The Rugrats Timeline -- 1990 to 1995

After about 15 years with the "V", Viacom changes its logo in its ads and their shows. And during the next few years, through marketing and acquisitions, Viacom started to make their name more noticable.

(Left: The present-day Viacom logo, which was commonly used as an end logo during the 1990s, until Paramount took over their syndication unit in the late 1990s. From The Multimedia World Studio Logo Gallery; ©1990 Viacom.)

Nick becomes the # 1 network among kids aged 2 to 11.

Clarissa Explains It All, a show that magically turned Melissa Joan Hart into a star before becoming a witch, goes on the air.

You Can't Do That On Television ceases production for the last time after another short 5-episode season.

The very first issue of Nickelodeon Magazine (left) was published, with Chevy Chase (and you're not) on the cover. It had a $1.95 cover price, but it was distributed for free at participating Pizza Huts. Shortly afterwards, a second issue, with rappers Kid n' Play on the cover, was released; unfortunately, Nick's first attempt at a magazine ceased publication after that issue, though publication resumed 3 years later.

June 7: Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios Florida opens.

(Left: From ebay; ©1990 Viacom. Special thanks to Eric Hartman.)


The Simpsons became the last non-Nicktoon to win the "Favorite Cartoon" category in the Kids' Choice Awards.
August 11: Rugrats was among one of the first 3 Nicktoons to air on Nick, along with Doug and Ren & Stimpy. Doug was the very first Nicktoon to be seen on Nick on this day -- it debuted at 10AM ET, followed by Rugrats at 10:30AM ET, then Ren & Stimpy at 11AM ET. In the listings for the prime-time encore presentations later that evening, TV Guide scheduled Great White Thing, but Tommy's First Birthday was seen instead.

Fall: Les Razmoket, the French version of Rugrats, make their debut in France on the Canal+ pay channel. The show left the air sometime in the mid-1990s.

October 13: Rugrats temporarily filled in for Ren & Stimpy, when production problems delayed new episodes of that series. This was the first time on Nick that Rugrats was seen for a full hour. Here's how Nick introduced the extra Rugrats episode:

"Ren & Stimpy are MISSING. If you see them out on the street, begging for bologna or hanging around litter, please send them home. In the meantime, here's more Rugrats."

November 19: Nickelodeon places its first renewal order for additional episodes of all 3 Nicktoons -- 26 more each for Doug and Rugrats, and 20 more for Ren & Stimpy.

Left: One of the first ads for Rugrats, placed by Klasky-Csupo in an issue from Animation Magazine from 1991. Ad includes a reminder to watch the show "only with your kid's permission". (Ad from a Klasky-Csupo ad in the March 1999 issue of Animation Magazine; that issue was the magazine's 13th anniversary issue, and in K-C's ad, they presented their best ads from various issues of Animation Magazine. © 1991, 1999 Klasky-Csupo / Viacom.)


Klasky & Csupo divorced each other, though they remained business partners.

Grosset & Dunlap publishes first 2 Rugrats books, At The Movies & Monster In The Garage.

January 20: Gracie Films, the producers of The Simpsons, fires Klasky-Csupo, as K-C and its staff failed to see eye-to-eye on Gracie's demands, including changing the studio's operations to fit Gracie's needs. Of the 110 animators assigned to The Simpsons project at Klasky-Csupo, 75 were laid off. Many of those laid off eventually found work at Film Roman, which took over The Simpsons.

June 22 (?): Rugrats win their first Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Daytime Program.

August 15: Nick begins its Saturday night block, Snick. Snick programming at the time featured Clarissa, Roundhouse (a sketch program), Ren & Stimpy and Are You Afraid Of The Dark?.

September 29: Spumco, the creators & producers of Ren & Stimpy, were unceremoniously fired from Nick, due to creative differences; Games Animation was set up by Nick to continue production on Ren & Stimpy. After this, ratings for Ren & Stimpy plummeted, and soon ceased production after 80 episodes, with one episode never aired on Nick.

October 5: The first Rugrats marathon (probably) was presented on this date; it was part of Nick's Mega Toon Monday, which presented 5-hour marathons of various animated series seen on Nick, from 3PM ET to 8PM ET every Monday during the fall of 1992.

November 14: Doug became the first Nicktoon to win the "Favorite Cartoon" category in the 6th annual Kids' Choice Awards; since then, all winners in this category were Nicktoons. Also, the awards that year were introduced by Ren & Stimpy, who appeared "live" on stage.

December 6: Charlotte makes her first appearance on Rugrats, when The Santa Experience is first telecast.


January 10: Ren & Stimpy is picked up by MTV, where it ran intermittently for about 3 years. MTV carried some episodes that were either banned or edited by Nick. Ren & Stimpy is the first Nicktoon to be seen in the US on both Nick and another channel.

January 10: Susie and The Carmichaels made their first appearances on Rugrats, in the first telecast of Meet The Carmichaels.

May: Nickelodeon signed its first movie deal, with Twentieth Century Fox -- this deal would let Nick and Fox produce theatrical features during the next 2 years, and would include movies featuring Doug, Ren & Stimpy, and, of course, Rugrats. Unfortunately, the contract period ended before Fox could produce a single Nick movie. In the end, there was no Ren & Stimpy film, though Doug and Rugrats eventually made it to the big screen, through different studios.

Summer: Nickelodeon Magazine resumes publication; Ren & Stimpy was on the cover of the return issue.
(Left: The Summer 1993 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine, from ebay; ©1993 Viacom.)

July (?): Rugrats enter Great Britain on BBC2 -- it was seen on that channel every Sunday at 10:10AM.

August 31: The first Nicktoon videos were released in the US by Sony -- featuring Doug, Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy. Special Snick collection videos were also released. A total of 9 Nick videos were released on that date. Among these videos include the Rugrats' Tales From The Crib & A Baby's Gotta Do What A Baby's Gotta Do.

Fall: The fourth Nicktoon, Rocko's Modern Life, goes on the air.

Fall: CJOH pulls You Can't Do That On Television off of Nick and YTV, as it would be tedious to send royalty checks to over 200 cast members; by this time, it was seen only as reruns on weekends on Nick, while YTV continued showing it weekdays, along with the pre-Nick episodes.

September 1: Nickelodeon expands into Great Britain, its first expansion outside the US.
(To see the debut schedule for Nick UK, click here; to see a schedule for Nick UK from the week of 6/18/1994, click here.)

November 26-28: The first Nonstop Nicktoon Weekend, an annual Thanksgiving tradition on Nick, was presented. The first marathon featured the 4 Nicktoons in existance at the time (Rugrats, Doug, Ren & Stimpy and Rocko), and ran Friday through Sunday, 12 Noon ET to 8PM ET each day.

(Left: Logo for the 1997 edition of the Nonstop Nicktoon Weekend, from; ©1997 Viacom.)

Klasky-Csupo's Real Monsters, Nicktoon #5, debuts; this would be their 2nd Nicktoon.

(Left: The Real Monsters -- Krumm, Ickis & Oblina; From the Club Cooltoons Newsletter. ©2002 Viacom.)

Rugrats appear for the first time in Canada on YTV.

Shortly after Rugrats' production ended, Germain was fired from Klasky-Csupo.

Rugrats win their first Cable ACE award in Best Animated Program.

Billy D'Augustine's Rugrats site, probably the world's first website dedicated to the show, goes online for the first time. The site has long been closed, but you can still see it by clicking here. (Site "hosted" by The Internet Archive. Graphics not included.)

Nickelodeon created their public service initiative, The Big Help. Initially created to encourage volunteering in local communities, it expanded in 2001 by encouraging kids to talk with their friends and loved one on what's on their minds.

January 29: Rugrats enters Australia when daily telecasts began on ABC, a national public broadcaster in Australia. Telecasts on ABC were at 6PM Sydney time on its premiere date (a Saturday), then at 5:30PM weekdays. At the time, it would be another year before Nickelodeon enters Australia, but its first 3 Nicktoons were already seen Down Under -- while ABC carried Rugrats, Ten Network carried Ren & Stimpy Saturday mornings and Doug Sunday mornings.

February 4: The newsgroup opens. The first known articles posted to that newsgroup that day were about Pete & Pete and Rocko.

March: Viacom buys Paramount Communications, a large media company that included Paramount Pictures. Shortly afterward, the newly-enlarged Viacom sells their cable systems to TCI; Viacom had cable systems in Dayton OH, Nashville TN, Seattle, Salem OR and San Francisco, among others.

March 12: Duckman goes on the air on USA Network, Saturday nights at 10:30PM ET.

May: Rugrats goes out of production; daily reruns begin in early 1994 on Nick Jr, and Fall 1994 on Nick prime-time.

May 23: Rocko begins its brief run on MTV -- until SpongeBob came along 7 years later, it was the only other Nicktoon to be seen on MTV, besides Ren & Stimpy.

May 25: Rugrats win their second Emmy award for Outstanding Animated Daytime Program.

October & December: Nickelodeon first syndicates seasonal Halloween & Christmas Nicktoons (including Rugrats) to local US TV stations, plus occasional episodes of Ren & Stimpy and Rocko during 1995 & 1996; the first syndicated special was an hour of Ren & Stimpy, which was syndicated to stations Halloween weekend, followed by Christmas episodes of Doug, Rugrats, Rocko and Ren & Stimpy. Syndication was discontinued after the 1996 Christmas season.

Nickelodeon becomes America's #1 basic cable network, on a total day basis.

Monster's Night Out and Meet The Monsters (left), Real Monsters' first (and in the US, currently, only) videos, go on sale.
(Left: Sony version of Meet The Monsters; from eBay; ©1995 Viacom.)

K-C does Spy vs. Spy shorts for Fox's Mad TV.

Klasky-Csupo begins expansion outside of animation circles with their record label, Tone Casualties.

Landmark Calendars publishes first Rugrats wall calendar, for 1996.

April 13: Passover, the last of the classic Rugrats episodes, is broadcast.

May 19: Rugrats win their third (and, currently, last) Emmy award, this time, for Outstanding Achievement In Animation (daytime).
September 16: Santo Bugito, K-C's first animated network series, debuts Saturday mornings on CBS. For more information on this fine series, click here. (Also see April 2000)

(Left: One of Santo Bugito's singing ants, from KCBS's website in 1995; ©1995 Klasky-Csupo.)

October: Nick goes online at America Online.

October 23: Nick expands into Australia; its website (the first official Nick website) goes online worldwide. 1995 was also the year that cable TV made its debut in Australia.

November 8: USA Today publishes an article about the success of Rugrats; it was also the first article to mention The Rugrats Movie, 3 years before its release.

December: Rugrats appear for the first time on the cover of Nickelodeon Magazine.

(From "The Big Cover-Up", in the June/July 1998 issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. ©1995, 1998 by Viacom.)

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