Nick Jr. (TV programming block)

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Nick Jr. on Nick
Nick Jr. logo 2009.svg
Launched
  • January 4, 1988; 31 years ago (1988-01-04) (original)
  • May 21, 2018; 14 months ago (2018-05-21) (reboot)
ClosedJanuary 30, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-01-30) (original)
NetworkNickelodeon (Weekdays from 8 AM – 3 PM, Saturdays from 7:30 AM – 9 AM, Sundays from 7:30 AM – 8: 30AM)
Owned byViacom Media Networks (Viacom)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersNew York City
Formerly called
  • Nick Junior (1988)
  • Nickelodeon (2009–18)
  • Play Date (2009–12)
Sister channel(s)
Websitewww.nickjr.com

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 Viacom Media Networks, a division of Viacom.

History[edit]

1988–1993[edit]

One of the many Nick Jr. logos used from September 1988 to 2009.

Throughout the 1980s, Nickelodeon aired programs for preschoolers (most notably Pinwheel and Today's Special) on weekdays (from 8:00am to 3:00pm) and weekend mornings. After Nickelodeon's preschool block premiered a slew of new shows in 1987, it began using the Nick Junior branding on January 4, 1988,[1] coinciding with the premiere of The World of David the Gnome. Later that year, the block's name was shortened to Nick Jr.,[2] and its new logo became a distinctive feature for the block. The Nick Jr. logo was orange for 'Nick' and blue for 'Jr.', and it varied in the shape or species (e.g.: two gears, trains, speech bubbles, shields, planets, insects, comets, or elephants). Nick Jr.'s initial network IDs featured two live-action children walking to a refrigerator and opening it, revealing an animated character. From 1989 to 2000, other companies and animators produced IDs for Nick Jr.

Until July 1990, Pinwheel was featured, originally for three hours (two in the morning and one at noon), then for one hour starting in spring 1989. When Nick Jr.'s original series Eureeka's Castle premiered in September, Pinwheel was split into two separate half hours in the morning and afternoon, where it remained until July 1990. Much of Nick Jr.'s other programs at the time were of Japanese or foreign origin (including Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show, Adventures of the Little Koala, David the Gnome, Noozles, Maya the Bee, and The Littl' Bits).

Grow, Learn, and Play (1993–1994)[edit]

On April 5, 1993, Nick Jr. premiered a new series, Cappelli & Company, and received a new rebrand which prominently featured a new Nick Jr. logo consisting of an orange parent and a blue child, and the slogan Grow, Learn, and Play. Several Nick Jr. promos and bumpers featured kids playing near the Nick Jr. logo and a theme song with the slogan sung to the melody of London Bridge. Nick Jr. also started using a female announcer (who was replaced by a different one in 1994, 1998 and 2003) in its promos and bumpers.

Due to Nick Jr.'s declining ratings as well as competition from PBS' children's programming and TLC's Ready Set Learn block, Nickelodeon decided to spend $30 million on revamping their Nick Jr. block in 1994.[3]

Play to Learn (1994–2003)[edit]

On September 5, 1994, Nick Jr. rebranded and introduced Face, an animated host that introduced shows and interstitials and led into commercial breaks. 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 also narrated several Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. promos. More than 400 Face promos were produced by Nick Digital (from 1994 to 1996 and 2000 to 2003), DMA Animation (from 1996 to 1999), and Vee-Pee Cartoons (from 2003 to 2004). During the fall of 1994, Nick Jr. introduced two new original series, Gullah Gullah Island, and Allegra's Window, plus reruns of Rugrats.

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. In 1998, Nick Jr. rebranded again and introduced the "Just For Me" slogan.

In 1999 and 2000, Nick Jr. replaced most of its older series with newer series such as Franklin, Kipper, Maisy, Little Bill, and Dora the Explorer. Bob the Builder premiered on January 15, 2001, and Oswald on August 20 of that same year.

On September 3, 2001, Nick Jr. received a new rebrand produced by Adams Morioka (who had previously rebranded Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite) and Editional Effects.

On August 29, 2003, most of Nick Jr.'s older interstitial series and the original Face segments ended their 9-year run.

Nick Jr. Play Along (2003–2004)[edit]

On September 2, 2003, Nick Jr. premiered a new series, Rubbadubbers, and received a rebrand, as well as introducing 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. He was also voiced by a different voice actor. 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[4]) and Zack (played by actor Travis Guba[5]). Alongside Robin and Zack were four sock puppets called the Feetbeats.

On October 8, 2004, new Face ended its 1-year run.

Love to Play (2004–2007)[edit]

On October 11, 2004, Nick Jr. premiered a new series, The Backyardigans, and received a rebrand featuring a new host, Piper O'Possum, and a new slogan: "Love to Play". Nick Jr.'s female announcer was replaced with Kobie Powell and Chris Phillips. 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, Piper O'Possum ended its 2-year run.

Play With Us (2007–2009)[edit]

On September 10, 2007, Nick Jr. received a yet another rebrand. The block's bumpers encouraged preschoolers to "Play With Us" and 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 1988. Nick Jr. also stopped airing interstitial series and increased the amount of commercials it aired. Starting in the spring of 2008, the block began at 8:30 am.

On January 30, 2009, the original block ended its 21-year run, with Yo Gabba Gabba! being the last show to air on the block.

Nickelodeon branding (2009–2018)[edit]

On February 2, 2009, the original Nick Jr. block was re-branded as Nick Play Date; Olivia premiered on the block the week before. The block's branding was based on Noggin's branding, and many bumpers featured drawings, finger puppets or cupcakes. The bumpers' music 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 Nickelodeon's overall rebrand. In 2011, Play Date received a new re-brand featuring characters from the block's shows. The following year, the block's Play Date branding was replaced with a modified version of Nick Jr.'s new branding.

On June 10, 2015, Nick Jr.'s website was completely redesigned to match up with the Nick Jr. app.[6] Later that year, the block's curriculum boards were replaced with Nick Jr.'s.

Nick Jr. on Nick (2018–present)[edit]

On May 21, 2018, the Nickelodeon preschool block changed its name to "Nick Jr. on Nick" and refreshed its imaging with new bumpers and curriculum boards. In February 2019, the Nick Jr. block and channel removed the "channel" and "on Nick" text from the screen bugs.

Slogans[edit]

  • Nick Jr.'s Just For You! (September 4, 1989 – Summer 1991)
  • Nick Jr. Is Here Just For You! (Summer 1991 – April 2, 1993)
  • TV For The Next Generation (1992 – 1995)
  • Grow, Learn, & Play (April 5, 1993 – September 2, 1994)
  • Play to Learn (September 5, 1994 – September 9, 1996)
  • 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)
  • 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 – May 20, 2018)
  • Nick Jr. on Nick (May 21, 2018 - present)

Programming[edit]

Cross-programming with other networks[edit]

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.

Spanish-language American network Telemundo has aired Blue's Clues (from 1998 to 2000, as part of the Nickelodeon en Telemundo block) and Dora the Explorer (from 2005 to 2006, as part of the Telemundo Kids block) in Spanish. In Fall of 2006, after the sale of Telemundo to NBC in 2001 and the CBS/Viacom split in early 2006, the Telemundo Kids block was replaced with a Spanish version of NBC/Ion's qubo block.

On April 5, 2008, competing Spanish network Univision added Spanish-dubbed versions of Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! to their Saturday morning Planeta U line-up.

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. Shows like Pistas de Blue (the Spanish version of Blue's Clues) and Wonder Pets! were featured in the block.

Face's reappearances[edit]

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!").

Face also appeared in an Easter promo for The Splat, TeenNick's 1990s-oriented late night block, in 2016, encouraging viewers to look for the Easter Bunny in '90s Nickelodeon shows.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nickelodeon Early-Morning TV Broadcast from 1988 (with commercials)". YouTube. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Rugrats Timeline -- Through 1989". 2012-06-16. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  3. ^ Nick to spend $30 million on kids (page 53) from Broadcasting & Cable
  4. ^ "Hillary Hawkins". Hillary Hawkins. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  5. ^ "About". www.travisguba.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  6. ^ "Nick Jr. site gets a redesign, debuts new preschool series". Retrieved 5 September 2018.

External links[edit]