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Pinwheel was the flagship program for the then-new Nickelodeon network back in 1979, and in fact the entirety of the network's output from 1977 to 1979. (Nick was even called Pinwheel during that time.) It was a program similar to Sesame Street in many ways, having a standard human cast with numerous puppet friends. One of the interesting twists about Pinwheel was that it exposed American and Canadian children to otherwise unavailable European short subjects, like Miximetric, Chapi Chapo, Bod and Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.

The series ran throughout the early days of Nickelodeon, usually running in three- to five-hour blocks in the mornings. It eventually became part of the Nick Jr. block of programming. The series ended its run in 1989, when it was replaced with newer Nick Jr. shows.

Pinwheel contains the following tropes


  • Early Installment Weirdness: There was a lot more music in the first season. Plus and Minus looked a lot more alien, too; when the series was retooled for Nickelodeon they were redesigned to look more like actual children.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The series was never re-aired after cancellation, making many believe that it didn't exist. There have been numerous attempts to petition the release of some episodes on DVD, but to no avail. Your best shot of watching this show would be to find a bootleg on eBay.
    • A few episodes have been uploaded to YouTube.
  • Retool: A lighter version when the series went national and was picked up as Nickelodeon's very first show. New human and puppet characters were added (Herbert and Lulu the hobo bugs, Aurelia's niece Kim) and some were removed (the Wonkles), the show cut down on the amount of songs used to make room for animated shorts, and actual sets were used. The basic concept was still the same, though.
  • Running Gag: In the "Plus Goes to the Moon" sketches, Plus would try taking a rocket to the moon, but he would get distracted easily, leaving the rocket to blast off without him.
    • Smitty is always looking for the Admiral Bird, a strange, goofy-looking bird that only appeared when he was out of the room and couldn't take a picture of him.
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