Rugrats Covers In TV Guide


The Rugrats were featured on the cover of the 10/26/1996 issue of the US TVGuide, as part of TVG's salute to children's television. This issue also featured an in-depth article about Rugrats, which includes plans for those new episodes everyone's talking about. Topics discussed for then-future episodes include Chanukah, Mother's Day, and the inter-religious lifestyle of Stu and Didi (shades of Bridget Loves Bernie), as well as a behind-the-scenes look at Klasky-Csupo studios.

(Left: the Rugrats on the cover of the 10/26/1996 TV Guide, © 1996 TV Guide Financial, Inc. Rugrats characters © Viacom.)


1. TVGuide had an error in this story; in the article, it referred to Boris as a "wise but addled senior Pickle"; Boris is Didi's father; Grandpa (Lou Pickles; Stu's dad) is the actual "wise but addled senior Pickle".

2. Also, regarding the "Chuckie's mother" issue, TVG said it was "one of the most asked questions on the Rugrats website"; first of all, Rugrats had no official website of its own at the time. Second, TVG gave no URL for this Rugrats site, but my guess is that the site in question was the now-closed Billy D'Augustine's site, which was the first Rugrats site, and the only one I knew of (at the time) that had an FAQ, which featured the "Chuckie's mother" question.

3. Finally, some TVG readers in the New York City area (Nick's home base) were probably not able to have Rugrats on the cover. That week, when the New York Yankees were bound for the World Series, a special Yankees cover was used instead of the Rugrats cover, along with a special report on the Yankees.

7/21/2001 -- "A Craving For Pickles"

(Above: Four different digest-sized Rugrats covers in the 7/21/2001 TV Guide, © 2001 TV Guide, Inc. Rugrats characters © Viacom. Most cable TV editions either have a yellow stripe in a bottom corner, or the edition name stamped over the TV Guide logo.)
As part of the Rugrats' 10th Anniversary, TV Guide gave the Rugrats not one, but four covers, each bearing one of the original Rugrats (Phil & Lil, of course, share a cover). Each cover has both toddler and tweenage versions of the characters. Inside the magazine are lots of pictures of the Rugrats (most of these pics of the tweenagers), plus a story on the Rugrats' past, present and future. In addition, a "Close-Up Family Find" spotlights the All Growed Up special, and the documentary that follows the first airing.

As of 7/17/2001, there are reports that many retaillers (that put the new TVGs on sale on Mondays) are close to selling out early on this issue of TVG, because of the Rugrats covers. This is unlike the Rugrats' last cover appearance about 5 years earlier, when ample copies were still around by the weekend. It's likely that this issue of TVG will be a true collectors item in the long run.

Also, some areas will, instead, have a special cover memorialising the late country singer Chet Atkins.

All 5 TV Guide covers were designed by Steve Crespo, who was an artist in the early days of the Rugrats comic strip.

(Left: A picture of an Angelica 10th anniversary picture, signed by Steve Crespo;  from eBay; © 2001 Viacom.)

(Above & Left: The Rugrats covers in the 7/21/2001 "Ultimate Cable" TV Guide, © 2001 TV Guide, Inc. Rugrats characters © Viacom. Shown are covers from the Seattle - Tacoma (upper left), Charter - Los Angeles (upper middle), Optimum TV - Long Island (upper right) and Ultimate Satellite (left) editions, all from eBay.)

And while TVG is plugging the 4 digest-sized covers, there is actually a fifth cover featuring the Rugrats. That cover, which features All 5 original Rugrats on a single cover, is on the large-sized "Ultimate Cable" and "Ultimate Satellite" editions, which are distributed in some parts of the country, either at newsstand level, or to cable subscribers (depending on area). The interior contents are the same as the digest-sized version, though they have extra stories on the topic of tweens, including a story on Lizzie McGuire, and a survey of the most popular shows among tweenagers.

The "Ultimate Cable" and "Ultimate Satellite" covers, especially those without large address label blocks and / or cable logo banners, is likely to be more valuable than the digest-sized covers.


(Above: The four covers of the 8/3/2002 issue of TV Guide; © by various companies. To see the larger pictures, click on any of the covers above.)

This episode features the "50 Greatest Animated Characters", one of a series of special issues celebrating TVG's 50th anniversary as a nationwide publication. There are 4 covers, each with 2 different characters (or character groups) on each cover. One of these covers features Angelica and Charlie Brown sharing a cover, doing the old "pull the football away as Charlie Brown is about to kick it" gag. (Lucy Van Pelt usually does that joke, which is presented at least once a year in the Peanuts strips.)

Here is the complete list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters. Whether or not some characters belong on this list is open to debate, especially since no criteria for this list was given.

1 Bugs Bunny
2 Homer Simpson
3 Rocky and Bullwinkle
4 Beavis and Butt-Head
5 The Grinch ("How The Grinch Stole Christmas")
6 Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble
7 Angelica Pickles
8 Charlie Brown and Snoopy
9 SpongeBob SquarePants
10 Cartman ("South Park")
11 Bart and Lisa Simpson
12 Fat Albert
13 The Powerpuff Girls
14 Daffy Duck
15 Pikachu ("Pokemon")
16 Gumby
17 Betty Boop
18 Top Cat
19 Mickey Mouse
20 Popeye
21 Gerald McBoing-Boing
22 Scooby-Doo
23 Underdog
24 Josie and the Pussycats
25 Heckle and Jeckle
26 Arthur
27 Winnie the Pooh
28 Felix The Cat
29 Mr. Magoo
30 George of the Jungle
31 Ren and Stimpy
32 Tom Terrific
33 Tweety and Sylvester
34 Bill ("Schoolhouse Rock")
35 Space Ghost
36 Yogi Bear and Boo Boo
37 Mighty Mouse
38 Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner
39 Superman
40 Batman
41 Daria
42 Wonder Woman
43 Donald Duck
44 Alvin The Chipmunk
45 Boris and Natasha ("Rocky & Bullwinkle")
46 Woody Woodpecker
47 Porky Pig
48 Bobby Hill ("King of the Hill")
49 Speed Racer
50 Tom and Jerry

Here is the description for Angelica:

"Don't be fooled by the name. Angelica Pickles is a black-belt brat, the alpha female of the phenomenally-popular Rugrats. Around adults, she's sweet as cotton candy. But when this minimartinet is alone with the "dumb babies", she's bossy, mean and manipulative. And yet beneath that brassy exterior, you get the feeling that all she wants is to be loved. (In truth, she is, by the millions of viewers who have turned Nickelodeon's flagship show into a magnet for cable-centric kids.) Although her doting father and careerist mother call Angelica "princess", that's actually a demotion. She's queen of the playpen and a runaway Rugrats starlet."

8/27/2003 (Canada)

(Above: The cover of the 8/23/2003 issue of the Canadian TV Guide; © 2003 Transcontinental Media, Inc.)

In Canada, the tweenage Rugrats appeared on the cover of TV Guide's Canadian edition, as part of that magazine's "Kids' Stuff" issue. The article mentions the various kids' shows that will appear on Canadian television in Fall 2003, including All Grown Up, whicl will debut this fall on YTV.

This is the first time the Rugrats -- toddlers or tweenagers -- appeared on the cover of the Canadian TV Guide.

To see the larger picture, click here.

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