America's Got Cable: Nickelodeon vs. TV Land


Welcome to another bone-gnawing week of America's Got Cable: The Search for the Nation's Finest Basic Cable Channel!

OLD BUSINESS: Oh no, no no no. You guys have done it now. Wendy Williams is gonna rise from the sea all wet and angry like the Kraken! Congratulations to...


*********************************************CMT*********************************************

You know what? Fair enough. I may not be a country fan, but I love people who love country. I mean, I also love hip hop fans. I love fans of MOST music genres. (Sorry, Reggaeton.) But most of all, I love people who comment on this column:

JohnFarrell0: "I will say CMT... Just 'cause I haven't gotten my redneck fill for awhile."

JJGSoldier: "VH1, uh, I mean, BET?"

BowlingFrk375: "CMT y'all."


NEW BUSINESS: Whose nostalgia is better, YOURS or YOUR PARENTS'?



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. At first, evening programming was turned over to The Star Channel (a.k.a. The Movie Channel), but later it was ARTS, then A&E; (!), and finally Nick at Nite, Nickelodeon's in-house programming block of golden-era sitcoms. 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.

Original Programming: After years of importing things like You Can't Do That On Television and Duckula, Nickelodeon ventured into original programming—first with shows that featured real kids (things like Mr. Wizard's World and Double Dare), but later with original cartoons such as Doug, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, and Rugrats. Beloved live-action favorites Hey Dude!, Salute Your Shorts, and The Adventures of Pete & Pete were soon joined by Saturday-night favorites Clarissa Explains it All, Roundhouse, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. 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, and Big Time Rush, all of which rake in huge licensing and merchandise profits.

Reruns: Most of Nickelodeon's daytime schedule consists of reruns, but they're mostly in-house shows. The network's Nick at Nite programming block, on the other hand, is where the classic reruns live. But hey, fun fact: Nielsen does not consider Nick at Nite to be the same channel as Nickelodeon! Though for our purposes, let's just say that Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite currently airs the following non-Nick reruns: That '70s Show, Married with Children, Family Matters, George Lopez, The Nanny, Home Improvement, and Everybody Hates Chris.

Why It's The Best: If you were a child at any point after 1980, you probably have overwhelming pangs of nostalgia for your particular era of Nickelodeon's programming. I'd drop anything to watch an episode of Finders Keepers or Out of Control (which aren't very good), but especially The Adventures of Pete & Pete (which is SO GOOD STILL).

Why It's The Worst: It's all just a bunch of screaming and noise now, I'm guessing. #generationgap


TV Land

Background: Nickelodeon's evening programming block, Nick at Nite, was a pretty huge success right off the bat. Its lineup included things like Mr. Ed and The Patty Duke Show, but these corny classics—while confusing and disappointing for kids staying up past 8pm—were nonetheless like crack from heaven for the baby boomer generation, a demographic comprised of known nostalgia junkies, all of them raspy voiced, lips like shredded wheat, turning random tricks for another hit of that nostalgia. Baby boomers, am I right? So in 1996 the corporate overlords at Viacom launched TV Land, a sort of 24-hour version of Nick at Nite. At first Nick at Nite and TV Land shared programming and sensibility, but by 2006 the channel named for a Rocky & Bullwinkle joke spun itself off into independence and its steady schedule of reruns has come to include newer syndicated hits as well as, more recently, original programming.

Original Programming: TV Land first dipped its toes into original programming waters with every development exec's favorite genre: the reality show. Competition shows She's Got The Look and The Cougar were joined by Harry Loves Lisa and a reboot of the old WB show High School Reunion. Like most self-respecting cable networks, TV Land has its own awards show, but recently it's also begun to produce scripted multi-camera comedies like Hot in Cleveland, Retired at 35, and Happily Divorced.

Reruns: Reruns are the reason this channel exists, so of course it does them well. Dusty old gems like Sanford & Son, All in the Family, Hill Street Blues, Gunsmoke, Three's Company, and The Honeymooners air during the daytime, but in the evening you're more likely to find modern reruns: Everybody Loves Raymond, Roseanne, Home Improvement, and even Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Why It's The Best: Any channel that airs Good Times is a good channel in my book.

Why It's The Worst: Why do TV Land's NEW sitcoms somehow seem even staler than its reruns?


Official TV.com Verdict: I'm far too old for Nickelodeon's current lineup, but to this day I cannot get the Roundhouse theme song out of my head. Nickelodeon it is!

But now it's your turn! Vote below, then COMMENT and tell us your verdict: Nickelodeon or TV Land? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?



Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.


Follow TV.com writer Price Peterson on Twitter: @pricepeterson

Comments (33)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
TV Land
Reply
Flag
Even though TV Land isn't as awesome as it used to be, I'll vote for TV Land.
Reply
Flag
@Geek_Queen
Reply
Flag
Tv land
Reply
Flag
Nick nick nick Nickelodeon! :)
Reply
Flag
TV Land
Reply
Flag
hmm must of been a glitch

Reply
Flag
stuff is censored ?

Reply
Flag
comparing both today they both suck but nick at least has new shows worth giving a try like avatar every once in a while. tv land has mostly more recent crap on these days not that i don't love some of them (everybody loves raymond and old eps of csi vegas are great) its just that i don't want to watch them here when they are available on many channels spike usa ect. nick sucks greatly but its 80's and 90's shows were better by the size of the grand canyon in comparison to todays. most of their new cartoons are lucky to last more than 1 season now. really every time they announce a new one at the kids choice awards it will be cancelled usually by the next one. meanwhile avatar one of their highest rated shows that had views that rivaled their holy lord spongebob they treated like crap. the show is already getting a sequel and you can bet they will pick terrible scheduling for it much like the last one.
Reply
Flag
I agree with all of your statements, facts, and/or opinions.



Do you like The National Geographic Channel (NGC) or Nat GEO Wild?



I like both of those television networks ---- NGC & NGW.
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon, at least back then. Give me my Doug and KaBlam! back :)
Reply
Flag
WTF its gonna be AMC vs FX in the second round...they should be the final two...
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon hands down. Nickelodeon's '90s programming is everything I remember about TV when I was younger. Now-a-days I still enjoy watching Spongebob and Avatar with my nephew.
Reply
Flag
I love Nickelodeon and I always will but I mostly watch it for SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, T.U.F.F. Puppy, The Penguins of Madagascar (you know, cartoons) but I'll also watch Big Time Rush and Victorious which are enjoyable shows to watch while iCarly is just an alright show but needs a lot of improvement. I don't watch TV Land that much, I only watch it for Hot In Cleveland (that's the show I'll watch the most on TV Land). Happily Divorced is alright and Retired at 35 is great but not my favorite. Sometimes, I'll also watch reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, Sanford & Son, and all that but it's usually when there's nothing better on television.
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon, even though I'm voting only for the previous programming, not the new.
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon

Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon for me. I remember those Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons after school watching spongbob and Jimmy Neutron aaahhhh those were the times after all who doesn't like falling under the hypnotic spell of cartoons.
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon. Oh Memories...
Reply
Flag
Definitely Nickelodeon. Other channels don't air quality shows like these ones anymore.
Reply
Flag
TV Land. I like their shows better, plus, they're filling the niche of new cable shows for the old. Someone has to do it, and they're the ones to do so.
Reply
Flag
TV Land for me. i'm not judging on past things, or else TV Land wouldn't even be in the running because they just recently started doing original programs... so past stuff doesn't count.. which means TV Land wins, i don't like ANY new Nickelodeon shows but i like the three TV Land originals, and some of the shows they have for reruns
Reply
Flag
nickelodeon! man i miss legend of the hidden temple
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon. Hey Arnold, Ahhh! Real Monsters, Doug, Rugrats, Rocko's Modern Life,etc. It's a shame kids today won't get to experience quality cartoons like these.
Reply
Flag
ah and thats where netflix and hulu come in. my kids will love rocko and real monsters just as much as they do spongebob thanks to them.
Reply
Flag
Definitely Nickelodeon! T.U.F.F. Puppy is very popular.
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon. Hate spongebob and some other cartoons but iCarly and Victorious, stuff like that is good IMO. Also, note: Avatar ended its series 3 years ago, and even then they hardly ever showed reruns. Love the Nick at Nite block, its hleped me discover new favorite sitcoms. Plus they're about to start re-airing 90s shows on tv like All that and Clarissa Explains it all. So excited X3 TVLand shows has stuff thats just a bit too outdated for me.
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon, no contest! Doug, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, Rocco's Modern Life, etc. I even enjoy they're programming now. I love Avatar: The Last Airbender and iCarly. TVLand usually just give me the creeps.
Reply
Flag
TVLand does show episodes of Bonanza, but that's all it has going for it. I have to go with Nickelodeon. Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Legends of the Hidden Temple, nothing can beat those.
Reply
Flag
nickelodeon, at least currently for the now-reduced-to-Sunday morning airings of their most recent animated hit series "T.U.F.F. Puppy". But nick is relying too much on Spongebutt Wetpants in their animated roster, not giving enough time for the better "T.U.F.F. Puppy"! Wait till next season!



"Waggytoon"
Reply
Flag
A big minus for TVLand - their new comedies are just awful. A big plus for Nickelodeon and one more little plus, because of the cool name :)
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon. I'm still a kid at heart.
Reply
Flag
Tv Land. I'm sick of watching reruns of Spongebob and iCarly.
Reply
Flag
Nichelodeon, for Rugrats, All That, and Kenan and Kel...sigh... the kids of today are missing out
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook