|Launched||January 4, 1988|
|Owned by||MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International|
|Slogan||The Smart Place To Play.|
|Formerly called|| Play Date (2009–12)|
Nick: The Smart Place to Play (2012–14)
|Sister channel(s)||Nick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr. (channel)|
Nick Jr. is a programming block on the Nickelodeon television channel, seen on Nickelodeon weekday mornings. It is aimed at young children aged zero to eight. It is owned by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International.
Before 1988, many shows that might be associated with a preschool audience were broadcast on Nickelodeon, but were not specifically distinguished in their own programming block. Most preschool programs were shown roughly between the hours of 7 AM and 3 PM Eastern, which approximates the hours in which older children might be in school.
By the start of 1988, the Nick Jr. brand was in place and in use, with an approximate six hour portion of the Nickelodeon broadcast day, from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. Eastern time.
The logo for the new Nick Jr. brand became a distinctive feature for the block. While Nickelodeon used a completely orange logo, Nick. Jr. used an orange 'Nick' and a light blue 'Jr', with the blue always smaller than the orange. The logo typically depicted a parent or older sibling (orange), and child (light blue), but varied in the shape or species (e.g. two rabbits, two simplified human figures, two trees, two robots, two balls, two hippos, two pigs, two cows, two horses, two brothers) Until 1989, a former staple of the Nickelodeon lineup, Pinwheel was featured, and eventually replaced by Eureeka's Castle. 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 (David the Gnome, Noozles, The Adventures of the Little Koala, The Little Prince, The Littl' Bits). Programming in the vein of live action and puppeted preschool programming also appeared during this time. Claymation was also sometimes used in Nick Jr. idents.
There is evidence to suggest that the Nick Jr. brand was formalized in some way in 1994, despite the name being used before 1994. Nickelodeon's own website states that Nick Jr. was "founded" in 1994. This was also the year in which Nick Jr. introduced "Face ", an animated, two-dimensional face that changed color throughout his segments and introduced or wrapped up shows and smaller variety pieces. Programming during this period included Allegra's Window, Little Bear, Gullah Gullah Island, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth, Kipper, and Rupert. Face, in the context of its segments, was capable of materializing objects such as beach balls, scuba gear, space ships and stars and even radios, and of creating any number of foley sound effects including a signature three note "trumpet" noise used to lead up to the name Nick Jr.. Face was eliminated and replaced by Piper O'Possum in early 2004.
In the U.S., Nick Jr. had a mascot named Piper, an opossum from 2004-2007. Piper O'Possum, as the character is known, is also the daytime presenter of the British version of Nick Jr. and Nick Jr. 2. Piper is voiced by Allison Brustofski. On Nick Jr.'s British service, Piper is voiced by a British voice-over actor, with Allison's laugh. Piper was last shown on Nick Jr. on September 7, 2007.
There is a CD with music from Nick Jr. shows available titled Dance and Sing: The Best of Nick Jr.
On September 10, 2007, Nick Jr. introduced new graphics, and music. This saw the introduction of Nick Jr.'s Playdate which indicates preschoolers to play and learn with Nick Jr. characters. The first program ever aired on the relaunched Nick Jr. was Dora the Explorer.
- → Main article: Nick Jr. (TV channel)
Nickelodeon dropped the Nick Jr. name from its morning block in Noggin's 10th anniversary (February 2, 2009). Nick Jr. programs continue to air in that slot, but has the Nick branding replacing the Nick Jr. branding. The last program was Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.
On September 30, 2009, Noggin will become Nick Jr. Also, it will have the "Preschool On TV"/"Play With Us" slogan.
On May 5, 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
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 programming block. Between 2002 and 2004, 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 the DiC-programmed KOL Secret Slumber Party on CBS began.
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, 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!). Face also appeared in a Easter promo for The Splat in 2016.
- ↑ Nickelodeon programming listing from 5/1987
- ↑ 1988 Premiere of Nick Jr.
- ↑ rec.arts.anime newsgroup post ID gate.2TkFXB1w165w@pil.UUCP; January 15, 1993
- ↑ Nick History, retrieved December 29, 2006