jr. the first Nickelodeon spin-off channel to operate an HD feed. Many post-2005 programs in the network's library, along with most of the NickMom schedule, are aired in the 1080i format, such as Mike the Knight, Peter Rabbit, and Lalaloopsy alongside recent seasons of Max and Ruby, Bubble Guppies, and Dora the Explorer.  No other providers have pick this feed up as of yet.
On May 16, 2011, MTV Networks launched two new channels, Nick Jr. and MTVNHD, in Asia. These 24-hour channels began to be available on StarHub TV in Singapore on May 18 and on Telekom Malaysia Berhad's Hypp.TV in Malaysia on June 1. The channel launched aggressively to the rest of Southeast Asia later.
- Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- "A Lucky Few Children Get to Start Using Their Noggin". NY Daily News. 1999-02-02. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
- "Nick to Split Noggin and The N". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2007-11-06.
- "A Coming of Age at Nickelodeon". New York Times Online. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "Nick" of Time for Rebrand, MultiChannel News, March 2, 2009
- "Nickelodeon unveils new logo". Variety.
- 659.html?categoryid=14&cs=1 Nickelodeon Unveils New Logo, Variety.com, July 29, 2009
- "Tr3s TV Schedule". Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Parents Rip Nick Jr. For ‘Firing’ Moose and Zee". Chicago CBSlocal.
- "Nick Jr.’s NickMom Primetime Comedy Block Sets Launch Date, Adds Docu Series". Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- Hoffman, Sybil (15 October 2012). "Sexual comedy show airs on toddler network". KTVK, Phoenix. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Nelson, Melanie (17 September 2012). "Protecting Your Blog Content: The NickMom Blog Controversy". Blogging Basics 101. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Hands Off Our Content". Resourceful Mommy. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Jannarone, John (12 October 2012). "Mom Shows Hurt Nick Jr.". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- DIRECTV HD Channel Anticipation (Official Q3-13 Thread)
- Official AVS National HD Channel Lineups - Cable/DBS/Fiber/IPTV
- Viacom Debuts Nick Jr. And MTVNHD