Nick at Nite facts for kids
|Headquarters||One Astor Plaza
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Picture format||1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 480i letterbox for SDTVs)
|Owner||ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks|
|Launched||July 1, 1985|
(nighttime programming block of Nickelodeon)
|Available on most cable systems||Varies by cable provider|
|Dish Network||Channel 170 (East; SD/HD)
Channel 171 (West; SD only)
|DirecTV||Channel 299 (East; SD/HD)
Channel 300 (West; SD only)
|C-Band||AMC 11 – Channel 64 (4DTV Digital)
AMC 18 – Channel 28 (H2H 4DTV)
|Google Fiber||Channel slots may vary|
|Verizon Fios||Channel 252 (SD)
Channel 752 (HD)
|Prism TV||Channel 314|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 314 (East; SD)
Channel 315 (West; SD)
Channel 1314 (East; HD)
Channel 1315 (West; HD)
|FuboTV, Philo, Vidgo, YouTube TV|
Nick at Nite (stylized as nick@nite) is an American nighttime programming block that broadcasts over the channel space of Nickelodeon. It typically broadcasts from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (Sundays-Wednesdays, Fridays), 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (Thursdays), 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (Saturdays) ET/PT. The block is marketed as a separate network from Nickelodeon for ratings purposes, similar to Adult Swim, the nighttime branding of Cartoon Network.
Nick at Nite primarily appeals to adult and older youth audiences. Though looser in regards to profanity and suggestive dialogue compared to the network's daytime programming, the block is not as risqué or violent as other services targeting a similar audience.
Via Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite is available in 92.0 million households in North America as of January 2016.
Nick at Nite's lineup presently includes reruns of syndicated comedy series from the early 1990s to mid-2010s and movie broadcasts. The block previously had its own exclusively-produced original programs (such as See Dad Run and Instant Mom).
Due to its dependence on sitcom reruns whose cable syndication rights are limited to a certain part of the day owing to contracts with studios and/or distributors (for instance, Viacom holds the exclusive cable nighttime rights to run Friends, airing it on both Nick at Nite and the Paramount Network, while TBS holds exclusive cable daytime rights to said series), Nick at Nite has no video on demand service (formerly its past original series were usually combined within Nickelodeon's video-on-demand section) and its website features no video content.
In addition to running sitcom reruns, Nick at Nite has also broadcast movies in early primetime; after the 1985 to 1989 run of the Nick at Nite Movie showcase, the channel did not air movies on its schedule again until the summer of 2007, when it aired films each week on Tuesday nights. The channel has aired films occasionally since then, and have begun to air them periodically since February 2010 on Sunday nights, beginning that month with telecasts of the Nickelodeon Movies-produced Good Burger, The Rugrats Movie, and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Additionally, many family-oriented films from other distributors air on the block.
Some movies and special presentations that Nick at Nite aired during 2010 and 2011 had occasionally aired over what is normally Nickelodeon's broadcast time (for example, the February 21, 2010 premiere broadcast of the special School Gyrls aired at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, though Nickelodeon typically does not turn over its channel space to Nick at Nite until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday nights), which is unusual as some of these special presentations are aimed at Nickelodeon's preteen target audience; however until May 2010, when the network began promoting its film broadcasts as airing on Nick at Nite, promos for these films did not acknowledge whether they were to be broadcast on Nick at Nite or Nickelodeon (an issue as promos for scheduled primetime films were cross-promoted with Nickelodeon), with the only reference as to the film's airing on Nick at Nite coming from the screen bug that is shown during the film.
Some of the movies Nick at Nite has broadcast in recent years have included the Back to the Future trilogy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Baby's Day Out, Pretty in Pink, National Lampoon's Vacation, Ghostbusters (and its sequel Ghostbusters II), Jurassic Park, The Nutty Professor, Legally Blonde, The Princess Diaries and The Parent Trap. Film broadcasts have become more common on Nick at Nite since the fall 2012, often airing on a near-weekly basis, typically on Sunday evenings. As of 2013, many films broadcast on the channel Thursday nights at 8:00 pm, and Friday nights at 8:00 pm as of 2017.
Nick at Nite has also occasionally broadcast its own programs, sometimes with bizarre and surrealistic results. On December 5, 1987, the channel ran a contest called the Do It Yourself Sitcom Special, which was billed as the first time that real people ever had their own television shows. Viewers submitted their own sitcom ideas and the winner would supposedly get their own show. In 1988, the channel aired a half-hour animated Christmas special from Ralph Bakshi, which served as the pilot for a proposed animated series titled Tattertown. The program was never picked up to series, but the special, later renamed Christmas in Tattertown, aired on Nick at Nite every Christmas for several years. In 1990, the channel briefly aired a satirical comedy series called On the Television, a mock critic show hosted by Siskel and Ebert-type characters that featured bizarre, sometimes disturbing clips from spoofed television shows supposedly beginning that week.
In the early 1990s, the channel ran a one-time special featuring old television commercials; this idea would be rehashed by the network on several other shows and eventually become a project of a spin-off channel, TV Land, as part of the "Retromercials" segment that aired during commercial breaks until the mid-2000s. Another special aired by Nick at Nite was promoted as a TV dad quiz, in which the host walked through a "typical TV Home," and quizzed viewers at home with trivia about classic TV dad clichés. At one point, the host told viewers to connect pictures of TV dads with their appropriate TV wives displayed on the screen with a magic marker. At the end of this segment, he mentions that he forgot to tell the viewers to place a piece of plastic over their screen while doing this and made jokes about the viewers uselessly trying to clean the magic marker off their screens for the rest of the show.
In 1991, Nick at Nite debuted its own sitcom based around the rerun genre it had developed. The short-lived Hi Honey, I'm Home! (titled after the catchphrase that male lead characters in some classic sitcoms said to their wives when returning home from work) focused on a 1950s sitcom family called the Nielsens, whose show has been removed from syndication, forcing the family to leave TV Land and move into a real 1990s suburban neighborhood, repeatedly confronting the family with a culture shock. The series aired on Fridays as part of ABC's TGIF lineup, with the episode being "rerun" on Nick at Nite in primetime on the following Sunday.
In 2008, the channel announced that it was developing a family-oriented revival of the 1990s game show GUTS titled My Family's Got GUTS, as well as a dog competition show. My Family's Got GUTS eventually premiered on Nickelodeon in September 2008. On August 17, 2009, Nick at Nite debuted a new animated stop-motion series called Glenn Martin DDS, which ran for two seasons. Scripted programming returned to Nick at Nite in 2012, with the June 11 debut of the telenovela-based teen drama Hollywood Heights, followed on October 6 with the premiere of See Dad Run, though the former relocated to TeenNick midway through its run due to low ratings and branding confusion.
In 2017, the network also began to carry episodes of Nashville on an hour delay from CMT on nights when new episodes aired in order to further augment that series' ratings.
Marathons and blocks
Programming marathons were an innovation that began with Nick at Nite in 1985, eventually leading to the phenomenon of "binge-watching". Working together at college radio station WKCR-FM while attending New York City's prestigious Columbia University, Fred/Alan, Inc. founders Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert saw the ratings success of radio marathons featuring music from Ludwig van Beethoven, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. As the Nick at Nite "oldies" format was adapted from radio, they suggested the multi-hour (sometimes multi-day) marathon might also work with television programming. The marathon format proved successful and became a ratings boosting in demand with cable television networks for over two decades.
During the week of Halloween in late October 1990, the network held a special contest, hosted by game show host Wink Martindale, during a marathon of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Viewers at home were supposed to keep a running total of total number of deaths on the show. At the end of the marathon, the persons who had gotten the correct total were entered into a drawing to win a prize. As Martindale said, "it's kind of like guessing the number of jelly beans in a jelly bean jar, but instead of jelly beans, you're using cadavers!"
When new shows are added to the lineup, they are usually accompanied by some kind of marathon that is sometimes hosted by a star from the show. For instance, when Newhart joined Nick at Nite in the early 1990s, the channel also acquired Bob Newhart's short-lived third sitcom Bob, and ran a block branded "Bob's Bob, Bob Newhart, Newhart Marathon", featuring the two shows along with The Bob Newhart Show (which it already had the rights to broadcast), in an event hosted by Bob Newhart. Nick at Nite's debut of The Mary Tyler Moore Show was called the "Marython". When I Love Lucy joined Nick at Nite in 1994, a week-long marathon called "Nick at Nite Loves Lucy" aired, showcasing every one of Lucille Ball's sitcoms that aired between 1951 and 1986 (I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life With Lucy). When some older shows were retired, Nick at Nite would also frequently have a marathon send-off. For instance, when Mister Ed was finally retired from the network in January 1993 after a seven-year run, Nick at Nite ran a weekend-long marathon of the show called "Au Revoir Mister Ed!"; a similar send-off for The Donna Reed Show, which ran on the channel for nine years beginning with Nick at Nite's July 1985 debut, also ran that year. My Three Sons was sent off the night Daylight Saving Time ended in October 1991 with a marathon called "Nite of the Setting Sons," permitting two extra episodes in the marathon due to the one-hour time shift.
During the summer months from the mid-to-late 1990s, the channel for a while ran a program block called "Vertivision" (later known as "Block Party Summer"), during which a different series was shown in a three-hour block each night of the week. In its first year, network promos referred to the nights featured in the special lineup as "Mary Mondays" (for The Mary Tyler Moore Show), "Lucy Tuesdays" (for I Love Lucy), "Bewitched Be-Wednesdays" (for Bewitched), "Jeannie Thursdays" (for I Dream of Jeannie), and "Sgt. Joe Fridays" (for Dragnet). With the passing years, the summer blocks shifted to include series recently added to Nick at Nite's program library.
Other seasonal scheduling blocks were also not uncommon such as Christmas-themed blocks during late December, Thanksgiving-themed blocks in November, and Valentine's Day-themed episodes in February. Each New Year's Eve from 1989 to 1998, the channel would host "Nick at Nite's (year) Rerun/Classic TV/TV Hits Countdown" hosted by longtime countdown radio DJ, Casey Kasem. Kasem would spend the period from noon (11:30 a.m. in 1990) until New Year's Day at 12:30 a.m. Eastern Time counting down the 25 "most classic" episodes of the series airing on Nick at Nite at that time as determined by viewers at home, with the #1 episode being aired at midnight.
Another well-known lineup was "A Whole Lotta Lucy" block which ran on Saturday nights from June 4, 1994 to May 3, 1996, which consisted of I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which were all airing on the network at that time (a similar block aired on Saturday nights from 1996 to 2001, featuring only I Love Lucy and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour). In the mid-1990s, another Saturday night programming block titled "Very, Very Nick at Nite" centered around a different theme each week, such as "Very Very Mary" with four classic Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes. In summer of 2008, Nick at Nite aired a marathon called Battle of the Sexes, which featured episodes of their regular programs that engaged conflict between men and women.
Nick at Nite generally broadcasts a marathon of their programming on holidays (such as the "Luck of the Lopez" marathon of George Lopez that aired on Saint Patrick's Day in March 2008). For two years in a row, in October 2007 and 2008, Nick at Nite broadcast the Shocktober marathon (branded as Shocktober 2 for the 2008 event), featuring Halloween-themed episodes of the regularly scheduled program. Other holidays that the network often features themed marathons include Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Christmas. In November 2006, regular Nick at Nite programming was preempted for Nickelodeon's "Best Day Ever", a 24-hour marathon of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes which, at the end of the event, led to the premiere of a new episode of the same name. Nick at Nite programming was again preempted to continue Nickelodeon's 48-hour "SpongeBob SpongeBash" marathon in July 2009.
On June 17, 2019, Nick at Nite aired a simulcast of the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards for the first time, along with many of its sister networks. On August 26, it also aired a simulcast of the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards for the first time. In December 2019, Nick at Nite began airing a marathon of Friends to celebrate the show's 25 year anniversary since its finale throughout half of Nick at Nite's regular programming time
On April 18, 2020, Nick at Nite aired a simulcast of One World: Together at Home, which was simulcast on multiple networks and platforms.
Branding and commercials
Nick at Nite has used a myriad of unusual and offbeat commercials, logos and promotions. Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert assembled a team of highly imaginative writers/producers, modeled on their original 1981 creative team that had launched sister channel MTV. The group – which included Scott Webb, Jim Levi, Dave Potorti, Jay Newell, Will McRobb, and Tom Hill – was guided towards creating a series of internal campaigns to emphasize the seeming paradox of a contemporary network setting that programmed reruns from the 1960s and earlier. A series of five "promises" were organized into four 30-second spots each hour, each emphasizing an attribute of the innovative programming format.
In 1986, the channel began running a few different animated 10-second channel identifications (produced by Noyes and Laybourne and the Fred/Alan agency) that were repetitive in creation, but all had vastly different endings (similar to the "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat" gag from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show). In one such ID, the first chord of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" would be heard strummed, as a man began to hang up a Nick at Nite logo and common living room objects such as a chair and a television set. Once the man sat down in front of the TV set and clicked the remote control, a bizarre incident would happen, such as a gorilla coming out of the set. Later IDs started with either a woman setting up her backyard behind a "city" background, which was made of cardboard, or a couple setting up their living room. In May 1991, Nick at Nite started running a wide variety of IDs created in association with Pomposello Productions. These were made with almost every imaginable technique from cel animation to stop motion, to original live-action and stock footage. Almost every commercial had a different jingle professing Nick at Nite as being "A TV Viewer's Dream" for "the TV generation" and as coming from a place called "TV Land" ("Hello out there, from TV Land!") and promoting "Better Living Through Television", although these claims were always somewhat tongue in cheek.
There were also sarcastic promotions created for shows airing on the network: an announcer's voiceover would discuss the series, accompanied by clips and music, and sometimes the show's theme song. The commercials would use an actor's line or expression and take it out of context to create a new subversive meaning. The channel still uses this technique today, although often in a more partial way. A popular take-off of the Michelob Light commercial, "The Nite Belongs to Nick" ran for a short period of time before being discontinued due to copyright issues. One series of promos had Dick Van Dyke (whose eponymous 1960s sitcom was a mainstay of the channel in the 1990s) depicted as "Chairman of Nick at Nite" (this idea was later recycled by one of Nick at Nite's sister networks, TeenNick, which depicted actor and television personality Nick Cannon as the "Chairman of TeenNick" in a series of promos that began airing in September 28, 2009). In 1995, in honor of the network's 10th anniversary, Nick at Nite aired a tribute to the commercials throughout the network's existence and hosted by former network president Rich Cronin.
The channel also had a unique way of informing viewers about the show that was about to air next. Beginning as only some of the night's shows and their airtimes being listed as music played over an on-screen graphic, this simple concept would be revised and re-revised many times over. At one point, a television with objects and people from the show scrolling by (for instance, for Get Smart a shoe phone, gun, and Max and 99) would appear on the screen while the announcer describes the program title and time; the time that the show was scheduled to air would be popped up in another box. Some shows were preceded by a bumper showing the following episode's number and title. Nick at Nite's original continuity announcer was Nickelodeon announcer Wendell Craig; Bill St. James alternated with Wendell before replacing him as the channel's primary continuity announcer in 1992 and serving in that capacity until 2007 (except for a short period from March 2001 until September 2002, in which he was replaced with a different Soul Train-esque announcer). Bill has also served as an announcer for the premium channels Showtime, The Movie Channel (both former Viacom sister channels to Nick at Nite), and HBO, among other television clients, as well as serving as the host of the radio shows Flashback and Time Warp (which focus on classic rock and oldies music).
A few of Nick at Nite's promos in the early 1990s involved Dixie the TV Land Pixie promoting Nick at Nite "Brand Reruns". During this time, the network would also play an interstitial series called "Milkman," about a milkman who would distribute good advice to customers on his milk delivery route. By 1995, Nick at Nite introduced a new mascot named "Phil". Phil was seen doing several stunts, such as dressing up as a crab during Block Party Summer bumpers. In an ID usually seen when Nick at Nite signed on, Phil was seen working as technician to "try to get Nick at Nite up and running." In December 1996, Nick at Nite introduced twelve network IDs directed by Mo Willems which introduced the block's CGI mascot "Logobelly". Logobelly was seen doing various activities and appeared on colorful backgrounds on TV sets interacting with past TV stars watching television sets. Curious Pictures created six more IDs for Nick at Nite featuring "Logobelly" in April 1998 with Toonz and 3D Studio Max software.
Nick at Nite received a rebrand in January 1999 (which was used until March 2001) produced by Scott Stowell and Chip Wass (who previously designed a set of CGI IDs for the network in 1996). The rebrand prominently used the color yellow and shades of blue (which became darker overnight). Nick at Nite's IDs at the time typically featured a moving illustration by Chip Wass and either a female voiceover singing a jingle about the network which ended with "Nick at Nite, the place for TV hits" or narration by Bill St. James for overnight IDs.
In March 2001, in an effort to cash-in on the reality-TV boom, Nick at Nite underwent an extensive rebrand with the new theme of "Unreality", with IDs and bumpers featuring clips from actual events then going to clips from TV shows inspiring the events and then ending with the Nick at Nite logo and slogan "100% Sitcoms, 100% Unreality". One bumper used during this era had the slogan "All Sitcoms, All Night Long".
Nick at Nite is ranked number one with Adults 18-49 for 2009 in total day, according to Nielsen Media Research (12/31/07-12/14/08) -- averaging a .6/655,000 A18-49 (up +20% in rating over last year), and marking its most-watched year in four years with A18-49.
According to MarketWatch, Nick at Nite is the top cable network with Adults 18–49. In total day, average ratings are about 1.5 million viewers. It is also the #1 cable network among women aged 18–49 averaging a 0.7 rating/415,000 total viewers.
On April 29, 1996, Viacom spun off a separate network from Nick at Nite, TV Land (originally branded as "Nick at Nite's TV Land" until 1999), which features a variety of rerun programming; the channel is usually carried on the basic tiers of cable, IPTV and satellite providers. On December 17, 2006, TV Land ceased operating under the control of Nick at Nite as Nickelodeon began overseeing that service under the MTV Networks Kids & Family Group, though TV Land continued to be operated as part of Viacom's MTV Networks (now Viacom Media Networks) division. During its early years, the channel ran classic television series from the early 1950s to the 1970s. In 2004, TV Land began to incorporate sitcoms from the 1980s and 1990s; reality shows and weekly movie presentations were added as the decade progressed. However, much of TV Land's programming continues to include series from the 1960s and 1970s. While in 2017 its original programming efforts were made up of multi-camera sitcoms such as Younger and Teachers targeted towards a female Generation X audience, in late 2018, the former moved to Paramount Network and the latter was canceled. That decision was eventually reversed; cast members of Younger announced in April 2019 that Younger would remain at TV Land and Season 6 would premiere in June 2019.
Nick at Nite Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.