History of Cartoon Network
Cartoons and more Cartoons
Who can forget the thrill of having an entire channel broadcasting only cartoons, the entire range of them from the favorite Walt Disney to the Toonami series? For kids it was a dream come true a 24 hour channel devoted to their favorite cartoons and parents heaved a sigh of relief as kids stayed parked in front of the idiot box, savoring their dish of cartoons. Even a decade and later cartoon network is an essential part of your cable network and for families with children it is indispensable.
History of Cartoon Network
Animation films have always enjoyed mass popularity and appeal. From the age of black and white movies, animated films have been a big draw. The Turner Broadcasting System Inc. a conglomeration of cable networks owned by Robert Edward ‘Ted’ Turner acquired the MGM film library which also included the earlier color Warner Bros. cartoons. This repository of movies increased the viewer base and popularity of TBS Inc. In 1990 TBS Inc. acquired the animation studio Hanna-Barbara, an iconic American animation studio that ruled over animation in the latter half of the 20th century. This acquisition resulted in TBS Inc. acquiring the large library of Hanna-Barbara and also the old Ruby-Spears collection.
This extensive library of animation led TBS Inc. to launch an exclusive Cartoon Network channel in 1999. The channel began operations on October 11 1992 with, Rhapsody Rabbit being its first aired animation. Since CartoonNetwork was the, showcase for TBS’s exclusive library of animation, it was a 24 hr offering, sharing channel space with an adult program, Adult Swim.
The initial fare on the channel was the classic collection of Warner Bros, MGM, and the Hanna-Barbara collection. The animations included the all time favorites Loony Tunes, Merrie Melodies, Tom and Jerry, Droopy Dog, The Jetsons and the Flintstones. The cartoons ran for half or hour long series with character or studio interspersed in between. By now most of the classic cartoons have disappeared from the cartoonnetwork except the perennial favorite Tom and Jerry and the Scooby Do series.
In 1993, the British version of the Cartoon Network was launched in the UK and Ireland.
In 1994, Cartoon Network launched its first original animation, the Moxy Show, followed by the Space Ghost Coast to Coast. In 1995 Hanna-Barbara produced the What-A- Cartoon Show, a series of short cartoons, the networks third original series. The What- a- Cartoon- Show, helped build Cartoon Network’s base of exclusive cartoons and hence introduced many original cartoon concepts. From these ideas emerged new series like Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, I am a Weasel, The Powerpuff Girls, Ed, Edd and Eddy, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Mike Lu and Og, which later came to be labeled as Cartoon’s Cartoons.
In 1996 TBS and Time Warner merged leading to a hassle free ownership of Warner Bros. animation content.
In 1996, Cartoon Network began airing a pre-school program Small World, followed by Big Bag till 1998.
In 1997 Cartoon Network started featuring Toonami, which would run up to 2008, becoming the longest running program on the network.
By 2000 Cartoon Network was the exclusive repository of the classic Warner Bros animation library. Newer productions of Warner Bros like Justice League also staked space on the network.
October 2002, the tenth anniversary of the network was celebrated in style with a one day special bumper.
In 2003 Cartoon Network began broadcasting a small section of live programming mainly movies.
The Saturday Video Entertainment System an action block designed by William Street, began airing on Saturday nights from March 2003 and continued to run till April 2004.
In 2004 Cartoon Net reinvented itself with a new logo and slogan “This is Cartoon Network”. The first program aired was the Rescue Heroes. The classic animation library was slowly transferred to its sister network Boomerang to clear the decks for newer programs. Some all time favorites like Tom and Jerry retained their space. The Cartoon’s Cartoon show was also pared to a 30 minute slot (Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls) and few of its programs (Sheep in the City, Time Squad) were entirely taken off the air.
The second block of pre-school programming Tickle U began airing on the channel from 2005 and lasted till 2006.
2006-2007 Cartoon Network featured entirely new programs and three different styles of bumps. In 2007 Cartoon Network began broadcasting in 1080i High Definition and reworked its look. The channel adopted as its signature theme the Hives song “Fall is just something that grown-ups invented”. Master Control, a viewer arranged block of programs aired from September to November 2007.
In 2008 the channel initiated a new project titled Cartoonstitute, which would create 150 animations in 20 months. During this time Canadian programs and Wedgies, which are time fillers made an appearance too. The bumpers for the channel underwent a change to colorless Noods. Noods are colorless blobs on a white surface which absorb any color to suit the occasion.
Programming Blocks on Cartoon Network
Har Har Thursdays, a block programming of entirely new episodes of comedy shows aired every Thursdays on the 8.00-10.00 pm slot. The series aired are Chowder, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Total Drama Island and 6Teen.
Saturday Crush Zone is a Saturday morning action block featuring The Secret Saturdays, Ben 10, Alien Force and premieres of Pokemon, Bakugan and Transformers animated.
‘You Are There’ is a Friday evening action/ adventure slot from 8.00-10.30 pm. Aired on this slot is Batman, the Secret Saturdays, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ben 10, and Alien Force.
Other memorable programs have been Cartoon Network Invaded, Cartoon Network’s Cartoon Theatre and Made for TV Movies.
By 1994 Cartoon Network had a sizeable presence in Asia, UK, Ireland and today currently covers a large portion of the World’s channel space. Its popularity cannot be underestimated as a children and youth channel. Across the continents, now various blocks of programs are aired in the local language with English being offered as an option. So the access of the Channel and its viewer base has dramatically increased. Local animations and the usual CartoonNetwork fare is available in a language of your choice.