The Rugrats Timeline

This timeline features important events regarding Rugrats, Klasky-Csupo and Nickelodeon.

Note:

If there are any inaccuracies or additions, please let me know.

1952:

Gabor Csupo was born in Budapest, Hungary.


1956:
April: DC Comics publishes the first issue of Sugar and Spike; created by Sheldon Meyer, the idea of talking babies on imaginary adventures predates Rugrats by 33 years. This 98-issue series was published until October 1971.

(Left: The logo for Sugar and Spike; © DC Comics, Inc and Warner Bros., Inc..)


1970:

July: In early July (week of 7/6/70), CBS announced plans to spin off CBS Enterprises (domestic syndication) and Cable-Vue (cable systems) into a new, single company. A few weeks later (week of 7/27/70), they came up with a name for the new company -- Viacom International. The Viacom name is short for "Video & Audio Communications".


1971:

Gabor Csupo begins work as animator at the Pannóniafilm animation studio in Hungary.

May: CBS Enterprises formally changes its name to Viacom Enterprises. Its first print ad in Broadcasting Magazine as Viacom was an ad pitching The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan's Heroes and Petticoat Junction to TV stations.


1973:

Viacom officially became a separate company, due to an FCC law that forbids network ownership of domestic movie & TV production & distribution. That law has since been repealed. Since then, in 1997, CBS returned to syndication with its new Eyemark division. In 1999, CBS & Viacom were reunited in a merger (see 9/7/99).


1975:

Gabor Csupo snuck out of Hungary, at the time under Communist rule. Shortly afterward, he got an animation job in Stockholm, Sweden, where he later met Arlene Klasky, an American who's a friend of Swedish animator / illustrator Kerstin Olsson-Grönvik. While there, they helped produce Sweden's first full-length animated feature.

After spending some time as designer of logos and record covers, then later as magazine and ad art director, California Institute of the Arts graduate Arlene Klasky joined Robert Abel & Associates, her first venture into the film business.

In Britain, Roger Price created and produced (possibly) his first children's program for British TV: You Must Be Joking. He later went on to produce  Pauline's Quirkes (1977) and You Can't Be Serious (1978), before moving to Canada to create and produce You Can't Do That On Television, based on these short-lived British TV series (see January 1979). While in Britain, he also produced the future Nick sci-fi classic, The Tomorrow People.



1976:
Fall: Viacom's infamous "Purple V Of Doom" was introduced at the tail end of most of the programs they distribute; many viewers gave it that nickname, as their purple-on-blue "V" logo zooms in slowly to jarring brass music. It made its first print appearance in their change-of address ad in the 12/20/76 issue of Broadcasting Magazine (click here to see ad). Prior to this time, Viacom had no logo in its print ads, and its filmed shows ended with the words "A Viacom Presentation" sliding into view, set to pinball-type music. In the 1980s, their end signature look and music was redone, and the "V" was given a silvery finish.

(Left: Mid-1970s Viacom logo, from a trade ad in the 2/28/77 Broadcasting Magazine; ©1976 Viacom.)


1977:

December 1: Nick's Flicks, a weekly children's movie program on Warner-Amex's local origination channel in Columbus, OH, went on the air. This show eventually provided the inspiration for the future Nickelodeon channel.


Late-1970s:

Klasky co-establishes California Film, which specialised in commercials, logos and station-IDs.


1979:
January (?): Greeen Slime was invented when You Can't Do That On Television, produced by CTV affilate CJOH in Ottawa, ON, debuts Saturday mornings on the CTV network in Canada. At the time, the show was live and had musical guests, similar to Saturday Night Live (also see 1975).

In addition to its assortment of quick jokes, You Can't Do That On Television was famous for its Green Slime, which is dumped on anyone saying "I don't know", and, on a lesser part, its water jokes, where water is dumped on anyone saying "water".

(Left: A Green Slime scene from an episode of You Can't Do That On Television. From Nick.Com; © CTV, Inc.)

April 1: Pinwheel, not just the show, but a channel that would later be renamed Nickelodeon, was launched on Warner-Amex's experimental QUBE cable system (the world's first interactive TV service) in Columbus, OH, and another cable system in Buffalo, NY. One of the people who worked on behind the scenes was Jim Jinkins. Jinkins, who later created Doug, was an artist for Pinwheel, as well as done some of the voices on that show.

The Pinwheel show was seen for about 3 to 5 hours daily until around 1989. Known by those who remembered it as Sesame Street on the cheap, it featured a human host, a small cast of puppets, and an assortment of animated shorts from Europe.

Also on that day, QUBE also introduced 2 pay-per-view channels, plus a music video channel called Sight On Sound, which would go national 2 years later as MTV.

(Left: Jake (George James) and the puppets from Pinwheel. From Nick.Com; © Viacom.)


1980:

Geraldine Laybourne starts out at Pinwheel / Nickelodeon as program manager. At the time, the fledging kids channel was known by its employees as a "green vegetable network"; though its programming was worthwhile, kids like it just as much as they like spinach. Such viewership has shown on Nick's earliest Nielsen ratings, where only a couple of shows actually got numbers, while all other shows had viewerships that were too low to be counted.

Whatever Turns You On, You Can't's prime-time spinoff, debuts on CTV. Unlike the Saturday morning counterpart, Turns You On was pre-recorded, and was straight comedy, similar to Laugh In (Ruth Buzzi, a Laugh-In regular, was also a regular in this series). This lasted only one season, but gave ideas for You Can't when it crossed the border in 1982.


1981:
Pinwheel was renamed Nickelodeon, and became available nationwide.Nickelodeon, then a joint venture of Warner Communications (known now as Time Warner) and American Express ("Don't leave home without it"), was seen with no commercials at first and featured mainly reruns of cartoons, children's shows, and special reports (some programming was made for Nick). Nick shared time with ARTS (the Alpha Repertory Television System, later the Arts and Entertainment Network, now A&E) until 1985.


1982:

Nick wins its first Peabody Award.

Nick picked up the US rights to You Can't Do That On Television; during the course of its 12-year run, it featured an ever-changing cast of kids. It also introduced "green slime", which remains on Nick long after You Can't... left the air in 1993. By the time the show came to Nick, it was now pre-recorded with no musical guests -- or audience (they used a laugh-track). By the way, CJOH owns You Can't..., and not Nick or YTV (which shown the program in Canada after that channel started up in 1988)(also aee January 1979).

Klasky-Csupo was established in a spare room of the couple's apartment at 729 Seward St. in Los Angeles; for the next 5 years, its main expertise is producing commercials, opening credits for films and TV shows, and providing animation for music videos.


1983:

Geraldine Laybourne becomes president of Nick; her first project as president -- a program called Going Great, a weekly magazine program that featured kids doing extraordinary feats, such as a 13-year old who wrote a best seller, and a 10-year old who plays billiards on stilts. Going Great didn't go great, and was cancelled after 13 weeks on the air. Reason? The show depressed kids, and the kids wanted to see shows on what kids NORMALLY do, rather than see a junior version of That's Incredible! (which, by the way, was a popular ABC program on at the time).

Don Herbert returns with Nick's new science program for kids, Mr. Wizard's World, his first TV series since 1972. Mr. Wizard's World was in production for about only 3 years, but it's still seen on Nick as of 2000, making it Nick's longest-running program. Mr. Wizard has been entertaining generations of TV viewers since the Golden Age of Television (March 3, 1951, to be exact) with interesting scientific experiments, using materials that can be found around the house. He later supplemented these programs with a science program for teachers, Teacher To Teacher, also seen on Nick.

A group of recording producers in Toronto created a children's rock group, The Rugrats. They made 2 albums at A&M Records. This, obviously, has nothing to do with today's Rugrats, except for the fact that today's more-familiar Rugrats weren't the first "Rugrats"; however, there's a connection to both. For details, click here.

October: The producers of You Can't Do That On Television launched a similar program, Don't Look Now, an hour-long show which was televised live on Sundays on most PBS stations. This angered Nick, as the show was similar to You Can't, and it's producers were producing a show for the competition (though Nick bought the rights to You Can't, not the show itself). After its 6-week run, PBS chose not to renew the show, despite the fact that Don't Look Now was PBS's 2nd most popular children's show at the time.


1984:

Warner Communications purchases American Express' share of Warner-Amex; cable systems become Warner Cable (now Time Warner Cable or Time Warner Communications, depending on region), while Nick, MTV and the future VH1 become part of MTV Networks.

As part of Laybourne's transformation, the orange & white Nick logo was introduced. It takes on many forms, but the lettering and color remains constant. Also, the next-to-last place Nick starts showing commercials during its programs.


1985:

Nick catapults from next-to-last place to next-to-first place in ratings.

July 1: Nick and A&E become separate channels; Nick expands to 24 hours and uses the extra time for Nick-At-Nite, which presented reruns (such as Dennis The Menace, Donna Reed, Route 66 & My Three Sons) and original programming (like Turkey Television and National Geographic Explorer (which later moved to TBS, then CNBC)). By the early 1990's original series were dropped and Nick-At-Nite became strictly a "Classic TV" network. Then it became a "TV Hits" network when it started carrying more current TV reruns from the 1980s & 1990s.

About 10 years before she became a rock-and-roll sensation, Alanis Morrissette appeared nationwide as a regular on a few episodes of You Can't Do That On Television.


1986:

Viacom purchases Nick and MTV Nets from Warner.

ca.1986: E.G. Daily records her first album for A&M Records, Wild Child.

October 6: Double Dare, Nick's game show where the sky's the limit on Green Slime, premieres; hosted by Marc Summers, with John Harvey (known simply as "Harvey") as announcer. By the way, Double Dare's theme music was composed by Edd Kalehoff, the same man responsible for the music and theme used on The Price Is Right.


1987:

You Can't Do That On Television ceases production after a short 5-episode season.

 Nick inaugurates the Kids' Choice Awards.


(Banner © 2000 Twentieth Century - Fox Film Corporation.)

April: The Fox network begins its prime-time programming on Saturdays & Sundays. Sunday night featured The Tracey Ullman Show, which featured Matt Groening's The Simpsons, brought to the screens by Klasky-Csupo and Paul Germain (at the time, Germain was working for James L. Brooks as assistant producer of Tracey Ullman).


1988:
Nick Jr., programming for pre-schoolers, begins, featuring original and purchased programming, including is first original made-for-Nick Jr. program, Eureeka's Castle.

(Left: One of many Nick Jr. logos, from the Nick Jr. UK site; ©1999 Viacom.)

Herb Scannell, currently president of Nick, joins the network as Director of Programming. Previously, he was an executive at The Movie Channel.
YTV (English) & Canal Famille (French) go on the air in Canada. Canal Famille

Klasky-Csupo moves from their 729 Seward St. address to 1258 N. Highland (at Fountain) in Hollywood.

February 22: A night-time syndicated version of Double Dare hits local stations, and is seen until September 1989; co-syndicated by Viacom & Fox, it features the elements and people as the Nickelodeon version.

April 3: Family Double Dare, where the whole family is involved in this mess, debuts on Fox; it lasted until 7/23/88. In August 1990, it moved to Nick, where new shows and repeats are televised. By March 1991, it became the only Double Dare on Nick, after the original, kids-only version was cancelled.


1989:

ca. 1989: After about 10 years on Nick, Pinwheel was cancelled.

You Can't Do That On Television resumes production.

Double Dare receives the first CableACE award presented to a game show.

Germain quits Gracie Films (Brooks' production company) and joins Klasky-Csupo.

Rugrats was first created; production started on the untelevised pilot, Tommy Pickles and the Great White Thing.

December 17: The Simpsons got their own prime-time series on Fox, beginning with The Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire (a.k.a The Simpsons Christmas Special).


1990:
After about 15 years with the "V", Viacom changes its logo in its ads and their shows. And during the next few years, through marketing and acquisitions, Viacom started to make their name more noticable.

(Left: The present-day Viacom logo, from the Viacom website; ©1990 Viacom.)

Nick becomes the # 1 network among kids aged 2 to 11.

Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios Florida opens.

Clarissa Explains It All, a show that magically turned Melissa Joan Hart into a star before becoming a witch, goes on the air.

You Can't Do That On Television ceases production for the last time after another short 5-episode season.

The very first issue of Nickelodeon Magazine (left) was published, with Chevy Chase (and you're not) on the cover. It had a $1.95 cover price, but it was distributed for free at participating Pizza Huts. Shortly afterwards, a second issue, with rappers Kid n' Play on the cover, was released; unfortunately, Nick's first attempt at a magazine ceased publication after that issue, though publication resumed 3 years later.

(Left: From ebay; ©1990 Viacom. Special thanks to Eric Hartman.)


1991:

The Simpsons became the last non-Nicktoon to win the "Favorite Cartoon" category in the Kids' Choice Awards.
August 11: Rugrats was among one of the first 3 Nicktoons to air on Nick, along with Doug and Ren & Stimpy. TV Guide scheduled Great White Thing, but Tommy's First Birthday was seen instead.

Left: One of the first ads for Rugrats, placed by Klasky-Csupo in an issue from Animation Magazine from 1991. Ad includes a reminder to watch the show "only with your kid's permission". (Ad from a Klasky-Csupo ad in the March 1999 issue of Animation Magazine; that issue was the magazine's 13th anniversary issue, and in K-C's ad, they presented their best ads from various issues of Animation Magazine. © 1991, 1999 Klasky-Csupo / Viacom.)


1992:

Nick begins its Saturday night block, Snick. Snick programming at the time featured Clarissa, Roundhouse (a sketch program), Ren & Stimpy and Are You Afraid Of The Dark?.

Doug became the first Nicktoon to win the "Favorite Cartoon" category in the Kids' Choice Awards; since then, all winners in this category were Nicktoons.

Spumco, the creators & producers of Ren & Stimpy, were unceremoniously fired from Nick, due to creative differences; Games Animation was set up by Nick to continue production on Ren & Stimpy. After this, ratings for Ren & Stimpy plummeted, and soon ceased production after 80 episodes, with one episode never aired on Nick.

Klasky & Csupo divorced each other, though they remained business partners.

Grosset & Dunlap publishes first 2 Rugrats books, At The Movies & Monster In The Garage.

Rugrats win their first Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Daytime Program.

Charlotte and The Carmichaels made their first appearances on Rugrats.

January 20: Gracie Films, the producers of The Simpsons, fires Klasky-Csupo, as K-C and its staff failed to see eye-to-eye on Gracie's demands, including changing the studio's operations to fit Gracie's needs. Of the 110 animators assigned to The Simpsons project at Klasky-Csupo, 75 were laid off. Many of those laid off eventually found work at Film Roman, which took over The Simpsons.


1993:

Nick cancels You Can't Do That On Television; by this time, it was seen only as reruns on weekends.

The fourth Nicktoon, Rocko's Modern Life, goes on the air.

First 2 Rugrats videos, Tales From The Crib & A Baby's Gotta Do What A Baby's Gotta Do, go on sale in the US.

January 10: Ren & Stimpy is picked up by MTV, where it ran intermittently for about 3 years. MTV carried some episodes that were either banned or edited by Nick. Ren & Stimpy is the first Nicktoon to be seen in the US on both Nick and another channel.

Summer: Nickelodeon Magazine resumes publication; Ren & Stimpy was on the cover of the return issue.
(Left: The Summer 1993 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, from ebay; ©1993 Viacom.)

September 1: Nickelodeon expands into Great Britain, its first expansion outside the US.

November 26-28: The first Nonstop Nicktoon Weekend, an annual Thanksgiving tradition on Nick, was presented. The first marathon featured the 4 Nicktoons in existance at the time (Rugrats, Doug, Ren & Stimpy and Rocko), and ran Friday through Sunday, 12 Noon ET to 8PM ET each day.


1994:

Paramount Communications buys Viacom; adopts Viacom name.
Klasky-Csupo's Real Monsters, Nicktoon #5, debuts; this would be their 2nd Nicktoon.

(Left: The Real Monsters -- Krumm, Ickis & Oblina; From Nick.Com. ©1994 Viacom.)

Duckman goes on the air on USA Network.

Rugrats appear for the first time in Canada on YTV.

Shortly after Rugrats' production ended, Germain was fired from Klasky-Csupo.

Rugrats win their second Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Daytime Program, and their first Cable ACE award in Best Animated Program.

Billy D'Augustine's Rugrats site (now closed), probably the world's first website dedicated to the show, goes online for the first time.

May: Rugrats goes out of production; daily reruns begin in early 1994 on Nick Jr, and Fall 1994 on Nick prime-time.

October & December: Nickelodeon first syndicates seasonal Halloween & Christmas Nicktoons (including Rugrats) to local US TV stations, plus occasional episodes of Ren & Stimpy and Rocko during 1995 & 1996; syndication is discontinued after the 1996 Christmas season.


1995:
Nickelodeon becomes America's #1 basic cable network, on a total day basis.

Nick goes online at America Online.

Rugrats win their third (and, currently, last) Emmy award, this time, for Outstanding Achievement In Animation (daytime).

Monster's Night Out and Meet The Monsters (left), Real Monsters' first (and in the US, currently, only) videos, go on sale.
(Left: Sony version of Meet The Monsters; from eBay; ©1995 Viacom.)

K-C does Spy vs. Spy shorts for Fox's Mad TV.

Klasky-Csupo begins expansion outside of animation circles with their record label, Tone Casualties.

Landmark Calendars publishes first Rugrats wall calendar, for 1996.

April: Passover, the last of the classic Rugrats episodes, is broadcast.
September 16: Santo Bugito, K-C's first animated network series, debuts Saturday mornings on CBS. For more information on this fine series, click here. (Also see April 2000)

(Left: One of Santo Bugito's singing ants, from KCBS's website in 1995; ©1995 Klasky-Csupo.)

October 23: Nick expands into Australia; its website (the first official Nick website) goes online worldwide. 1995 was also the year that cable TV made its debut in Australia.

November 8: USA Today publishes an article about the success of Rugrats; it was also the first article to mention The Rugrats Movie, 3 years before its release.

December: Rugrats appear for the first time on the cover of Nickelodeon Magazine.

(From "The Big Cover-Up", in the June/July 1998 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. ©1995, 1998 by Viacom.)


1996:

Viacom sells their cable systems to TCI.

Herb Scannell becomes president of Nick; he replaced long-time Nick president Geraldine Laybourne, who left Nick for Disney to run children's programming at ABC and The Disney Channel. Laybourne later teamed up with Oprah Winfrey to form Oxygen, a new women's channel, which started in early 2000.

Nick expands into Germany.

Nick releases their first movie, Harriet The Spy.

Rugrats win their first Kids' Choice Award in the animation category.

February 5: Britain's first Rugrats video, A Baby's Gotta Do What A Baby's Gotta Do, is released.

April 29: Nick's first spinoff channel, TV Land, goes on the air.

May 22: First issue of Rugrats' first comic book series was published in Great Britain. This is followed a few months later by their first Annual, for 1997 (common in Britain, an "annual" is a collection of stories and activities, based on the TV series).

June: Production begins on new episodes of Rugrats.

Summer: Nick In The Afternoon begins its first Summer season. Hosted by Stick Stickley, a popsicle stick, this features various animated and live-action programming, with the Nicktoons often seen in 15-minute versions only. Nick In The Afternoon lasted only 3 summers, through summer 1998.

(Left: Picture of Stick Stickley, ©1996 Viacom.)

September: New episodes of Doug, now under Disney, go on the air on ABC.

September 6: Nick In The Afternoon presented a rare repeat of You Can't Do That On Television, featuring Alanis Morrissette. That special showing was part of the block's "U-Pick" segment (not related to the 1999-2000 "U-Picks"), where a viewer requested that episode.

September 8: Blue's Clues, Nick Jr.'s popular educational program that stresses learning by watching the same episode over and over during the week, goes on the air.

October 5: The UNOFFICIAL Rugrats Online (this very website) debuts on the web.
October 7: Nick expands to 8:30PM ET; 2 new Nicktoons, Hey Arnold (#6) & Kablam! (#7), go on the air.

(Left: Picture of (Hey) Arnold; from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

(Right: A crowded family picture of the Nicktoon family as of 1996, based on an image from Nick UK; ©1997 Viacom.)

October 26: Rugrats appears on the cover of the US TV Guide.

December 4: The first all-new episode of Rugrats, Chanukah, airs.

December 20: Nick expands into Latin America.


1997:

Nick UK's website opens.

Klasky-Csupo opens their website.

Viacom gets into retailling with the opening of the Viacom & Nickelodeon Stores; The Viacom Store opened in Chicago, while 3 Nickelodeon stores opened near Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City.

Good Burger, Nick's 2nd film (and first film based on a Nick program, All That), is released.

Production on The Rugrats Movie begins early in 1997; promotion began around Thanksgiving of that year.

Stressed Eric, K-C's first program for the British market, goes on the air on the BBC.

Gabor Csupo becomes restauranteur when he opens Lumpy Gravy in West Hollywood. The sideline only lasted about 2 years, as it closed down in June 1999.

Rugrats win their second Kids' Choice Award in the animation category.

Mother's Day was nominated for their first nighttime Emmy in the Animation category, but lost out to The Simpsons.

Rugrats won its last CableACE award for Mother's Day in the "best animated program" category; the awards were disbanded in 1998.

February 1: Nick expands into Scandinavia.

February 9: With The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show episode, The Simpsons became the longest-running animated program, breaking the 166-episode record previously set by The Flintstones (ABC, 1960-66; not counting the Saturday morning spinoffs).

February 26: David Doyle, the original voice of Grandpa, dies of a heart attack. He was succeeded by Joe Alaskey.

April 7-13: Nick was among 32 national and regional cable networks taking part in the first annual Tune In The Kids and Family Week. Most channels (including Nick) kicked off the week on April 7 with a multi-channel simulcast of The American Family and Television: A National Town Hall Meeting.

April 19: Rugrats win their second Kids' Choice Award in the animation category.

April 19: Angry Beavers, Nicktoon #8, goes on the air following the Kids' Choice Award; it premiered in its regular Sunday morning timeslot the following day. In 1999, Nick cancels production on Angry Beavers; their first-run episodes will end after their 5th season ends in late 2000.

May 6: Mother's Day was first aired, featuring the whereabouts of Chuckie's mom.

June: Nick US's online content moves to the web.

July 8: Vacation, the first direct-to-video Rugrats episode, is released.

August 16: Spike's Babies & Chicken Pops (see below) had its world TV premiere on YTV in Canada; YTV won't show the 1997 episodes on a regular basis until 12/26/97, but would later be the first in the world show new 1998 & most 1999 Rugrats episodes, up to several months before they are seen on Nick in the US.

August 23: New regular episodes of Rugrats go on the air. Spike's Babies & Chicken Pops was the first. These new episodes were part of the Saturday night Snick line-up.

September 6: A 5 1/2-hour Rugrats marathon, scheduled for this day, was postponed until September 13, due to the funeral of Princess Diana, who was killed in an auto accident on August 30.

September 13: Recess, created by Rugrats alumni Paul Germain & Joe Ansolabehere, premiered on ABC as part of that network's new Saturday morning block, One Saturday Morning. It was to have been previewed in prime-time August 31 and premiered September 6, but due to Diana's accident, those showings were cancelled by ABC.
September 27: Dust Bunnies, the first Rugrats episode to include a segment in 3-D, airs on Nick as part of their week-long "Nogglevision" event.

(Left: Nogglevision logo, from Nick Australia, which held a similar promotion in August 1999; ©1997 Viacom.)

November: First issue of Rugrats Comic Adventures published.

(Left: Cover of the first issue of Rugrats Comic Adventures; ©1997 Viacom.)

November 25: The Rugrats' balloon debuts at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; many balloons that followed did not survive the high winds and/or the new rules that were imposed in next year's parade.


1998:

Nick Latino goes online.

Klasky-Csupo opens up their own Rugrats site, which later became part of their Cooltoons site.

Oh Yeah!, the 9th Nicktoon, goes on the air.

Nick cancels Ren & Stimpy -- by this time, it was seen only on Saturday afternoons.

February 6: Rugrats -- A Live Adventure, their first live show, began touring, starting in Wallingford, CT (near Hartford).
March: Nicktoon Studios opens in beautiful downtown Burbank, CA; it's the first major animation studio to open in the Los Angeles area since 1963.

(Left: Drawing of the exterior of the Nicktoon studios, with some of the Nicktoon characters (Rugrats, however, is produced at Klasky-Csupo's own studios), from the program for the 2000 World Animation Celebration; ©2000 Viacom.)

April 3: The Rugrats' 7th season begins, not in the US, but in Canada on YTV; it would be August before Americans saw these new episodes. These episodes include Lady Luck, David Doyle's last episode, and Fugitive Tommy, Joe Alaskey's first.

April 4: Rugrats win their third Kids' Choice Award in the animation category.

April 4: CatDog was previewed following the Kids' Choice Awards; however, it did not appear regularly until October. CatDog is the first Nicktoon to have 5 first-run episodes a week, once a day, weekdays.

April 5 & 6: Rugrats From Nickelodeon comic strip debuts in around 70 papers nationwide.

April 26: Rugrats appear for a brief Sunday-night run at 11:30PM ET on Nick-At-Nite through May 31. In July, Rugrats returned as part of Nick-At-Nite's Block Party Summer, with a 3-hour Rugrats marathon every Friday, 8:30PM ET to 11:30PM ET.
May 16: Nicktoons TV, a 5-hour mixed bag of various Nicktoons in 15-minute portions, debuted as a one-time special; another special, this one 12-hours long; was seen on August 15 before becoming a regular 4-hour Saturday morning series on August 22. It was discontinued in the fall of 1999, in favor of entire, regualrly-scheduled Nicktoons. During 2000, it was a half-hour, daily mixed bag of Nicktoons, thought it was mainly a rest home for Nicktoons that no longer have a series on Nick US, such as Ren & Stimpy, Rocko & Real Monsters. In 2001, Nicktoons TV lurked around Nick's TV schedule in place of Rugrats, but the only Nicktoon featured on Nicktoons TV... was Rugrats.

(Left: Nicktoons TV logo, from Nick UK; ©1998 Viacom.)

June: Production began on the second Rugrats movie.

June 1: Citing competition and advertising problems, Nick shuts down its German service. Rugrats would later resurface on Pro Sieben (and SAT1 in January 2000), while most other Nicktoons find a home on RTL in Germany, and SF2 in Switzerland.

June 6-14: The cable industry held its second annual Tune In The Kids And Family week; on June 8, 29 channels (including Nick), presented a multi-channel simulcast of Take A Moment, a variety special hosted by Melissa Joan Hart that stresses the reasons for the family to watch TV together.

June 16: The Rugrats Father's Day Special, the first ersatz (fake) Rugrats episode, goes on the air on Nick. It was seen only for 2 years.

July: Dil makes his first official debut in the press and online.

July 17: The Rugrats Movie website goes online.

August 10: Nickelodeon becomes officially available in Brazil, though a Portuguese soundtrack was included on the Latin American version since it was launched in 1996 (see 12/20/96).

August 12: An Americanised version of Stressed Eric, with Hank Azaria now assuming the lead, goes on the air on NBC. Originally scheduled to last all 6 episodes, it was cancelled after 3.

August 15: The Family Channel (US) became the Fox Family Channel, designed to compete against Nick. Many cable channels counterprogrammed with specials; Nick shown an all-day Nicktoons TV marathon (before becoming a 4-hour series on August 22), followed by an all-evening Brady Bunch marathon. Ironically, one of Fox Family's programs were Three Friends & Jerry, which was produced by Nick UK; it's the only Nicktoon seen in the US on a channel other than Nick (Doug doesn't count, as ABC & Nick continue to show their own versions).

August 22: Toons From The Planet Orange, featuring animated shorts from 8 countries served by Nick, was seen on all versions of Nick worldwide (except Nick Germany, which ceased to exist by this time).

August 31: Nick expanded to 9PM ET with a new Nickel-O-Zone block, which involves the entire 8PM ET hour. The block and the expanded hours lasted until 9/15/2000.

September: Les Razmoket, the French version of Rugrats, make theit debut in France on France 3.
September 1: The Wild Thornberrys go on the air.

(Left & Right: Ptctures of the Thornberry family. from
V.11 #2 of Burger King Adventures; ©2000 Viacom.
)

September 20: The ill-fated synogogue Rugrats strip published in many papers; event led to removal of Boris from strip.

October: The first episode of  The Wacky Adventures Of Ronald McDonald, a direct-to-video series featuring Klasky-Csupo's version of Ronald and other McDonaldland characters, go on sale at US McDonald's.

October 3: The Rugrats Movie soundtrack was released in the US & Canada, featuring songs from the Rugrats and various popular artists.

November: Blue's Clues host Steve Burns appears on The Rosie O'Donnell Show to debunk rumors that he died of a heroin overdose.

November 1: Klasky-Csupo's first book, The Making of "The Rugrats Movie", goes on sale (though it went on sale in October on their website).

November 5: Nickelodeon goes on the air in the Philippines.

November 8: The Rugrats Movie had its world premiere at the Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

November 9: Spanish-language versions of Rugrats, Real Monsters, Hey Arnold, Rocko & Blues Clues debut on Telemundo.

November 15: Nickelodeon goes on the air in Japan, Malta, Russia (including the former Soviet republics) and Gabor Csupo's homeland, Hungary.

November 17-20: As a measure to prepare Rugrats fans for the movie, Nick puts all Rugrats episodes on hiatus for 4 days, replacing it with Hey Arnold. Even though this hiatus period was very brief, it was the first time since early 1994 that Rugrats was not part of Nick's daily schedule.

November 20: The Rugrats Movie opens in the US & Canada; costed $25 million to make, it made $28 million on its first weekend and was the nation's #1 film, until A Bug's Life came around the following weekend. By year's end, Rugrats has made $82 million. The film features the birth of a new Rugrat, Dil.

December 13: A 2-hour marathon of The Renford Rejects, a Nick UK production about a British youth soccer team, made its Nick US debut as part of the International Day Of Children's Broadcasting. The Renford Rejects can now be seen on the new Nick GAS channel (see March 1999).


1999:

January: Earnings for The Rugrats Movie hit US$90 million, surpassing Antz as the most-successful non-Disney animated feature.

January 4: More new episodes of Rugrats, featuring the first regular TV appearance of Dil, first airs in Canada on YTV. These new episodes appeared weekdays through January 20.

January 18: New Rugrats episodes make its US debut on Nick, starting with Chuckie's Duckling & A Dog's Life, where Dil make's his first TV series apperance.  This was the most-watched episode in Rugrats history, for kids 2 to 11.

Prior to this, Nick presented a 6-hour Rugrats marathon; it was originally scheduled for 8, but was shortened to 6, as some kids were in school on this day, which was Martin Luther King Jr. day, a federal holiday.

January 19: Ghost Story, the first crossover between Rugrats and another K-C Nicktoon, Real Monsters, was first seen in Canada on YTV. Americans didn't get to see this episode on Nick until March 27.

January 31: The Viacom Store and all Nickelodeon stores closes down.

February: Grolier and Nick launches a Nickelodeon Book Club, with emphasis on Rugrats.

February: What's Inside Heidi's Head?, a series of live-action shorts created and produced by Nancye Ferguson and Mark Mothersbaugh, in association with Klasky-Csupo, goes on the air on Nick and Noggin; this is K-C's first live-action series.

February 1: Rugrats lost to Sesame Street in the award for Best Children's Program in the first annual TV Guide Awards.

February 2: Noggin, a joint-venture of Nick and the Children's Television Workshop, goes on the air. In addition to providing repeats of shows such as Blue's Clues, Electric Company and Sesame Street, it has become the 4th place on the dial to watch Doug (in addition to Nick, ABC and in syndication).

February 12 & 26: The international Rugrats Movie website goes online. The English version was launched February 12, and versions in Spanish, French, German & Portuguese were launched on February 26.

March: 3 more Nick channels, Nickelodeon GAS (games & sports), Nick Too (Nick, 3 hours later in the east; 3 hours earlier in the west) and TV Land Too (TV Land, 3 hours later in the east; 3 hours earlier in the west) scheduled to go on the air.

March: The first foreign-language version of Rugrats Comic Adventures is published in Spanish in Mexico.

March 1: Nickelodeon expands into Spain & Indonesia.

March 8: Nick cancels Real Monsters; at this time, it was seen weekdays at 6:30AM ET.. The Spanish version, however, continued at that time on most Telemundo stations. Its English cancellation was short-lived, however, as repeats resumed on weekends, beginning 7/17/99.

March 11: The Rugrats Live tour make its first stop outside the US, in Mexico City.

March 11: The Rugrats Movie begins international release in Singapore.
March 20: The Rugrats Movie broke the US$100 million dollar mark in US / Canada, making it the highest-grossing non-Disney animated picture.

(Left: From the 3/29/99 issue of Variety, when The Rugrats Movie broke the US$100 million mark in the US & Canada. To see the larger version of this ad, click here. (©1999 Viacom.))

March 20: The Latin American Nick showed the "bebetón", which was the longest marathon on any version of Nick -- every Rugrats episode back-to-back for 2 straight days, from Tommy's First Birthday to The Family Tree. Its Brasilian counterpart followed suit with a similar marathon on June 5 & 6.

March 26: Disney's Doug's First Movie released in theaters.

March 27: Nicktoons TV ends its run, as it switches to whole episodes of Nicktoons on Saturday mornings.

March 30: The Rugrats Movie released on video in English & French in US & Canada.

April 18: Movies return to Nick with Nick Flicks, their weekly children's movie program; unfortunately, most of these movies were heavily edited, and some of these aren't movies at all, but rather TV specials or shows edited into a movie. Nick Flicks lasted until 2/13/2000, when it was replaced with a repeat of the previous night's Snick. (also see 1977 & May 17)

April 30: Fluffy vs. Spike and Reptar's Revenge was televised for the last time on Rugrats on Nick US. This was the only Rugrats episode to almost be permanently removed from rotation on Nick US. This episode continued to air everywhere else worldwide, including Telemundo in the US. On 11/10/2000, Fluffy vs. Spike was seen again, while on 1/12/2001, it was seen in its entirety.

April 20: Cree Summer's debut solo album, Street Faërie, was released.

(Left: Cover of Cree Summer's album, Street Faërie. from this unofficial Cree Summer site; ©1999 Sony Music.)

May 1: Rugrats became the first Nicktoon to win 2 categories -- "Favorite Cartoon" & "Favorite Movie" in the 12th Kids' Choice Awards.
May 1: The 13th Nicktoon, SpongeBob SquarePants, was previewed following the Kids' Choice Awards; its regular run began Saturday, July 17.

(Left: SpongeBob SquarePants; from Nick.Com. ©1999 Viacom.)

May 12: E.G. Daily's 3rd album, Tearing Down The Walls, is released.

(Cover of Tearing Down The Walls from Amazon.Com; ©1999 E.G. Daily Productions & Sumthing Distribution.)

May 17 (week of): Nick announced new progamming for Nick-At-Nite & TV Land, which includes reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, The Honeymooners & Three's Company; most of these originally seen on superstations TBS and/or WGN. Also, Nick announced that they are getting into the TV movie business, with movie-length episodes of Allen Strange, Animorphs, Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Kenan & Kel and Hey Arnold (in addition to a theatrical release), plus, Caitlin's Way (previously known as Stray Dog, then Just A Kid), a new, live-action series.

May 29: The Rugrats Movie makes its Pay-Per-View debut in the US & Canada.

Summer: YTV launches their own magazine, Whoa!.

June: Csupo's restaurant, Lumpy Gravy, goes out of business.
June: Nick celebrates its 20th birthday all month long with special programming & prizes; the celebration concludes Saturday June 26 & 27 with a Best Of Nickelodeon marathon and a 2-hour live birthday party during Snick. Fans of Nick's Golden Age were disappointed, when almost all of the classic, pre-1990 shows (including Pinwheel, the show that started it all for Nick) didn't appear. For the record, Nick's birthday is in April (see April 1979 & 1981).

(Left: From Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

June 7-11: Dil Pickles becomes an All-Star TV Family member, along with Marcia Brady (Maureen McCormick, The Brady Bunch), Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont, Leave It To Beaver), Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton, All In The Family) and Wayne Arnold (Jason Hervey, The Wonder Years), in a week-long marathon of these shows on Nick-At-Nite.

(Left: Photo from Nick-At-Nite's website; ©1999 Viacom. Marcia Brady & Dil Pickles © Viacom; Ward Cleaver © Studios USA; Edith Bunker © Columbia -Tri Star Tevevision; Wayne Arnold © New World Television / Warner Bros., Inc.)

June 8: The Rugrats Movie was released on video in Spanish in US & Canada.

June 16: The Rugrats Movie may or may not win the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for the "Family Favorite" category.

June 21-27: The cable industry held its third annual Tune In The Kids And Family week; the week kicked off with a multi-channel simulcast special, Just Think, hosted by James Brown (NFL on Fox & The World's Funniest), which explored race and cultural relations, discussed with Brown by various families. This is also the last year for this annual promotion.

July: Klasky-Csupo moves to its new location on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

July 5: Nickelodeon Summer Toons, daily 3-hour marathons of 5 Nicktoon series, debuts for the Summer season, hosted by Henry & June of Kablam!. Each Nicktoon is featured on its own day -- Rugrats on Mondays, Arnold Tuesdays, Thornberrys Wednesdays, Beavers Thursdays & Doug Fridays. Summer Toons replaces Nick In The Afternoon, and shows Nicktoons in their original 30-minute form. These marathons ran until September 3.

July 5: WKRP in Cincinnati (CBS, 1978-82) makes its Nick-At-Nite debut, but many fans didn't like it, due to the generic music replacing most hit tunes, badly-written replacement lines and the sloppiness of inserting those into the show; the producer and syndicator, MTM Enterprises, either were unwilling or unable to pay royalties for the music & lyrics, depending on situation. In one episode, "The Americanisation of Ivan", Ivan, a Russian, has a crush on Bailey Quarters, one of WKRP's staffers. In the original version, he quotes a line from Elton John's Tiny Dancer: "Hold me closer, tiny dancer", but in the late-1990s repeat, it became "Hold my order, terrible dresser", which may lead viewers to think that Ivan doesn't like Bailey, for the way she dresses and her obviously-incorrect careers as either a store clerk or a waitress. By the way, most US TV stations and the Canadian Comedy Network also show the doctored episodes with one difference -- they're shown almost uncut, not edited for commercial time. Fox, the current owners of MTM, announced in May 2000 that they are working to get back the rights to the original music, so that WKRP would be shown as it originally was. The switch to generic music was necessary, as MTM, under the ownership of International Family Entertainment (later absorbed by Fox), was experiencing some financial troulbles at the time, and did not have enough money to keep the original music.

July 12: Televisa's Canal 5 in Mexico launches a 2-hour weeknight Nickelodeon block; Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Real Monsters & Rocko are the first shows. This block supplements the Nick cable channel, already available in Mexico; this is the world's first Nick block-and-channel combination for a single country.

July 17: Nick cancels the cancellation of Real Monsters, when repeats began airing regularly on weekends.

July 30: The Rugrats Movie video is scheduled for its first international release (outside US & Canada) in Mexico.

July 30: The Rugrats backlash hits the web -- the world's first anti-Rugrats website goes online by a CatDog fan. The backlash was short-lived, however -- the anti-Rugrats site closed down a few months later.

August 3: Runaway Reptar, the longest Rugrats episode at the time at 44 minutes (without commercials), is released directly on video.
August 16: Rocket Power, the 14th Nicktoon and Klasky-Csupo's 4th Nicktoon, goes on the air.

(Left: The Rocket Power cast; From Nick.Com; © Viacom.)

August 16: Hey Arnold is now seen each weeknight, with a mixture of reruns and new episodes; it takes Doug's 7PM ET timeslot; until now, Doug was seen at 7PM ET weeknights since Fall 1994.

August 21: Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine, both regulars on the ABC sitcom McHale's Navy (1962-66), reunited as guest voices on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants; it's the first time they performed together since McHale's cancellation in 1966.

August 28: At the technical Emmys presentation, Rugrats did not win in the "Outstanding Children's Program" category.

September: After about 5 years on the web (the last 2 years without any updates), Billy D'Augustine's Rugrats site closes down for the last time.

September 1: Nick UK becomes the first version of Nick outside the US to have multiple Nick channels; these channels are Nick Jr. (same as the pre-schooler's block, but they have a channel all to themselves) and Nick Replay (the same Nick schedule, 1 hour later). The main Nick UK channel also increases its schedule to 10PM for Sky Digital viewers.

September 5: The Simpsons has entered the newspaper strip scene with a weekly Sunday Simpsons strip, produced by the staff of Bongo Comics, Matt Groening's comic book company that publishes a monthly Simpsons comic book. The strip is published at 3/4 page for broadsheet and whole-page for tabloids -- against modern-day size standards.

September 6: New episodes of Recess comes to UPN as part of Disney's One Too (originally announced as Disney's Whomptastic), a 2-hour weekday afternoon block that includes repeats of Disney's Doug & Hercules (later replaced by Pepper Ann), plus new episodes of the animated Sabrina, featuring Emily Hart as the title voice and her older sister, Melissa Joan Hart (who plays Sabrina on the live-action version) as Aunt Zelda and Aunt Hilda. Except for Hercules, all toons are still part of One Saturday Morning on ABC.

September 7: Viacom announced that they are buying CBS, Inc. for US$34.45 Billion in stock. The merged company will keep the Viacom name, while CBS and its units will retain the CBS name and the "eye" logo. Everything would remain the same, and in some cases, a Viacom unit would help out a CBS unit. However, some of Viacom's TV stations would have to be sold to comply with the FCC's ownership limits, and the future of UPN is in doubt, as Viacom would have to either sell part of its stake in the network, or merge it with CBS, also as per FCC regulations. The main thing is that CBS will be reunited with Viacom, which started out as CBS' syndication division (see 1970 & 1973).

September 7: Klasky-Csupo announced that the name for The Rugrats Movie sequel will be Rugrats In Paris -- The Movie.
September 13: Nickelodeon presents "Smell-O-Vision" (9/13 to 9/17, and repeated 9/20 to 9/24), where Nickel-O-Zone viewers smell the aromas of their favorite shows by scratching special scratch-and-sniff cards found in selected Post Cereals and other Kraft products. This promotion was, more or less tried before twice: by the Cartoon Network, in early 1999, and in the 1981 theatrical release of John Waters'  film, Polyester. In addition, this promotion will also include elements of the Nogglevision promotion, first used in 1997.

(Left: Smell-O-Vision logo, from the September 1999 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine; © Viacom.)

September 22: Nickelodeon opens a New York branch of their animation operations -- Nickelodeon Animation Studio New York, at Viacom's headquarters. Most of the animated projects will not be Nicktoon-related, as it will be used for Nick's other shows, such as Blue's Clues and Little Bill. It's sole Nicktoon project at the moment is Garbage Boy, which will be a series of shorts for Kablam!

September 24: 101% Whizbang, hosted by Henry & June of Kablam!, premieres as a weekly Friday night feature on Nick, 7PM ET to 9PM ET. The episodes featured, all in their original 30-minute form, features either Nicktoons with a certain theme in common (with an occasional, live-action Nick show included), or a 2-hour marathon of a particular Nicktoon. The first 101% Whizbang was a SpongeBob SquarePants marathon. This block only lasted a couple of months before being replaced by U-Pick Fridays, where viewers vote for what Nicktoon they want to watch.

September 27: Nick-at-Nite devotes 4 weeks of prime-time through October to Norman Lear, with nightly episodes of Jeffersons, All In The Family, Sanford & Son and Maude.

October: Telemundo re-opens their website (they were originally online in 1995-96); their site includes details and descriptions for most of their shows, including Rugrats.

October 11: Angela Anaconda, a cut-out animation series from Pepper Ann creator Sue Rose, premieres as a series on Fox Family. Angela Anaconda was originally seen as a couple of shorts during the first season of Kablam! in 1996 on Nick; therefore, it's the first spinoff of a Nicktoon, even though it doesn't air on Nick.
October 16: A new Snick premieres, replacing the old Snick, with 2 new series -- The Amanda Show and 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, along with Rugrats and All That. Rugrats is part of the line-up (along with a 7:30PM show that precedes it), but only one 11-minute story is seen to make room for Snick House, which includes on-line voting, music videos and musical guests.

(Left: Snick House logo, from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

October 25: Nick-At-Nite throws away its prime-time schedule for the rest of the year to present their Marathon To The Millenium, which will feature the best Nick-At-Nite marathons of the past 5 years, including marathons such as the "Chachi-nated vs. De-Chachi-nated" Happy Days marathon (11/22-26), the "Dueling Darrins" Bewitched marathon (12/13-17), and the All-Star Family marathon, but without Rugrats (12/27-30).

October 29: Following the success of the Rugrats Live tour, Blue's Clues hit the road with BLUE'S CLUES LIVE! -- The Most Spectacular Place, debuting on 10/29 at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford (Hartford-New Haven), CT -- the same place where the Rugrats Live show started.

November 7: In the history of the prestigious BAFTA Television Awards in Great Britain, Nick became the first cable channel -- American, British or foreign -- to have one of their original productions win a BAFTA Award. This award was presented to Nick for the British version of Nick News, in the "Best Children's Factual Programme" category.

November 16: The Rugrats Movie Score, a 2-CD album featuring the orchestrations from the film, plus other goodies, released in the US.

November 25: Nickelodeon launches its second balloon, featuring Blue's Clues, at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

November 27: YTV has shown all 6 episodes of Stressed Eric in a 3 hour marathon -- 3 episodes seen on NBC in 1998, and 3 episodes never seen in the US (see 8/12/98).
November 28: Based on his books, Little Bill, Bill Cosby's 2nd animated series (after Fat Albert), went on the air Sunday nights at 8PM ET on Nick, and again Monday mornings at 9AM ET on Nick Jr (Monday mornings exclusively, after 3/5/2000). Voices will include Gregory Hines, Ruby Dee, Madeline Kahn (early episodes only, as she died of cancer on 12/3/99) and Phylicia Rashad (who's Bill Cosby's co-star on The Cosby Show and Cosby). Bill Cosby won't provide any voices, though he'll be providing the jazzy soundtrack (though he did appear in promos for the show). At this point, in a rarity for any TV celebrity, Bill Cosby will be involved in 3 TV series at the same time: Little Bill, Cosby and Kids Say The Darndest Things. Also, this will be the third TV series that Cosby & Rashad regularly participated together, also a rarity.

As with The Cosby Show and Cosby, Little Bill will be produced in New York, at Nick's new animation studio (see 9/22/99).

By the way, this isn't the first time Bill Cosby was involved with Nickelodeon; in the 1980s, Picturepages, a short activity program hosted by Cosby, was seen on Nick (prior to that, on Captain Kangaroo on CBS).

(Left: The Little Bill cast, from Animation World Network's site; ©1999 Bill Cosby / Viacom.)

December (approximate): The first issue of Nick Jr. Magazine was published. This bi-monthly will be in 2 parts -- a "Noodle" pullout for those aged 2 to 6, and the main section, with ideas and tips for parents.

December 3: The Rugrats Movie makes its US premium TV debut at 8PM ET on Showtime.

December 4: Nick's first made-for-TV movie, Allen Strange in "Alien Vacation", airs (Nickelodeon Magazine originally scheduled it on 9/25, then 10/9; as usual, they were wrong).

December 20: Nick & MTV go their separate ways -- on the web; MTV Networks' internet operations are split in 2 groups: one group for sites of MTV, VH1 and other sites related to music; another group for Nick, TV Land and other Nick-related sites.

December 20 (or possibly earlier): The Magic Baby / Dil We Meet Again is the first Rugrats episode to debut in the US not on Nick, but on Telemundo, a Spanish-language network; to date, this episode has not yet aired on Nick US.

December 21: The Chicago Sun-Times pulled The Simpsons strip from its comic section and apologised to its readers, following a strip with featured Itchy & Scratchy, an animated cartoon duo that emphasizes gore and violence. While they rarely offended viewers of The Simpsons TV show or readers of the comic book, it did offend the editors of the Sun-Times. Following that episode, the Sun-Times pulled the strip, saying that the strip "has proven to be tasteless and excessively violent." By the way, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp owns both the Sun-Times and the Fox network.

December 23: The Rugrats Movie is scheduled for theatrical release in Japan -- over a year after the US release, it's the most latest release date so far.
December 24: The logo for Rugrats In Paris was revealed at Nick.Com, along with the first trailer for the film.

(Left: Rugrats In Paris logo, from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

December 31: Normally a Super Bowl Sunday tradition, TBS airs its final Andy Griffith Show marathon. The marathon starts at 6:15AM ET and ends precisely at Midnight ET, when TBS hands its Andy Griffith library to TV Land. Andy Griffith was a long-time staple for any superstation, including TBS & WGN. On 1/30/2000, Super Bowl Sunday, TBS viewers were left without The Andy Griffith Show, but still got their fill on Andy Griffith -- they presented a Matlock marathon.

December 31: ChalkZone, the first spinoff from Oh Yeah!, premiered; it's also the first Nicktoon spinoff to air on Nick. The series was previewed during Nick's New Year's Eve special; however, the series has been delayed indefinitely, and this only episode was never seen again.


2000:

January: The Simpsons are memorialised on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in commemoration of their 10th anniversary as a series.
January 1: All versions of Nick worldwide, plus Noggin, will pre-empt all their programming to present Nickmillenium, an all-day, commercial-free special that will feature kids' opinions on the future. The special's length may vary from region-to-region. Nickmillenium will make its world debut in Australia, where it'll begin as the year 2000 is rung in at 12 Midnight Sydney time (time there equivalent to 12/31/99 at 9AM ET in the US), and run for 24 hours straight. It will also run for 24 hours in the US, starting at 12 Midnight ET. In Britain, due to the usual schedule restrictions, it'll be seen from 7AM GMT to 7PM GMT (2AM ET to 2PM ET). The extra-long special is produced by filmakers Linda Schaffer, Lisa Bloch & Katherine Dore, and will feature opinions from over 750 kids (about a kid every 2 minutes), all shot on location worldwide. To quote Dore (from the 12/99 Nickelodeon Magazine): "If the Y2K Bug causes problems, this film isn't going to be on!" Evidentally, the Y2K bug caused only a few minor problems, and with world civilisation remaining in full operation, the special aired as scheduled.

Even Nick.Com's regular website was pre-empted with a special Nickmillenium website. All other Nick sites were open as usual, though the Australian & British sites also included special Nickmillenium pages.

(Left: Nickmillenium logo, from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom. Golden Arches ® McDonald's Corporation.)

January 2: Comedy Central picks up reruns of Duckman; it's seen Sunday nights at 11:30PM ET, during Comedy Central's Sunday late-night animation block. In addition to having the episodes and intro cut to make room for more commercials (even though the show originally aired on another commercial-happy cable network, USA), Duckman's addition to Comedy Central's schedule was done at another popular show's expense -- Dr. Katz was cancelled to make room for Duckman, making Dr. Katz fans angry.

January 3: In the 1/8/2000 issue of TV Guide, the "Cheers & Jeers" column reported that Nick is working on a new animated Peanuts series. Until the summer, Nick has aired reruns of CBS specials and The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show under the You're On Nickelodeon, Charlie Brown banner. Ironically, 1/3/2000 (which is the date this issue of TVG went on sale) was also the date that the final daily Peanuts strip was released in the US & Canada; Charles Schulz retired due to his bout with colon cancer.

January 16: A 90-minute, edited version of Nickmillenium airs on Nick US. Since then, Nickmillenium occasionally airs at 6AM ET in 30-minute portions, for Nick's Cable In The Classroom program.

January 17: According to the Associated Press, film producer Steven Fisher has sued Nickelodeon for stealing his ideas for the characters used in their hit show Blue's Clues. According to the lawsuit, Steve & Blue were both based on Steve & Bluey, a comic strip that was published in a Baltimore newspaper in 1989; in 1993, he submitted the characters to Viacom for a prospective TV project. Viacom kept his idea "on file" (in limbo, most likely to be rejected). In 1996, Nick used the "on file" idea for the new Blue's Clues series, though without any notification, credit or compensation to Fisher; around that time, one of Fisher's relatives pointed out the similarities between the show and his strip, eventually leading to this lawsuit.

January 22:  Double Dare 2000, a new version of the classic Nick game show (see 1986), premieres as a preview at 9:30PM ET before settling down in its 5PM ET weekday timeslot 2 days later, on 1/24/2000. Jason Harris is the host.

February 7: The popularity of Mary Tyler Moore on Nick-At-Nite paid off -- ABC aired a TV movie, Mary & Rhoda, where Mary Tyler Moore & Valerie Harper reunited in an update to this timeless classic.

February 11: Nick's fourth movie, Snow Day, released at theaters. Loosely based on a Pete & Pete episode and filmed in the Edmonton, AB area, it stars Chevy Chase & Chris Elliott.
February 12: Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, died in his sleep of a heart attack, the night before his final Sunday strip was published in American papers, and the night after a CBS News documentary about Peanuts was televised. The strip, and its accompanied TV specials and movies, influenced many other comic strips and animated series, including Garfield, Mutts, Dilbert, Simpsons, Hey Arnold & Rugrats. "Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy... how can I ever forget them..."

(Left: a hidden tribute to the Peanuts gang, from "Tackle This Scene" in the November 2000 issue of  Nickelodeon Magazine; ©2000 Viacom.)

February 13: Nick begins repeats of the previous night's Snick block on Sunday afternoons at 4PM ET.

February 16: It was revealed in a Viacom press release that Chazz will marry a single mother in Rugrats In Paris. Also in that film, Grandpa will also marry again, this time, to a woman named Lulu.

February 28 to March 3: In the first CBS / Nickelodeon crossover since the CBS / Viacom merger, CBS's The Early Show featured reports and interviews on shows featured on TV Land.

March 3: Nick begins showing re-typed credits on the left side of the screen, while showing promos on the right side; this is a same technique used on the broadcast networks and some cable channels. This MAY also be a consequence of the CBS / Viacom mergers.

March 5: Rugrats won the award for Best Children's Program in the second annual TV Guide Awards.

March 9: YTV debuts Caitlin's Way, a live action series about a tough, orphaned girl from a city resembling Calgary who moves to High River, Alberta, as an alternative to spending time at juvenile hall. What was especially unique about this series is that when this series debuted on Nick 2 days later (March 11), this Canadian series was Americanised -- Calgary became Philadelphia, and High River moved to nearby Montana. However, in actuality, this was an American series produced in Canada -- it was produced for Nick, using the Philly and Montana place-names in the original version, but in the YTV series, the US names were electronically-changed to Canadian locales, though the little American items, such as license plates for Montana, remain. Finally, for some reason, the show is known under the title "Just A Kid" (one of the show's pre-debut working titles) in Australia.

March 12: The Rugrats Movie makes its Canadian premium TV debut on TMN (available from Ontario eastward only).

March 12: The Rugrats make their first HDTV appearance when The Rugrats Movie is broadacast in HDTV on Showtime's HDTV service.

April: Nick, Nick-At-Nite & TV Land begin to have access to Warner Bros.' library of TV shows in the past 40 years; deal also includes exclusive rights to various series, including Perfect Strangers, Chico and the Man, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, My Favorite Martian, China Beach, Maverick, The Adventures of Superman (previously seen on Nick-At-Nite in the early-1990s), 77 Sunset Strip and Falcon Crest. As you know, Warner helped established Nickelodeon in 1979; also, its parent, Time Warner, owns the Nick group's competition -- TBS, TNT, the WB and Cartoon Network.

April: Santo Bugito returns to the US & Canada -- in home video form; Klasky-Csupo and Image will be releasing the entire series on 3 VHS tapes and DVDs. For details, click here.

April 15: The 2000 Kids' Choice Awards was broadcast; as usual, Rugrats win "Favorite Cartoon", to the chagrin of Pokemon fans.

April 20: Chuckie's new sister Kimi, and her mother, Kira, are both identified in a video game press release.

April 25: The Rugrats Movie makes its French Canadian premium TV debut on Super Ecran.

May 5: Nickelodeon, once again, fails at retailling: Red Rocket, Nick's internet toy store, closes after about a year online. However, in mid-June, Toys R Us has bought out Red Rocket's inventory and, in an alliance with Nick, announced that they'll be opening a special Nick section on Toys R Us's website this fall.

May 6: Discover America made its US TV debut on a closed-circuit feed to Wal-Mart stores nationwide; it's the first English Rugrats episode to not have its American debut on Nick. The video its on has 2 different names, depending on where you got the video; in the US, it's on the Rugrats Discover America video, while in Canada, it's on the Babies On Board video. The contents and, for the most part, jackets of both videos, are the same, including a mini-documentary of the Rugrats In Paris film.

May 26: The Rugrats Movie is scheduled for video release in Japan -- as with the theatrical release there, it'll be over a year after the US release, and, most likely, the most latest release date so far.

May 29: The Bob Newhart Show comes to TV Land.

May 30: The first Rugrats In Paris print ad appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

June 1: The Rugrats Movie makes its Western Canada premium TV debut on Super Channel (available from Manitoba westward only).

June 4-9: Nick-At-Nite presents 6 "3-Hour Tours" of Angelica's favorite sitcom, Gilligan's Island (CBS, 1964-67). Unlike most other series, however, Nick's deal to carry Gilligan is not exclusive, as TBS continues to show that series on weekday mornings.

June 9: Rugrats Magic Adventure!, the Rugrats' second stage show, begin their exclusive engagement at Universal Studios Hollywood.

June 22: Nick.Com held a chat with Mark Valenti, one of the writers for the Rugrats TV series. In that chat, he mentioned that one of the younger Rugrats will actually be able to talk to grownups in the Rugrats In Paris movie.

June 26: The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania released a list of TV shows most encouraged and most discouraged by parents. On the "Most Encouraged" list, Rugrats was ranked # 9 (Sesame Street was #1), while on the "Most Discouraged" list, The Simpsons was # 1.

July: A second Rugrats crossover, featuring the cast of Rocket Power, was published in V.3 #10 of Rugrats Comic Adventures.

July 1: Share And Share A Spike was the last regular episode of Rugrats seen on Snick; after this date, a Summer schedule was instituted, with 90-minute telefilms, followed by a concert by a top artist. When the regular Snick schedule resumed October 7, it consisted of The Amanda Show, Noah Knows Best, Caitlin's Way and, effective October 14, All That, but no Rugrats.

July 3: The second annual Nicktoon marathon promotion, Nicktoon Summer Splash, will be seen weekdays, probably until September 1. Hosted by SpongeBob SquarePants and his sidekick, Patrick Starfish, each Nicktoon is featured on its own 3-hour marathon -- Rugrats on Mondays, Rocket Power Tuesdays, Thornberrys Wednesdays, Arnold Thursdays & Rocko Fridays (replaced by CatDog starting 7/14). On July 10, the British version of Nick had a exactly the same promotion, with one Rocko marathon on 7/14 and CatDog 7/21 onward (though the episode selection may differ for all Nicktoons represented). And December 2000 to March 2001, the Australian version followed suit with the same schedule, but no Rocko at all (keep in mind that the seasons are 6 months behind in the Southern Hemisphere).
July 3: After about a 2 years' absence from Nick US, Ren & Stimpy returns for a summer run, weekdays at 5PM.

(Right:Banner for the return of Ren & Stimpy, from Nick.Com; ©2000 Viacom.)

July 8: Nick's second telefilm, featuring Cousin Skeeter, slated to air on Nick. This will be followed the following week (7/15) with Kenan & Kel's telefilm, "Two Heads Are Better Than None". These 2 telefilms were repeated ad nauseum on Snick through the end of September.

July 21: Nick's Rugrats In Paris website officially goes online. It's been online with a trailer since Christmas 1999, off briefly in the Spring, and on at other addresses since late June, but this date is when the site really got going.

July 23: The Brothers Garcia, a sitcom featuring an all-Latino cast and creative team, debuts at 8:30PM ET on Nick. This show, kind of a Latin-American Wonder Years, is narrated by John Leguizamo, of "Summer of Sam" fame.

July 26: UPN announced that effective this winter, they will be come The Paramount Network; this is due to United Broadcasting (the "U" in UPN) selling its half of the network to Viacom. Of course, the change will hinge on whether or not UPN will exist -- their future is really in doubt, now that Fox has purchased United Broadcasting in August. This name change, however, is in doubt -- in December 2000, Fox announced that they will buy half of UPN and keep it on most of the stations it acquired when it bought United Broadcasting. Because of this, it's very likely that the UPN moniker will remain.

July 27 (app.): According to Kidscreen.com, the newest Nicktoons to come to Nick will also be the oldest Nicktoons -- in the works are the revival of the popular Terrytoons characters, including Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle and Deputy Dawg; airdate to be announced later. As with Warner Bros' Looney Tunes and Disney's Silly Symphonies, Terrytoons (produced by Paul Terry and originally released theatrically by 20th Century Fox) have been a popular attraction at movie theaters, and later, became a mainstay for children's TV on CBS in the 1950s and 1960s. The 1999 CBS-Viacom mergers have nothing to do with this, as Viacom acquired Terrytoons from CBS in 1971, shortly after Viacom's spin-off from CBS.

July 28: Baby Blues, an animated series based on a nationally-syndicated comic strip about parenting, debuts on the WB network; the series will feature E.G. Daily as one of the babies, Zoe. Kath Soucie also stars as the MacPhersons' neighbor's children, Rodney, Shelby and Megan Bitterman.

July 30: Nick-At-Nite salutes their 15th anniversary, and creators Norman Lear, Garry Marshall, Carl Reiner, Sherwood Schwartz and James L. Brooks, in a special 5-hour marathon of Nick-At-Nite shows created by them.
August 14: Dora The Explorer, a new Nick Jr. series about a 7 year old Hispanic girl who lives in a computer, premiered; it's also seen Saturday mornings on CBS (see September 16).

(Left: Dora The Explorer, from Mundonick.Com; ©2000 Viacom.)

August 25: Rugrats makes a one-time appearance on Nick-At-Nite as part of the Block Party Summer; this time, they had a 3-hour marathon during "Party Crasher Fridays", where a different TV series has a 3-hour marathon each week.

August 26: Rugrats did not win an Emmy for "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 2000 nighttime "Creative Arts" Emmy Award presentation.

August 29: The Spanish-language versions of  Vacation and The Santa Experience are released on video in the US & Canada; they're the first Spanish versions of a Rugrats TV episode to be released on video in the US & Canada.

September 4: Nick gets a makeover with a new schedule; also, their famous orange & white logo is now expressed in colors other than orange & white.

September 4: Not all WB toons are limited to the Cartoon Network -- repeats of Pinky & The Brain will be seen weekdays at 6PM ET on Nick. Unfortunately, Nick has written their name all over the show's intro -- litterally.

September 4: Repeats of The Facts Of Life (NBC, 1979-88) joins Nick-at-Nite's line-up; it'll appear Mondays to Thursdays at 8:30PM ET, when Nick-At-Nite returns to its 8:30PM ET start-up. It'll be launched with a reunion marathon, 9/4 to 9/7, 8:30PM ET to 12:30AM ET.

September 11: The Dick Van Dyke Show, featuring Nick-At-Nite's former "Chairman Of The Board", will move to TV Land.

September 15: Nick expands to 10PM ET on Fridays, in response to ABC discontinuing their TGIF block. The expanded block will be used for U-Picks, though it'll now be seen from 8PM ET to 10PM ET, and feature Nick GAS's Dave Aizer and Vivianne Collins as live, human hosts.

September 16: CBS will begin airing a Saturday morning Nickelodeon block, made possible by the CBS-Viacom merger. Shows for the new CBS block will be from the Nick Jr. library, and will feature Franklin, Blue's Clues, Little Bill (Bill Cosby returns to CBS after the cancellation of Cosby and Kid's Say The Darndest Things), Little Bear, Kipper, and Dora the Explorer. As usual, all of these shows meet federal "E-I" requirements. CBS is hoping that Nick Jr. will help pull CBS from the Saturday morning ratings cellar, which started in 1997 with dumping cartoons in favor of live-action, then in 1998 with replacing live-action with cartoons from Nelvana in Canada. Because of this CBS-Nick partnership, Nelvana has signed a long-term contract with PBS, to provide shows for that network (it should be known that Nelvana produces Franklin and Little Bear). Also, as usual, The Early Show will be right in the middle of the block on most stations.

September 19: Herb Scannell becomes president of TNN, in addition to his current presidency with Nick; he replaces David Hall, who resigned from the channel. This marks the start of TNN's overhaul, which include moving it to Viacom's MTV Networks subsidiary and renaming the channel as The National Network, overhauling the schedule to feature more general programming (similar to TBS, USA and WGN) and moving the channel's headquarters from Opryland in Nashville to the Viacom Building in New York City.

October 2: Charlie's Angels makes their TV Land debut.
October 2: Pelswick, a new Nicktoon about a wheelchair-bound boy who's either 11-years old (CBC) or 13-years old (Nick), debuts in Canada on CBC Television; it's created by Portland, Oregon native John Callahan, a popular nationally-syndicated humorist & cartoonist, who himself is relegated to a wheelchair. David Arquette, of Scream fame, is one of the voices. Nick premiered this newest Nicktoon on October 24; produced by Nelvana, it's the first Canadian Nicktoon to air since Doug (which was produced in France and Canada); as well as the second Nelvana / Nick / CBC co-production (Little Bear was the first).

(Left: Pelswick and friends, from the October 2000 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. ©2000 Nelvana.)

October 3: Blues Clues' first motion picture, Blue's Big Musical Movie, is released as a direct-to-video movie.

October 16: Three's Company scheduled to premiere on Nick-At-Nite, starting with a weeklong marathon.
October 25: As Told By Ginger, Klasky-Csupo's fifth Nicktoon, debuts; basically an animated 90210, it's about a girl who strives to be popular, her geeky friends who idolise her, a rich girl who likes her fashion sense, another rich girl who hates her, and Ginger's creepy brother.
(Left: Ginger and her friends; from the October 2000 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. ©2000 Viacom.)

November 5: Rugrats In Paris had its world premiere at the Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

November 7: The Rugrats In Paris soundtrack is released in stores in the US & Canada.

November 7-9: Acorn Nuts And Diapey Butts, the longest episode of Rugrats at 90 minutes with commercials and 66 minutes without, premiered on Nick in 3 parts. This episode also introduces Grandpa's future wife, Lulu.

November 17: Rugrats In Paris -- The Movie was released in the US & Canada; it opened at # 2, beaten by Jim Carrey & Ron Howard's The Grinch.

November 25: Barney Miller make its TV Land debut, starting with a 48-hour marathon.

December 20: Steve Burns announces that he will quit Blue's Clues. On this date, he taped his final episode, which won't see air until 2002.


2001:

Slated from Nick at theaters is a long-awaited Nick animated feature, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genious (slated around US Thanksgiving; starring Patrick Stewart and Martin Short), and a live-action Clockstoppers, to be directed by Jonathan Frakes (of Star Trek -- The Next Generation fame).

The Carmichaels, the first Rugrats spinoff, scheduled to go on the air; though there's a chance that it may wait until Rugrats goes out of production, which probably won't be for a long while yet.

The Rugrats Movie scheduled for its commercial TV premiere on Nickelodeon.

January: Miami Vice, Mary Tyler Moore, Chico and the Man & Get Smart all make their TV Land debuts.

January 1: The polls open at Nick.Com to decide the top 10 Rugrats stories of all time, as chosen by the fans; the polls remain open until March 31.

January 2: Canal Famille is renamed VRAK.TV, with its hours extended to 10PM ET.

January 5: Nickelodeon announced that they will begin to air some commercials, with part of the dialogue in Spanish. These ads will mainly air on Nick's programs that are hispano-centric. The first advertiser to do this is Chuck E. Cheese's, whose ads will appear on The Brothers Garcia.

January 14: Taina, a live-action musical comedy, begins on Nick.

January 15: The Rugrats' 10th season begins on Nick, starting with Finsterella, which will be the first episode for Kimi and Kira. On this same day, YTV starts their weekday run of new episodes for about a week-and-a-half, beginning with Angelicon / Dil's Binkie / Big Brother Chuckie, the first Rugrats episode that strays from the usual 11/11 format.

January 28: Good Burger is the first Nick movie to be seen on a broadcasting network -- NBC. It is also the first time a Nick movie was interupted with commercials.

February 1: Rugrats viewers get quizzed on the episode they're watching, as they  watch it, with Bubblecast, a new Nick.Com feature that begins on this date.

February 16: Disney's Recess -- School's Out film is scheduled to be released in theaters.

March 9: The "You Wish" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants is broadcast; it's the first Nicktoon episode where viewers at home (in the US) phone in and decide how that episode ends. The voice of SpongeBob, Tom Kenny, will appear in live-action segments as SpongeBob Fan Club president, Patchy the Pirate, who will instruct viewers how to call in.

March 30: Two new Nicktoons premiere -- Invader Zim, a sci-fi series from Jhonen Vasquez (creator of Slave Labor's Johnny The Homicidal Maniac comic book); and The Fairly Oddparents, the second Oh Yeah! series (and the first to actually go beyond the first episode) about a couple of fairies that grant wishes for a 10-year old boy.

Spring: A  90-minute (with commercials) Hey Arnold TV movie is scheduled to premiere on Nick. Tenatively-titled "Arnold Saves The Neighborhood", it'll air as a movie first, then either split up into 3 episodes of the regular series, or released on video. The third half-hour of that movie will also be that series' 100th episode, making it the second-longest running Nicktoon, behind Rugrats. In that film, Arnold will save his neighborhood from a greedy developer; also, Helga will finally tell Arnold her long-suppressed secret. Also proposed for the near future is The Patakis, a spinoff featuring Helga (at age 15) and her family that'll start when Hey Arnold ends; they are planning to place that series on Nick-At-Nite when it debuts.

Spring: Animaniacs is scheduled to move to Nick.

April 21: The top 10 Rugrats stories will be revealed in a special marathon to be seen on Nick.

April 21: The 2001 Kids' Choice Awards is scheduled for broadcast; the series is nominated for the usual "Favorite Cartoon". Also nominated are Susan Sarandon in the "Favorite Voice From An Animated Movie" category for her role in Rugrats In Paris, and Baha Men in "Favorite Singing Group". However, the movie itelf was, surprisingly, not nominated in the "Favorite Movie" category.

July: Rugrats and Nicktoons will celebrate their 10th anniversary. For the record, though, Rugrats was created in 1989; they'll be actually 12 years old by this time.

Summer: The Proud Family, a black-oriented sitcom that features Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) as one of Penny Proud's friends, scheduled to begin on The Disney Channel; originally produced for Nick, it's the second TV series that slipped out of Nick's hands and into Disney's.

September: "The World According to Alex P. Keaton" will be revealed in a Family Ties marathon, as that series debuts on Nick-At-Nite.


2002:

The Wild Thornberrys movie scheduled for release. However, it may be delayed until after the Rugrats' 3rd movie, which will feature a crossover with the Thornberrys.

September: Tiny Toons return to Nick, after about 3 years on Cartoon Network.

Fall: Steve's brother, Joe (played by Donovan Patton), becomes the new host of Blue's Clues, after the last of Steve's episodes airs.

Fall: The TV series version of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genious slated to premiere on Nick.


2003:

Fall: Reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch scheduled to premiere on Nick & Nick-At-Nite. Sabrina, which is slated to air Mondays to Thursdays at 8:30PM ET, stars Melissa Joan Hart, who's no stranger to Nick (remember Clarissa Explains It All?).


2004:

Fall: Reruns of Full House scheduled to premiere on Nick; it is slated to air Mondays to Thursdays at 8:30PM ET.


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