Rejected Nickelodeon Shows
Nickelodeon has a long history of programming one hit show after another for kids. But for every series that ran for years and gained millions of adoring fans, there were the ones that got cancelled halfway through their pilot episode. Here are just a few of those series that died a quick, merciful death.
Can’t Cat a Break
A vain, stuck-up, selfish high school girl is turned into a cat by a gypsy-witch-wizard and must help 11,874 individual people before she can become human again. However, now that she’s a cat she has absolutely no way of telling if anyone needs her help nor the means to do anything about it if she did. And so the series simply followed around a calico as it slept 18 hours a day, pushed the occasional glass off a counter, stared intently at nothing or—in a riveting two-part “Very Special Episode”—coughed up a bug.
Hoping to capitalize on the minor success of their series “Hey, Dude” and tap into the huge Spanish-speaking market, Nickelodeon introduced this spin-off about two kids who work on a ranch in Coahuila, Mexico. Alas, due to remarkably poor casting, the two teenage leads were played by Hispanic men in their late 50’s. Then a very limited budget resulted in the series clearly being shot in Los Angeles instead of on location in Mexico, as seen by the countless scenes filmed at an In-and-Out Burger. And finally, none of the show’s writers actually spoke Spanish, resulting in introductory course dialogue that consisted entirely of what color a pencil was and the constant search for a library.
Three clean-cut teens (Pam, Billy and Other Billy) find and fix-up an old jalopy only to realize that not only is it alive but it also embodies the spirit of little-known founding father Arthur Middleton. "Artie"–as the kids dub him much to his dismay–tries to teach the trio about the historical significance of the Revolutionary War, but the gang instead decides to enter the car in one demolition derby after another to help raise money for their band "The Car Wreckers." Much of the show's humor derived from "Artie" slowly losing not only his posh accent but also his motor skills and cognitive abilities due to the horrible collisions he endured on the derby circuit on a daily basis. By series' end the immobile "Artie" could only form bubbles from his grille and demand pancakes at an ever-increasing volume.
A young boy named Jimmy who eats nothing but fast food bangs his head and wakes up in Pattiesburgh, a city “founded, incorporated, governed in a democratic-republican fashion and outfitted with an extensive, financially-prudent mass transportation system by huge, talking hamburgers,” according to the less-than-memorable theme song lyrics. The show revolved around the town’s good-hearted leader “Burgermeister,” the power-pop trio “The Pickle Chips,” and the curiously out-of-place “Asian Salad with Premium Spring Salad Mix,” all trying to help Jimmy get back to his own world. Unfortunately, the child actor playing Jimmy spent the entire series screaming in utter, unstoppable terror at the sight of the large-headed, anthropomorphic food puppets, resulting in every episode focusing on the costumed cast sitting around playing cards, talking about summer stock theater and dropping dead from heat exhaustion.
Inspired by one TV executive’s bad reaction to flu medication, this trippy series followed the adventures of a brother and sister who make friends with a talking brownie inside a mirror-walled kewpie doll teetering on the edge of a teacup in a pirate ship as a xylophone learns to play itself. Despite attempts to impart life lessons (such as the importance of writing your name on your hand, phonetically, should you forget who you are), the program baffled critics and scared the crap out of four-year-olds, who were its target market. Eventually the show was pulled and replaced with another series from the same medicated executive–“Clap, Clap, Clap,” about giant hands that make thunder noise for a living.
Spongebob Squarepants Real-Life Adventures
In an attempt to save money on animation and shorten production schedules, Nickelodeon briefly reworked “Spongebob Squarepants” as a live-action series using real underwater footage. It took the network only a few episodes, though, to realize that actual sea sponges have very little wacky adventures outside of expelling waste and releasing sperm cells into the water, that starfish can’t take direction to save their lives and that few crabs have ever fathered a whale or secured the small business loan to open up a restaurant.
What's your fave forgotten NIckelodeon show? Let us know in the comments!