Pinwheel (TV series)
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|Created by||Vivian Horner
Sandy Kavanaugh 
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of episodes||260|
|Running time||60 minutes per episode.|
|Production company(s)||Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Company|
|Original channel||Pinwheel (1977-1979)
|Audio format||Mono (1977-1981)
|Original run||December 1, 1977– 1989|
|Followed by||Nick Jr. (block)|
Pinwheel is a children's television show that aired on the Nickelodeon cable network from 1977 to 1989. The show originally aired on channel C-3 of Warner Cable's interactive system QUBE in Columbus, Ohio, and it began airing on Nickelodeon when it first launched in April 1979.
Action all took place in and around a large Victorian-style house with a pinwheel on one of the peaks. Live actors would interact with puppets, discussing various concepts familiar to children's programming like sharing and being considerate, basic learning skills like colors, numbers and letters. All of the characters lived and worked in the various areas in and around the house.
Human characters included: Sal (played by Betty Rozek) and Smitty (played by Dale Engel), an elderly couple who ran a newspaper called The Daily Noodle. One of Smitty’s favorite pastimes was searching for the Admiral Bird who always seemed to elude him. Jake (played by George James), a man who collected small boxes, which emitted various sound effects. Franci was an artist and storyteller; she was on the show during its earliest years but her character was eventually phased out. Coco, a female mime (played by C.C. Loveheart from 1977-1981, then by Lindanell Rivera from 1982-1989). Kim (played by Arline Miyazaki) was not only the resident artist, but also Aurelia’s niece, which was confirmed on the Pinwheel Songbook VHS video during the “Hobo Bug Giggle Dance” number.
Plus and Minus were two cousins. Minus always wore a shirt with a "-", was upbeat and optimistic, while Plus always wore a shirt with a "+", and was typically pessimistic and discouraged. A recurring sketch was Plus's attempt to board a spaceship, and Plus distracting him somehow and missing the take-off. Their favorite game was "Gotcha Last!".
Other characters included Aurelia (a gypsy who ran Pinwheel House and used a special phone [actually a desk phone base with a crystal ball on it and no receiver] to dial the "Opposite City Operator" and was also Kim’s aunt), Silas the Snail (had an elderly-looking face, and took an entire episode to go from one end of the garden to the other), Ebenezer T. Squint (green-faced equivalent to Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch; his sole goal in life was to be on the front page of The Daily Noodle), Luigi O'Brien (who ran a mobile produce stand where all of the fruits and vegetables talked), Molly the Mole who lived in a tree in the backyard, Herbert and Lulu the Hobo Bugs, and the Admiral Bird which always seems to outwit Smitty.
There were a total of 260 one-hour Pinwheel episodes recorded from 1977 to 1982. However, Pinwheel was typically broadcast in 3 to 5 hour long blocks with multiple one-hour episodes shown back-to-back. It remains the longest-running Nickelodeon show in episodes and hours on air, and was the longest-running in years until You Can't Do That on Television broke the record. It is now #6, behind All That, You Can't Do That on Television, Nick News, SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats.