U to U

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U to U
Presented by Ali Rivera
Sertrone Starks
Opening theme "U to U" Theme
Country of origin  United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 20
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Nickelodeon
Picture format 4:3
Original run 3 October 1994 – 1996[1]

U to U, sometimes labeled as U-2-U, is a weekly Nickelodeon television series that aired from 1994 to 1996.[1] The show focused on displaying viewer-submitted work and ideas in their "Straight From U" segment where viewers were able to submit their work via mail, e-mail, fax, or telephone.[2]

The show included short stories and comic strips written by viewers that were turned into animated shorts, and songs that were written and made into music videos. The interaction of series allowed viewers to play games over the phone, ask questions to celebrities, meet pen pals from other countries, and read letters aloud.

The show also featured an online presence in the Prodigy Internet service where viewers could create and send content for show consideration as well as participate in bulletin board conversations.[1]

Recurring segments[edit]

U to U featured several recurring segments throughout its run, such as "And Then...", a segment of videos of different children continuing a funny story in the manner of the game of Chinese Whispers. Another popular segment involved the ability for children to call into a 1-800 number to connect live to the show and play a video-game in real-time through their touch-tone telephones. The game featured two 3-D models of ostriches, one dressed like a ballerina the other like a pirate, and the players would compete for a prize. If the show was a re-run, a message indicating the show was pre-recorded would appear in the corner, as well as reminders for children not to call in as the show was not airing live at the time. Throughout the run of the show, these touch-tone elements would appear in other segments, such as a caller hitting the pound key on their phone to stop a spinning wheel on a video monitor to try to win a prize.

Set design[edit]

Like most live-action Nickelodeon shows produced in the 1990s U to U was filmed in front of a live studio audience at the Nickelodeon Studios sound-stages at Universal Studios Florida. Daytime park guests could fill the bleachers inside the studio to watch the program for no additional fee. The set appeared as a giant warehouse full of electronic devices, scrolling LED marquees, large view-screens and walls of televisions. Viewers could have their names featured on the show's many screens and signs by sending in e-mails to the show, as well as sending videos or participating in segments filmed at Universal Studios' back lot. Despite this, the show often pushed for online-safety and always urged viewers to get their parents' permission before calling in or sending anything with their name on it.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Brooks, Tim; Earle Marsh (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (9th ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 1449. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4. 
  2. ^ Mangan, Jennifer (8 July 1996). "Nickelodeon Brings Back Weekday Block Of Shows". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 

External links[edit]