For the Anime lineup, Cowboy Bebop and FLCL. In addition, back when it was new, Inuyasha got favorable treatment with reruns and timeslots but also got the most mocked on the bumps, so hard to tell if they liked it at all or just liked the moolah it brought them. The Network Decay of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim has sent much of the Anime block towards the other direction however, to the point that some of their bumpers have stated (semi-seriously) that the above mentioned are the only good cartoons from Japan.
Dragon Ball Z Kai seems to be getting this treatment now, being the first anime in years to be aired outside of [adult swim]'s late-night action block (though still on Saturdays, and only re-runs of the previous week's episode).
Black Jesus got a huuuuge push from [as]' prior to its premiere, with a seemingly unprecedented 11:00 PM timeslot for new episodes, plus multiple B&W cards for the show each week, episodic promos, and even an official prayer candle that you could buy from [as]' website.
Creator Killer, Franchise Killer, and Genre-Killer: The Boston Bomb Scare; when some Boston police thought that guerilla marketing LEDs for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie were bombs, then-current Cartoon Network head Jim Samples was forced to step down. Observers have pointed at this incident as arguably the cause of the Network Decay of not just Adult Swim, but all of Cartoon Network, considering that his replacement Stuart Snyder was the main champion of the increase of live-action sitcoms and reality shows on the channel, though ever since Stuart Snyder stepped down, Cartoon Network's live-action daytime shows have disappeared (some live-action movies do air occasionally on the channel, like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the live-action Scooby Doo movies) and the channel has brought back Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as made new originals, like Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Clarence, Steven Universe — even a few short-lived series that were either Screwed by the Network or were failures, like Secret Fort Mountain Awesome, Robotomy, and MADnote the sketch show based on Mad magazine that aired following the cancellation of FOX's MA Dtv. The live-action [adult swim] shows, however, are still on the air, though some of them have been canceled or ended.
Friday Night Death Slot: Adult Swim was so afraid of this; they avoided airing shows on Friday for its first few years. They now show programs on Friday, although itís unlikely that a new show will premiere on this day.
They now debut new episodes of their live-action comedies on Fridays, although this is less being screwed over and more for purposes of ratings, as [as]' audience likes continuity on the schedule. This move means that every program on their Monday-Thursday schedule is the same.
On April 18, 2008, Adult Swim premiered Rising Son, a spoof of Soap Operas focusing on the life of Jesus), at 5 o'clock in the morning. Without any announcement of any kind except for the title appearing on the schedule.
Adult Swim will occasionally show a marathon of a show on April Fools just to do a Running Gag. At one time, an April Fools marathon of Perfect Hair Forever played all seven episodes in backwards order with bad subtitles. Another time, they showed the same episode of Harvey Birdman 24 times in a row.
On Christmas and New Year's Eve 2011, they showed all night marathons of Bleach.
For the last weekend of 2013, Toonami showed a 4-hour marathon of Cowboy Bebop episodes (as chosen by the staff) following an airing of Trigun: Badlands Rumble, right before their license expired. Then, on July 5th, 2014, they showed three episodes of Space Dandy in a row to lead up to the show's Season 2 premiere.
For their April Fool's Day stunt in 2014, they showed a marathon of Space Ghost: Coast 2 Coast episodes, to commemorate the show's 20th birthday two weeks later. This was preceded by a brand-new episode of Perfect Hair Forever.
In addition to all of this, [as]' shows marathons of many of the shows they own that are broadcast on their website. The marathons are all picked out the week before, and sometimes they double up on shows that don't have enough episodes, so you can watch a marathon of Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum episodes one day, and then Black Dynamite the next.
Network to the Rescue: If a show that Adult Swim loves is having trouble, they will do everything in their power to save it. We didn't say Adult Swim loves to show love for shows that they adore for nothing, did we?
Adult Swim at one point started airing a promo in which they say Squidbillies has been getting low ratings... and how clearly the reason was that the viewers were morons and hadn't yet given this wonderful show a chance. That's why now they're airing it every single night instead of once a week, to get us to watch it and see how great it is.
Same with The Oblongs (even though there are currently no plans to make new episodes).
Somewhat inverted with Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Adult Swim promotes the hell out of it and gives it gets the red carpet treatment, but the fanbase isn't biting and the show has low to middling ratings.
Adult Swim may well be the reason why Futurama and Family Guy (and by extension, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show) lasted longer than they should have (and was the reason why Futurama and Family Guy were saved from being canceled, even if Futurama continued and ended its run on Comedy Central and viewers are complaining that Family Guy should never have been revived due to its decline in quality).
After spending the last part of the Turn of the Millennium being the poster victim of Cartoon Networkís Network Decay (though [adult swim] still shows live-action shows), anime is finally getting thrown a bone with the revival of Toonami (now with anime that's more or less shown uncut and uncensored. You will see some offensive language, sex, and nudity cut, but the violence hasn't been touched). Anime in general seems to be getting more respect as a result, with Samurai 7 and Casshern Sins being signs that they're serious about Toonami and saving more serious anime on Cartoon Network.
The Big O. The show was popular enough that Adult Swim is directly responsible for financing the production of the 2nd season. note It's also the reason why they only ever showed season 2 and not season 1: They own season 2. However, the premiere of the second season was around the same time Adult Swim begun its Network Decay, and they ended up screwing up the airing of a couple episodes (including accidentally airing a repeat over the finale) and ended up canceling the show before a reportedly expected third season, despite it having paid off financially. However, you could argue that this is more of Cartoon Network's fault considering that they were the ones that refused to fund the third season, perhaps due to the Network Decay that Cartoon Network was undergoing at the time.
Code Geass is a notable victim of Adult Swim's constant schedule switching of shows. Adult Swim had kept changing the time slot later and later to the point that people stopped caring and their rights to the show expired after one rerun.
Futurama, although this was from Fox rather than from Adult Swim. The DVDs sold more than Family Guy's, fan push was apparently larger, the ratings on Adult Swim were better, but Family Guy was the one that came back first. Also, Adult Swim even offered to fund new episodes and were told no. THEN the network got screwed over when the show they helped try to bring back was ripped away from them and given to another network. In this situation, it was Adult Swim that got screwed. On the bright side, the popularity and adoration it got from Adult Swim did help push for a continuation of the series on Comedy Central.
Korgoth of Barbaria, one of Adult Swim's most well received pilot shows, was supposedly green-lighted for an entire season, but aborted due to lack of funds that the higher ups refused to provide.
Adult Swim requested that the third season of Moral Orel to be as Darker and Edgier as much as creator Dino Stamatopoulos could make it. He complied — creating the saddest, darkest, most soul-crushing episodes of the show he could (with "Alone"note centered on three Moralton women whose lives have been ruined by sexual abuse — the nurse who regresses to a child because men see her as little more than a sex doll, a woman who was raped and ended up in love with her rapist, and the librarian who has a God complex and a fetish for eggs after her mother had her ovaries removed when she was a baby, the two-part episode where Orel is on a hunting trip with his alcoholic father, and "Numb"note where Bloberta purposely mutilates her genitals so she can visit a doctor who has a fetish for mangled genitals as the cream of the crop). While the fans applauded the episodes for going in directions that mainstream Western animation fears to tread, the execs regretted the decision and the show was canceled.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit was constantly schedule-switch later and later until it aired at 5:30 AM EST by Adult Swim, dropped after 10 episodes, restarted in a better timeslot, and then got dropped again after Geneon went bankrupt, and it was removed from the air until the licensing issues were resolved. However, the problems were eventually solved, and Adult Swim re aired and completed the series between June and December 2009.
The second season of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil was canned after going through two years of Development Hell. A half hour second season was planned along with a new pilot, but both of which were scrapped due to Loren Bouchard and the network having creative disagreements about the show.
A second season of Stroker and Hoop was planned thanks to good ratings, including a series premiere that would have wrapped up the cliff hanger, but Adult Swim thought the show was far too expensive to produce, and as a result, it was canned with no ending.
Toonami itself has now been accused of being put under the network's bane, thanks to lower ratings, with the block's time being shortened to 3 1/2 hours, including the loss of the much vaunted 11:30 PM timeslot. This was already after the block lost the 5:00A hour, with many Toonami fans accusing [as] of trying to kill the block while it was down. However, The website Toonami Faithful did an interview with block manager Jason De Marco shortly after this came to pass, and he did not seem phased by it, even going as far to say that he prefers the new lineup because it allows for more premieres and fewer rerunning shows. Also, the addition of shows like Kill la Kill and the new season of Sword Art Online seems to indicate that the block is here to stay for the forseeable future.
Sit Down, Shut Up is a borderline example of this. The show aired new episodes at 8:00P on Sundays, at the first timeslot after Cartoon Network ends, and it recieved little promotion from [as] aside from one commercial. It also did not help that, thanks to Comedy Central rescuing the show first, [as] wasn't able to get it until five-and-a-half years after it first aired. To make it even worse, Word of God has stated that they have no intention of re-airing it outside of its first run, and it got pulled in the middle of it in favor of Dragon Ball Z Kai reruns. Let that sink in, [as] would prefer to air anime reruns rather than Sit Down, Shut Up.
Too Many Cooksblew up in popularity following praise for the short's insanity and sheer parodical depth by several online websites. It helped bring public attention to [adult swim]'s 4:00A DVR Theater timeslot for infomercials and other experimental programming, much like Off the Air before it.
What Could Have Been: Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball were originally planned to be Adult Swim shows. However, there was no room on the block at the time for Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball's original premise (outcast cartoon characters stuck in a remedial school until they are deemed fit for society) was too depressing, so it was changed into a more family-oriented (but still risque) show for daytime Cartoon Network. Regular Show was also toned down, but, judging by its Getting Crap Past the Radar page, not by much.
The Don Hertzfeldt short Rejected was supposed to air during the early days of [adult swim], but was pre-empted for reasons unknown. Some say censorship (there was a scene that included the words, "Sweet Jesus!" as an oath); others say that the executives failed to see the humor in the short.