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Creator / Cartoon Network

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Turner Broadcasting launched this cable channel on October 1, 1992note , after acquiring the extensive Hanna-Barbera animation library the year before (and even before this, Turner owned some animation, by way of the 1986 MGM/UA deal and his production of Captain Planet and the Planeteers). Hanna-Barbera played a pivotal role in the operations of the channel, as aside from the pre-1986 MGM/UA cartoon library being broadcast on the network, a large majority of the network's programming schedule were cartoons produced by the studio. The premiere of Space Ghost Coast to Coast in 1994, and the What A Cartoon! Show a year later, would eventually lead to the creation of the first of a number of original productions at H-B, who formed the division of Cartoon Network Studios to handle the shows. Cartoon Network, Hanna-Barbera and the rest of Turner Broadcasting later merged with Time Warner (now WarnerMedia, a subsidiary of AT&T) in 1996, giving it access to more animated material, by way of Warner Bros. When Cartoon Network decided to push the back catalog cartoons aside for its original productions, it launched Boomerang, a satellite and digital-tier bonus cable channel, in April 2000, to serve as a "retirement home" for them. In 2001, with the death of H-B co-founder Bill Hanna, Warner Bros. took over the operations of Hanna-Barbera, while spinning off Cartoon Network Studios into a separate company under the Cartoon Network banner, taking the network's archives with them, while Warner Bros. seized Hanna-Barbera's "classic" properties.


Many of Cartoon Network's original programming have been critically praised, with most considering them to be superior to cartoons shown on broadcast networks, especially as more and more broadcast networks are abandoning their animated programming blocks outright. CN has (and still does all the time) pushed the limit on what a kids' channel can show, by airing several TV-14–rated animated films (such as the Hellboy series and Justice League: The New Frontier) and TV-PG series (like both Clone Wars series), resulting in a LARGE Periphery Demographic, even having a bumper featuring an excessive Cluster F-Bomb. It is best known among the anime community for its Toonami block, which is known for helping to increase the popularity of Japanese animation in America.

To satisfy its growing adult demographic, adult animation is showcased during the overnight hours with the [adult swim] block. Once again praised for many of its original programs (even the weirder ones), Adult Swim is also well-known for bringing more exposure to mature anime series as well as rescuing other shows from death or complete obscurity.


Around the late-2000s, the network began to incorporate live action shows as it attempted to compete with other "kids'" channels, such as Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. A number of animated originals as well as the Toonami and Miguzi blocks were cancelled or ended, only to be replaced by a number of live action programs, which came to a head when CN Real, a block of live-action reality shows and scripted series, was created. This block was cancelled shortly after its creation, as low ratings prompted a return to the network's signature "cartoon" programming.

The New '10s has seen a renaissance of airing animated originals with the network premiering a large number of new animated series to cater to a variety of interests, with even more to come. Classics like Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls have also found their way back to the schedule after being relegated to Boomerang. After a huge fan campaign following an April Fools' Day stunt, Toonami also returned to the schedule, now a Saturday night block on Adult Swim, airing shows that never would have seen the light of day on a weekday afternoon block unless major editing was involved. The decade has also seen the network experiment with new formats, including the acclaimed Mini Series Over the Garden Wall, and have started to become reliant on New Media to incubate future shows, with Mighty Magiswords and OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes both being launched as interactive content through their CN Anything app.

With regard to variety of interests, the network has been taking a subtle change in demographics as displayed by its brief crop of TV-PG rated shows from 2010-14 (often for the suggestive humor that was okay at the TV-Y7 level, as well as rude languagenote  and violence) starting with Canadian imports 6teen and the Total Drama animated reality shows and continuing with the originals Adventure Time and Regular Show. This is quite unusual, considering that programs that went above the TV-Y7 rating were a rarity even during the network’s peak popularitynote , but it seems like that they have started to take note of the growing Periphery Demographic. No TV-PG-rated shows were released after 2015, with Total Drama, Teen Titans Go! and Steven Universe being the only TV-PG series still airing as of 2018, though this could change with the introduction of Infinity Train in 2019.

In addition, a crossover Mascot Fighter called Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion was released in June 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS, and an Updated Re-release on PS3/Wii/Xbox 360 in November of the same year. The network also re-aired several of its classics in honor of its 20th Anniversary.

On March 4, 2019, as part of a major restructuring of WarnerMedia, Cartoon Network, along with Boomerang, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies, broke off from Turner Broadcasting and their operations were taken over by Warner Bros., along with their consumer products and production divisions. This effectively makes Cartoon Network Studios a division of Warner Bros. Animation, much like how it operated as a division of Hanna-Barbera before that studio's absorption into WB Animation.

The official website, which contains games, information, and videos of its classics and current offerings is here. Their YouTube channel is here.

Note: The programs listed here represent either "regular" CN proper or Cartoon Network as a whole. For content involving the channel's sub-entities ([adult swim], Boomerang, Toonami, etc.) see their respective pages.

This network has made the following original series:

The network has produced several pilots that have developed a significant cult following:

  • A Kitty Bobo Show note 
  • Captain Sturdy: Back in Action note 
  • Mina and The Count note 
  • Twelve Forever note 

Upcoming productions:

  • Infinity Train (upcoming series, premiering in 2019)
  • Thundercats Roar (upcoming series, premiering in 2019)
  • Elliott From Earth (upcoming series; produced from CN's EMEA hub)

It has also aired original series created by other companies, made just for the network (or in the case of anime, exported for the network):

This network has also aired reruns (and in some cases, new episodes) of the following series:

Licensed Games made for the network include:

Programming blocks that are airing or have aired on this network include:

  • [adult swim] note 
  • Boomerang note 
  • Cartoon Cartoons note 
  • Cartoon Cartoon Fridays note 
  • Cartoon Planet note 
  • CN Real note 
  • DC Nation note 
  • Fried Dynamite note 
  • Late Night Black And White note 
  • Miguzi note 
  • JBVO note 
  • Oh Canada note 
  • Saturday Video Entertainment System note 
  • Super Chunk note 
  • Toonami note 
  • Tickle U note 
  • Toon Heads note 
  • Har Har Tharsdays note 
  • You Are Here note 
  • CN City note