As a huge fan of 90s Nickelodeon, I was excited to read the new book Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age, written by Matthew Klickstein. The book details the ups and downs of Nickelodeon from the 1980s and 1990s. It covers everything from starting the first kids network in 1979 to creating original programming.
One thing that surprised me is that the book chapters are in interview form rather than like a biography. The titles of each chapter represent the question that are answered by many former Nickelodeon cast and crew; some of which include actors Melissa Joan Hart, Kenan Thompson, and Michelle Trachtenberg as well as creators Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold), Jim Jinkins (Doug), and D.J. MacHale (Are You Afraid of the Dark?). Since I associate Nickelodeon as a network for children, some “colorful” language in the book took me by surprise.
Brandon Tartikoff was NBC’s entertainment president from 1980 to 1991. This is a book review of his memoir The Last Great Ride, which was published in 1992.
During the 1980 and early 1990s, NBC was “Must See TV”. It was also a time, as Brandon Tartikoff points out in his memoir, where a “27 share was the dividing line between renewal and cancellation.” Nowadays, the highest rated show on television, American Idol, does not even get close to a 27 share. American Idol only gets a 14 share due to the increasing number of niche audience, the fact that most homes have more than one television, and everyone can watch almost anything whenever and wherever they want. Brandon Tartikoff knew this in 1992, which was the year his book The Last Great Ride was published and VCRs were the only commonly found television-recording devices.