As has been the case for over a decade now, Nickelodeon is the only cable network that sits on a large number of unaired episodes – even of top rated shows (at least during the time each series was on). Why?
Some of these shows had large numbers of episodes that went unaired for years before finally showing up on one of their digital networks, mainly Nicktoons. In a few cases, it’s because the show was so unpopular during its broadcast that the network abandoned it all together. Noah Knows Best fits that category perfectly. The short-lived 13 episode series started in October 2000 before being yanked that December. Five episodes went unaired and to this day have not aired in America.
That leads to the biggest mystery: the fact that many of these shows with unaired episodes in America have in fact aired in other countries. One possible reason the network held back on episodes, at least during the time the series was in its prime, was likely to extend the network’s availability to new episodes. That’s why some shows (like Hey Arnold!, All Grown Up and others) ended up airing their final episodes over a stretch of years. Those shows did end up airing all their episodes in one form or another, either on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons or TeenNick, but years after the show should have reasonably come to a conclusion.
Below is a list of series that contain episodes still to this day that have never aired on United States television (either on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, TeenNick, etc.):
- CatDog – Two half-hour episodes have still never seen the light of day on U.S. television. However, they have been released through DVD and on digital platforms (like Amazon Instant Video).
- Noah Knows Best – As noted above, five episodes remain unaired and are likely never going to be shown or released.
- As Told By Ginger – Eight half-hours remain unaired on U.S. television. Those include five high-school centered episodes and a 90-minute movie finale. That movie (“The Wedding Frame”) was released on DVD in 2004, but the other five episodes have not been. They all have aired in other countries, including on Nick Canada just this past month.
- The X’s – Strangely, one episode (“Theater of War / Breaking Camp”) of this one-season wonder never aired on Nick or Nicktoons. It did in international markets.
- My Family’s Got GUTS – A full second season of 12 episodes never aired in America, while it has at least aired in Australia.
- The Penguins of Madagascar – Nick still sits on 4.5 half-hours of this series. It aired in reruns on Nicktoons up to this past month, but these episodes, which include a much-touted at the time Big Time Rush voice-over episode as well as a Conan O’Brien-voiced episode, still haven’t aired. As is the case with others, these episodes have aired internationally.
- T.U.F.F. Puppy – Here’s a case where Nick over-ordered episodes on a show they had no intentions of airing to completion. 35 episodes aired on Nick before the network switched it over to Nicktoons last fall, where it has aired 18 episodes. Seven half-hours from season three are still waiting to be shown.
- Winx Club – Nick hasn’t aired 18 episodes from season six. Eight of them did air on Nick.com for a short time this May, but they haven’t been seen on TV yet. Though, Nick US looks to be done with this show altogether.
- You Gotta See This – Nick made 20 episodes of this hosted clip series but only aired eight on the main network in 2012, four on Nicktoons this past April Fools Day, and sits on eight episodes left to be aired.
- Robot and Monster – After Nick waited so long to finally premiere this show, then blasted new episodes out so quick in the second half of 2012, there are two half-hours still waiting to be seen. The show airs daily on Nicktoons, so I’m not sure what they’re waiting for. Two other unaired-on-Nick half-hours did premiere on Nicktoons in the past year, so there’s hope.
- Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness – While still recent, it’s only a matter of time before this series falls into this list like the others. 10 episodes remain to air and the main Nick channel doesn’t air it at all currently, while Nicktoons airs the show multiple times every day.
- Webheads – 18 episodes of this summer’s short-lived game show remain to be seen.
Of course Nick has also waited a length of time between when a series was at its prime to a time where no one cared, to finally air episodes – either on the main network, Nicktoons or TeenNick. Those include:
- The Ren & Stimpy Show – This show has its own sorted history, but it’s safe to say a number of episodes never aired on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons or TeenNick. Why? Content. “Man’s Best Friend” is the best example of this. I’m honestly not versed in Ren & Stimpy history as well as some others are, but a few episodes did end up airing for the first time on MTV, Spike TV or were seen through the show’s DVD release.
- The Angry Beavers – At least six episodes aired on Nicktoons only in 2006, and have since been release on DVD.
- All Grown Up – A gap of two years went between major chunks of episodes before Nick blasted 14 unaired episodes out on weekday mornings in 2007 and aired the final three in summer 2008.
- Invader ZIM – Like Ren & Stimpy, ZIM had a sorted history with the network – albeit shorter. 6.5 half-hour episodes didn’t originally air on Nick during the show’s 2001-2002 run. They were first released on DVD in 2004 and ended up premiering on TV in 2006 on Nicktoons Network. Many episodes also went unfinished in production, with seven of them having audio recordings available on the 2004 DVD sets.
- ChalkZone – Three years passed by before Nick aired the last six episodes in summer 2008 during the 6am hour.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot – A whole season of 12 episodes waited three years to finally rollout first on Nicktoons in 2008. Nick did air 11 of them the day after their Nicktoons debut, but for some reason didn’t bother to air the last episode.
- Mr. Meaty – They waited more than a year after Nick aired its last new episode before the final eight episodes aired on Nicktoons.
- Back at the Barnyard – 5.5 episodes aired on Nicktoons a year after Nick gave up on it.
- The Mighty B! – A massive 13.5 episodes ended up airing on Nicktoons only, after Nick no longer cared for it.
- Making Fiends – This show was originally intended for Nick but was buried on Nicktoons for its short six episodes.
- Rugrats: Pre-School Daze – These four half-hour specials aired in 2008 on Nick during the early weekend mornings, despite the fact that they were produced and first released on DVD sets a few years before.
- Random! Cartoons – Like Making Fiends, this was pushed to Nicktoons-only where it premiered its 13 episodes.
- The Troop – Over a year after Nick stopped airing the show, the final seven episodes aired on Nicktoons, four in October 2012 and three in May 2013.
- BrainSurge – Nick waited almost three years to air the final 10 episodes of the “Family BrainSurge” season this past May on Nicktoons.
- Fanboy & Chum Chum – A large 15 episodes were burned out on weekday mornings before one last episode went unaired for two years, before finally airing this past summer on Nicktoons.
- Planet Sheen – Only 10.5 of Sheen’s 26 episodes ever aired on Nick, before it was shifted to Nicktoons in 2012 for the rest of its run – a massive 15.5 episodes.
- Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures – Eight episodes were never aired on Nick but finally aired in spring 2013 on TeenNick.
- The Legend of Korra – We all know the travesty done to this excellent series, but at least it has been seen online and hopefully will finish airing on Nicktoons as well.
Preschool series aren’t even exempt from this treatment of having unaired episodes or waiting years before airing them on another network, in this case the Nick Jr. channel. However, I sadly don’t have enough information to compile proper lists for these series (which do include Yo Gabba Gabba, Fresh Beat Band, Wonder Pets and even Dora the Explorer).
In conclusion, it’s a sad reality that a major network like Nickelodeon, who actually produced all these show’s episodes, turned around and either never aired them or waited years before burning them off on a digital network at a time where few people actually even knew about or cared it.
For the first list of shows with unaired or unreleased episodes in America, here’s where you can play a part: Tell Nickelodeon you want to see these episodes! Share this story with others if you’d like, but do let Nickelodeon know (either through @NickelodeonTV on Twitter, their Facebook page or Tumblr).
Remember: Be nice. They likely won’t respond or acknowledge the angry or hate-filled comments. Just let them know that you’d love to see these unaired-in-America episodes on TV or would like to buy them on DVD/digital release.
Maybe together we can get at least a chunk of these 95.5 half-hour episodes completely unaired in America either aired or released in one form or another. Do it for the children… or the children of yesterday!