Boomerang UK Dorothy And The Wizard Of Oz Premieres Tomorrow 2nd October
Tomorrow (2nd October) at 4.30pm, Boomerang UK and Ireland will be taking its viewers somewhere over the rainbow in a brand new show – Dorothy and The Wizard Of Oz! In the brand new show, Queen Ozma has appointed Dorothy as the Princess of Emerald City. Dorothy takes on her new role with enthusiasm and bravery but she’s still in touch with her Kansas farm-girl origins and has Tinman, Scarecrow and Lion and her dog – Toto by her side.
However, the role of princess carries a lot of responsibilities, not only she has witches, dragons and flying monkeys to deal with, but she also has a new enemy, Wilhelmina – the new Wicked Witch in training and the niece of the Wicked Witch of the West. With her friends and a pair of magical ruby slippers, Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road on a magical journey filled with adventure. After the new show’s premiere at 5pm, Boomerang will also be airing the Tom and Jerry movie – Back to Oz.
Today (01/10/2017) is the big day, twenty-five years today (1st October 1992), Cartoon Network – the world’s first 24 hour channel focusing purely on animation first hit the airwaves in the United States. The blog post is a continuation of the Hanna-Barbera 60th Birthday post I wrote on 7th July (which was part one), where I briefly mentioned how the channel came into fruition, more specifically this post will cover the channel’s history between 1992 to 1999, with two more parts coming later this month. Before I start, I must mention that I don’t live in the United States, however when Cartoon Network launched in the United Kingdom in 1993, it did share a lot of similarities to the original U.S. version including programming blocks, presentation and of course, the shows, it was only up until 1999-2003 when things started to become more localised.
At launch, Cartoon Network first aired the national anthem of the United States – “The Star Spangled Banner”, which was a long running tradition of when a new channel from Turner Broadcasting is launched, the first programme to air was “Droopy’s Guide To Cartoon Network” which was an introduction to the channel. The first actual cartoon to air on the channel was a Looney Tunes cartoon named “The Great Piggy Bank Robbery”, at the time, Cartoon Network’s owner – Turner only owned Warner Bros.’s pre-July 1948 cartoons, the whole MGM animation library and also Fleischer’s/Famous’s library. This huge library allowed the channel to run for a few years without the addition of new original content, and it was an opportunity for the new generation of kids at the time to watch some classic cartoons they’ve never seen before. I was born in 1989, so I can remember Cartoon Network’s early days and by 1993 (just before the European launch), I already had cable. During 1993-1999 era, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry shorts were given plenty of airtime.
Also during this time, I remember watching The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo!, Yogi Bear, Top Cat, The Jetsons and many more. The USA version and UK version (which was shared with the rest of Europe in different audio languages) of the channel had quite a few programming blocks, including “Super Chunk” which was a marathon block featuring a particular show, there was also “Toonheads” which was a show where they air animated shorts with trivia. There was also breakfast-time block called “The Morning Crew” and also the “Boomerang” block which became a spin-off channel in the year 2000 and became a home for classic cartoons as by then Cartoon Network was focusing more on their own original programming. There was the “Power Zone” block which focused on action animation and was a precursor to Toonami.
The first original show to air on Cartoon Network was “The Moxy Show”, though it was just an anthology show with additional clips made in 3D CGI. The first full production was Space Ghost: Coast To Coast, the series was unusual as it was a reboot of the 1960’s Space Ghost superhero cartoon but reformatted as a spoof talk show, the show featured interviews with high-profile celebrities. The show laid the foundation for Cartoon Network’s future night long block for young adults – Adult Swim which eventually launched in 2001. Also, alongside Space Ghost: Coast to Coast were two new productions from Hanna-Barbera – the animated comedy – 2 Stupid Dogs and much later in 1996 – The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. In 1995, Cartoon Network aired “World Premiere Toons”, which aired new pilots from Hanna-Barbera and occasionally from other studios, World Premiere Toons (which later became the “What A Cartoon Show”). The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage The Cowardly Dog and Johnny Bravo all had their debut in the World Premiere Toons block.
After the merger with Time Warner in 1996, Cartoon Network was now able to access the rest of Warner Bros. Animation’s library, this includes the post-1948 Looney Tunes shorts, plus also recent hits at the time including Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series, Animaniacs, Freakazoid!, Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries and Pinky and the Brain. In terms of original content, 1996-1999 was a turning point in Cartoon Network’s history, the network’s attention has shifted over to original content, a full series of Dexter’s Laboratory premiered in 1996, later in 1997 came Cow and Chicken and Johnny Bravo, in 1998, came a full series of The Powerpuff Girls and in 1999, Courage The Cowardly Dog. In 1999, Cartoon Network USA launched a new block which became a cornerstone of the network – Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, a programming block that’s purely dedicated to the channel’s original programming and also new episodes.
Today (01/10/2017), Cartoon Network USA started up this morning at 6am ET/PT with a lengthy one and half minute colourful dance montage featuring its most famous characters throughout its 25 year history:
The blog post forms a part of this blog’s celebrations for Cartoon Network’s 25th Anniversary, part three will be about the era between 2000 to 2006.
Interview Summary With Cartoon Network CEE Manager Matthias Heinze And Turner Marketing Manager Mira Ryness
Today (29/09/2017), Czech media news website rozhlas.cz has published an interview with Matthias Heinze, the general manager of Turner Central Eastern Europe and Benelux and with Mira Ryness, marketing and PR manager at Turner EMEA, in the interview both Matthias and Mira were asked a series of questions about the future of Cartoon Network and its animated shows. Cartoon Network fully launched in the Czech Republic this month, and the channel has started airing its animated shows in the Czech language.
Summary of the interview:
Matthias Heinze explains that the Czech language launch on Cartoon Network only happened due to the recent development of the Czech pay-TV market, neighbouring countries such as Poland have a high percentage of households with subscription television, hence why Cartoon Network has been available in the Polish language for several years. Mira also mentioned that Czech children are already familiar with the channel’s content which airs on other pay-TV and free-to-air channels in the country.
Matthias explained that Cartoon Network’s original programming (from Cartoon Network Studios etc.) forms a main part of the network’s “pillar” and is the main reason why kids want to watch the channel, along with the company’s emphasis on multi-platform digital services also allows the channel to stand out from its competitors. Matthias also said that Cartoon Network is interested in working with animators in the Czech Republic to work on projects, however nothing specific is planned at the moment, in other markets, the channel already has experience producing local content.
Mira said that Cartoon Network will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in different ways in different markets, such as the exhibition at the Paley Center in New York, she also mentioned that celebrations will last a whole year and not just a month. Matthias mentioned that there isn’t any plans for any more reboots (at least for the time being), he also mentioned that Wacky Races will air on Boomerang Central Eastern Europe later this year and new episodes of New Looney Tunes are already airing. He also said that rebooting Ben 10 and The Powerpuff Girls made a lot of sense as both shows were highly popular during their original run, the reboots have been modernised to make them relevant for the new generation of kids, however new content is important too. Mira also mentioned that a lot of care must be taken when rebooting a show, the new show must be true to the original source material.
Matthias also talked about future plans for Boomerang, at the moment, Boomerang will only be distributed in English in the Czech Republic, he explains that Boomerang has a lot of shows (Tom and Jerry or Grizzy and the Lemmings are good examples) that have little to no dialogue and simple words. Also mentioned in the interview, the Czech Republic will have an local advertising opt-out starting from next year and Turner is currently negotiating with local pay-TV providers to distribute the new HD feed which is planned to launch in a few weeks time.