Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy 35th Anniversary Nickelodeon

Happy 35th Anniversary Nickelodeon
(No this is NOT an April Fool's joke.)



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

CC Loveheart Interview from Andy Anderson


Classic Nick Wed. –
CC Loveheart Interview from Andy Anderson

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A very special thank you to our own Andy Anderson for conducting this interview with CC Loveheart better known as “Coco the Mime” on Pinwheel House from 1979-1981. She is commonly referred to as “The First Coco.”

Here are the questions (they may be long!). Thank you for participating in this interview.



AA: How did you get the job as "Coco" on Pinwheel? Were you asked to audition, or did you develop the character yourself? Where did the name "Coco" come from?

CC:  A lovely woman and producer of the first 2 seasons, Sandy Kavenaugh saw me in a 2-person mime show in NYC.  She talked to me about developing a mime character for "Pinwheel House".  The project was proposed as a project called, "Qube".   Qube was to be the first attempt at 2-way television.  (Meaning, the viewing audience could have the potential to communicate with the performers.)  This never really happened.  But Pinwheel House was taped with its myriad characters in place.  I participated in the first 2 seasons of taping.  I wrote almost all the skits that I performed because the writers did not know how to write for a mime.  Writers use words, mimes do not, so I was also hired as a writer.

 
AA: Was Pinwheel already formed as a series when you joined, or were they still developing the structure of the show?

CC:  It was still being structured.

 
AA: What was the typical shooting/production schedule on the set of Pinwheel?

CC:  I flew to Columbus, Ohio for 2 weeks at a time.  I had young children at home, so it was part of my contract that I be flown home and have time off in-between shoots for Pinwheel House.

 
AA: How did you get inspired to perform as a mime? Were you influenced by other mimes such as Marcel Marceau?

CC:  I began as and wanted to be a dancer.   (I had danced in the floor shows in Las Vegas.) And, after my last child was born, I took a mime class at a local community college in upstate New York in order to get back in shape.  The teacher of the class asked me to perform with him in NYC.  That’s where Sandy Kavenaugh saw me and hired me.  I also studied mime with Moni Yakim and others before going into “straight” acting.

 
AA: For those who may have never watched the show before, could you describe Coco's character and personality? What did you enjoy about playing her?

CC:  I loved Coco.  I developed her, wrote and performed her.  I wanted to entertain and inform.  My intention was to make Coco childlike in her innocence and playfulness.  My hope was to make her available and loveable for kids of varying ages.   As to the performing aspect, I was required to be an “athlete” in that often many takes were required, so I had to be very strong physically, in order to repeat the mimes required.

I enjoyed my interactions with Jake, the older couple who lived in the house (whose names I have forgotten), the vegetable vendor, the veggies and the puppets.  All in all, it was a most pleasant working experience.

 
AA: How popular was Pinwheel at the time it was airing?

CC: I don’t know.  But it certainly caught on.  I still receive emails from folks who grew up with Coco and still remember her fondly. 

 
AA: Was there ever any thought that Coco might scare young children as they sometimes have an abnormal fear of mimes and clowns?

CC:  Yes, that was a big concern of mine. Children are known to be afraid of clowns and the white face look. So, I developed Coco’s make-up by trying various make-ups.  I would get in front of the camera and look at the monitor to see if the look was friendly, appealing and not scary.  That’s how the hearts on the cheeks along with the big eyed-double- false-eyelash, and pale lip color came to be. 

 
AA: Some say that Pinwheel was the original name of the Nickelodeon channel, while others say that it was just a program on Nickelodeon. What is most accurate?

CC:  Pinwheel House was always the name of the project.  All of us lived in Pinwheel House or the neighborhood.  As I said, in the beginning, it was under the aegis of “Qube”.

 

AA: How different was it from making the program for QUBE in Columbus, Ohio, where Pinwheel was created, to making it for Nickelodeon in New York? Did Nickelodeon make any changes to the series once it launched?

CC:  I was not involved in the NY taping.  When it came time to renew my contract, we had a new producer (Tippy Fortune was her name and how appropriate it turned out to be) and we had “contractual differences”.   And so, a woman who was VERY different physically from me, and who had not requested residuals replaced me.

 
AA: What was your fondest memory on the Pinwheel set? Any behind-the-scenes incidents/outtakes? What are some little known facts about the show?

CC:  I remember a wrap party in which Coco spoke.  I had secured promises from the camera and sound folks and we, in secret, made a tape of Coco speaking and thanking everyone.  Coco had a very strong lisp and the running joke in this private tape (meant only for the party) was that that was why Coco never spoke.   The actor-musician, George James, who played Jake, was a friend and I recommended him for the show.  We had a great time cracking each other up both in front of and behind the camera.

 
AA: How did you end up leaving Pinwheel? Was it cancelled, or did you leave to pursue other projects?

CC:  As mentioned above, there were contractual differences that played into my leaving.  But, I also felt a strong calling to move on to speaking characters.  I began to work as an actor and went on to have a career that has spanned some 40 years.

 

AA: Can you recall any other individuals important in developing Pinwheel?

CC:  The young men, Jim Jenson and Brad?? Were the puppeteers and they were very talented.  They brought much to the show.  Unfortunately, Jim died quite young.

And again, Sandy Kavenaugh had great vision and pulled the cast and crew together.  She was instrumental in the success of the show.

 

AA: Thank you for generously participating in this interview.

CC:  You are welcome.  Please send me the link to your blog.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day from my group "A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon."


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

An Email from George James


Classic Nick Wed. –
An Email from George James

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This will be a very short post but it is definitely one of my favorites so far.

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 I posted my second Classic Nick Wednesday article which was simply called “Pinwheel” where I discussed the history of one of Nickelodeon’s main programs which I also blogged. ( http://classic-nickelodeon-fan-blog.blogspot.com/2012/09/classic-nickelodeon-wednesday-2.html )

For anyone who grew up watching Pinwheel the name George James’ name will be very familiar to you; he played “Jake” Pinwheel House’s local singer and musician. Yesterday when I checked my email I almost screamed when I read this email. Yes you are reading it correctly, “Jake” emailed me and I am VERY honored to share his email with you.

Please note that I have deleted both his personal email and phone number (yes he sent me his phone number!) for privacy reasons.

 
An Email from George James

Subject: Thanks‏
From: George James (Personal Email)
Sent: Tue 3/11/14 3:46 AM
To:  peggysueclay@hotmail.com (All of you know my email.)

 
Dear Peggy Sue,

I have perused your blog and read your interview on blogspot and am impressed by your knowledge of classic nick.

Thanks for keeping the good old days alive!

George Jacob James ("Jake" from Pinwheel)
 

George James
(Personal Phone Number Included – deleted for privacy.)
(Personal Email Included – deleted for privacy.)


Subject: Thanks‏
From: peggysueclay@hotmail.com
Sent: Mar 15, 2014, at 1:27 PM
To:  George James (Personal Email)

Good Afternoon Mr. James,

Thank you so much for your wonderful email, I’m so honored that you have read my blog and that you approve of it, I just can’t tell you how much that means to me. It has taken me several years, and countless hours of research, to be able to maintain my Yahoo group, website, Facebook pages/groups and blog all in an effort to preserve the memories of the early to mid-80’s Nickelodeon programs. In a way I consider myself an advocate for Classic (80’s) Nickelodeon.

Ya know this may sound a bit strange but I was getting ready to send out a search party for you. Every week in the Sunday paper I see the Parade or the American Profile magazines and at least once a month I think about writing them to ask them about you. What have you been up to lately, how you got involved with Pinwheel and so forth? I did write to one of them about a year ago to ask who took over the role of Coco the Mime after C.C. Loveheart left but never received an answer. Many of us believe it was Lindanell Rivera but there is no way to confirm it other than Wikipidia and to be honest I think someone found that on one of my sites and posted it.

Mr. George, if I may be so bold, may I ask you something? Well, two somethings actually.

1) May I have your autograph?

2) My friend Andy, from Facebook, interviewed Ms. Loveheart for my blog and I was wondering if we may ask you for one as well? It’s okay if you say no but it never hearts to ask.

Thank you again for your email, it truly made my whole week and thank you also for giving me your phone number. I would love to call you but to be honest I’m afraid I would be too excited and my words would come out in a jumble. (I know that sounds a bit silly.) Besides, I’m a writer and I sound much better on paper, or at least for now I do.

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for such wonderful memories when I was growing up. I was about twelve when I started watching Pinwheel but my Mom babysat so I’d watch with the kids and in all honesty I loved it myself they were just an excuse for me to watch J.

 
Take care and much love,
Peggy Sue - aka - Ice
Writer, Artist, Crafter, Face Painter

Breakout! - A Doctor Who / Tomorrow People Crossover
http://altus-ok-who-chapter.jimdo.com/

Classic Nickelodeon Fan Blog
http://classic-nickelodeon-fan-blog.blogspot.com/

 
Classic Nickelodeon Forever
http://classic-nickelodeon-forever.jimdo.com/

 
Classic Nickelodeon Fan Meet Website
http://classic-nickelodeon-fan-meet.moonfruit.com/

 
A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/A_New_Beginning_for_Classic_Nickelodeon/info

 
The Mysterious Cities of Gold
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/themysteriouscitiesofgold/info

 
Today's Special Fan Group
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/todaysspecialfangroup/info

 
Baby's Jellicle Hang Out
http://jellicle-ice-kat.jimdo.com/
 

Subject: Re: Thanks‏
From: George James (Personal Email)  This sender is in your contact list.
Sent: Sun 3/23/14 10:14 AM
To:  Peggy Sue - (peggysueclay@hotmail.com)


Dear Peggy Sue (Ice),

Great to get your email and sorry for the delayed response.

Your advocacy and understanding of the early days of Nickelodeon is impressive and heartwarming. You seem to have grasped the well-meaning intentions of the people who took pride in producing "Pinwheel" and the other early programs on "Nickelodeon". It was certainly something that I took much pride and joy in and remains a bright spot in my life. The fact that you value and are promoting the spirit of those early programs is commendable, as they were indeed for and about people. The traveling that I did with the Pinwheel Road Show gave me a chance to actually meet the smiling faces that came to know and love us via the show. To have our intentions confirmed in person was and will always be among the most meaningful experiences of my life.

I can confirm that Lindanell Rivera was indeed the second mime on the show after CC Loveheart. Both were a pleasure to work with. As for your two questions, I would be happy to send you an autograph. Somewhere I have a few promotional pictures which after I find them I will send you one. I will of course need an address to send it to. I will also be happy to to partake in Andy's interview. It will be fun to credit many and make clear some of the fuzzy areas that may exist if I can. I was involved in "Pinwheel" from the development stage so I have knowledge of most that went on.

Since "Pinwheel" I have been involved in many things including writing for "Sesame Street", producing, directing and traveling.

I feel that you truly enjoy what you are doing, and that of course is the key to doing something well.

All best to you Peggy Sue!

 

George (Jake) James
 
 




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Tomorrow Changes Sci-Fi TV Star’s Quiet Life


Classic Nick Wed. – New Tomorrow Changes Sci-Fi TV Star’s Quiet Life
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Tomorrow Changes Sci-Fi TV Star’s Quiet Life


Misako Koba has to be one of the unlikeliest TV stars you’ll ever meet.

Aside from a school play as a child, she had done absolutely no acting prior to landing a role in the ITV sci-fi hit The Tomorrow People in the 1970s.

She filmed three series, then, despite offers galore, quietly returned to family life in Blackpool and has kept a low profile since.

But Misako is coming out of retirement for one-day only at the weekend after being invited to appear at the annual Brit Sci Fi festival in Leicester along with stars from the Doctor Who and Blake’s 7.

“I’ve lived here 30 years now and even my next door neighbour doesn’t know I used to be on television,” she says.

“I’ve been happily raising my family for the last three decades, I haven’t even been to any cast reunions,” she explained.

“But I feel that after all this time I really should say thank you to the fans of the show.”

Misako emigrated to the UK in the 70s and met her actor husband, Colin Sherwood, in London.

They moved to Blackpool shortly afterwards to look after Colin’s mother.

One evening Misako went to see her husband, who has starred in A Family At War and Coronation Street – and will be well known to many in Blackpool for his shows at the Norbreck Castle hotel – in a play at the Oldham Coliseum.

“I met his agent and he told me Thames Television were looking for an oriental lady to star in a show and told me to audition,” she said.
 

“I laughed because I had never acted before, but he said why not give it a go.

“I went to London, was absolutely awful, but apparently they thought I was a nice person and said if my husband could teach me the script of the first couple of shows they’d hire me ... and they did.”

She appeared in it for three years but when the show ended, and despite being offered all sorts of roles – a part in Tenko, a pantomime, pop record, an advert selling Japanese cars – she decided to bow out of show business and raise a family instead.

Now a mum of four, and still living happily with Colin, she admits she feels like “the luckiest person around”.

“There are thousands of actors who are so good and who really want to make it but never get an opportunity,” she said. “Then there’s someone like me who wasn’t even looking ... I feel so privileged and fortunate. It’s funny because every so often someone will recognise me and say hello, and I am always so surprised because the programme feels like such a long time ago.”

Misako heads to Leicester at the weekend for the Sci Fi convention to make a rare public appearance.

“I got this invitation out of the blue and decided ‘why not?’” she added. “It will be nice to see the cast and the fans because I’ve not been in touch with anyone for so long – my family always came first.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Misako she played “Hsui Tai” on the original 1970’s version of The Tomorrow People (TV Series). Here is a list of the episodes she appeared in:

- The Lost Gods: Flight of Fancy (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Lost Gods: Life Before Death (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Hitler's Last Secret: Men Like Rats (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Hitler's Last Secret: Seeds of Destruction (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Thargon Menace: Unexpected Guests (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Thargon Menace: Playing with Fire (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Castle of Fear: Ghosts and Monsters (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Castle of Fear: Fighting Spirit (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Achilles Heel: A Room at the Inn (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- Achilles Heel: Everything to Lose (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Living Skins: A Harmless Fashion (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- The Living Skins: Cold War (1978) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: Close Encounter (1979) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: Contact! (1979) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: Standing Alone (1979) ... Hsui Tai

- War of the Empires: All in the Mind (1979) ... Hsui Tai
 
 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

In Search of Saturdays

Welcome to “In Search of Saturdays" a space I’ve designed to help members find those long lost movies, cartoons, TV shows, toys, games and anything else that we’ve all been looking for, for a very long time.

The instructions are simple. Post your personal “looking for” list here and we’ll all see if we can help you find what you’re looking for.

If you can’t remember the name of a show or toy that’s alright, post what you can remember and maybe someone here will be able to tell you what it is. Also please remember that if you are listing television shows or movies please let us know if you are looking to purchase these shows or if you just want to watch them online. Then we, the members of the group, will help try to help each other and go “in search of” those items for our fellow members.
A good places to start our searches is iOffer ( http://www.ioffer.com/ ) which, in my opinion, is better than eBay b/c you can find lots of shows there that you can’t find anywhere else.

MY WANT LIST
This is a list of the Classic Nickelodeon programs that I’m looking for to purchase. Please note that I am a private collector who does not copy and resell my collection. The videos and DVDs that I collect are for my own private viewing here in my home or my Mother’s house where I originally saw them. If you have any of these and would like to sell me copies – for my private viewing – please contact me at
peggysueclay@hotmail.com     Also, IF you contact me via email PLEASE PUT THE NAME OF THE SHOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE. Thank you.

***** NON VIDEO ITEMS *****Muppets Magazine 1982
People Magazine – recent issue – no date – Marc Summers’ article
Any 80’s women’s or children’s magazines
Early to Mid 80’s TV Guides


REGULAR PROGRAMS
Dusty's Treehouse
Hocus Focus
Kids’ Writes
Livewire
Nick Rocks Video to Go
Pinwheel – more than just the 6 hrs that’s currently available
Science International (aka) What Will They Think of Next?
Spread Your Wings
Standby...Lights! Camera! Action!
Studio See


PINWHEEL CARTOONS
The Adventures of the Mole
Bunny in the Suitcase
Emily (Emilie) (my favorite)
Hattytown Tales
Magic Coco
The Magic Roundabout


SPECIAL DELIVERY
Beware, Beware My Beauty Fair
Clarence & The Ottaway (staring Billy Hufsey)
Kids’ Writes
Silver City (The Righteous Apples special)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Interview with Joseph Iozzi


Classic Nick Wednesday – Interview with Joseph Iozzi
Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Today I am very honored to bring you and interview with Joseph Iozzi as conducted by our own Andy Anderson. Andy was kind enough to share his interview with me and with his permission I am sharing with all of you.

As the poster of this interview my only role was to correct a few very minor grammatical errors and “stylize” it a bit for the blog and email list. I also removed the personal email of both Mr. Iozzi and Mr. Anderson to protect their privacy.

Thank you for sharing this interview with us Andy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Joseph Iozzi
Date: Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 6:31 AM
Subject: Interview
To: "Iozzi, Joseph A"
From: Andy Anderson

 
Hi Andy,

Finally! I'm not sure of all the name spellings, and there may be a couple of typos.

The brain gets a little foggy at my age.

Please feel free to redact or change anything you like. I'm not sure the age of your readers.

That's all I can think of right now.

 
Thanks,
Joe Iozzi

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 AA: How did you get involved with developing and branding Nickelodeon?

JI: I was a creative consultant to a Madison Avenue advertising agency called Comtomark.

We had successfully launched The Movie Channel, which was then known as Star Channel.  Warner Bros. asked us for other ideas for programs and channels. They were already kicking around the idea of a "kiddie" channel as they owned a considerable amount of content on video tape from their interactive cable system, QUBE, in Columbus, Ohio.

I proposed several channels for consideration. Here are a couple I can remember:

1) A 24 hour shopping channel called, "Cable Catalog".

2) A 24 hour movie channel, "Classic Cinema Channel", which would consist of the MGM movie library, comprised of MGM, United Artists, Warner Bros. & RKO titles.

They seem more familiar today with names like 'The Shopping Channel’, ‘Home Shopping Network’, ‘AMC’ or ‘Turner Classic Movies’.

You have to remember at that time there were only a handful of cable channels delivered by satellite, maybe 12, and not full time at that.

We were also asked to come up with individual program ideas that could be produced in Columbus. We recommended a few ideas, one of which was "Screen Test", a movie quiz show. Besides producing "Screen Test", (without our knowledge) the only other concept they moved forward with was Nickelodeon.


 
 
AA: For those who may have never seen the logo before, what exactly was it supposed to be? How did you come up with the idea for it?

JI: The graphic was a line drawing of a turn of the century man in a bowler hat peering into a Nickelodeon machine with his arm ready to crank the machine.  The "machine" was an eye piece attached to the capital letter "N" in the word Nickelodeon. The typeface was made of press on letters instead of set on film or paper. The art was "stock" art and couldn't be trademarked. My intention at the time was to replace the stock art with a line drawing made from a photograph a small boy, tip toed on a train stool with an English cap peering into the Nickelodeon. We were always pressed for time and I never got around to revising the original logo as I planned.

 
AA: How did you come up with Nickelodeon as the name for the channel? Were there any other suggested/alternative names that were in consideration as the name of the channel?

JI: We gave the client about 150 names to choose from. Anyone in the agency that could hold a pencil was tasked with coming up with a name. The name, and finished logo design/art was completed in 3 days. An upcoming trade show was of prime importance to the client for Nickelodeon's launch to the cable industry. The name Nickelodeon seemed natural to me. The Nickelodeon was a turn of the century device for dispensing entertainment. The sound of the word was nice and rolled off the tongue easily. A couple of rejected names were The Savoy Channel and The Rainbow Network. Few people recall a children's channel called Calliope. It predates Nickelodeon, but Calliope didn't air 24 hours a day as Nickelodeon. Eventually Calliope collapsed under Warner's marketing weight.

 
AA: Some sources say that Nickelodeon began under that name in 1979, while other sources state that Nickelodeon started under the name of Pinwheel in 1977. What is the most accurate version of events?

JI: Both. Pinwheel was a program on QUBE, not a channel. The name Nickelodeon was never used or mentioned in any context until I named the channel in 1979. Pinwheel, along with Nickel Flicks and America Goes Bananaz were merely programs on The Nickelodeon Channel. 

 
AA: Were the network employees/executives involved with the branding effort? How much contact did you have with the network during this process?

JI: Not really. The entire Warner Satellite Entertainment company consisted of only 3 people in the beginning. James Cavazzini (ran all day to day operations), Madge Sinclair (purchased movies for Star Channel) and a secretary (whose name I'm sorry to say I can't remember). When Nickelodeon launched they added 2 more people, Al Paraniello (marketing) and Sandra Murphy (asst. marketing). Cavazzini answered to the head of Warner Cable, Gus Hauser, and Hauser answered to Steve Ross, the CEO of Warner Communications. Ross is responsible for pushing everything along at breakneck speed. He was a real visionary and crap shooter.

 
AA: How formed was Nickelodeon when they contacted you about branding their network? How much did they know (about what the future network would be) when they hired you?

JI: It wasn't formed at all. There was no network, there was barely an inkling. Warner Bros. was very fast when they decided to proceed with something.  Money was never an object. They simply said how much money do we need to spend to accomplish this?  Nickelodeon was more a result of Warner possessing an enormous amount of kiddie programming that was already sitting in a can in Columbus, Ohio. It was simply producing a revenue stream from an existing intellectual asset.

From the time Steve Ross said, "Go!", to the time Nickelodeon was being broadcast 24 hours a day nationwide was only a matter of months. We produced, at great cost, marketing materials that were never approved, or even seen by the client until they were already printed, aired, or published. This is unheard of, not only today, but even back then. That first cable trade show was of prime importance to Warner's launch of Nickelodeon. They had tremendous confidence in our ability. No focus groups. No endless meetings. Just, "Go!" was the only directive.

 
AA: What marketing strategies did you use for Nickelodeon? Were there certain selling points that you used to promote it to cable operators?

JI: The first 24 hour Children's Programming Channel. 24 hours a day was big back then. Many channels aired only a portion of the day, and had to share their satellite transponders with other programmers. Dr. Vivian Horner was a big selling point. Yes, we had cartoons, old westerns, and mindless kiddie fare, but we had a real doctor behind ours. She had been with "The Electric Company" and "The Children's Television Workshop". We hawked non-violent, non-commercial programming. The programming also covered all the age groups from preschool to teen. And the good doctor put her stamp of approval on it. It couldn't loose.

 
AA: How long was your logo in use at Nick? Were there various versions of it?

JI: Only about a year or two. It was redesigned by Lou Dorfsman, the great CBS art director. He first used a halftone piece of art rather than "forced" line art of the man in the bowler hat that I originally commandeered from stock art. Later on Dorfsman removed the man in the bowler hat altogether, and stylized the font a little more. His 2 versions lasted only a couple of years. I was not associated with the channel at this point.

After Warner sold half of Warner Satellite Entertainment for $200 million dollars to American Express around 1980, and formed Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, former execs from CBS starting showing up at meetings. John Lack, a former CBSer, took over Cavazzini 's roll.  Lack was the most disagreeable person I've ever met. Needless to say, shortly after the merger the party was over. MTV was coming in, and we were on our way out. We were fired.
 

AA: What was the full extent of your role in developing Nickelodeon?
JI: Well, I named the channel, designed its first trademark, wrote, and art directed all the advertising and promotion, contributed programming suggestions. I really pushed to get Mr. Wizard back on the air, which eventually happened.

 

AA: Do you have any other facts/stories about Nickelodeon that you think are important? Were there any other individuals/companies that were instrumental in developing the original identity of the network?

JI: The network evolved itself. It wasn't the brainchild of an individual. It was always a matter of utilizing the intellectual property already in the can. Nickel Flicks was nothing more than old Warner "B" movies. No production cost, just add in program hinges and interstitial material. Voila! A kiddie channel segment!

There is one story I'll relate.

Right before we were fired as the ad agency, we developed a TV pilot called Rhombus exclusively for Nickelodeon. Rhombus was the smartest man in the universe. Rhombus was played by a maĆ®tre d (Ed Collins) from the NYC high class restaurant, Sign of The Dove.  Rhombus asked two teams of kids from different schools (3 on a team) questions to determine the smartest kids (and schools) in the universe. The show is still in the can. The pilot was shot in an empty movie theater in Hancock, NY in 1980. We should have asked Rhombus if the pilot was going to be successful.

 
AA: How do you think the network has changed over the years? Has it changed for the better or worse, in your opinion?

JI: This is embarrassing. I never watched it. In the beginning it didn't air in New York City so I have a good excuse.

 
AA: Thank you for generously participating in this interview.
JI: You're very welcome. It's gratifying to see something you helped create so long ago still has some relevance today.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jim Henson's Son Sead at 48

Jim Henson's Son Dead at 48 Muppet Wikia / John Henson
Wenn 16 hr ago | By Wenn

WENN

Puppeteer John Henson has died, aged 48. The son of The Muppets creator Jim Henson passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in New...
York on Friday.

A statement released by The Jim Henson Company reads, "It is with great sadness that we confirm that John Henson, son of Jim and Jane Henson... died at age 48 of a sudden massive heart attack on Friday, February 14, while at home with his daughter. John served as a shareholder and board member of The Jim Henson Company. He leaves two daughters, Katrina (15) and Sydney (10) and his wife Gyongyi. A private service is being planned."

Henson occasionally performed as the muppet Sweets in his father's puppet troupe, and worked on films including Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. He was also on the board of The Jim Henson Company. His father died in 1990, aged 53.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Forgotten Shows Of The 80s


Classic Nick Wed. – Forgotten Shows Of The 80s
Wednesday, February 12, 2014


This week’s Classic Nickelodeon Wednesday is an email from Bear to the “A New Beginning for Classic Nickelodeon” Yahoo group. Thank you for being my inspiration this week Bear. I know I don’t post weekly like I use too but I HAVE to get through this course. For those of you who don’t know I’m taking a writing course with The Institute of Children’s Literature and I’m about half way through. Anyway on to the email!

Bear’s Email to the Group:
Subject: [New Beginning] Forgotten Shows Of The 80s
To: A_New_Beginning_for_Classic_Nickelodeon@yahoogroups.com
From: Bear
Sent: Tue 2/11/14 8:53 PM

Message: Mental Floss recently did an article on some forgotten shows that aired on Nick in the 80s.  You may read it here at... http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/54929/11-nickelodeon-shows-80s-you-may-have-forgotten.  How many shows can you name from the list?
 
My Answer:
Hi Bear,
Thank you for sharing this article with us. Your question to me was: “How many shows can you name from the list?” The easiest way for me to answer this question is to comment on each show individually.

 
 1. Out of Control
While I don’t remember watching this apparently I did b/c the first time I saw Dave Coulier do, “cut-it-out” on Full House my first reaction was, “Hey that’s the guy from Nickelodeon!”

 
2. Eureeka’s Castle, 3. Adventures of the Little Koala,
4. Count Duckula & 5. Don’t Just Sit There
These were “after my time”, I stopped watching Nickelodeon after I graduated high school in 1987.

 
6. Standby: Lights, Camera, Action!
Loved this show then and love it now and I wish it was still on the air especially now that I want to get into filmmaking. I can remember watching several episodes of this with my brother and I still remember when Leonard Nimoy showed us how to create a haunted house using double sided tape, a roll of cotton and Epsom salt. Yea, talk about cool!

 
 7. Kids' Court
This was another one that was “after my time”.

 
8. PopClips
This was on for such a short time that I have no memory of it but I did watch Nick Rocks: Video To Go.
9. Think Fast!
“After my time.”

 
10. Turkey Television
I don’t really remember if I watched this or not but I probably did.

 
 11. Hey, Dude
“After my time.”

 
So those are my answers for the shows they listed and now I’m going to list a few of my own (in alphabetical order). I may have written about some of these shows in the past but they’re still worth mentioning here.

 
The Adventures of Black Beauty
This family classic is just that, a classic show. Centered on the adventures of a “very beautiful” black horse. Black Beauty is a program that has truly endured the test of time; not only is the original 1970’s version on DVD it has also been added to Hulu.

 
Hocus Focus
Puppeteer Brad Williams stared as “Krispan” who journeyed into the future to learn about our world by watching short films.

 
Matt & Jenny On The Wilderness Trail 1850
After their parents die Matt (Derrick Jones) and his sister Jenny (Megan Follows) must search for the rest of their family. With the help of friends Kit (Duncan Regehr) and Mr. Cardston (Neil Dainard) life on the trail one big adventure.

 
Nick Rocks Video to Go
Pretty self-descriptive, this was a show that featured 80’s videos. I can remember watching videos on there that I never saw anywhere else like Luis Cardenas - Runaway and Like A Cannonball by Menudo.

 
Kids’ Writes
Young people wrote in and a talented cast of actors acted out the stories, poems and songs.

 
Spread Your Wings
If you ever wanted to travel then Spread Your Wings was the show for you. This program was featured kids from around the world in their everyday lives.

 
Studio See
I don’t remember a lot about this show but I wish I did, all I know is that I’d love to see it again.

 
Today's Special
How can anyone not remember Jeff, Jody, Sam and Muffy?

 
The Third Eye – Collectively
Check my blog during the month of October for a full description of each of the four programs.
 
The Tomorrow People
This is NOT the CW’s version of the show, I’m talking about the original 1970’s version. They were NOT “paranormal” as the new series suggests, they were, and still are, the next stage in human development. Their main powers are “the 3 Ts”, telepathy, telekinesis and teleportation (jaunting).

 
 You Can't Do That On Television
Green slime and Barth, need I say more?