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Nickelodeon (often shortened to Nick) is an American pay television channel which was first launched on April 4, 1961 as Pinwheel Place, a program licensed to local stations produced by Paramount Television. It later moved into its own channel in 1979, called Pinwheel that replaced the former C-3 test channel. It rebranded into Nickelodeon in 1984.

The channel was originally first launched as a program made by Paramount for local stations called Pinwheel in 1961. The program was later converted into a channel on QUBE operated by Gulf+Western Industries under license from Warner-Amex Cable Entertainment. The channel was then rebranded as Nickelodeon on April 1, 1981, and expanded to other cable providers nationwide. It was initially commercial-free and remained without advertising until 1984. 

Throughout its history, Nickelodeon has introduced sister channels and themed programming blocks. On January 4, 1988, Nickelodeon launched Nick Jr., a weekday-morning block aimed at preschool children. In 1991, the network introduced another flagship brand, the Nicktoons: original animated productions created for the network. Two blocks aimed at a teenage audience. In 1995, ownership of Nickelodeon was transferred to Viacom, which by then owned MTV, VH1 and 50% of Comedy Central once they acquired Paramount Communications.

As of September 2018, the channel is available to about 87.167 million households in the United States.


The Anderson Years (1961-1994)

1961–1979: Pinwheel


1979–1984: National launch as Nickelodeon


1984–1993: Retro era


1994 The Takeover


Takeover Era (1994-2018)


2018–present: Modern era

In 2020, it was announced Nickelodeon would rebrand to a look that would involve stylized idents, similar to those of MTV and Adult Swim, while keeping the 2009 logo and a revised version of the 2017 look.



Related networks and services

  • Nick at Nite
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nicktoons
  • TeeNick
  • The Bloo
  • CBS All Access
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