Cartoon Network Years 2000 To 2006 History
This blog post forms as part of a continuing blog post series about the history of Cartoon Network, this post in particular, is part three in the series and will cover Cartoon Network’s first six years of the new millennium (2000 to 2006).
By the year 2000, Cartoon Network has already established itself as a content creator and also in most major markets around the world including Western Europe, Japan and Australia, the channel started to rely less and less on classic cartoons from the Warner Bros./Hanna-Barbera library and aired more of its original shows. The older shows moved to a brand new channel called “Boomerang”, the brand new channel was named after one of Cartoon Network’s first ever programming blocks, with the slogan “It’s All Coming Back To You”, Boomerang is a home for older cartoons and a “retirement home” for older Cartoon Network originals (e.g. the original Cartoon Cartoons animated productions). Boomerang launched in the United States on 1st April 2000 (April Fools Day) with a UK version launching the following month on 27th May 2000, after the UK, Boomerang spread to the rest of Europe, Latin America and Asia. Late in the previous year – 1999, one of Cartoon Network’s most frightening shows premiered – Courage The Cowardly Dog, the show was known for its dark and surreal humour; the show was considered a success and left a lasting impression on animation fans everywhere. Also in 1999, Ed, Edd and Eddy premiered, the show became one of the network’s most popular comedies and had a simple and relatable plot premise – three young boys with distinct personalities who scheme to raise money to buy jawbreakers, but their schemes don’t often go to plan. Both Courage The Cowardly Dog and Ed, Edd and Eddy continued well into the next decade.
Between 2000 and 2006, there was an explosion of new shows coming to the network and among them are some of the channel’s greatest shows, a few examples include, the dystopian action-adventure – Samurai Jack, Codename: Kids Next Door – an action-adventure comedy following an organised gang of kids fighting against adult villains, the funny and much loved Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, the frighteningly funny The Grim Adventures Of Billy and Mandy and of course – Ben 10 featuring the alien transforming hero himself – Ben Tennyson, also among them are Warner Bros. Animation productions including Justice League, Duck Dodgers and Teen Titans. In 2002, Cartoon Network released their first ever theatrical movie – The Powerpuff Girls: The Movie, the movie was a prequel to the series and received mixed to positive reviews. Alongside the usual American productions, Cartoon Network Europe started to contribute to the network’s output with a series of co-productions including The Cramp Twins and Robotboy.
In 2001, Cartoon Network’s first president – Betty Cohen stepped down, she was instrumental for laying the foundations for the network, but she resigned fearing that she will die as “the queen of cartoons”, one of her final acts was to plant the seeds for a brand new programming block just for adults called “Adult Swim” with one of its first animated shows – “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” being well into production. Replacing Betty Cohen was the Senior Vice President of Cartoon Network Latin America at the time – Jim Samples, he became the worldwide president of Cartoon Network, he overseen the network during most of this era and also helped to develop Adult Swim to what it is today. In 2004, Cartoon Network USA introduced a new branding package called “CN City” as well as a new logo. CN City era, along with the Powerhouse era of the late 90’s-early 00’s is a fan favourite. CN City was unique as it featured a set of bumpers featuring the channel’s cartoon characters living together in a town, the branding package featured 2D characters animated on 3D backdrops.