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 August 2018 Highlights Video

Cartoon Network Latin America August 2018 Highlights Video

Cartoon Network Latin America August 2018 Highlights Video

This week, Cartoon Network Latin America has uploaded an August 2018 highlights video onto their YouTube channel. This month, a brand new Cartoon Network original series will premiere – Summer Camp Island, the new show will premiere on Saturday 18th August at 11am Colombia/Argentina/Chile, 10am Mexico and 1pm Brazil. The Adventure Time: Tomorrow story arc will air on Sunday 19th August at 2pm (all feeds). Also this month is the Be Yourself stunt, where Cartoon Network Latin America will air a selection of episodes where you’ll see your favourite cartoons at their best, Be Yourself airs Monday to Fridays at 10am Colombia, 11am Argentina/Chile, 3pm Mexico, 12.30pm Brazil; Saturdays at 4pm Colombia/Mexico, 3pm Argentina/Chile, 2pm Brazil and Sundays at 12pm (all feeds).

Also in August are new episodes from a wide selection of shows, new episodes can also be viewed on the Cartoon Network Go! app. New episodes of The Amazing World of Gumball airs every Monday at 6.15pm Colombia and 8.15pm Argentina/Chile/Mexico/Brazil. New episodes of Ben 10 airs every Monday at 5.30pm Colombia, 7.30pm Argentina/Chile/Mexico/Brazil. Also new this month are new episodes of Craig of the Creek, new episodes of Mighty Magiswords, new episodes of Jorel’s Brother, more The Heroic Quest Of The Valiant Prince Ivandoe animated shorts and also The Powerpuff Girls special – Never Been Blissed.

In terms of digital entertainment, there’s a new Toontubers episode based around the popular video game – Minecraft, Another Week On Cartoon (Otra Semana en Cartoon/Outra Semana no Cartoon) returns, new episodes of Captain Tsubasa and Ben 10: Alien of the Week. Also check out new stickers and mini games on the Cartoon Network Anything app and also the CN Fan Art website (http://www.cnfanart.com), this month’s theme on the CN Fan Art website is “This is my Power” (#CNEsteMiPoder).

On the Cartoon Network Latin America website, there are new games this month such as Ben 10: Escape Route and a brand new The Amazing World of Gumball game.

Not mentioned in the video is the Spanish-speaking Latin America premiere of Birdo Studio’s Oswaldo, Oswaldo premieres today (16th August) at 5.45pm Colombia, 7.45pm Argentina, 8.45pm Chile and 6.45pm Mexico.

https://www.regularcapital.com/2018/07/cartoon-network-latin-america-and-cartoon-network-brazil-august-2018-highlights/

http://www.cartoonnetworkla.com

Cartoon Network At The Children’s Media Conference 2018

Cartoon Network At The Children’s Media Conference 2018

Cartoon Network At The Children’s Media Conference 2018

Today (04/07/2017) was the second day of the 2018 Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, UK, an annual conference where the British children’s media industry gather, all forms of media aimed at young audiences including film, TV, radio, interactive media, games, licensing, toys and book and magazine publishing are represented at the conference. This year’s conference is being held between Tuesday 3rd July and Thursday 5th July. Turner’s Cartoon Network and Boomerang are this year’s bag sponsor for this year’s conference and have been giving away special Cartoon Network 25th anniversary bags to attendees, Cartoon Network UK will celebrate its 25th anniversary on 17th September this year.

The conference is a chance for creatives and business leaders to discuss what’s happening in the industry including both threats and opportunities, promote their content, introduce new shows and products and to exchange new ideas. As with previous years, Turner UK is at the conference again and are sponsoring the event using their Cartoon Network and Boomerang television channel brands. A vast majority of events relating to Cartoon Network will be running at the conference tomorrow (Thursday 5th July), representatives from Turner UK (and the greater EMEA area) will be speaking at the conference, today (4th July) was mostly about the use of technology to distribute content rather than the content itself.

Today (4th July), Marc Goodchild, Head of Digital Content Strategy & Product at Turner EMEA was present at three different sessions – Behind the Screens at YouTube Kids, Big Lessons from Niche Memes and Technology – What’s Next?. Behind the Screens at YouTube Kids discussed the use of YouTube’s YouTube Kids video service to distribute child-friendly content. Big Lessons from Niche Memes discussed the use of internet memes (widespread internet jokes) and how it can be used as a form of marketing that will appeal to young people. The “Technology – What’s Next?” session was mostly about the use of smartphones and tablets, AR (Augmented Reality), toys-to-life and voice-powered home assistants and how they can be used for entertainment. Also today, Sophie Deen (CEO, Bright Little Labs) was moderating a session – “Learning – What’s Happening?”, which talked about the best ways to educate children both in and out the classroom. Turner EMEA made an equity investment in Bright Little Labs last month, the company produces educational material that focuses on computer coding with the use of the character – Detective Dot, through the investment, the company can now utilise Cartoon Network’s portfolio in its educational material.

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/behind-the-screens-at-youtube-kids/

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/big-lessons-from-niche-memes/

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/technology-whats-next/

Tomorrow (5th July), Sarah Fell (Executive Producer for Turner EMEA Kids Original Programming, including The Amazing World of Gumball and The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe) will be speaking at the “Tips and Hits from Animated Women” session, which focuses on the success of woman in the British animation industry, the session will take place between 9.30am to 10.30am. Today, Sarah was also at the What a Relief! session, which talked about the use of UK tax relief to help lower the cost of production for animation, children’s TV, film and video games.

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/tips-and-hits-from-animated-women/

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/what-a-relief/

John Conlon (Senior Director of Data & Consumer Insights for Turner Northern Europe), will be speaking at the “If we can’t Measure it, how can we Manage it?” session which will discuss the measurement of viewership for video content aimed at children, the session will take place between 11am and 12pm.

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/if-we-cant-measure-it-how-can-we-manage-it/

Also tomorrow (5th July), Zia Bales (Senior Acquisitions Manager for Turner Kids EMEA) and Cecilia Persson (Vice President, Programming and content strategy, Turner EMEA Kids, Acquisitions and Co-Production International), will be speaking at the Commissioner Conversations event, run in conjunction with children’s pay-TV rivals – Nickelodeon, the event will run between 11am and 11.45pm, which will be followed by a speed meetings event from 12.15pm to 1.15pm, Zia and Mary Dimitriadis (Senior Programming Coordinator for Turner UK’s kids channels) will be present for business meetings and general business networking. The purpose of the Commissioner Conversations event is to find out what Turner EMEA (Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Cartoonito, Toonix and Toonami) are looking for in terms of content and the speed meetings session will be a good opportunity to talk about animation projects.

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/commissioner-conversations-nickelodeon-and-turner/

http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/sessions/speed-meetings-vod-2-2/