Doc NYC Review: ‘The Orange Years’ is an Overly Ambitious History of Nickelodeon

Breaking the rules and providing kids a space to hang out and be kids, Nickelodeon proved to be a progressive network one sliming at a time. As documented in the occasionally charming yet awfully brief The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story, the experimental network was itself formed from a cable experiment in Columbus, Ohio called Qube, an early interactive video on demand service.

Directed by Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney, The Orange Years interviews players critical to the network’s success including former network president Gerry Laybourne whose vision for “Nick” included a rebranding in the style of MTV with its freeform iconic orange blob that could morph into anything. The early years proved to be rocky with the station importing and dubbing cartoons until it found success with You Can’t Do That On Television, a Canadian import that spoke directly to the network’s target demographic.

Spanning the

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