Cartoon Network UK’s 25th Anniversary: A Brief History Of The Channel

Cartoon Network UK's 25th Anniversary: A Brief History Of The Channel
An article from the UK’s Daily Express (30th August 1993) about the then soon to be launched Cartoon Network Europe. (Click To View The Full Image)

Cartoon Network UK’s 25th Anniversary: A Brief History Of The Channel

Tomorrow (17th September), 25 years ago, Cartoon Network Europe commenced broadcasting, it became Europe’s first television channel dedicated to animation, the channel launched only 11 and a half months after its U.S. counterpart and just like the original U.S. version, it aired cartoons from Hanna-Barbera’s animation library, which includes all time classics such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo!, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and many more, plus the Tom and Jerry shorts from MGM.

Cartoon Network Europe’s oldest (publicly known) schedule that can be found on the internet (including TCM’s first night and CN’s first 24-hour schedule) can be found on the link below:

https://www.toonzone.net/forums/threads/old-international-cartoon-networks-schedules.5253261/page-3

Cartoon Network Europe was the first version of the channel based outside the United States, a Latin American version did launch in April 1993, although that version was based at Turner’s HQ in Atlanta and to an extent, it’s still based there today. Cartoon Network USA had somewhat of a slow start, initially not every cable service carried the channel (it was available for those with a satellite dish), this wasn’t really Turner’s fault, it was just the reluctance of cable companies making long-term contracts. But when Cartoon Network launched in Europe, it took a different approach, the channel launched as a free-to-air channel available to all cable providers around the UK and Europe and anyone with a satellite dish pointing at Astra’s European satellite service. The first general manager of Cartoon Network Europe was Sue Kroll (now the Head of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution at Warner Bros.).

At launch, Cartoon Network Europe broadcasted between 5am and 7pm, it launched alongside and timeshared with another new channel from Turner – TNT Classic Movies, this was the precursor of TCM (Turner Classic Movies), which launched in the U.S. the following year. At launch, Cartoon Network already had rivals in the UK multichannel market, its biggest U.S. rival – Nickelodeon made it to UK shores 16 days earlier, Nickelodeon had the support of British satellite TV provider – Sky who still owns a stake in the channel today, Nickelodeon was already quite established in the U.S. and already had some original content, however, Nickelodeon had a slower but more localised approach to Cartoon Network and didn’t expand into other parts of Europe until later in the 1990’s, also Nickelodeon required a subscription to Sky’s newly launched Multichannels package.

CN’s other rival was UK-based TCC (The Children’s Channel) which was also available in the Benelux and Nordic parts of Europe and in France, it faced competition against children’s channel Canal J. It seems it was no co-incidence that Cartoon Network launched with a partial soundtrack service in French, Norwegian and Swedish, also a localised version of CN launched in the Netherlands four years later. Even though, CN was available in Europe, although it had quite a heavy UK focus as all shows were in English and mostly had UK focused advertising. In December 1996, Cartoon Network Europe became a 24-hour service, however most cable operators (as well as Sky’s analogue satellite service) continued carrying the Cartoon Network/TNT timeshare service.

Immediately after the channel’s initial launch, CN Europe was met with controversy on Continental Europe as the governments of France and Belgium prohibited cable companies from carrying Cartoon Network, as it was seen as an “invasion of American culture”, the ban was lifted. Turner’s news channel – CNN International has been broadcasting from London since 1985, so Turner already had an established base in the UK. On 26th November 1993, Cartoon Network Europe took part in “The Great International Toon-In”, where Cartoon Network USA and all six Turner-owned entertainment networks in the United States (that existed at the time), Cartoon Network Latin America and Cartoon Network Europe shared a marathon schedule presented by 3D-CGI character Moxy the Dog.

After a successful launch in Europe, Cartoon Network launched in the Asia-Pacific region the following year, which means, after two years, the channel already had near global coverage. The next stage in Cartoon Network’s journey will be one that will change the course of the channel forever. Over in the United States, the now Turner-owned Hanna-Barbera animation studio set up a new studio brand – Cartoon Network Studios and started to experiment with new ideas for the channel in a brand new animation shorts programme called “World Premiere Cartoons” (later became “What A Cartoon”), What A Cartoon spawned Cartoon Network’s original Cartoon Cartoons such as Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken, Mike, Lu and Og, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Johnny Bravo. As years went by, Cartoon Network started to become less dependent on its classic animation archive and started to focus on more original programming, also the merger with Time Warner in the mid-1990’s further supplemented the channel with animated productions from Warner Bros. Animation, this included Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series, The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, Taz-Mania, Animaniacs and the all-important post-1948 Looney Tunes shorts.

By the late 90’s, countries and regions started to have their own versions of Cartoon Network, where as the UK version (i.e. the original pan-European version) still functioned as the pan-European version of the channel up until 15th October 1999, a separate pan-European version was launched that summer which copied CN UK’s schedule (with some shows excluded and replaced), however after a couple of years, things started to differ. Also as a whole, Cartoon Network Europe started to diverge from its American counterpart in terms of presentation, by using an altered version of CN USA’s Powerhouse rebrand. All the movies from TNT were moved to a new channel – a UK version of TCM, TNT became a short-lived UK and analogue only entertainment channel.

In May 2000, Cartoon Network UK welcomed in the new millennium with a new channel that celebrates animation from the past – Boomerang (which originated from a programming block from the channel’s early days), this means Cartoon Network’s schedule was now freed up for more original shows, Cartoon Network Europe also started to make its own co-productions by partnering with European studios with new shows such as The Cramp Twins and Fat Dog Mendoza. In later years, came Robotboy, Spaced Out, Skatoony and Chop Socky Chooks. Cartoon Network UK started to air Japanese anime starting off with Dragon Ball Z, the popularity of Dragon Ball Z led to the establishment of the Toonami programming block, which led to a new channel called CNX in 2002 which targeted teenagers and young adults and featured productions from Adult Swim, action movies and Japanese anime. Less than a year later, the CNX channel was rebranded as Toonami and became more child friendly. Toonami started to move away from the action animation format and started airing live-action sitcoms, after this change, it closed a year later. In 2006, a companion channel – Cartoon Network Too launched, the channel acted as a overflow to the main CN channel and later focused on action animation, the channel also had a pre-school programming block called Cartoonito which later spawned the Cartoonito pre-school channel which launched in 2007. In 2014, Cartoon Network Too closed and Cartoon Network UK’s one-hour timeshift service – Cartoon Network +1 was reinstated.

The 2000’s decade saw an explosion of brand new animation from Cartoon Network Studios with Sheep in the Big City, Time Squad, Samurai Jack, Grim & Evil (later became The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy), Whatever Happened to Robot Jones? and Codename: Kids Next Door. In 2002, Cartoon Network introduced a brand new look called “Casillas” (Spanish for Boxes) as it was developed by design studio – Ink Apache, the rebrand was very creative and made use of existing archive footage of Cartoon Network’s animated shows.

In 2005, Cartoon Network UK (and the rest of Europe) introduced Cartoon Network USA’s “CN City” graphics package on its channel, CN City featured all of Cartoon Network’s cartoon characters living together in one city making it effectively one big crossover. The CN City era remains one of the most memorable eras on Cartoon Network and saw the launch of Foster’s Home of Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi and Cartoon Network’s most successful action-animation franchise – Ben 10. After CN City era, Cartoon Network UK introduced another rebrand featuring an arrow that heavily featured the logo, this era featured bumpers animated by British animation studio – Pesky. The second stage of the Arrow Era featured CGI bumpers developed by design studio – Stardust. During this time, Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack were airing on the channel.

In 2010, Cartoon Network UK introduced a fresh new graphics package known as “Check It” that helped reboot the channel for the new animation renaissance of the 2010’s, Check It is considered to be a modern adaptation of Cartoon Network’s original Checkerboard graphics package. This era saw the successful Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Cartoon Network Development Studios Europe first ever show – The Amazing World of Gumball, which had its world premiere on Cartoon Network UK in 2011. A high-definition version of Cartoon Network – Cartoon Network UK HD also launched in 2011. Uncle Grandpa, Clarence, Teen Titans Go! and Steven Universe later followed with another iteration of “Check It” – Check It 3.0. Before the end of Check It 3.0. The Powerpuff Girls reboot was introduced in 2016, followed by Ben 10 later that year. In 2016, there was a short-lived Check It 4.0. rebrand that only lasted a year. In 2017, the Dimensional graphics package was introduced, which is Cartoon Network UK’s current era, during this era, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, Ben 10: Challenge, The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe, Unikitty! and Apple and Onion premiered, and next month, the channel will premiere Craig of the Creek. Coming soon in the near future another CN Studios Europe production will premiere – Elliott From Earth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/media-american-invaders-are-targeting-your-kids-childrens-rights-and-non-stop-cartoons-will-do-1487639.html

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=229iAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3nYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1307,57411&dq=cartoon+network&hl=en

https://web.archive.org/web/20010826133132/http://www.cartoonnetwork.co.uk/news/frame_findex_exclude.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20080928103809/http://europe.turnerinfo.com:80/CN/UK/timeline/index.jsp

https://www.cartoonnetwork.co.uk

Cartoon Network Latin America To Celebrate Its 25th Birthday With An Online 10 Hour Time Machine Marathon Of Cartoon Network’s Classic And Current Shows

Cartoon Network Latin America To Celebrate Its 25th Birthday With An Online 10 Hour Time Machine Marathon Of Cartoon Network's Classic And Current Shows

Cartoon Network Latin America To Celebrate Its 25th Birthday With An Online 10 Hour Time Machine Marathon Of Cartoon Network’s Classic And Current Shows

After a whole month of celebrations and surprises, Cartoon Network Latin America will celebrate its birthday next Monday (30th April). On the channel’s actual birthday, Cartoon Network Latin America will be running a ten hour “Time Machine” marathon on TV, YouTube and on Facebook Live. The marathon will feature the channel’s current hit shows and classic shows from the channel’s past in reverse chronological order. The 10 hour marathon will start streaming and broadcasting from 1.30pm Colombia and Mexico, 2pm (TV) and 3pm (Online) Brazil and 3.30pm Chile/Argentina.

A total of 46 shows will air in the special programming event, the following shows will air on Cartoon Network Latin America’s Spanish language feeds: Craig of the Creek, Apple and Onion, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, Mighty Magiswords, Ben 10 (Reboot), The Powerpuff Girls (Reboot), We Bare Bears, Jorel’s Brother, Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show, Adventure Time, Generator Rex, Sym-Bionic Titan, The Secret Saturdays, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Chowder, Squirrel Boy, Camp Lazlo, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, My Gym Partner’s a Monkey, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Megas XLR, Codename: Kids Next Door, Whatever Happened To Robot Jones?, Samurai Jack, Time Squad, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Sheep in the Big City, Ed, Edd and Eddy, Mike, Lu and Og, Courage The Cowardly Dog, I am Weasel, The Powerpuff Girls (Original Series), Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, The What A Cartoon Show and finally pre-Cartoon Network animated shows from the animation studio that started it all – Hanna Barbera, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Top Cat and also MGM’s Tom and Jerry.

Latin American animation news website – ANMTV will be interviewing Pablo Zuccarino, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cartoon Network Latin America, Cartoon Network fans can post their questions in the comment section on the following links, the best questions will be picked by ANMTV’s editorial staff.

Link For Spanish Language Questions: http://www.anmtvla.com/2018/04/cartoon-network-conmemora-25-anos-y.html

Link For Portuguese Language Questions: http://anmtv.xpg.com.br/cartoon-network-25-anos-classicos-na-tv-youtube-e-facebook/

http://www.anmtvla.com/2018/04/cartoon-network-especial-de-cumpleanos.html

http://anmtv.xpg.com.br/cartoon-network-25-anos-classicos-na-tv-youtube-e-facebook/

https://www.youtube.com/user/CartoonLA
https://www.facebook.com/cartoonnetworkla/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1toK6UDXwreacdepXYcyqA
https://www.facebook.com/cartoonnetworkbrasil/

Cartoon Network Australia Pranks Viewers On April Fools’ Day With Classic Cartoon Network Original Shows

Cartoon Network Australia Pranks Viewers On April Fools' Day With Classic Cartoon Network Original Shows

Cartoon Network Australia Pranks Viewers On April Fools’ Day With Classic Cartoon Network Original Shows

For April Fools’ Day 2018 (1st April), Cartoon Network Australia (and also its sister Asian version Cartoon Network Southeast Asia) had a blast back to the past, by airing four classic shows from Cartoon Network’s library in a retro four-hour long block. The block aired from 12pm to 4pm (12.30pm to 4pm HKT on Cartoon Network Southeast Asia) and featured episodes of Dexter’s Laboratory, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Codename: Kids Next Door and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.

Dexter’s Laboratory follows the life of boy-genius – Dexter. Dexter has a secret laboratory where he conducts experiments and builds machines that no-one can even ever imagine, but unfortunately his sister – Dee Dee always destroys his experiments which leads to mishaps and consequences. Dexter’s Laboratory fully premiered in 1996 after airing two successful pilot episodes which were developed as part of Cartoon Network’s/Hanna-Barbera’s World Premiere Toons/What A Cartoon animated pilots development programme.

Ed, Edd n Eddy is Cartoon Network’s longest running animated series and is about the three titular characters – Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy is always coming up with schemes to make money so his friends can buy jawbreakers, Edd (or “Double-D”) is the most intelligent but also the most socially-awkward out of the three and there’s Ed, he’s not very clever, but his good-naturedness and humour certainly makes up for his lack of intellect.

Codename: Kids Next Door is about a secret organisation hidden away in a treehouse headquarters ran by five young friends. Together and through the use of their contraptions, they stop adults from forcing things on them that they don’t particularly like or want to do.

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is about two children, one named Billy a dimwitted but carefree boy and the other is his friend Mandy, a cynical, manipulative and rude girl, they befriend the Grim Reaper after beating him at a limbo game to save Billy’s pet hamster, forcing Grim to an eternity of servitude and friendship. Together, the trio get involved in supernatural situations on a daily basis.

From The Turner Asia-Pacific/Catapult Public Relations Press Release: Cartoon Network Goes Retro For The Ultimate April Fools Stunt

SURPRISE! Don’t adjust that dial! We interrupt your regular programming of Teen Titans Go!, Ben 10, Teen Titans Go!, The Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, even more Teen Titans Go! to bring you A BLAST FROM CARTOON NETWORKS PAST!

To celebrate April Fools, Cartoon Network will go back to the beginning, introducing a new generation of viewers to retro shows that were all the rage in 1996 – 2002! Get ready to be stunned by the antics featured in hit classics Dexter’s Laboratory, Ed Edd n Eddy, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Codename: Kids Next Door! Starting from 12pm-4pm on April 1, 2018, we are bringing back some of the best retro shows the channel has ever seen – but airing them now.

The line-up features shows that premiered between 1996 – 2002 and includes the below shows:

Dexter’s Laboratory – Dexter is a boy genius who has a secret laboratory. His intelligence makes him the brains of the family and he is one of the world’s greatest inventors, having created countless weird and amazing machines and experiments. He is always working on new inventions and creations every day, but his sister Dee Dee is always breaking into his lab and destroying his work making for disastrous consequences.

Ed, Edd n Eddy – Like any boys trying to survive their adolescence, Ed, Edd and Eddy are as clueless about girls as everything else. Eddy may not be the brains of the trio, but he’s the “idea guy,” always scheming and dragging his buddies along. Ed, Edd n Eddy go on summertime adventures involving part-time jobs, treehouses and of course, girls. Ed, Edd n Eddy is the longest running Cartoon Network Original series.

Codename: Kids Next Door – A mysterious treehouse hidden from adults is the headquarters for five friends known as Kids Next Door. These 10-year-olds take on adults to get out of going to the dentist or summer camp by using “2×4 Technology.” They build and design elaborate contraptions using anything they can get their hands on: bubble gum, old wood, and spare tires. Each kid has a specialty and works with the team to win silly battles with adults.

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy – Billy and Mandy are a mismatched pair of youngsters who befriend the Grim Reaper after winning a limbo contest against him. Since the Grim Reaper lost, he has to be their friend, and the three go on adventures together. Between school, family and visitors from the spirit world, Billy and Mandy sometimes need help to clean up the messes they get themselves into, and that’s where Hos Delgado comes in. Hos and the Grim Reaper are not friends, and with Mandy’s bossy nature and Billy’s curious attitude funny escapades ensue.

https://www.regularcapital.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/CartoonNetworkAustraliaAprilFools2018Stunt.pdf