Nick Jr. (block)
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|Launched||January 4, 1988|
May 5, 2014
|Closed||January 30, 2009|
|Network||Nickelodeon (Weekdays from 8 AM – 3 PM, Saturdays from 7 AM – 9 AM, Sundays from 7 AM - 8AM)|
|Owned by||Viacom International and MTV Networks|
|Slogan||Shows Playing & More.|
|Headquarters||New York City|
Nick Jr. (also known by its full title Nick Jr. on Nick) is a programming block on the Nickelodeon television channel, seen on Nickelodeon weekday mornings. As its name suggests, it is aimed at young children aged under 7. It is owned by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International.
From the morning of January 4, 1988 onwards, the Nick Jr. brand was in place and in use, with an approximate six-hour portion of the Nickelodeon broadcast day, at 8:30am – 2:30pm every weekday. The logo for the new Nick Jr. brand became a distinctive feature for the block. At first, the Nick Jr. logo was orange for 'Nick' and blue for 'Jr.'. The logo varied in the shape or species (e.g.: two stars, two trains, two trees, two robots, two balls, two castles, two pigs, two cows, two horses, two brothers, two cats, two dogs, two dinosaurs (India only), two bunnies, two sisters). Most of Nick Jr.'s network IDs during this period were produced by VideoWorks Inc. and Olive Jar Animation. Until July 1990, a former staple of the Nickelodeon lineup, Pinwheel was featured, originally for three hours (two at the beginning and one at noon), then for one hour during spring–summer 1989. When Eureeka's Castle premiered in September 1989, Pinwheel was split into two separate half hours in the morning and afternoon, where it remained until July 1990. Much of the remaining time in the lineup, particularly early in this time period, was devoted to animated series, many of which were Japanese or of foreign origin (David the Gnome, The Elephant Show, Noozles, Doctor Snuggles, Adventures of the Little Koala, The Littl' Bits, Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, Maya the Bee, Maple Town, Curious George, and Muppet Babies). Programming of both live action and puppeted preschool programming also appeared during this time.
On April 5, 1993, Nick Jr. premiered a new series, Cappelli & Company, and introduced its first rebrand in five years, with promotional elements featuring an orange figure with the word 'NICK' it resembling a parent and a blue figure with the word 'JR,' in it resembling a child doing activities. The promos and bumpers introduced a new female announcer (who was replaced by a different female announcer in 1994, 1998, and 2003) and often featured kids playing near the Nick Jr. logo.
On September 5, 1994, Nick Jr. rebranded and introduced Face, an animated host that introduced and wrapped up shows, as well as hosting smaller variety segments. In the context of his segments, Face was capable of materializing objects such as an astronaut, a robot, a clown, a window, a traffic light, stars, and even wood. He was also capable of creating a number of foley sound effects and voices including a signature three-note trumpet noise almost always following the name "Nick Jr." and at the end of almost every bumper. Also, he changed colors, moods, and feelings. Face was voiced by Chris Phillips, who was also one of Nickelodeon's continuity announcers and is currently a continuity announcer for Nick Jr. More than 400 Face promos were created and produced by Nick Digital from 1994–1996 and 1999–2003, and later at Data Motion Arts from 1996–1999, and finally at Vee-Pee Cartoons from 2003–2004. During the fall of 1994, Nick Jr. introduced two new original series: Gullah Gullah Island and Allegra's Window.
In 1994 Rugrats had ended production and starting airing reruns on Nick Jr. starting in the summer of '94 until 1997 (Rugrats was also showing reruns during the regular Nick schedule at the time) when new episodes started to air. Rugrats is the only Nicktoon (to date) to air on the block.
In 1996, the "Play To Learn" slogan was introduced. Several Nick Jr. promos and bumpers carried the slogan and a theme song with the slogan sung to the melody of London Bridge.
On September 8, 1996, the first episode of Blue's Clues premiered in prime-time on Nickelodeon, then debuted on the Nick Jr. block the next day. Nick Jr. also premiered four new interstitial series and received a new rebrand, produced by Pittard Sullivan. Blue's Clues quickly dethroned Gullah Gullah Island as Nick Jr.'s most popular series.
Nick Jr. rebranded again in 1998, where the "Just For Me" slogan was introduced.
In 1999 and 2000, Nick Jr. started airing newer programming, such as Franklin, Kipper, Maisy, Little Bill, and Dora the Explorer. As for newer shows, Bob the Builder premiered on January 15, 2001, then Oswald on August 20.
On August 29, 2003, most of Nick Jr.'s older interstitial series and the original Face segments ended their 8-year run.
On September 2, 2003, Nick Jr. rebranded and introduced more than a dozen new logos. Face was given a new look, which added eyebrows and a chin and straightened the eyes by inverting their colors from white dots on black eyes to larger black dots on white eyes. Also, his voice became a DJ/rapper-like voice.
A new interstitial series called Nick Jr. Play Along debuted, which were hosted by two fun live-action hosts: Robin (played by actress Hillary Hawkins) and Zack (played by actor Travis Guba). Alongside Robin and Zack were four sock puppets called the Feetbeats.
On October 8, 2004, the Nick Jr. Play Along interstitials and the new Face segments ended their 1-year run.
On October 11, 2004, Nick Jr. introduced a new host, Piper O'Possum, and a new slogan: "We Love To Play!". Nick Jr.'s female announcer was replaced with Chris Phillips and Kobie Powell. Until March 2006, NickJr.com made an on-screen bug on television to match up with the Nick.com on-screen bug.
On September 7, 2007, the Piper O'Possum segments ended their 2-year run at 2:00 pm ET.
On September 10, 2007 at 9:00 am ET, Nick Jr. received yet another rebrand, which encouraged preschoolers to play and learn with Nick Jr. shows. The first show that aired with this rebrand was Dora the Explorer. The block's bumpers featured the Nick Jr. logo in the form of two stuffed animals, animated in stop-motion. This marks the first time that the Nick Jr. block had no host since its debut in 1988. Nick Jr. also stopped airing interstitial series and increased the amount of commercials it aired.
In the spring of 2008, the block was extended to 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
On January 30, 2009, the original block ended its run, with Ni Hao, Kai-Lan being the last show to air on the block.
On February 2, 2009, the original Nick Jr. block ended its 21-year run. Nickelodeon continued to air Nick Jr. shows in the block's timeslot, but with the Nickelodeon branding instead of the Nick Jr. branding, and it was called Nick Play Date, and this had a few of the defunct shows removed. This version of the block involved interstitials and bumpers (to have Noggin's animation by Bunko Studios) and also were to have graffiti drawings, finger puppets or cupcakes; and there was no mascot. Its music that played on the bumpers involved a choir of kids vocalizing, and Nicolette Pierini was the announcer of each bumper. On September 28, 2009, Nick Jr. replaced Noggin as a 24/7 TV channel as part of the big 2009 Viacom rebrand. This marks the first time that Nickelodeon does not brand its preschool shows in a program block. In 2011, (during the current era of Nickelodeon), the former Play Date bumpers were replaced by characters (depending on a show) to announce the bumpers, and it also launched a jingle that played every time the block began.
On May 5, 2014, Nickelodeon revived the Nick Jr. block, and began using the Nick Jr. name in advertisements to refer to both the network and block. When aired on the Nick Jr. channel, commercials for programs broadcast on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block usually end with "Nick Jr. over on Nickelodeon" to differentiate the titles.
On June 10th, 2015, the website was completely redesigned to match up with the Nick Jr. app.
On May 21st, 2018, Nickelodeon rebranded the Nick Jr. block which includes new bumpers and curriculum boards.
- Nick Jr.'s Just For You! (January 4, 1988 – Summer 1991)
- Nick Jr. Is Here Just For You! (Summer 1991 – April 2, 1993)
- TV For The Next Generation (1992 – September 2, 1994)
- Grow, Learn, & Play (April 5, 1993 – September 2, 1994)
- We Play To Learn (September 5, 1994 – 1997)
- Play To Learn (1996 – August 31, 2001)
- TV Made Just For Preschoolers (September 9, 1996 – September 1998)
- Just For Me (September 1998 – August 31, 2001)
- Where I Play To Learn (September 3, 2001 – August 29, 2003)
- Where I Play Along (September 2, 2003 – October 8, 2004)
- We Love To Play! / Nick Jr. Love To Play! (October 11, 2004 – September 7, 2007)
- Play With Us! (September 10, 2007 – September 28, 2009)
- It's like Preschool on TV (September 28, 2009 – March 1, 2012)
- The Smart Place To Play (March 1, 2012 – August 18, 2018)
- Shows Playing & More (August 18, 2018 – present)
Cross-programming with other networks
Cross-programming is a term used in broadcast programming.
From 2000 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2006, Nick Jr. also ran a Saturday morning children's block for CBS entitled Nick Jr. on CBS, featuring shows from the Nick Jr. programming block. From 2002 to 2004, it was part of the general Nick on CBS block, which also included programming from the main Nickelodeon channel. The block was replaced by the Cookie Jar TV block (from the Cookie Jar Group) on September 16, 2006.
Until the fall of 2006, Spanish-language American network Telemundo offered Nick Jr. programming in Spanish on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as part of the Nickelodeon en Telemundo block, which featured such shows as Rugrats and Dora the Explorer. In Fall of 2006, after the sale of Telemundo to NBC in 2001 and the CBS/Viacom split in early 2006, Nick programming was replaced with a Spanish version of NBC/Ion's qubo block.
For a brief time in summer 2010, MTV Tres, a sister network to Nickelodeon, aired a daily block of Spanish-dubbed Nick Jr. programs under the name Tr3s Jr. Shows like Pistas de Blue (the Spanish version of Blue's Clues) and Wonder Pets! were featured in the block.
Face (the '90s version) made an appearance during the 2012 New Year edition of All That, TeenNick's former 1990s-oriented late night block. Face's appearances consisted of out-of-context clips that make him appear to be drunk or making adult comments (e.g.: "Yeah, grow a pair!").
- "The Rugrats Timeline -- Through 1989". 2012-06-16. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- Nick to spend $30 million on kids (page 53) from Broadcasting & Cable
- "Hillary Hawkins". Hillary Hawkins. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "About". www.travisguba.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Nick Jr. site gets a redesign, debuts new preschool series". Retrieved 5 September 2018.