The Rugrats Timeline -- 2000

January: The Simpsons are memorialised on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in commemoration of their 10th anniversary as a series.
January 1: All versions of Nick worldwide, plus Noggin, will pre-empt all their programming to present Nickmillenium, an all-day, commercial-free special that will feature kids' opinions on the future. The special's length may vary from region-to-region. Nickmillenium will make its world debut in Australia, where it'll begin as the year 2000 is rung in at 12 Midnight Sydney time (time there equivalent to 12/31/1999 at 9AM ET in the US), and run for 24 hours straight. It will also run for 24 hours in the US, starting at 12 Midnight ET. In Britain, due to the usual schedule restrictions, it'll be seen from 7AM GMT to 7PM GMT (2AM ET to 2PM ET). The extra-long special is produced by filmakers Linda Schaffer, Lisa Bloch & Katherine Dore, and will feature opinions from over 750 kids (about a kid every 2 minutes), all shot on location worldwide. To quote Dore (from the 12/1999 Nickelodeon Magazine): "If the Y2K Bug causes problems, this film isn't going to be on!" Evidentally, the Y2K bug caused only a few minor problems, and with world civilisation remaining in full operation, the special aired as scheduled.

Even Nick.Com's regular website was pre-empted with a special Nickmillenium website. All other Nick sites were open as usual, though the Australian & British sites also included special Nickmillenium pages.

(Left: Nickmillenium logo, from Nick.Com; ©1999 Viacom. Golden Arches ® McDonald's Corporation.)

January 2: Comedy Central picks up reruns of Duckman; it's seen Sunday nights at 11:30PM ET, during Comedy Central's Sunday late-night animation block. In addition to having the episodes and intro cut to make room for more commercials (even though the show originally aired on another commercial-happy cable network, USA), Duckman's addition to Comedy Central's schedule was done at another popular show's expense -- Dr. Katz was cancelled to make room for Duckman, making Dr. Katz fans angry.

January 3: In the 1/8/2000 issue of TV Guide, the "Cheers & Jeers" column reported that Nick is working on a new animated Peanuts series. Until the summer, Nick has aired reruns of CBS specials and The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show under the You're On Nickelodeon, Charlie Brown banner. Ironically, 1/3/2000 (which is the date this issue of TVG went on sale) was also the date that the final daily Peanuts strip was released in the US & Canada; Charles Schulz retired due to his bout with colon cancer.

January 16: A 90-minute, edited version of Nickmillenium airs on Nick US. Since then, Nickmillenium occasionally airs at 6AM ET in 30-minute portions, for Nick's Cable In The Classroom program.

January 17: According to the Associated Press, film producer Steven Fisher has sued Nickelodeon for stealing his ideas for the characters used in their hit show Blue's Clues. According to the lawsuit, Steve & Blue were both based on Steve & Bluey, a comic strip that was published in a Baltimore newspaper in 1989; in 1993, he submitted the characters to Viacom for a prospective TV project. Viacom kept his idea "on file" (in limbo, most likely to be rejected). In 1996, Nick used the "on file" idea for the new Blue's Clues series, though without any notification, credit or compensation to Fisher; around that time, one of Fisher's relatives pointed out the similarities between the show and his strip, eventually leading to this lawsuit.

January 22:  Double Dare 2000, a new version of the classic Nick game show (see 1986), premiered as a preview at 9:30PM ET before settling down in its 5PM ET weekday timeslot 2 days later, on 1/24/2000. Jason Harris was the host. This revival only lasted one season, however, and was off the air by Fall 2000.

February 7: The popularity of Mary Tyler Moore on Nick-At-Nite paid off -- ABC aired a TV movie, Mary & Rhoda, where Mary Tyler Moore & Valerie Harper reunited in an update to this timeless classic.

February 11: Nick's fourth movie, Snow Day, released at theaters. Loosely based on a Pete & Pete episode and filmed in the Edmonton, AB area, it stars Chevy Chase & Chris Elliott.
February 12: Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, died in his sleep of a heart attack, the night before his final Sunday strip was published in American papers, and the night after a CBS News documentary about Peanuts was televised. The strip, and its accompanied TV specials and movies, influenced many other comic strips and animated series, including Garfield, Mutts, Dilbert, Simpsons, Hey Arnold & Rugrats. "Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy... how can I ever forget them..."

(Left: a hidden tribute to the Peanuts gang, from "Tackle This Scene" in the November 2000 issue of  Nickelodeon Magazine; ©2000 Viacom.)

February 13: Nick begins repeats of the previous night's Snick block on Sunday afternoons at 4PM ET.

February 16: It was revealed in a Viacom press release that Chazz will marry a single mother in Rugrats In Paris. Also in that film, Grandpa will also marry again, this time, to a woman named Lulu.

February 28 to March 3: In the first CBS / Nickelodeon crossover since the CBS / Viacom merger, CBS's The Early Show featured reports and interviews on shows featured on TV Land.

March 3: Nick begins showing re-typed credits on the left side of the screen, while showing promos on the right side; this is a same technique used on the broadcast networks and some cable channels. This MAY also be a consequence of the CBS / Viacom mergers.

March 5: Rugrats won the award for Best Children's Program in the second annual TV Guide Awards.

March 9: YTV debuts Caitlin's Way, a live action series about a tough, orphaned girl from a city resembling Calgary who moves to High River, Alberta, as an alternative to spending time at juvenile hall. What was especially unique about this series is that when this series debuted on Nick 2 days later (March 11), this Canadian series was Americanised -- Calgary became Philadelphia, and High River moved to nearby Montana. However, in actuality, this was an American series produced in Canada -- it was produced for Nick, using the Philly and Montana place-names in the original version, but in the YTV series, the US names were electronically-changed to Canadian locales, though the little American items, such as license plates for Montana, remain. Finally, for some reason, the show is known under the title "Just A Kid" (one of the show's pre-debut working titles) in Australia.

March 12: The Rugrats Movie makes its Canadian premium TV debut on TMN (available from Ontario eastward only).

March 12: The Rugrats make their first HDTV appearance when The Rugrats Movie is broadacast in HDTV on Showtime's HDTV service.

April: Nick, Nick-At-Nite & TV Land begin to have access to Warner Bros.' library of TV shows in the past 40 years; deal also includes exclusive rights to various series, including Perfect Strangers, Chico and the Man, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, My Favorite Martian, China Beach, Maverick, The Adventures of Superman (previously seen on Nick-At-Nite in the early-1990s), 77 Sunset Strip and Falcon Crest. As you know, Warner helped established Nickelodeon in 1979; also, its parent, Time Warner, owns the Nick group's competition -- TBS, TNT, the WB and Cartoon Network.

April: Santo Bugito returns to the US & Canada -- in home video form; Klasky-Csupo and Image will be releasing the entire series on 3 VHS tapes and DVDs. For details, click here.

April 15: The 2000 Kids' Choice Awards was broadcast; as usual, Rugrats win "Favorite Cartoon", to the chagrin of Pokemon fans.

April 20: Chuckie's new sister Kimi, and her mother, Kira, are both identified in a video game press release.

April 25: The Rugrats Movie makes its French Canadian premium TV debut on Super Ecran.

May 5: Nickelodeon, once again, fails at retailling: Red Rocket, Nick's internet toy store, closes after about a year online. However, in mid-June, Toys R Us has bought out Red Rocket's inventory and, in an alliance with Nick, announced that they'll be opening a special Nick section on Toys R Us's website this fall.

May 6: Discover America made its US TV debut on a closed-circuit feed to Wal-Mart stores nationwide; it's the first English Rugrats episode to not have its American debut on Nick. The video its on has 2 different names, depending on where you got the video; in the US, it's on the Rugrats Discover America video, while in Canada, it's on the Babies On Board video. The contents and, for the most part, jackets of both videos, are the same, including a mini-documentary of the Rugrats In Paris film.

May 26: The Rugrats Movie is scheduled for video release in Japan -- as with the theatrical release there, it'll be over a year after the US release, and, most likely, the most latest release date so far.

May 29: The Bob Newhart Show comes to TV Land.

May 30: The first Rugrats In Paris print ad appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

June 1: The Rugrats Movie makes its Western Canada premium TV debut on Super Channel (available from Manitoba westward only).

June 4-9: Nick-At-Nite presents 6 "3-Hour Tours" of Angelica's favorite sitcom, Gilligan's Island (CBS, 1964-67). Unlike most other series, however, Nick's deal to carry Gilligan is not exclusive, as TBS continues to show that series on weekday mornings.

June 9: Rugrats Magic Adventure!, the Rugrats' second stage show, begin their exclusive engagement at Universal Studios Hollywood.

June 22: Nick.Com held a chat with Mark Valenti, one of the writers for the Rugrats TV series. In that chat, he mentioned that one of the younger Rugrats will actually be able to talk to grownups in the Rugrats In Paris movie.

June 26: The Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania released a list of TV shows most encouraged and most discouraged by parents. On the "Most Encouraged" list, Rugrats was ranked # 9 (Sesame Street was #1), while on the "Most Discouraged" list, The Simpsons was # 1.

July: A second Rugrats crossover, featuring the cast of Rocket Power, was published in V.3 #10 of Rugrats Comic Adventures.

July 1: Share And Share A Spike was the last regular episode of Rugrats seen on Snick; after this date, a Summer schedule was instituted, with 90-minute telefilms, followed by a concert by a top artist. When the regular Snick schedule resumed October 7, it consisted of The Amanda Show, Noah Knows Best, Caitlin's Way and, effective October 14, All That, but no Rugrats.

July 3: The second annual Nicktoon marathon promotion, Nicktoon Summer Splash, will be seen weekdays, probably until September 1. Hosted by SpongeBob SquarePants and his sidekick, Patrick Starfish, each Nicktoon is featured on its own 3-hour marathon -- Rugrats on Mondays, Rocket Power Tuesdays, Thornberrys Wednesdays, Arnold Thursdays & Rocko Fridays (replaced by CatDog starting 7/14). On July 10, the British version of Nick had a exactly the same promotion, with one Rocko marathon on 7/14 and CatDog 7/21 onward (though the episode selection may differ for all Nicktoons represented). And December 2000 to March 2001, the Australian version followed suit with the same schedule, but no Rocko at all (keep in mind that the seasons are 6 months behind in the Southern Hemisphere).

In 2002, Nicktoon Summer Splash was replaced in US and Britain with Nicktoons Summer Beach House, but in Australia, Nicktoon Summer Splash was presented for a third time in Summer 2002-03.

July 3: After about a 2 years' absence from Nick US, Ren & Stimpy returns for a summer run, weekdays at 5PM.

(Right:Banner for the return of Ren & Stimpy, from Nick.Com; ©2000 Viacom.)

July 8: Nick's second telefilm, featuring Cousin Skeeter, slated to air on Nick. This will be followed the following week (7/15) with Kenan & Kel's telefilm, "Two Heads Are Better Than None". These 2 telefilms were repeated ad nauseum on Snick through the end of September.

July 21: Nick's Rugrats In Paris website officially goes online. It's been online with a trailer since Christmas 1999, off briefly in the Spring, and on at other addresses since late June, but this date is when the site really got going.

July 23: The Brothers Garcia, a sitcom featuring an all-Latino cast and creative team, debuts at 8:30PM ET on Nick. This show, kind of a Latin-American Wonder Years, is narrated by John Leguizamo, of "Summer of Sam" fame.

July 26: UPN announced that effective this winter, they will be come The Paramount Network; this is due to United Broadcasting (the "U" in UPN) selling its half of the network to Viacom. Of course, the change will hinge on whether or not UPN will exist -- their future is really in doubt, now that Fox has purchased United Broadcasting in August. This name change, however, is in doubt -- in December 2000, Fox announced that they will buy half of UPN and keep it on most of the stations it acquired when it bought United Broadcasting (such a deal did not take place, though Fox promised to keep UPN on most of their new stations). Because of this, it's very likely that the UPN moniker will remain.

July 27 (app.): According to, the newest Nicktoons to come to Nick will also be the oldest Nicktoons -- in the works are the revival of the popular Terrytoons characters, including Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle and Deputy Dawg; airdate to be announced later. As with Warner Bros' Looney Tunes and Disney's Silly Symphonies, Terrytoons (produced by Paul Terry and originally released theatrically by 20th Century Fox) have been a popular attraction at movie theaters, and later, became a mainstay for children's TV on CBS in the 1950s and 1960s. The 1999 CBS-Viacom mergers have nothing to do with this, as Viacom acquired Terrytoons from CBS in 1971, shortly after Viacom's spin-off from CBS.

July 28: Baby Blues, an animated series based on a nationally-syndicated comic strip about parenting, debuts on the WB network; the series will feature E.G. Daily as one of the babies, Zoe. Kath Soucie also stars as the MacPhersons' neighbor's children, Rodney, Shelby and Megan Bitterman. The series left the air at the end of summer and was never seen again but was not officially cancelled by the WB until September 2001; 19 episodes went unseen on the WB, and remained so until Cartoon Network picked up the series in 2002.

July 30: Nick-At-Nite salutes their 15th anniversary, and creators Norman Lear, Garry Marshall, Carl Reiner, Sherwood Schwartz and James L. Brooks, in a special 5-hour marathon of Nick-At-Nite shows created by them.
August 14: Dora The Explorer, a new Nick Jr. series about a 7 year old Hispanic girl who lives in a computer, premiered; it's also seen Saturday mornings on CBS (see September 16).

(Left: Dora The Explorer, from Mundonick.Com; ©2000 Viacom.)

August 25: Rugrats makes a one-time appearance on Nick-At-Nite as part of the Block Party Summer; this time, they had a 3-hour marathon during "Party Crasher Fridays", where a different TV series has a 3-hour marathon each week.

August 26: Rugrats did not win an Emmy for "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 2000 nighttime "Creative Arts" Emmy Award presentation.

August 29: The Spanish & French language versions of  Vacation and The Santa Experience are released on video in the US & Canada; they're the first versions of a Rugrats TV episode to be released on video in Spanish & French in the US & Canada.

September 4: Nick gets a makeover with a new schedule; also, their famous orange & white logo is now expressed in colors other than orange & white (though we never seen them). Also, the creative bumpers that start and end each commercial brak was replaced with merely quick, still images of the program being shown, accompanied with sound effects. Even the old, reliable, "We'll be right back..." and "And now, back to... on Nickelodeon" announcements were replaced with ridiculous, dumb-downed versions, such as:

"The Thornberrys are back, tell your dog!"
For Rugrats: "We'll be right back... (cut to Dil's butt) after diapie time."
"Rugrats are back, eat some baby food!"
"Where's Arnold? He's back on!"
"DogCat's back! - mean CatDog..?"
For ChalkZone: "Chalk it up! We're back!"
"I wish the Fairly OddParents were back." ("ding" sound effect)

This makeover lasted on Nick US for 2 years, replaced with a whole new set of smarter, more animated bumpers (with the return of the old, reliable announcements) on 10/12/2002.

September 4: Not all WB toons are limited to the Cartoon Network -- repeats of Pinky & The Brain will be seen weekdays at 6PM ET on Nick. Unfortunately, Nick has written their name all over the show's intro -- litterally.

September 4: Repeats of The Facts Of Life (NBC, 1979-88) joins Nick-at-Nite's line-up; it'll appear Mondays to Thursdays at 8:30PM ET, when Nick-At-Nite returns to its 8:30PM ET start-up. It'll be launched with a reunion marathon, 9/4 to 9/7, 8:30PM ET to 12:30AM ET.

September 11: The Dick Van Dyke Show, featuring Nick-At-Nite's former "Chairman Of The Board", will move to TV Land.

September 15: Nick expands to 10PM ET on Fridays, in response to ABC discontinuing their TGIF block. The expanded block was first used for U-Picks, though it was seen from 8PM ET to 10PM ET, and featured Nick GAS's Dave Aizer and Vivianne Collins as live, human hosts. By the end of the year, it was replaced with the usual Nick series, and by the end of March, it was used for Rugrats, The Fairly Oddparents, Invader Zim and Rocket Power.

September 16: CBS will begin airing a Saturday morning Nickelodeon block, made possible by the CBS-Viacom merger. Shows for the new CBS block will be from the Nick Jr. library, and will feature Franklin, Blue's Clues, Little Bill (Bill Cosby returns to CBS after the cancellation of Cosby and Kid's Say The Darndest Things), Little Bear, Kipper, and Dora the Explorer. As usual, all of these shows meet federal "E-I" requirements. CBS is hoping that Nick Jr. will help pull CBS from the Saturday morning ratings cellar, which started in 1997 with dumping cartoons in favor of live-action, then in 1998 with replacing live-action with cartoons from Nelvana in Canada. Because of this CBS-Nick partnership, Nelvana has signed a long-term contract with PBS, to provide shows for that network (it should be known that Nelvana produces Franklin and Little Bear). Also, as usual, The Early Show will be right in the middle of the block on most stations.

September 19: Herb Scannell becomes president of TNN, in addition to his current presidency with Nick; he replaces David Hall, who resigned from the channel. This marks the start of TNN's overhaul, which include moving it to Viacom's MTV Networks subsidiary and renaming the channel as The National Network, overhauling the schedule to feature more general programming (similar to TBS, USA and WGN) and moving the channel's headquarters from Opryland in Nashville to the Viacom Building in New York City.

October 2: Charlie's Angels makes their TV Land debut.
October 2: Pelswick, a new Nicktoon about a wheelchair-bound boy who's either 11-years old (CBC) or 13-years old (Nick), debuts in Canada on CBC Television; it's created by Portland, Oregon native John Callahan, a popular nationally-syndicated humorist & cartoonist, who himself is relegated to a wheelchair. David Arquette, of Scream fame, is one of the voices. Nick premiered this newest Nicktoon on October 24; produced by Nelvana, it's the first Canadian Nicktoon to air since Doug (which was produced in France and Canada); as well as the second Nelvana / Nick / CBC co-production (Little Bear was the first).

(Left: Pelswick and friends, from the October 2000 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. ©2000 Nelvana.)

October 3: Blues Clues' first motion picture, Blue's Big Musical Movie, is released as a direct-to-video movie.

October 16: Three's Company scheduled to premiere on Nick-At-Nite, starting with a weeklong marathon.
October 25: As Told By Ginger, Klasky-Csupo's fifth Nicktoon, debuts; basically an animated 90210, it's about a girl who strives to be popular, her geeky friends who idolise her, a rich girl who likes her fashion sense, another rich girl who hates her, and Ginger's creepy brother.
(Left: Ginger; from Nick UK. ©2000 Viacom.)

November 5: Rugrats In Paris had its world premiere at the Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

November 7: The Rugrats In Paris soundtrack is released in stores in the US & Canada.

November 7-9: Acorn Nuts And Diapey Butts, the longest episode of Rugrats at 90 minutes with commercials and 66 minutes without, premiered on Nick in 3 parts. This episode also introduces Grandpa's future wife, Lulu.

November 17: Rugrats In Paris -- The Movie was released in the US & Canada; it opened at # 2, beaten by Jim Carrey & Ron Howard's The Grinch.

November 25: Barney Miller make its TV Land debut, starting with a 48-hour marathon.

November 30: Hackers "hijacked" a live Nickelodeon web chat with the characters of Rugrats In Paris, with the hackers having the Rugrats say rude and obscene things, to the chagrin of the show's young fans and their parents.

December: In France, Canal J establishes TiJi, a channel for preschoolers that includes some Nick Jr. programs. It was the first channel of its kind in France.

December 20: Steve Burns announces that he will quit Blue's Clues. On this date, he taped his final episode, which won't see air until 2002.

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