Nickelodeon was launched on December 1, 1977 as the Pinwheel channel in Columbus, Ohio alongside the QUBE cable system (now Time Warner Cable).
During its broadcast day, it would air shows such as the long running Pinwheel along with other TV shows such as Video Comic Book, America Goes Bananaz, Nickel Flicks and By the Way.
On April 1, 1979, the channel went national when they expanded to another QUBE system in Buffalo, New York.
During the day, Nickelodeon had begun playing "filler" segments in between shows. The channel's sign-on featured a pair of hands, which were in some of the fillers. Other fillers featured a male mime. Nickelodeon was mostly famous for two things in 1982: You Can't Do That on Television and the sign-off, which involved silver circles which combined to say "Nickelodeon". (During its early years Nickelodeon ended its programming at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, turning its channel over to the Alpha Repertory Television Service and, later for about a year, A&E Network). At one point the channel just went to a test screen after a sign-off. The channel was approved by the National Education Association.
In 1980, Geraldine Laybourne joined Nickelodeon's production team. She would become President of Nickelodeon in 1983.
On April 1, 1981, the channel had expanded nationwide as "Nickelodeon, the first channel just for kids".
"Nickelodeon" became known for its iconic green slime, originally featured in the channel's first major hit TV show, the 1980s Canadian comedy show You Can't Do That on Television. The green slime was then adopted by the station as a primary feature of many of its shows. In the early years, other shows such as Livewire, Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, The Third Eye and Mr. Wizard's World were part of the regular Nickelodeon time slots.