The Rugrats Timeline -- 1999

January: Earnings for The Rugrats Movie hit US$90 million, surpassing Antz as the most-successful non-Disney animated feature.

January 4: More new episodes of Rugrats, featuring the first regular TV appearance of Dil, first airs in Canada on YTV. These new episodes appeared weekdays through January 20.

January 18: New Rugrats episodes make its US debut on Nick, starting with Chuckie's Duckling & A Dog's Life, where Dil make's his first TV series apperance.  This was the most-watched episode in Rugrats history, for kids 2 to 11.

Prior to this, Nick presented a 6-hour Rugrats marathon; it was originally scheduled for 8, but was shortened to 6, as some kids were in school on this day, which was Martin Luther King Jr. day, a federal holiday.

January 19: Ghost Story, the first crossover between Rugrats and another K-C Nicktoon, Real Monsters, was first seen in Canada on YTV. Americans didn't get to see this episode on Nick until March 27.

January 31: The Viacom Store and all Nickelodeon stores closes down.

February: Grolier and Nick launches a Nickelodeon Book Club, with emphasis on Rugrats.

February: What's Inside Heidi's Head?, a series of live-action shorts created and produced by Nancye Ferguson and Mark Mothersbaugh, in association with Klasky-Csupo, goes on the air on Nick and Noggin; this is K-C's first live-action series.

February 1: Rugrats lost to Sesame Street in the award for Best Children's Program in the first annual TV Guide Awards.

February 2: Noggin, a joint-venture of Nick and the Children's Television Workshop, goes on the air. In addition to providing repeats of shows such as Blue's Clues, Electric Company and Sesame Street, it has become the 4th place on the dial to watch Doug (in addition to Nick, ABC and in syndication).

February 12 & 26: The international Rugrats Movie website goes online. The English version was launched February 12, and versions in Spanish, French, German & Portuguese were launched on February 26.

March: 3 more Nick channels, Nickelodeon GAS (games & sports), Nick Too (Nick, 3 hours later in the east; 3 hours earlier in the west) and TV Land Too (TV Land, 3 hours later in the east; 3 hours earlier in the west) scheduled to go on the air.

March: The first foreign-language version of Rugrats Comic Adventures is published in Spanish in Mexico.

March 1: Nickelodeon expands into Spain & Indonesia.

March 8: Nick cancels Real Monsters; at this time, it was seen weekdays at 6:30AM ET.. The Spanish version, however, continued at that time on most Telemundo stations. Its English cancellation was short-lived, however, as repeats resumed on weekends, beginning 7/17/1999.

March 11: The Rugrats Live tour make its first stop outside the US, in Mexico City.

March 11: The Rugrats Movie begins international release in Singapore.
March 20: The Rugrats Movie broke the US$100 million dollar mark in US / Canada, making it the highest-grossing non-Disney animated picture.

(Left: From the 3/29/1999 issue of Variety, when The Rugrats Movie broke the US$100 million mark in the US & Canada. To see the larger version of this ad, click here. (©1999 Viacom.))

March 20: The Latin American Nick presented their first "Bebetón", which was the longest marathon on any version of Nick -- every Rugrats episode back-to-back for 2 straight days, from Tommy's First Birthday to The Family Tree. Its Brasilian counterpart followed suit with a similar marathon on June 5 & 6. Two years later, they topped themselves with another "Bebetón" (see 3/31/2001).

March 26: Disney's Doug's First Movie released in theaters.

March 27: Nicktoons TV ends its run, as it switches to whole episodes of Nicktoons on Saturday mornings.

March 30: The Rugrats Movie released on video in English & French in US & Canada.

April 18: Movies return to Nick with Nick Flicks, their weekly children's movie program; unfortunately, most of these movies were heavily edited, and some of these aren't movies at all, but rather TV specials or shows edited into a movie. Nick Flicks lasted until 2/13/2000, when it was replaced with a repeat of the previous night's Snick. (also see 1977 & May 17)

April 30: Fluffy vs. Spike and Reptar's Revenge was televised for the last time on Rugrats on Nick US. This was the only Rugrats episode to almost be permanently removed from rotation on Nick US. This episode continued to air everywhere else worldwide, including Telemundo in the US. On 11/10/2000, Fluffy vs. Spike was seen again, while on 1/12/2001, it was seen in its entirety.

April 20: Cree Summer's debut solo album, Street Faërie, was released.

(Left: Cover of Cree Summer's album, Street Faërie. from this unofficial Cree Summer site; ©1999 Sony Music.)

May 1: Rugrats became the first Nicktoon to win 2 categories -- "Favorite Cartoon" & "Favorite Movie" in the 12th Kids' Choice Awards.
May 1: The 13th Nicktoon, SpongeBob SquarePants, was previewed following the Kids' Choice Awards; its regular run began Saturday, July 17.

(Left: SpongeBob SquarePants; from Nick.Com. ©1999 Viacom.)

May 12: E.G. Daily's 3rd album, Tearing Down The Walls, is released.

(Cover of Tearing Down The Walls from Amazon.Com; ©1999 E.G. Daily Productions & Sumthing Distribution.)

May 17 (week of): Nick announced new progamming for Nick-At-Nite & TV Land, which includes reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, The Honeymooners & Three's Company; most of these originally seen on superstations TBS and/or WGN. Also, Nick announced that they are getting into the TV movie business, with movie-length episodes of Allen Strange, Animorphs, Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Kenan & Kel and Hey Arnold (in addition to a theatrical release), plus, Caitlin's Way (previously known as Stray Dog, then Just A Kid), a new, live-action series.

May 29: The Rugrats Movie makes its Pay-Per-View debut in the US & Canada.

Summer: YTV launches their own magazine, Whoa!.

June: Csupo's restaurant, Lumpy Gravy, goes out of business.
June: Nick celebrates its 20th birthday all month long with special programming & prizes; the celebration concludes Saturday June 26 & 27 with a Best Of Nickelodeon marathon and a 2-hour live birthday party during Snick. Fans of Nick's Golden Age were disappointed, when almost all of the classic, pre-1990 shows (including Pinwheel, the show that started it all for Nick) didn't appear. For the record, Nick's birthday is in April (see April 1979 & 1981).

(Left: From Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

June 7-11: Dil Pickles becomes an All-Star TV Family member, along with Marcia Brady (Maureen McCormick, The Brady Bunch), Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont, Leave It To Beaver), Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton, All In The Family) and Wayne Arnold (Jason Hervey, The Wonder Years), in a week-long marathon of these shows on Nick-At-Nite.

(Left: Photo from Nick-At-Nite's website; ©1999 Viacom. Marcia Brady & Dil Pickles © Viacom; Ward Cleaver © Studios USA; Edith Bunker © Columbia -Tri Star Tevevision; Wayne Arnold © New World Television / Warner Bros., Inc.)

June 8: The Rugrats Movie was released on video in Spanish in US & Canada.

June 16: The Rugrats Movie did not win the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for the "Family Favorite" category.

June 21-27: The cable industry held its third annual Tune In The Kids And Family week; the week kicked off with a multi-channel simulcast special, Just Think, hosted by James Brown (NFL on Fox & The World's Funniest), which explored race and cultural relations, discussed with Brown by various families. This was also the final year for this annual promotion.

(Left: Logo for Tune In To Kids And Family 3; ©1999 National Cable Television Association.)

July: Klasky-Csupo moves to its new location on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

July 5: Nickelodeon Summer Toons, daily 3-hour marathons of 5 Nicktoon series, debuts for the Summer season, hosted by Henry & June of Kablam!. Each Nicktoon is featured on its own day -- Rugrats on Mondays, Arnold Tuesdays, Thornberrys Wednesdays, Beavers Thursdays & Doug Fridays. Summer Toons replaces Nick In The Afternoon, and shows Nicktoons in their original 30-minute form. These marathons ran until September 3.

July 5: WKRP in Cincinnati (CBS, 1978-82) makes its Nick-At-Nite debut, but many fans didn't like it, due to the generic music replacing most hit tunes, badly-written replacement lines and the sloppiness of inserting those into the show; the producer and syndicator, MTM Enterprises, either were unwilling or unable to pay royalties for the music & lyrics, depending on situation. In one episode, "The Americanisation of Ivan", Ivan, a Russian, has a crush on Bailey Quarters, one of WKRP's staffers. In the original version, he quotes a line from Elton John's Tiny Dancer: "Hold me closer, tiny dancer", but in the late-1990s repeat, it became "Hold my order, terrible dresser", which may lead viewers to think that Ivan doesn't like Bailey, for the way she dresses and her obviously-incorrect careers as either a store clerk or a waitress. By the way, most US TV stations and the Canadian Comedy Network also show the doctored episodes with one difference -- they're shown almost uncut, not edited for commercial time. Fox, the current owners of MTM, announced in May 2000 that they are working to get back the rights to the original music, so that WKRP would be shown as it originally was. The switch to generic music was necessary, as MTM, under the ownership of International Family Entertainment (later absorbed by Fox), was experiencing some financial troulbles at the time, and did not have enough money to keep the original music.

July 12: Televisa's Canal 5 in Mexico launches a 2-hour weeknight Nickelodeon block; Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Real Monsters & Rocko are the first shows. This block supplements the Nick cable channel, already available in Mexico; this is the world's first Nick block-and-channel combination for a single country.

July 17: Nick cancels the cancellation of Real Monsters, when repeats began airing regularly on weekends.

July 30: The Rugrats Movie video is scheduled for its first international release (outside US & Canada) in Mexico.

July 30: The Rugrats backlash hits the web -- the world's first anti-Rugrats website goes online by a CatDog fan. The backlash was short-lived, however -- the anti-Rugrats site closed down a few months later.

August 3: Runaway Reptar, the longest Rugrats episode at the time at 44 minutes (without commercials), is released directly on video.
August 16: Rocket Power, the 14th Nicktoon and Klasky-Csupo's 4th Nicktoon, goes on the air.

(Left: The Rocket Power cast; From Nick.Com; © Viacom.)

August 16: Hey Arnold is now seen each weeknight, with a mixture of reruns and new episodes; it takes Doug's 7PM ET timeslot; until now, Doug was seen at 7PM ET weeknights since Fall 1994.

August 21: Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine, both regulars on the ABC sitcom McHale's Navy (1962-66), reunited as guest voices on an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants; it's the first time they performed together since McHale's cancellation in 1966.

August 28: At the technical Emmys presentation, Rugrats did not win in the "Outstanding Children's Program" category.

September: After about 5 years on the web (the last 2 years without any updates), Billy D'Augustine's Rugrats site closes down for the last time.

September 1: Nick UK becomes the first version of Nick outside the US to have multiple Nick channels; these channels are Nick Jr. (same as the pre-schooler's block, but they have a channel all to themselves) and Nick Replay (the same Nick schedule, 1 hour later). The main Nick UK channel also increases its schedule to 10PM for Sky Digital viewers.

September 5: The Simpsons has entered the newspaper strip scene with a weekly Sunday Simpsons strip, produced by the staff of Bongo Comics, Matt Groening's comic book company that publishes a monthly Simpsons comic book. The strip is published at 3/4 page for broadsheet and whole-page for tabloids -- against modern-day size standards.

September 6: New episodes of Recess comes to UPN as part of Disney's One Too (originally announced as Disney's Whomptastic), a 2-hour weekday afternoon block that includes repeats of Disney's Doug & Hercules (later replaced by Pepper Ann), plus new episodes of the animated Sabrina, featuring Emily Hart as the title voice and her older sister, Melissa Joan Hart (who plays Sabrina on the live-action version) as Aunt Zelda and Aunt Hilda. Except for Hercules, all toons are still part of One Saturday Morning on ABC.

September 7: Viacom announced that they are buying CBS, Inc. for US$34.45 Billion in stock. The merged company will keep the Viacom name, while CBS and its units will retain the CBS name and the "eye" logo. Everything would remain the same, and in some cases, a Viacom unit would help out a CBS unit. However, some of Viacom's TV stations would have to be sold to comply with the FCC's ownership limits, and the future of UPN is in doubt, as Viacom would have to either sell part of its stake in the network, or merge it with CBS, also as per FCC regulations. The main thing is that CBS will be reunited with Viacom, which started out as CBS' syndication division (see 1970 & 1973).

September 7: Klasky-Csupo announced that the name for The Rugrats Movie sequel will be Rugrats In Paris -- The Movie.

September 11: After 11 years on Nick, Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon had its last broadcast, when Cartoon Network acquired the broadcast rights from Nick. Nick's last Looney Tunes were "The Cat's Bah", "Porky in Wackyland", "The Daffy Duckeroo", "To Beep or Not to Beep", "Tree For Two", and "Of Rice and Hen".
September 13: Nickelodeon presents "Smell-O-Vision" (9/13 to 9/17, and repeated 9/20 to 9/24), where Nickel-O-Zone viewers smell the aromas of their favorite shows by scratching special scratch-and-sniff cards found in selected Post Cereals and other Kraft products. This promotion was, more or less tried before twice: by the Cartoon Network, in early 1999, and in the 1981 theatrical release of John Waters'  film, Polyester. In addition, this promotion will also include elements of the Nogglevision promotion, first used in 1997.

(Left: Smell-O-Vision logo, from the September 1999 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine; © Viacom.)

September 22: Nickelodeon opens a New York branch of their animation operations -- Nickelodeon Animation Studio New York, at Viacom's headquarters. Most of the animated projects will not be Nicktoon-related, as it will be used for Nick's other shows, such as Blue's Clues and Little Bill. It's sole Nicktoon project at the moment is Garbage Boy, which will be a series of shorts for Kablam!

September 24: 101% Whizbang, hosted by Henry & June of Kablam!, premieres as a weekly Friday night feature on Nick, 7PM ET to 9PM ET. The episodes featured, all in their original 30-minute form, features either Nicktoons with a certain theme in common (with an occasional, live-action Nick show included), or a 2-hour marathon of a particular Nicktoon. The first 101% Whizbang was a SpongeBob SquarePants marathon. This block only lasted a couple of months before being replaced by U-Pick Fridays, where viewers vote for what Nicktoon they want to watch.

September 27: Nick-at-Nite devotes 4 weeks of prime-time through October to Norman Lear, with nightly episodes of Jeffersons, All In The Family, Sanford & Son and Maude.

October: Telemundo re-opens their website (they were originally online in 1995-96); their site includes details and descriptions for most of their shows, including Rugrats.

October 11: Angela Anaconda, a cut-out animation series from Pepper Ann creator Sue Rose, premieres as a series on Fox Family. Angela Anaconda was originally seen as a couple of shorts during the first season of Kablam! in 1996 on Nick; therefore, it's the first spinoff of a Nicktoon, even though it doesn't air on Nick.

October 16: A new Snick premieres, replacing the old Snick, with 2 new series -- The Amanda Show and 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, along with Rugrats and All That. Rugrats is part of the line-up (along with a 7:30PM show that precedes it), but only one 11-minute story is seen to make room for Snick House, which includes on-line voting, music videos and musical guests.

The Snick House closed their doors for good 6/30/2001.

(Left: Snick House logo, from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

October 25: Nick-At-Nite throws away its prime-time schedule for the rest of the year to present their Marathon To The Millenium, which will feature the best Nick-At-Nite marathons of the past 5 years, including marathons such as the "Chachi-nated vs. De-Chachi-nated" Happy Days marathon (11/22-26), the "Dueling Darrins" Bewitched marathon (12/13-17), and the All-Star Family marathon, but without Rugrats (12/27-30).

October 29: Following the success of the Rugrats Live tour, Blue's Clues hit the road with BLUE'S CLUES LIVE! -- The Most Spectacular Place, debuting on 10/29 at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford (Hartford-New Haven), CT -- the same place where the Rugrats Live show started.

November 7: In the history of the prestigious BAFTA Television Awards in Great Britain, Nick became the first cable channel -- American, British or foreign -- to have one of their original productions win a BAFTA Award. This award was presented to Nick for the British version of Nick News, in the "Best Children's Factual Programme" category.

November 16: The Rugrats Movie Score, a 2-CD album featuring the orchestrations from the film, plus other goodies, released in the US.

November 16: Nickelodeon was launched in India.

November 25: Nickelodeon launches its second balloon, featuring Blue's Clues, at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

November 27: YTV has shown all 6 episodes of Stressed Eric in a 3 hour marathon -- 3 episodes seen on NBC in 1998, and 3 episodes never seen in the US (see 8/12/1998).
November 28: Based on his books, Little Bill, Bill Cosby's 2nd animated series (after Fat Albert), went on the air Sunday nights at 8PM ET on Nick, and again Monday mornings at 9AM ET on Nick Jr (Monday mornings exclusively, after 3/5/2000). Voices will include Gregory Hines, Ruby Dee, Madeline Kahn (early episodes only, as she died of cancer on 12/3/1999) and Phylicia Rashad (who's Bill Cosby's co-star on The Cosby Show and Cosby). Bill Cosby won't provide any voices, though he'll be providing the jazzy soundtrack (though he did appear in promos for the show). At this point, in a rarity for any TV celebrity, Bill Cosby will be involved in 3 TV series at the same time: Little Bill, Cosby and Kids Say The Darndest Things. Also, this will be the third TV series that Cosby & Rashad regularly participated together, also a rarity.

As with The Cosby Show and Cosby, Little Bill will be produced in New York, at Nick's new animation studio (see 9/22/1999).

By the way, this isn't the first time Bill Cosby was involved with Nickelodeon; in the 1980s, Picturepages, a short activity program hosted by Cosby, was seen on Nick (prior to that, on Captain Kangaroo on CBS).

(Left: The Little Bill cast, from Animation World Network's site; ©1999 Bill Cosby / Viacom.)

December (approximate): The first issue of Nick Jr. Magazine was published. This bi-monthly will be in 2 parts -- a "Noodle" pullout for those aged 2 to 6, and the main section, with ideas and tips for parents.

December 3: The Rugrats Movie makes its US premium TV debut at 8PM ET on Showtime.

December 4: Nick's first made-for-TV movie, Allen Strange in "Alien Vacation", airs (Nickelodeon Magazine originally scheduled it on 9/25, then 10/9; as usual, they were wrong).

December 20: Nick & MTV go their separate ways -- on the web; MTV Networks' internet operations are split in 2 groups: one group for sites of MTV, VH1 and other sites related to music; another group for Nick, TV Land and other Nick-related sites.

December 20 (or possibly earlier): The Magic Baby / Dil We Meet Again is the first Rugrats episode to debut in the US not on Nick, but on Telemundo, a Spanish-language network; anglophones in the US would had to wait until May 4, 2001, before this episode was seen on Nick.

December 21: The Chicago Sun-Times pulled The Simpsons strip from its comic section and apologised to its readers, following a strip with featured Itchy & Scratchy, an animated cartoon duo that emphasizes gore and violence. While they rarely offended viewers of The Simpsons TV show or readers of the comic book, it did offend the editors of the Sun-Times. Following that episode, the Sun-Times pulled the strip, saying that the strip "has proven to be tasteless and excessively violent." By the way, Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp owns both the Sun-Times and the Fox network.

December 23: The Rugrats Movie is scheduled for theatrical release in Japan -- over a year after the US release, it's the most latest release date so far.
December 24: The logo for Rugrats In Paris was revealed at Nick.Com, along with the first trailer for the film.

(Left: Rugrats In Paris logo, from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom.)

December 31: Normally a Super Bowl Sunday tradition, TBS airs its final Andy Griffith Show marathon. The marathon starts at 6:15AM ET and ends precisely at Midnight ET, when TBS hands its Andy Griffith library to TV Land. Andy Griffith was a long-time staple for any superstation, including TBS & WGN. On 1/30/2000, Super Bowl Sunday, TBS viewers were left without The Andy Griffith Show, but still got their fill on Andy Griffith -- they presented a Matlock marathon.

December 31: ChalkZone, the first spinoff from Oh Yeah!, premiered; it's also the first Nicktoon spinoff to air on Nick. The series was previewed during Nick's New Year's Eve special; however, the series itself wasn't launched until over 2 years later, until 3/22/2002.

On to 2000 Back to 1990-1998 Back to Timeline Page Back to main Rugrats Page