PopClips (partially found Nickelodeon music video TV series; 1980-1981)

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Title card.

Status: Partially Found

PopClips was a music video TV series that aired on Nickelodeon from March 31st, 1980, to April 4th, 1981.[1] Created and developed by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees fame, it is notable for being one of first television series to take advantage of the then-new medium of music videos, predating and being a possible inspiration for Music Television (MTV).[2]


The show was set inside a small room surrounded by an infinity cyclorama with various elements of music paraphernalia, where guest hosts reminiscent of "video jockeys" (VJs) would introduce the music videos. Some of the guest hosts would include Howie Mandel, Jack Armstrong, Jeff Michalski, Charles Fleischer, and Bill Martin.[3][4]


Nesmith, who had experience making music videos such as for his 1976 single "Rio", saw the medium as having potential and a way to add to the experience of music. Along with director William Dear and Warner Communications' executive vice president John Lack, would develop the initial concept for PopClips.[2] A catalog of available music videos was then created by Jo Bergman of Warner Records, and the production of 56 half-hour episodes would commence at the SamFilm sound stage in Sand City, California.[4]

After the show's brief run on Nickelodeon, John Lack and future president of MTV Networks Robert Pittman would use the concepts established by Nesmith as an inspiration for what would become the hit cable television network Music Television (MTV), launched by Warner Communications on August 1st, 1981.[5] The impact and involvement PopClips had in the creation and development of MTV is highly contested, as John Lack, Michael Nesmith, and William Dear have stated various narratives about this topic.[4][2]


Despite the show's historical impact, little has been preserved of PopClips' original run. No full episodes of the show have ever surfaced, with only two of the host segments and some bumpers being available. While the show itself is mostly lost, many of the music videos produced independently that would air on the program are available through various means.


Episode Clips

A part of an episode. (1/3)

A part of an' episode. (2/3)

A part of an episode, with Charles Fleischer closing out. (3/3)

News segment with a clip of Jack Armstrong hosting.

A clip of an unknown episode.


Original intro bumper.

Later intro bumper. (1/4)

Later intro bumper. (2/4)

Later intro bumper. (3/4)

Later intro bumper. (4/4)

Other Videos

Poparena's Nick Knacks video on PopClips.

See Also

Anthology and Short Series

Bumpers and Promos


Game Shows

Inaugural Series

Live Action



External Links