Nick Jr. (block)
|Launched||January 4, 1988|
|Network||Nickelodeon (from 8:30 AM-2 PM)|
|Owned by||Viacom International and MTV Networks|
|Slogan||The Smart Place To Play|
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Replaced by||Nick Play Date|
|Sister channel(s)||Nick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, TeenNick|
Nick Jr. is a programming block on the Nickelodeon television channel, seen on Nickelodeon weekday mornings. It is aimed at young children aged 2 to 6 years. On September 28, 2009, Noggin was renamed Nick Jr. and the block was temporarily renamed "The Play Date." In 2014, the Nick Jr. name began to be used for both the block and network. 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 9:00am – 3:00pm 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). 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 of foreign origin (The World of David the Gnome, Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show, Noozles, The Adventures of the Little Koala, The Adventures of the Little Prince, The Littl' Bits, Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, Maya the Bee, Maple Town, Curious George, Jim Henson's Muppet Babies). Programming of both live action and puppeted preschool programming also appeared during this time. Many of the Nick Jr. network ID's were produced by VideoWorks Inc. with 2D animation, CGI animation and clay animation. In 1993, Nick Jr. introduced its first rebrand in five years, with idents, promos, and bumpers 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 featured a female announcer and some promos and bumpers featured kids holding hands and walking around the Nick Jr. logo. Several Nick Jr. promos and bumpers carried the slogan "Grow, Learn, and Play". This rebrand was short-lived, as it lasted until Face was introduced in the autumn of the following year.
The final pre-Face program aired on Friday, September 2, 1994 and it was The World of David the Gnome right before the closing ID of Nick Jr. and a handover to Friday's Nickelodeon program schedule. After that, they had an advertisement for Nick Jr.'s upcoming rebrand, also mentioning Face, the block's mascot. On Monday, September 5, 1994, proceeding the first network ID, Nick Jr. introduced Face, the animated host that introduced, and wrapped up shows, and smaller variety pieces. More than 400 Face promos were created and produced by Nick Digital (Nickelodeon's in-house animation studio), and later at Data Motion Arts from 1996 to 1999 and again in 2001, and then at Napoleon Videographics from 1999–2003, and finally at Vee-Pee Cartoons from 2003–2004. From this point forward, he changed colors, moods, and feelings, and during the 1994-1995 television season, a slew of new shows and shorts premiered, including Nick Jr. Little Big Room, Muppet Time, Gullah Gullah Island, Allegra's Window, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, and Winky Love. Nick Jr. also moved its sign off time to 2:00 pm starting that day. Programming during this period included (but wasn't limited to) Allegra's Window, Little Bear, Gullah Gullah Island, Blue's Clues, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, Franklin, Rupert, Rugrats (re-runs, also aired as part of the original Nickelodeon), Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, The Muppet Show, Eureeka's Castle, and Bob the Builder. Face, in the context of his segments, was capable of materializing objects such as an astronaut, a robot, a clown, a window, a traffic light, stars, even wood, and of creating any number of foley sound effects including a signature three note "trumpet" noise used to lead up to the slogan Just for me, followed by a nod. Face was voiced by Chris Phillips who also voiced Roger Klotz on Disney's Doug and various promos & TV commercials (including many Nickelodeon bumpers and promos from 1993 to the 2000s). Original Face was removed from the lineup on Friday, August 29, 2003. On Tuesday, September 2, 2003, Face has 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 black, larger dots on white eyes. Also, his voice turned into a D.J. rapper-like voice. Also, a new series of segments called Nick Jr. Play Along debuted, and the new segments 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. New Face and the Play Along segments were removed from the lineup on Friday, October 8, 2004, with Dora the Explorer being the last program to air on the block at 2 pm ET.
On Monday, October 11, 2004 at 10:00 am ET, Nick Jr. introduced a new mascot named Piper O'Possum, and also was branded by a new slogan, "Nick Jr! We Love to Play!". Piper O'Possum's last appearance was Friday, September 7, 2007 at 2:00 pm ET, with Go, Diego, Go! being the last program that aired with this look.
On Monday, September 10, 2007 at 9:00 am ET, Nick Jr. was updated and introduced new graphics and music. The Nick Jr. logo's shapes resembled plushies now. The plushies seen in the logos included robots, bunnies, and monkeys. This saw the new look, which indicates preschoolers to play and learn with Nick Jr. characters. The first program aired with this look was Dora the Explorer.
The Nick Jr. block ended its 21-year run on February 2, 2009, with Ni Hao, Kai-Lan as the last program to air. Nick Jr. shows continued airing on the slot, but with the Nickelodeon branding, replacing the Nick Jr. branding, and the addition of more frequent commercial advertising. On September 28, 2009, Nick Jr. replaced Noggin as a 24/7 TV channel. This makes it the first that Nickelodeon does not brand its preschool shows in a program block since 1988.
In May 2014, Nickelodeon 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.
Cross programming with other networks
Cross programming is a term used in broadcast programming. From 2000 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2006, Nick Jr. also ran a Saturday morning children's block for CBS entitled Nick Jr. on CBS, featuring shows from the programming block. Between 2002 and 2005, it was part of the general Nick on CBS block, which also included programming from the main Nickelodeon channel. The block was replaced September 16, 2006, when DIC Entertainment (now Cookie Jar Group) started the KOL Secret Slumber Party/KEWLopolis/Cookie Jar TV on CBS.
Until the fall of 2006, Spanish language US 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 the fall of 2006, after the sale of Telemundo to NBC and the CBS/Viacom split, Nick programming was replaced with a Spanish-language version of NBC/Ion Television's qubo block.
For a brief time in summer 2010, Tr3s (a sister network to Nickelodeon) aired a daily block of Spanish-dubbed Nick Jr. programs under the name Tr3s Jr. Pistas de Blue (episodes from the Steve Burns era of Blue's Clues) and Wonder Pets were featured in the block.
Face made an appearance during the 2012 New Year edition of The '90s Are All That, TeenNick's 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!).
- 1988 Premiere of Nick Jr."The Rugrats Timeline -- Through 1989". 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Hillary Hawkins". Hillary Hawkins. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "About". www.travisguba.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.