Special Delivery was an American anthology series on Nickelodeon, broadcast during weekend afternoons from 1980 until 1993, when the network's original programming output was deemed sufficient to discontinue the block. Special Delivery mainly carried a variety of productions for children purchased by Nickelodeon, including both live-action and animated programming. Much of this programming was made up of children-focused made-for-TV movies produced in Canada in the 1970s and 80s, short films originally made for the ABC Afterschool Special and CBS Schoolbreak Special anthology series, sports specials (often with the time purchased from Nickelodeon by the event's distributors), and some unsold television pilots adapted to an hour-long timeslot.
The block has also been aired under different names such as Nickelodeon Lunch Break Theater (in the summer of 1992), Nick Jr. Lunchbreak Theater (from late 1992 to April 1993), and Nick Jr. Storytime (from April 1993 to June 1995).
Presentations on Special Delivery were varied in focus and origin. A May 1984 issue of Boys' Life referred to the programs shown on Special Delivery as "fill-in shows" compared to the rest of Nickelodeon's lineup. Most programs were aimed at family audiences, but in an attempt to emulate the success of sister network MTV, Nickelodeon occasionally aired rock-and-roll concerts as part of the block. The earliest known Special Delivery broadcast was a Rick Derringer concert, which aired on April 6, 1980. According to a March 1983 interview with Nickelodeon's acquisitions manager Eileen Opatut, potential acquisitions for the series were tested in schools before being chosen to air.
List of programs
- May 14, 1988 - Kagaku Sentai Dynaman (known in the English dub as Scientific Squadron Dynaman or simply Dynaman) (The first ever showing of Super Sentai on American television, 5 years before Power Rangers was created, though it originally aired on American television much earlier on the USA network, and specifically on the Night Flight block on that network)
- Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics ()
- August 27, 1989 - Eureeka's Castle (The show officially premiered on Nick Jr. on September 4, 1989)
- Nickelodeon Wild Side Show (pilot episode aired on Nickelodeon Lunch Break Theater on June 30, 1992, and on Special Delivery on July 10, 1992.)
- Viacom Cablevision Program Listings - April 6, 1980. Statesman Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2019.