The show was hosted by Linda Ellerbee. The show was originally titled Nick News W/5 until its format of "who, what, when, where, and why" was dropped. Episodes appeared sporadically on Sunday nights around 8 p.m. For years it was the highly rated and recognized news program for children and teenage viewers.
The last episode aired on December 15, 2015. It was a one-hour special named "Hello, I Must Be Going: 25 Years of Nick News with Linda Ellerbee".
In June 2020, Nick News was revived with a special hosted by Alicia Keys with a focus on addressing racial injustice in America in the wake of a renewed surge of civil unrest and Black Lives Matter protests following several more high-profile deaths of black people in altercations with police officers during the month of May 2020 and the subsequent focus by the entertainment industry on addressing and combating racism with a more serious drive behind it than most prior attempts to do so. The special was met with acclaim, and in October 2020, Nickelodeon revived the Nick News brand as a series of specials, such as one about the 2020 presidential election hosted by Keke Palmer and another hosted by CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas about Earth Day and climate change.
This show provides examples of:
- Alcoholic Parent: One episode revolves around children who have alcoholic parents.
- Darker and Edgier: The series deals with tough topics like domestic abuse, alcoholism, politics, house fires, etc. It's much more serious than other Nickelodeon shows.
- Domestic Abuse: The episode "Family Secrets: When Violence Hits Home" deals with the topic of parents abusing one another.
- Fleeting Demographic: Kids outgrow the show as they age. This is lampshaded in the final special. Linda mentions that it's unlikely that someone who began watching in 1992 would still be watching it in 2015.
- Green Aesop: The series had two environmental episodes: a 1993 episode called "Plan it for the Planet" and a 2007 episode called "A Global Warning From the Kids of the World". Both were about global warming.
- Has Two Mommies: The 2002 episode "Nick News Special Edition: My Family Is Different" is themed around children talking about their families. Rosie O'Donnell appeared to discuss families with same-gender parents.
- Network Red-Headed Stepchild: By the time it ended, it was much more out of place whenever it appeared, as at this point Nickelodeon's audience and programming had changed drastically.
- Too Smart for Strangers: 1994's Nick News with Linda Ellerbee Special Edition - Stranger Danger was all about safety and stranger danger. It is one of the few episodes with a home release.