Difference between revisions of "Pinwheel (partially found Nickelodeon puppet series; 1977-1990)"

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(Figured out the issue in the songbook. Also didn't have enough space to say this before, but I think what was taken off YouTube was a duplicate of what's on Dailymotion anyway.)
 
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{{InfoboxLost
 
{{InfoboxLost
 
|title=<center>Pinwheel</center>
 
|title=<center>Pinwheel</center>
|image=Logosongbook.png
+
|image=Nickelodeon-Pinwheel-promo-image.jpg
|imagecaption=Title card, as taken from ''The Pinwheel Songbook''.
+
|imagecaption=Promo image showing the characters Luigi (puppet), Franci, and Coco
 
|status=<span style="color:orange;">'''Partially Found'''</span>
 
|status=<span style="color:orange;">'''Partially Found'''</span>
 
}}
 
}}
'''''Pinwheel''''' was an American television series that aired on the Nickelodeon cable network from 1979-1990. It was initially broadcasted on channel C-3, a network available through Warner Cable's QUBE system in Columbus, Ohio.
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'''''Pinwheel''''' was an American television series for preschoolers.<ref>[https://www.cablecenter.org/images/files/pdf/EquipmentArchives/Qube-Direct-Marketing-Dec-1977-p34-38.pdf Scan of "Direct Marketing" interview about QUBE and ''Pinwheel''.] Retrieved 1 Jan '21</ref> It was the first series to air on the Nickelodeon cable network, as well as the first to appear on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block.<ref name="reno">[https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/152146571/ Schedule for the Nick Jr. block's launch date (4 Jan 1988) from the ''Reno Gazette-Journal''.] Retrieved 1 Jan '21</ref> With 260 episodes, it remains Nickelodeon's longest-running series in episodes and hours on air to date. It aired from 1977 to 1990.
  
''Pinwheel'' was the starting point of Nickelodeon, not only being the first series developed for the network but with 260 episodes, it remains the longest-running series in episodes and hours on air from Nickelodeon to date.
+
The show's first season was shown exclusively on QUBE, an experimental cable system in Columbus, Ohio. The show was carried on a channel slot labeled C-3, which was dedicated entirely to ''Pinwheel''. In 1979, Channel C-3 expanded into a national network called Nickelodeon. ''Pinwheel'' remained on the network, and an additional two seasons were made.
 +
 
 +
==Premise==
 +
The show is set in Pinwheel House, a large boarding house that is powered by a spinning pinwheel. The house's residents are a mix of live-action humans and puppets, who band together to solve problems, sing songs, and play games relevant to preschoolers. In the first season, each episode featured long storytelling segments, narrated and illustrated by Franci Anderson. Anderson did not return for the second and third seasons, so the storytelling segments were replaced with foreign animations acquired from outside companies. Acquiring these animations also decreased the show's workload, allowing for higher production values for the main human/puppet segments.
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
''Pinwheel'' was the flagship series on C-3, a commercial-free children's television network available through Time Warner's QUBE from December 1st, 1977-April 1st, 1979, while cable television broadcasting was still in its infancy. QUBE was the first two-way major market interactive cable system and had brought many new concepts that are still used today in modern cable, such as pay-per-view and special interest networks. This channel, in particular, was also a "community" channel (Hence the "C" in "C-3"), meaning that it was provided to QUBE subscribers at no additional cost. ''Pinwheel'' would air exclusively from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST.
+
The first season of ''Pinwheel'' aired locally in Columbus, Ohio, as part of an experimental cable system called QUBE. QUBE was the first two-way major market interactive cable system and introduced many concepts that are still used today in modern cable, such as pay-per-view and special interest networks. ''Pinwheel'' was carried on a channel slot labeled C-3. This channel slot, in particular, was a "community" channel (hence the "C" in "C-3"), meaning that it was provided to QUBE subscribers at no additional cost. ''Pinwheel'' would air exclusively from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST. Because ''Pinwheel'' was the only show on Channel C-3, some viewers mistakenly assumed that ''Pinwheel'' was the name of the network, when it was just the name of the series.
  
Both the channel and television series were developed by Dr Vivian Horner, who had previously worked on ''The Electric Company'' as director of research, and Gus Hauser, who was the CEO of Warner Cable. In the very early stages of ''Pinwheel's'' development, cast and crew members, consisting of Dr Vivian Horner, Sandy Kavanaugh, Andrea Cvirko, Gabi Lopez, Brad Williams and George James, would meet at the Warner Communications offices four times a week to share ideas. These meetings resulted in the ''Pinwheel'' episodes produced in Columbus in 1977.<ref> [http://classic-nickelodeon-fan-blog.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/interview-with-george-james.html Interview with ''Pinwheel'' cast member George James.] Retrieved 26 Jul '15</ref>
+
The series was created by Dr. Vivian Horner, an educator who had previously worked at the Children's Television Workshop. She notably served as the director of research on the Workshop's series ''The Electric Company''. In the very early stages of ''Pinwheel's'' development, the cast and crew members (consisting of Dr Vivian Horner, Sandy Kavanaugh, Andrea Cvirko, Gabi Lopez, Brad Williams and George James) would meet at the Warner Communications offices four times a week to share ideas. These meetings resulted in the first season of ''Pinwheel'' episodes, produced in Columbus in 1977.<ref> [http://classic-nickelodeon-fan-blog.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/interview-with-george-james.html Interview with ''Pinwheel'' cast member George James.] Retrieved 26 Jul '15</ref>
  
Soon enough, the name C-3 was dropped, and the network was renamed The ''Pinwheel'' Network. Initially, this network was also used as a loss leader for Warner Cable against rival companies such as HBO, due to the fact that HBO had no network specifically for children at this point in time.
+
Initially, ''Pinwheel'' was considered a loss leader for Warner Cable against rival companies such as HBO, due to the fact that HBO had no network specifically for children at this point in time. Warner eventually purchased the communications satellite RCA Satcom-1 from televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. This allowed them to expand Channel C-3 into a national network, which was renamed Nickelodeon. The satellite went into orbit on March 26, 1979, and on April 1, Nickelodeon was officially launched in Buffalo, New York. ''Pinwheel'' remained one of the most popular series on the network, not only spanning 260 episodes but also spawning a live show. ''Pinwheel'' remained in production until about 1984, and it aired reruns until 1990.
  
Warner then purchased the communications satellite RCA Satcom-1 from televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. This went into orbit on March 26, 1979, and on April 1, Nickelodeon was launched in Buffalo, New York. ''Pinwheel'' remained one of the most popular series on the network, not only spanning 260 episodes but also spawning a live show.
+
On January 4th, 1988, Nickelodeon launched the Nick Jr. block, a weekday morning block for preschoolers. ''Pinwheel'' was the first series to air during the block,<ref name="reno"/> and for the next three years, ''Pinwheel'' was Nick Jr.'s flagship show. Since 1988, ''Pinwheel'' has been exclusively part of the Nick Jr. brand. When Nickelodeon makes reference to the show, they categorize it as a Nick Jr. series, and the social media pages for Nick Jr. feature images from ''Pinwheel'' on occasion.<ref name="twitter">[https://twitter.com/nickjr/status/1322194491374260229 Post from @NickJr on Twitter, featuring the ''Pinwheel'' cast.] Retrieved 1 Jan '21</ref>
  
''Pinwheel'' remained in production until about 1984 and aired reruns until 1990.
+
==Availability==
 +
Despite airing for thirteen years, episodes have been proven difficult to find. ''Pinwheel'' last aired in 1990. In the 30 years, it has been absent from television. Only about 10 hours of footage have been recovered. This includes the segments featured in the show's only home media release, ''The Pinwheel Songbook''. Much of the found footage was initially on a bootleg compilation DVD available through a Freewebs site called "Stuff I Like".<ref>[http://stuffilike.epizy.com/pinwheel.htm The DVD set from "Stuff I Like".] Retrieved 27 Jul '15</ref>
  
==Episode Status==
+
Nickelodeon still owns the rights to the ''Pinwheel'' characters. They have been featured on Nick Jr.'s official social media pages as recently as 2020.<ref name="twitter"/> However, the show itself has never been aired or released since 1990. Chances of ''Pinwheel'' ever airing again are incredibly slim.
Despite airing for thirteen years, episodes have been proven difficult to find. ''Pinwheel'' last aired in 1990, and in the 30 years, it has been absent from television, only about 10 hours of footage has been recovered (Including the segments featured in ''The Pinwheel Songbook''). These were originally on a bootleg compilation DVD available through a Freewebs site called "Stuff I Like".<ref>[http://www.freewebs.com/stuffilike/pinwheel.htm The DVD set from "Stuff I Like".] Retrieved 27 Jul '15</ref>
 
 
 
It is currently unknown if Nickelodeon still owns broadcast rights. Regardless, chances of ''Pinwheel'' ever airing again are extremely slim.
 
  
 
==Gallery==
 
==Gallery==
 
<gallery mode=packed heights=175px>
 
<gallery mode=packed heights=175px>
 +
File:PINWHEEL PRODUCER SANDY KAVANAUGH AND PUPPETEER BRAD WIILLIA.jpg|
 +
File:PINWHEEL PUPPETS.jpg|
 +
File:Ebeneezer.jpeg|
 
File:ANDY FERGUSON ON PINWHEEL SET.jpg|
 
File:ANDY FERGUSON ON PINWHEEL SET.jpg|
File:BOB BENEDICT.jpg|
 
 
File:GEORGE AND ANDY ON PINWHEEL SET.jpg|
 
File:GEORGE AND ANDY ON PINWHEEL SET.jpg|
 
File:GEORGE JAMES.jpg|
 
File:GEORGE JAMES.jpg|
 
File:MORTON HAMS FOR PINWHEEL KIDS.jpg|
 
File:MORTON HAMS FOR PINWHEEL KIDS.jpg|
File:PINWHEEL PRODUCER SANDY KAVANAUGH AND PUPPETEER BRAD WIILLIA.jpg|
 
 
File:PINWHEEL PRODUCTION MEETING.jpg|
 
File:PINWHEEL PRODUCTION MEETING.jpg|
File:PINWHEEL PUPPETS.jpg|
 
File:Ebeneezer.jpeg|
 
 
File:Pinwheel Butterfly Puppet.png|
 
File:Pinwheel Butterfly Puppet.png|
 
File:Felxitoon.png|
 
File:Felxitoon.png|
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   |description1 =22 minutes of Plus and Minus segments.
 
   |description1 =22 minutes of Plus and Minus segments.
 
}}
 
}}
==Notable ''Pinwheel'' Content==
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==See Also==
This is a brief list of ''Pinwheel'' clips/in the ''Pinwheel'' block that have separate articles on this wiki.
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*[[O parádivé Sally aka "Clock Man" (found Czech animated short; 1976)|''O parádivé Sally'' aka "Clock Man"]] - An animated short that was allegedly featured on ''Pinwheel'' between the show's usual puppet/human segments.
 
 
Sketches:
 
*[[O parádivé Sally aka "Clock Man" (found Czech animated short; 1976)]]
 
  
 
==External Link==
 
==External Link==

Latest revision as of 22:25, 24 March 2021

Nickelodeon-Pinwheel-promo-image.jpg

Promo image showing the characters Luigi (puppet), Franci, and Coco

Status: Partially Found

Pinwheel was an American television series for preschoolers.[1] It was the first series to air on the Nickelodeon cable network, as well as the first to appear on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block.[2] With 260 episodes, it remains Nickelodeon's longest-running series in episodes and hours on air to date. It aired from 1977 to 1990.

The show's first season was shown exclusively on QUBE, an experimental cable system in Columbus, Ohio. The show was carried on a channel slot labeled C-3, which was dedicated entirely to Pinwheel. In 1979, Channel C-3 expanded into a national network called Nickelodeon. Pinwheel remained on the network, and an additional two seasons were made.

Premise[edit | edit source]

The show is set in Pinwheel House, a large boarding house that is powered by a spinning pinwheel. The house's residents are a mix of live-action humans and puppets, who band together to solve problems, sing songs, and play games relevant to preschoolers. In the first season, each episode featured long storytelling segments, narrated and illustrated by Franci Anderson. Anderson did not return for the second and third seasons, so the storytelling segments were replaced with foreign animations acquired from outside companies. Acquiring these animations also decreased the show's workload, allowing for higher production values for the main human/puppet segments.

History[edit | edit source]

The first season of Pinwheel aired locally in Columbus, Ohio, as part of an experimental cable system called QUBE. QUBE was the first two-way major market interactive cable system and introduced many concepts that are still used today in modern cable, such as pay-per-view and special interest networks. Pinwheel was carried on a channel slot labeled C-3. This channel slot, in particular, was a "community" channel (hence the "C" in "C-3"), meaning that it was provided to QUBE subscribers at no additional cost. Pinwheel would air exclusively from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST. Because Pinwheel was the only show on Channel C-3, some viewers mistakenly assumed that Pinwheel was the name of the network, when it was just the name of the series.

The series was created by Dr. Vivian Horner, an educator who had previously worked at the Children's Television Workshop. She notably served as the director of research on the Workshop's series The Electric Company. In the very early stages of Pinwheel's development, the cast and crew members (consisting of Dr Vivian Horner, Sandy Kavanaugh, Andrea Cvirko, Gabi Lopez, Brad Williams and George James) would meet at the Warner Communications offices four times a week to share ideas. These meetings resulted in the first season of Pinwheel episodes, produced in Columbus in 1977.[3]

Initially, Pinwheel was considered a loss leader for Warner Cable against rival companies such as HBO, due to the fact that HBO had no network specifically for children at this point in time. Warner eventually purchased the communications satellite RCA Satcom-1 from televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. This allowed them to expand Channel C-3 into a national network, which was renamed Nickelodeon. The satellite went into orbit on March 26, 1979, and on April 1, Nickelodeon was officially launched in Buffalo, New York. Pinwheel remained one of the most popular series on the network, not only spanning 260 episodes but also spawning a live show. Pinwheel remained in production until about 1984, and it aired reruns until 1990.

On January 4th, 1988, Nickelodeon launched the Nick Jr. block, a weekday morning block for preschoolers. Pinwheel was the first series to air during the block,[2] and for the next three years, Pinwheel was Nick Jr.'s flagship show. Since 1988, Pinwheel has been exclusively part of the Nick Jr. brand. When Nickelodeon makes reference to the show, they categorize it as a Nick Jr. series, and the social media pages for Nick Jr. feature images from Pinwheel on occasion.[4]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Despite airing for thirteen years, episodes have been proven difficult to find. Pinwheel last aired in 1990. In the 30 years, it has been absent from television. Only about 10 hours of footage have been recovered. This includes the segments featured in the show's only home media release, The Pinwheel Songbook. Much of the found footage was initially on a bootleg compilation DVD available through a Freewebs site called "Stuff I Like".[5]

Nickelodeon still owns the rights to the Pinwheel characters. They have been featured on Nick Jr.'s official social media pages as recently as 2020.[4] However, the show itself has never been aired or released since 1990. Chances of Pinwheel ever airing again are incredibly slim.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Full episode.
51 minutes of footage.
The Pinwheel Roadshow
Most of an unknown episode.
Full episode.
Full episode.
42 minutes of an episode.
48 minutes of an episode.
Full episode.
43 minutes of an episode.
A 4 minute short.
The Pinwheel Songbook.
22 minutes of Pinwheel from a Betamax tape.
47 more minutes of Pinwheel footage.
17 minutes of unidentified Pinwheel footage.
A full episode.
Nearly 9 minutes of an episode.
Over an hour of QUBE Pinwheel.
50 minutes of QUBE Pinwheel.
30 minutes of Plus and Minus segments.
22 minutes of Plus and Minus segments.

See Also[edit | edit source]

External Link[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]