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Cartoon Network is a cable television network created by Turner Broadcasting which primarily shows animated programming. It premiered on October 1, 1992 in the United States, September 17, 1993 in the United Kingdom, the same year in Latin America, and in 1995 in Australia.
By the end of the 1980s, Ted Turner's cable TV conglomerate had acquired the MGM film library (which included the older catalog of Warner Bros. cartoons), and its cable channel Turner Network Television had gained an audience with its film library. In 1991, they purchased animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions and acquired its large library. The Cartoon Network channel was created as an outlet for Turner's considerable library of animation, and the initial programming on the channel consisted exclusively of re-runs of classic Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons, with many Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons used as time fillers. Most of the short cartoons were aired in half-hour or hour-long packages, usually separated by character or studio-"Down With Droopy D" aired old Droopy Dog shorts, "The Tom and Jerry Show" presented the classic cat-and-mouse team, and "Bugs and Daffy Tonight" provided classic Looney Tunes shorts. Today, only Tom and Jerry remains on the network.
In 1994, Hanna-Barbera started production on What a Cartoon (also known as World Premiere Toons), a series of creator-driven short cartoons that premiered on Cartoon Network in 1995. It was the network's third original series (the second was Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and the first was The Moxy Show). The project was spearheaded by several Cartoon Network executives, plus Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi (who was an advisor to the network at the time) and Fred Seibert (who was formerly one of the driving forces behind the Nicktoons, and would go on to produce the similar animation anthology series Oh Yeah! Cartoons).
In 1996, Time Warner purchased Turner Broadcasting, and the Cartoon Network came under their corporate umbrella. This provided still more material for the Cartoon Network, as the channel now had access to the Warner Bros. cartoon library from the 1950s and 1960s. This was also when Cartoon Network joined an alliance with The WB which gave them rights to not only WB cartoons from the 1950s - 1980s but to newer franchises like Road Rovers, Swat Kats, 2 Stupid Dogs, Captain Planet, Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Pinky and the Brain and Tom & Jerry Kids.
Time Warner changed the direction of Hanna-Barbera Productions (the production studio now being known as Cartoon Network Studios), and focused the studio exclusively on creating new material for the Cartoon Network channel (which were baptized Cartoon Cartoons). Among the numerous shows the studio has produced are Dexter's Laboratory (1996), Johnny Bravo (1997), Cow and Chicken (1997), and The Powerpuff Girls (1998) (all of which were shorts, previously launched on What a Cartoon with the creative work of Hanna-Barbera Art Director Jesse Stagg), along with more recent shows Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (2004) and Camp Lazlo (2005). But because of these shows the listed classics had become retired.
Shows from other studios (with Cartoon Network's producing) had also shown on the channel, such as Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999, a.k.a. cartoon), Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999, Stretch Films), Mike, Lu & Og (1999, Kinofilm Studios), Sheep in the Big City (2000, Curious Pictures) and Codename: Kids Next Door (2002, Curious Pictures)
The older Hanna-Barbera cartoons, as well as the entire Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies library and non-Tom and Jerry cartoons made by MGM such as those made by Tex Avery have been largely moved to the nostalgia-themed Boomerang sister network.
In recent years, Cartoon Network has also made attempts to attract viewers outside its core audience (young children about eight years old). Their mid-afternoon cartoon block Toonami consists of acceptable-for-preteens and teens anime from Japan, as well as some American animation, while a late-night cartoon block called Adult Swim shows more risqué, teenage- and adult-oriented cartoons (with a combination of anime and American-produced comedies such Futurama and Family Guy). On April 17, 2004, Toonami was moved to Saturday evenings and the afternoon slot was filled with Miguzi, showing action-oriented American, French, and Japanese TV shows aimed at a slightly younger age group than Toonami.
In June of 2004, Cartoon Network re-launched itself, with a new logo and slogan, "This is Cartoon Network." The bumps now featured 2D cartoon characters from their shows interacting in a CGI city composed of sets from their shows. Nearly all of Cartoon Network's classic cartoon programming had been replaced by new programming, except for Tom and Jerry, a longtime staple of the Turner networks. As of 2006, the new slogan was "Cartoon Network-- Yes!", as spoken by Fred Fredburger, a character on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
Recently, Cartoon Network introduced a new programming block for pre-schoolers called Tickle-U. Half of the content on the block are imported British preschool programming (some of them re-voiced), while the other half are original material. Tickle-U featured a CGI world and about three CGI characters that would greet viewers, play games, and introduce the next program. In recent months the whole Tickle-U concept was taken off the air. Most of the programs that were a part of the Tickle-U block are now part of Cartoon Network's weekday morning line-up, with the addition of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Krypto the Superdog.
Cartoon Cartoons were first showcased in the What a Cartoon! show, a series of comedic animated shorts produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions guided by Fred Seibert, who founded the Nickelodeon-based Frederator Studios years later. Originally known as "World Premiere Toons," the shorts were essentially series pilots-the idea was to measure audience response and turn the most popular shorts into series. Only a small handful of the shorts ever made series, however. The first short to air was "The Powerpuff Girls Meat Fuzzy Lumpkins," but it would be three years before the girls got their own series. The first series to spin off from What-A-Cartoon! was Dexter's Laboratory in 1996. A year later, Johnny Bravo and Cow and Chicken joined Dexter on the Cartoon Network lineup. The Powerpuff Girls became a Cartoon Cartoons series in the fall of 1998. Ed, Edd, n Eddy came later as the first Cartoon Cartoons series not to be introduced in a What-A-Cartoon! short.
More shows premiered bearing the Cartoon Cartoons brand, airing throughout the network's schedule and prominently on Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, which became the marquee night for premieres of new episodes and new shows. For two years, Cartoon Network actually let fans pick which of that year's crop of Cartoon Cartoon shorts made series, by staging a vote where fans could choose from among the three most popular entries. The first short to be voted into a series was The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and a year later Codename: Kids Next Door was voted in. Both have gone on to become two of Cartoon Network's longest-running series.
As of September 2005, the name is network brand is primarily used for The Cartoon Cartoons Show, a half-hour program featuring episodes of older Cartoon Cartoons that are no longer shown regularly on the network.
Special programming blocks
Fridays/Cartoon Cartoon Fridays
Fridays is a live action show that shows premieres of cartoons, sneak peeks of cartoons and new episodes of cartoons, It is hosted by Tommy Snider and Tara Sands, and features kids as well as puppets acting as comic relief. It airs for three hours at 7 PM (E/P).
Fridays replaced Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, a block that aired Fridays at 7 PM Eastern Time before replaced by Summer Fridays in 2003 and replaced by Fridays in late 2003. The block was launched on May 7, 1999 and last aired on May 2, 2003. Originally in 1999 it aired encores of new episodes which were shown earlier during the week.
Miguzi is a cartoon block that premiered on April 19, 2004. This block is themed around Erin, a girl who finds refuge within the confines of a strange spaceship that is trapped underwater and inhabited by aquatic creatures. Not surprisingly, this lighter-toned action block is from Williams Street, the producers of late-night programming block Adult Swim and Toonami, a block of programming which Miguzi replaced in the weekday-afternoon timeslot. Miguzi changes its shows often.
Miguzi airs action shows from different countries like Zatch Bell and Pokémon from Japan, Totally Spies and formerly Code Lyoko from France, and Ben 10 and Codename: Kids Next Door from the United States.
Toonami (a portmanteau of cartoon and tsunami) was initially a block of action-oriented programming (mostly Japanese anime) on Cartoon Network in the US and UK, and Spain among other countries. The American version premiered on March 17, 1997 as a weekday afternoon block. the regular afternoon block, including Rising Sun (a Saturday morning version of the block, revived as a late-night action block of Batman and Superman), Super Saturdays (a Saturday afternoon block with a few premieres), and Midnight Run (which was originally a late-night action block on Saturday nights in 1999 before becoming an hour-long weeknight action block on March 6, 2000 that aired the uncut version of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing which was replaced by Outlaw Star in 2001 and repeats of other shows from the afternoon block before being replaced by Adult Swim in 2003).
Currently, the United States version of Toonami airs on Saturdays from 7 to 11 PM (E/P). Some shows in this program include Zatch Bell!, Dragon Ball Z, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Justice League Unlimited, Naruto, One Piece, and Pokémon Chronicles.
The Toonami brand was subsequently used in the United Kingdom as the title of a Cartoon Network-operated UK spin-off channel in its own right in September 2003, a little under a year after the network launched as CNX. In 2006, the network re-launched as a general entertainment network with little emphasis on action-animation.
For the rest of the territories that have Cartoon Network, Toonami remains a block with many of the same shows seen in the United States as well as regional exclusives like Battle B-Daman, Power Rangers, Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Machine Robo Rescue, Granzasers, X-Men: Evolution, Shadow Raiders, and others. However, in the US, Battle B-Daman does not air on the Toonami block.
Boomerang was originally a programming block aimed towards baby boomers on Cartoon Network that originally aired for two hours every weekend. The block's start time jumped frequently, with the Saturday block moving to Saturday afternoons and back to the early morning and the Sunday block moving to Sunday evenings. Eventually, Boomerang was cut to one day a week, Saturday, and it was shortened by an hour.
Boomerang (both the programming block and the original spin-off channel that launched on April 1, 2000) followed a unique programming format - every week, cartoons produced during a certain year (and cartoons produced during years prior to that year) would be showcased. For example, if Boomerang was showcasing the year 1969, you would more than likely catch an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! or The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
Once the Boomerang channel was launched in 2000, promos for the channel aired at the end of every broadcasted show during the block in attempt to gain popularity for Boomerang. Also, all of the older programming on Cartoon Network, including Looney Tunes and shows from Hanna-Barbera migrated to Boomerang.
With the re-launch of Cartoon Network in 2004, the Boomerang block no longer had a place on the channel as the last remaining slot on the lineup was taken up by Adult Swim Sundays through Fridays with older reruns of classic anthologies like The Popeye Show, The Bob Clampett Show, and former Boomerang fare like The Gary Coleman Show and Super Globetrotters.
In Scandinavia, Boomerang airs after the attractive block at 7pm (currently 8pm due to the Snoopy-Doo block carrying Snoopy and Scooby-Doo, which were aired on Boomerang before their own block was launched).
Adult Swim is the name for the more "adult-oriented" television programming block on Cartoon Network, which premiered on September 2, 2001 in USA. It basically shows "cartoons for adults".
Originally a Sunday-only block that also reran on Thursdays, Adult Swim airs Saturday nights at 11 PM (E/P), Monday through Thursday nights at 10:30 PM (E/P) and Sunday nights at 10 PM (E/P) with an encore airing at 2 AM and then ending with an hour of older shows on every night but Sunday. The block, programmed by Williams Street, the same group that created Toonami and Miguzi, plays American animated comedy series and shorts geared towards audiences 14 and older and a wide variety of anime series and OVAs intended for audiences 18 and older.
The name comes from the name for hours designated at public swimming pools where only adults can swim in the pool. On March 28, 2005, the programming block was spun-off as a separate entity from Cartoon Network for Nielsen Ratings purposes. In March 27, 2006, Adult Swim started airing a half-hour early at 10:30 PM on Monday through Thursday (E/P). Adult Swim also has an Asian Version, but it is only shown on CNPhilippines, where it airs every weekend from 11:30 p.m. to 01:30 a.m.
Cartoon Network Block Party
Cartoon Network Block Party is the name for a three-hour block of programming that aired on Saturdays that sometimes featured several new episodes of a single show. It aired Saturday afternoon from 3pm - 6pm (sometimes 3pm-5pm). It lasted from June 19, 2004 - January 22, 2005. This block aired Cartoon Cartoon franchises such as Ed, Edd, n Eddy, Codename: Kids Next Door and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and non Cartoon Cartoon franchises such as The Cramp Twins, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Code Lyoko, Hamtaro and Totally Spies!.
Cartoon Network Block Party is also the current title for the network's anthology comic published by DC Comics. (Previously, the comic was titled Cartoon Network Presents, Cartoon Network Starring, and Cartoon Cartoons.)
Cartoon Olio was a Cartoon Network Saturday afternoon block that aired from 3pm - 6pm. The block premiered on July 7, 2001 and last aired on June 1, 2002. The block aired marathons of Cartoon Cartoons franchises such as Dexter's Laboratory, Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, Johnny Bravo, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Powerpuff Girls, Time Squad and Cow and Chicken. The block also aired marathons of Hanna-Barbera franchises such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
Last Bell was a Cartoon Network weekday afternoon block which used to air weekdays from 2pm-5pm in the past. Last Bell lasted from August 2003 - June 11, 2004. The block aired some of the most popular franchises like The Powerpuff Girls, Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, Dexter's Laboratory, Codename: Kids Next Door and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
Super Chunk was a Saturday marathon block that aired on Saturday afternoons from 1pm-4pm. The block lasted from the networks origin in October 1992 up until when the Boomerang channel was launched in April 2000. The block aired marathons of mainly classic and retro programs.
Cartoon Network Original Movies
* 5 made for TV movies are coming soon to Cartoon Network and based on the television series Camp Lazlo, Codename: Kids Next Door, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and My Gym Partner's a Monkey.
* Camp Lazlo: Where's Lazlo- TBA
* Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation Z.E.R.O.-
August 11, 2006
* Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Good Wilt Hunting- November 24, 2006
* The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy : Billy and Mandy's Big Boogie Adventure- Early 2007
* My Gym Partner's a Monkey: The Big Field Trip- November 17, 2006