Fact Check: Nickelodeon Was NOT Named After Nicholas Elodeon, Who Did NOT Create The Channel

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: Nickelodeon Was NOT Named After Nicholas Elodeon, Who Did NOT Create The Channel Not Nick's TV

Was Nickelodeon named after Nicholas Elodeon, the creator of the kids TV channel? No, that's not true: What eventually became Nickelodeon began as Pinwheel, an experimental kids show produced by a cable company in Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1970s. It was later renamed Nickelodeon, a reference to the earliest movie exhibition theaters.

The claim appeared in a tweet posted on July 27, 2021, featuring a photo of actor Nick Cannon, a star of Nickelodeon shows in the 1990s, and a message that read:

"Fun Fact: The name nickelodeon comes from the CEO Nicholas Elodeon who created the company back in 1977."

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Fri Jul 30 23:33:34 2021 UTC)

The photo purporting to be Nicholas Elodeon is actually Nick Cannon, who starred in several Nickelodeon shows when he was a young actor. He is now a host on radio and TV.

While his early career is closely associated with Nickelodeon, he was not born until 1980 and did not create it. The Nickelodeon shows began as "Pinwheel" on QUBE-TV, an experiment by Warner Cable Corp. using its subscribers in Columbus, Ohio, to test interactive television technology. It was later expanded to other Warner Cable systems.

This video was produced in the earliest days of the channel to promote its kid-friendly programming.

An article on ScreenRant.com titled What Does Nickelodeon Mean? The Name's Origin Explained explained that Nickelodeon is not a made-up name, but is a throwback to the earliest days of movie theaters:

Contrary to what many believe, "Nickelodeon" is not a made-up word for the network, but a theatre from the early 1900s. Nickelodeons were the first type of indoor exhibition spaces dedicated to showing motion pictures, and took their name from the admission cost (five cents) and the ancient Greek word "odeion", which refers to a roofed-over theater. They were characterized by their continuous performance of short films and illustrated songs, and even though they weren't exactly the most comfortable places, with wooden seats and bad ventilation, they were quite popular.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

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