Nickelodeon Background: In 1979 a fringe cable channel called Pinwheel changed its name to Nickelodeon and proceeded to spend the next thirty years becoming the #1 cable channel in the universe.
Ever since the beginning, one of Nickelodeon’s most notable aspects has been its split programming schedule.
Over the years Nickelodeon has gone from an importer of dubbed, foreign cartoons to one of the top producers of zeitgeisty programming, eventually spinning off a half-dozen other networks just to contain its vast library of properties.
Nickelodeon also turned ordinary children into known sketch comedy stars with All That, The Amanda Show and Kenan & Kel.
These days most of the Nickelodeon schedule is devoted to SpongeBob SquarePants, iCarly, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Victorious, FRED: The Show, and Big Time Rush, all of which rake in huge licensing and merchandise profits.
Most of Nickelodeon’s daytime schedule consists of reruns, but they’re mostly in-house.
Disney Background: In early 1983, Walt Disney Productions unveiled The Disney Channel, a premium cable channel which would serve as an outlet for its vast archive of family-friendly entertainment.
For about 15 years it aired commercial-free episodes of original series and movies, while making superstars of just about anyone who graced its sound stages.
It’s also super-profitable for the corporation as it regularly mines Disney-owned record labels for talent, creating a sort of lucrative echo-chamber of its own child stars.
Some of Disney Channel’s earliest productions include Welcome to Pooh Corner, Kids Incorporated, Good Morning Miss Bliss, and The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.
Later hits came to include Flash Forward, Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, Kim Possible, That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
More recent shows have included the High School Musical franchise of original movies, Wizards of Waverly Place, The Suite Life on Deck, Jonas L.A., Good Luck, Charlie, So Random! (formerly Sonny With a Chance), Phineas and Ferb, A.N.T. Farm, and Fish Hooks.
Disney Channel has specialized in making its network as insular as possible, even refusing to air traditional commercials during its breaks.
Fortunately, it has plenty of its own material to rerun, from recent episodes of its hit sitcoms to more classic Disney animation vault selections.
This one is genuinely tough! Comment below who makes the best cartoons: Nickelodeon or Disney Channel?.