In case you missed the rad news, Nickelodeon is launching an all-night channel (sort of along the lines of Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, if I understand correctly) called The Splat, which will air 90s programming from 10pm to 6am beginning Monday, October 5. That’s 8 glorious hours of awesome childhood memories every night.
At first, the rumors seemed to imply that The Splat would only be showing Nick cartoons of the 90s. But. they’ve finally announced the line-up (in alphabetical order): All That, The Angry Beavers, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Catdog, Clarissa Explains It All, Hey Arnold!, Hey Dude, Kenan & Kel, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Rocko’s Modern Life, Rugrats, Salute Your Shorts, and The Wild Thornberrys.
Clearly, this late night programming is aimed at “Millennials” – possibly the mostly highly sought after demographic right now. I’m kind of on the border of Gen X and Millennials, not really identifying completely with the “qualities” (read: stereotypes) of either generation. I think that I was a little bit older than the key demographic for this channel when all of these programs were originally airing. So, most of the cartoons scheduled to air on this network weren’t really in my wheelhouse, with the exception of Rugrats.
Personally, I’m drawn to the shows on this list that began airing in 1990 or 91 (or even 1989 in the case of one on my list). I mean, The Angry Beavers started in 1997 and I don’t even know that that is… So, what I’m really excited to catch on The Splat are some the live-action ones that I have such fond memories of:
- Clarissa Explains it All was essentially a guide to growing up.
- Salute Your Shorts was hilarious and irreverent, and my parents didn’t like it. So, of course, I loved it.
- Legends of the Hidden Temple is simply one of the best game shows of all time.
- Hey, Dude. I was obsessed with this show. I can’t even tell you why. But I can tell you that we used to play “Hey, Dude” in the neighborhood after school.
(It also means that I hope those shows are the ones airing closer to 10pm, because I’m old.)
But, even with this long list of shows confirmed to be airing on The Splat, with programming from all over the 90s – a decade during which Nickelodeon’s content and style was changing a lot – I feel like there are two shows missing from this programming block that were definitely formative for me:
The Adventures of Pete & Pete (shorts 1989-1990, series 1991-1996)
A show about two brothers (both named Pete), their family, their friends, their neighbors, their quirky town, and their surreal adventures. IGN has called this, “one of the most well-written kids shows ever.” This is yet another show that I shared with my brother, who was much older, and we still reference Pete & Pete episodes to this day.
The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998)
Yeah, it’s from 1994. But this is the show that replaced Clarissa Explains it All in the SNICK line-up (Saturday Night Nick). I was a young science fiction fan, and here was watching a show about a girl with chemical-plant induced superpowers figuring out not only herself but her powers. And it’s only in highsight that I really how awesome that is.
So, yeah. I’ll be checking out The Splat next week. And, if I’m still awake, I might be watching some Clarissa, or some scary stories that will probably still not sit well with me. But I do hope that this new channel is successful enough to stick around long enough to change up their programming. And maybe they’ll add Pete & Pete and/or Alex Mack to the line-up. Oh, and maybe even Doug.