Nickel Flicks (lost inaugural Nickelodeon series; 1979)

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The Nickel Flicks logo.

Status: Lost

Nickel Flicks was a children's TV series that aired on Nickelodeon in 1979 as one of the network's inaugural programs, and the first original series to ever air on the new network. An unknown amount of episodes were produced, with the show being cancelled in the same year, making it the only show to not last until 1980 and to end on the network.[1]


Nickel Flicks was a "package show", or a show that airs preexisting material with wraparound segments that play in between said material. The show aired "cliffhanger" and suspense serials[2] from the 1920s-40s, as well as other silent short features.[3] Many of these serials and short films revolved around slapstick-comedy elements and some violence, with the show being advertised as "with no sugar-coating". The executive producer of the show, Bill Riley, has stated:

"any violence [on the program] is either less intense than that found on commercial television or is clearly intended as comedy."[4]

Some of the artists who were profiled on Nickel Flicks include:[Notes 1][2][3][5]

  • Buster Crabbe (appearing in the Flash Gordon serial)
  • Tom Mix (appearing in The Miracle Rider serial)
  • Gene Autry
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Bela Lugosi
  • Roy Rogers
  • John Wayne
  • Rin Tin Tin

The show aired from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nickelodeon.[2]

John Moschitta Jr., the host of Nickel Flicks.

The show was hosted by John Moschitta Jr., known later for his rapid speech delivery and appearing in commercials for companies like FedEx and Micro Machines. John Moschitta Jr. was originally working on various shows with QUBE, the cable service Nickelodeon spun off from. Nickel Flicks would become the first television appearance of Moschitta's career.

Moschitta has stated that he played a Sidney Greenstreet-type character on the show that would play in between the serials. In these segments, Moschitta would talk about public affairs issues relating in some way to the plots or stars of the showcased serials.[6]


Later in 1979, Nickel Flicks would be cancelled. According to Moschitta, it was because Nick billed itself at the time as having "non-violent" programming for kids and Nickel Flicks was yanked due to complaints about the violent nature of many of the serials.[1]

After this, the show was largely forgotten by the public and no recordings of the show are known to exist, partially due to the still-growing market of VCRs and having little to no chance of re-airing due to the rights of some of the shorts. Moschitta has stated himself that much of his work on QUBE, including Nickel Flicks, had their master tapes sold off in public auctions.[6] The whereabouts of these tapes are still unknown, and who owns them has not been identified. Only a few newspaper mentions at the time of the show's airing have been found to prove its existence.




Poparena's "Nick Knacks" episode on Nickel Flicks.


  1. It is currently unknown if Nickel Flicks aired all of the serials listed below before the show was cancelled.

See Also

Anthology and Short Series

Bumpers and Promos


Game Shows

Inaugural Series

Live Action



External Links