Nicktoons, on Nickelodeon
Nickipedia; TV IV; TV Tropes

This was a Sunday morning block that debuted on August 11, 1991. That was about four years before I had access to cable, so I wasn't really aware of it at the time. The first three shows that made up the block were Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Show. I must have eventually seen a little bit of each of those shows, but I'm afraid I felt no particular interest in any of them. Meanwhile, I must say I have no idea how long Nicktoons lasted as a block. I think at some point (or points), there have been one or more blocks that incorporated "Nicktoons" into the title, airing at different times on different days. But during any of the times I have had access to Nickelodeon, I don't specifically recall being aware of any block by that name. Whether that's because it didn't exist anymore by the time I had access to the network, or because I simply wasn't interested, or because I have since forgotten, I don't know. But what I can say is that in the years since the block debuted, the word "Nicktoons" came to mean any original animated series produced by Nickelodeon, rather than acquired from other sources (much as Cartoon Network's original animated series were called Cartoon Cartoons). And Nickelodeon launched a sister network called Nicktoons TV in 2002, which aired mostly old... Nicktoons. So the word can refer to at least two different (but related) things, both of which are now far more common, I think, than to hear Nicktoons mentioned as a specific block on Nickelodeon itself. Nor have I been able to find any website that can tell me how long the block lasted, or what other Nicktoons may have been part of the block. (The sites I've linked above list shows that are considered Nicktoons, but many of them probably never aired in a block by that name.)

In any event, given how little I know about it and how little interest I seem to even have in it, you might wonder why I even bothered to make a page for the block. After all, there are any number of other programming blocks I don't have pages for, whether because I never saw them, never heard of them, didn't have access to them, or wasn't interested in them. So I can't really claim to be making this page in the name of completism. Well, I'll tell you... in August 2016, I read an article in Entertainment Weekly about the 25th anniversary of the block. It made me realize just how important the cartoons in this block were, to revitalize the animation industry and give creators more control of content, more freedom to make the shows they wanted to make, for creative reasons rather than just profit motives. So even if I don't really care about those first three shows, there have undoubtedly been any number of subsequent animated series, on Nickelodeon and other networks, that might never have existed if not for the popularity of this block. And that would be... well, unthinkable. So I'm paying my respects to the block, out of gratitude for its influence on the medium that I love so much.

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