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Trivia / Pinwheel

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  • Adored by the Network: During its heyday, five episodes of Pinwheel were aired back to back each day, taking up five full hours of airtime. Pinwheel was seen as such a staple of the network that when its timeslot began to shrink in the late 1980s, plenty of fans could tell that something major was about to happen.
  • Follow the Leader: The show's crew members were hired for their previous experience in preschool television, with many of them coming from Sesame Street's production company, the Children's Television Workshop. As a result, the show's general format bears some similarities, though on Pinwheel, the puppet characters are much more of a secondary presence to the human hosts.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The last rerun aired on Nick Jr. in 1990, and the show has never been re-aired since. There have been numerous attempts to petition the release of some episodes on DVD, but to no avail. Your best shot of watching Pinwheel would be to find a bootleg recording on eBay, although a few episodes have been uploaded to YouTube. Rights issues with the foreign animated shorts Nickelodeon licensed for the show (see below) are a possible factor.
  • Long-Runners: The show aired new episodes for eight years (1977-1984) and was on the air for thirteen (1977-1990). It survived two network rebrandings before it fell on the third. It had the most episodes of any Nickelodeon show until SpongeBob SquarePants came along.
  • Missing Episode: A majority of the series is missing. While there were 260 hour-long episodes made, only around 10 hours of footage has appeared online. Nickelodeon does still appear to have all of the episodes but have never released them publicly.
  • Old Shame: Nickelodeon may view the series as an old shame, as they have never released the show on DVD or aired it since 1990. In fact, they barely acknowledge it at all (though to be fair to Pinwheel, this applies to most of their pre-90s programming).
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: Some webpages claim that R.E.M. made an early appearance on Pinwheel. This is highly unlikely as REM did not form until around 1980 and many of the Pinwheel episodes were filmed in the late 1970s. This may be because they did make an appearance on another early Nickelodeon show, Livewire, in 1983.

  • The second and third seasons of Pinwheel featured inserts of various foreign-made animations. The following is a (very) partial list of the recurring animated segments, grouped by country of origin:
    • United Kingdom: Bagpuss, Bod, Crystal Tipps and Alistair, Hattytown Tales, King Rollo, Paddington, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
    • France: Chapi Chapo, Emily (Emilie), The Magic Roundabout (Le Manège enchanté)note , Miximetric, "Caterpillar" interstitials
    • West Germany: Piggeldy and Frederick (Piggeldy und Frederick), "Mouse and elephant" segments from The Programme with the Mouse (Die Sendung mit der Maus)
    • Belgium: Musti, The Peelies (De Pilis), Tip and Tap (Tip en Tap)
    • Italy: Lilli Put Put, La Linea
    • Sweden: Alfie Atkins (Alfons Åberg), Charlie's Climbing Tree (Kalles klätterträd)
    • Denmark: Grizzle and Co. (Brumme og Co.), Indoor Games (Indendørslege), Little Penguin's World (Lille P.'s verden)
    • Poland: Jym and Jam (Bolek i Lolek)
    • Czechoslovakia: The Little Mole (Krteček), Sally (O paradivé Sally)
    • Hungary: The Rabbit with the Checkered Ears (A Kockásfülű nyúl)
    • Romania: Miaunel and Balanel (Miaunel și Bălănel)
    • Yugoslavia: Professor Balthazar
    • Japan: Tales of Magic (Manga Sekai Mukashi Banashi)