Question: Please help me! My daughter was pestering me a few days ago about a show we watched together when she was little. It may have been on Nickelodeon, and it involved a red-haired boy and his family. He may have had brothers, but I specifically remember the mother having a metal plate in her head. Also, the boy usually wore some sort of flannel shirt. He was about 12. Please, I really hope you can help me. Amy, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Televisionary: You're thinking of the brilliantly odd Adventures of Pete & Pete, which ran from 1993-96 on, as you say, Nickelodeon.
The lad in question was Little Pete Wrigley (Danny Tamberelli), his older brother Big Pete (Michael Maronna), their parents (Hardy Rawls, Judy Grafe) and the weird suburban town of Wellsville. Artie (Toby Huss) was their inventor/superhero neighbor, Nona (Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Michelle Trachtenberg) was the prescient-little-girl neighbor and Iggy Pop (of, well... Iggy Pop fame) was her dad. Guest-stars included Chris Elliott, Gordon Gano, Deborah Harry, Kate Pierson, Suzy Roche, Michael Stipe, Adam West and, believe it or not, Hunter S. Thompson.
How odd was the show, by the way? Well, Pete's mom did have a plate in her head, but the plate received its own opening credit, and she met husband Don when he was using a metal detector at the beach. One episode involved Little Pete getting a cereal-marshmellow president stuck up his nose. Another had the town wondering about a phone that had been ringing for years. Granted, your definition of "odd" may vary, but still...