Nicktoons—a portmanteau of Nickelodeon and cartoons—are animated television shows that are produced by and aired on the children’s television channel Nickelodeon. Prior to 1991, Nickelodeon’s animated fare comprised mostly foreign made series. The idea for their original animated programming on the network began in the late 80s, after successes with game and variety shows. Starting in 1989, profits from those programs funded the “Nicktoons” project, with the first Nicktoons (Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Show) airing on Sunday, August 11, 1991. This format was repeated every Sunday.

Fred Seibert was a guiding force in the early years of the Nicktoons project before departing to Hanna-Barbera Productions in 1992; Seibert would continue with a similar project, Cartoon Cartoons, for Cartoon Network.