Nick at Nite is the long-running nighttime block on Nickelodeon, airing from primetime to early morning. It was created in 1985 after A&E (then known as ARTS), which previously filled the primetime slot on Nickelodeon's channel space, split away into its own 24 hour channel, likely because there was a small audience for children's programming after bedtime.
The block started off a "oldies channel" showcasing classic television sitcoms such as I Love Lucy, I Dream of Jeannie and SCTV. During The '90s in particular, this made it something of an interesting curiosity for media or history students (including, perhaps, media-students-to-be who watched Nick shows earlier in the day and stuck around before bedtime) because it was the only national programming block still regularly airing these shows in America, many of which were forty years old or more at that point, thus making it a good window back into the programming of The '50s for anyone who wanted to learn about the big shows of that era.
In 1996, the block spun off the oldies TV network, TV Land.
In 2004, Nick at Nite became its own timeshare "network" for Nielsen ratings purposes.note In that same year, Nick at Nite would begin producing original programming, including more dramatic series. These efforts would last until 2015, after Instant Mom concluded its run with its third season.
These nights, Nick at Nite's schedule is mainly composed of more contemporary movies and sitcoms such as Young Sheldon, Friends, Mike & Molly, and Mom. In rare animation examples, they air SpongeBob SquarePants and The Smurfs (2021) at 6:30 AM.