Follow TV Tropes


Creator / YTV

Go To
Keep it WEIRD!... on YTV.
— Their famous slogan

YTV is a Canadian channel launched in 1988 as one of the first youth-oriented specialty networks to launch in the country. Despite this, and what its name suggests, YTV's initials do not stand for "Youth Television". YTV's current parent company is Corus Entertainment, and the network serves as the flagship brand for the Corus' Kids division.

A staple of any TV-watching Canadian kid in The '90s, YTV is known for its programming blocks hosted by PJs, or Program Jockeys, who would come in during the credits and do various things such as answering e-mails while introducing the next show. Their flagship block is The Zone, originally shown during the after-school hours before eventually taking-over Saturday mornings as well. Notable on-air personalities throughout the years have included Phil Guerrero, who was known on-air as "PJ Phresh Phill"; Stephanie Beard, who was known on-air as "Sugar"; and Carlos Bustamante, who is the longest-running host at 16 years.

The mornings featured an array of programming for younger viewers with tons of interaction from the PJs and many puppet characters who visited or lived in their lavish, treehouse-themed sets. YTV later split off another channel to cater to toddlers and preschoolers: Treehouse TV. Come afternoon, YTV was the go-to source for everything from ReBoot and Beast Wars (known on the channel as Beasties) to Sailor Moon, Doug, Muppet Babies (1984), Pokémon, The Secret World of Alex Mack and The New Addams Family—all of which was hosted by a duo of wiseass male PJs and their gum-covered alien television creature Snit, whose screen was a giant mouth. Evenings shifted to a darker note with programming such as Animorphs, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps, Doctor Who's classic 1963-1989 runnote , and BritComs such as Yes, Minister and Are You Being Served?. The early years also included reruns of Canadian and American oldies such as The Littlest Hobo, Bonanza and The Muppet Show, as well as the controversial cult classic You Can't Do That on Television, resulting in the latter becoming Vindicated by Cable after a spotty decade-long broadcast history in its home country.

Between shows throughout the day, animated shorts dubbed "Short Circuitz" would air, ranging from funny and lighthearted ones earlier in the day to darker and surprisingly wistful ones at night ("Windows," from The Mind's Eye series for example). YTV was also responsible for original and often low-budget shows as well, such as PJ Katie's Farm and Radio Active, and the long-running game shows Video And Arcade Top 10 & Uh Oh!. These days, most of this material is famed for its massive nostalgia factor among natives of the 1990s and late 1980s.

If YTV had to be compared to an American equivalent, it would be Nickelodeon, from which the station has imported a large amount of programming. A Canadian version, which primarily serves as a vault channel for Nickelodeon's programming, was eventually launched in 2009. YTV also served as the early inspiration for what was then known as Fox Family, after its purchase by Fox. Fox Family even had their own equivalent to The Zone known as The Basement but, in a sense of irony, much of the channel's early programming was imported from YTV's then-rival Teletoon.

Another notable aspect of YTV was that they were the primary source of anime for Canadians, in addition to the previously mentioned Sailor Moon (for which Stephanie Beard provided the voice of Rini (Chibi-Usa) in later seasons) and Pokemon. Like Nickelodeon, anime for younger children like Mapletown, Maya the Bee and The Littl' Bits were a staple of the network in the days before most viewers knew what anime was. note  In fact, Medabots, Bakuten Shoot Beyblade, and Metal Fight Beyblade's English versions were all produced in association with sibling studio Nelvana.

YTV's anime programming would reach its peak with Inuyasha and the Bionix block. Bionix brought several other new anime series to viewers, most of which were dubbed by The Ocean Group for CanCon (Canadian content) reasons, hitting two birds with one stone for both the meeting obligations and satisfying anime fans. Similarly, shows like Sailor Moon and Maya the Bee had had their English versions produced in Toronto or Montreal. They also threw in Canadian-produced CGI favorites by Mainframe Entertainment (Beasties, ReBoot and Shadow Raiders) and even Western Animation fare (Justice League Unlimited, Invader Zim and Futurama).

Come the new millennium, YTV gradually shifted its programming. Instead of aiming for older teens later at night, they would maximize the number of viewers by airing shows that would attract a "whole family" audience in the evening.

As a result, Bionix was moved to late Saturday nights and later shortened to just an hour of reruns before it was ultimately axed in 2010. YTV did acquired approval from the CRTC to launch an anime-focused channel, but the license ultimately expired in January of 2010. By 2014, YTV would let go of the few anime titles it did have, with the likes of Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! being shuffled over to Teletoon—which Corus obtained full ownership of the previous year. At one point, it seemed as if YTV was losing interest in animation as a whole; even new original shows made for the channel would somehow end up on Teletoon. For a period, the most animation you would see would be Nicktoons, or reruns of YTV and Teletoon's earlier cartoons on weekdays; unless it was a movie, a new show, or SpongeBob SquarePants, you wouldn't see anything of the sort after 6 PM EST.

Like Nickelodeon, YTV still attracts a Periphery Demographic that remembers the channel fondly for its image and output from the 1990s to early 2000s. Playing lipservice to this particular audience, Nelvana launched YTV Direct in 2015, a YouTube channel hosting both retro and contemporary content from YTV and Teletoon. YTV and Nelvana have also uploaded episodes of Nicktoons such as The Fairly OddParents!, as Nelvana owns the international rights to early seasons. At one point, there was also a "retro" section on YTV's website, featuring full episodes, as well as blogs and quizzes based on older YTV programming.

For its 30th anniversary in 2018, YTV Direct was relaunched as "Keep It Weird", focusing on "weird", contemporary shows. The rest of its content was split between two new channels: Retro Rerun, which focuses on older programming and even held a 6teen reunion special, and Cartoon Power Up, featuring action cartoons and Nelvana-produced anime dubs.

Not to be confused with Yomiuri TV, a Nippon Television-affiliated Japanese TV station in Osaka sharing the same initials (albeit in lowercase). Incidentally, Yomiuri was the original broadcaster for Inuyasha. Also not to be confused with Yorkshire Television, an ITV franchise once commonly referred to as YTV.

The following series were originally produced for YTV (listed alphabetically):

Live-Action TV (premiere dates and production companies are in brackets)

  • 15/Love (2004; produced by Marathon Media)
  • 2030 CE (2002; produced by Mind's Eye Entertainment)
  • The Adrenaline Project (2007; produced by Marblemedia)
  • The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon (1997; produced by Breakthrough Entertainment)
  • The Adventures of Shirley Holmes (1997; produced by Credo Entertainment Group)
  • The Anti-Gravity Room (1990; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990; produced by Cinar and WildBrain)
  • The Big Comfy Couch (1992; produced by Radical Sheep Productions)
  • Big Wolf on Campus (1999; produced by Saban Entertainment)
  • The Bittles (2003; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Breaker High (1997; produced by Shavick Entertainment)
  • Cache Craze (2013; produced by 9 Story Media Group)
  • Catwalk (1992; produced by Franklin/Waterman Productions)
  • Clips (1992; produced by The Robert Essery Organization)
  • Cook'd (2014; produced by Temple Street Productions)
  • Crazy Quilt (1997; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Dark Oracle (2004; produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment)
  • Dog House (1990; produced by Paragon Entertainment)
  • Driving Me Crazy (2016; produced by Marblemedia)
  • Extreme Babysitting (2013; produced by General Purpose Pictures)
  • Family Biz (2009; produced by Muse Entertainment)
  • Fries With That? (2004; produced by 9124-1737 Quebec Inc.)
  • The Fuzzpaws (1998; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Galidor (2002; produced by CinéGroupe)
  • Game Gurus (2007; produced by Corus Entertainment)
  • Game On (2015; produced by Ad Lib Films)
  • Gamerz (1998; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Generation Gap (1989; produced by Producers Group International)
  • Ghost Trackers (2005; produced by CCI Entertainment)
  • Groundling Marsh (1994; produced by Portfolio Entertainment)
  • Guinevere Jones (2002; produced by Crawford Productions)
  • The Hardy Boys (2021; produced by Nelvana)
  • Hit List (1991; produced by GRC Productions)
  • How to Be Indie (2009; produced by Heroic Film Company)
  • I Was a Sixth Grade Alien (1999; produced by Winklemania Productions)
  • In Real Life (2009; produced by Apartment 11 Productions)
  • Incredible Story Studio (1997; produced by Mind's Eye Entertainment)
  • Its Alive (1993; produced by GRC Productions)
  • Japanizi: Going, Going, Gong! (2013; produced by Marblemedia)
  • Karaoke Star Jr. (2009; produced by Corus Entertainment)
  • Life with Boys (2011; produced by Nelvana)
  • Los Luchadores (2001)
  • Made Up (2016; produced by Marblemedia)
  • Maniac Mansion (1990; produced by Lucasfilm)
  • Make It Pop (2015; produced by Nickelodeon Studios)
  • Max & Shred (2014; produced by Nickelodeon Studios)
  • Mental Block (2003; produced by Zone 3)
  • Mission: 4Count (2014; produced by Tricon Kids and Family)
  • Monster Warriors (2006; produced by Coneybeare Stories)
  • Mr. Young (2011; produced by Nelvana)
  • My Hometown (1996; produced by RTR Media Inc.)
  • My Special Book (2000; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Mystery Hunters (2002; produced by Apartment 11 Productions)
  • Nanalan' (1999; produced by The Grogs)
  • The New Addams Family (1998; produced by FOX Family and Saban Entertainment)
  • The Next Star (2008; produced by Corus Entertainment)
  • Open Heart (2015; produced by Epitome Pictures and Marblemedia)
  • Panda Bear Daycare (1998; produced by Radical Sheep Productions)
  • Pet Squad (1998; produced by Inspidea and March Entertainment)
  • Prank Patrol (2005; produced by Apartment 11 Productions)
  • PJ Katie's Farm (1995; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Radio Active (1998; produced by Ciné Télé Action Inc.)
  • ReBoot: The Guardian Code (2018; Live-Action/CGI hybrid series produced by Mainframe Entertainment)
  • Return To Sherwood (1998; produced by Winklemania Productions)
  • Ride (2016; produced by Breakthrough Entertainment)
  • Rock 'n Talk (1992; produced by YTV Productions)
  • Ruffus the Dog (1998; produced by Radical Sheep Productions)
  • Screech Owls (2000; produced by Shaftesbury Films)
  • Seriously Weird (2002; produced by CinéGroupe)
  • Some Assembly Required (2014; produced by Thunderbird Films)
  • Splatalot! (2011; produced by Marblemedia; moved to Teletoon)
  • Spy Academy (2004; produced by Chalk Media)
  • 'St. Bear's Dolls Hospital'' (1998; produced by YTV Productions)
  • The Stanley Dynamic (2015; produced by Nelvana)
  • Student Bodies (1997; produced by Telescene)
  • Survive This (2009; produced by 9 Story Media Group)
  • System Crash (1999; produced by YTV Productions)
  • That's So Weird (2009; produced by DHX Media)
  • Timeblazers (2003; produced by Discovery Kids)
  • Tricked (2016; produced by Force Four Entertainment)
  • Uh Oh! (1997; produced by GRC Productions)
  • Undercover High (2014; produced by General Purpose Entertainment)
  • Unnatural History (2010; produced by Cartoon Network Studios)
  • Vampire High (2001; produced by Les Productions La Fête)
  • Video And Arcade Top 10 (1991; produced by The Robert Essery Organization)
  • Wee 3 (2001; produced by Good Night Monsters)
  • Wimzie's House (1995; produced by Cinar)
  • The Zack Files (2000; produced by Decode Entertainment)
  • Zixx (2004; Live-Action/CGI hybrid series produced by Mainframe Entertainment)
  • Zoink'd (2012; produced by Pivotal Media)

Video Games

  • Jinx (2005)
    • Jinx 2: Miracle in the 34th Dimension (2005)
    • Jinx 2 1/2: Portal Peril (2009)
    • Jinx 3: Escape from Area Fitty-Two (2010)
  • w0rd 0N 7h3 S7R337 (2006)

Western Animation (premiere dates and production companies are in brackets)

Tropes associated with the network include:

  • Covered in Gunge: You Can't Do That on Television, made in Ottawa but primarily popular in the United States on Nickelodeon, was an integral part of YTV's lineup at its launch in 1988, being not only a groundbreaking show but Canadian Content as well. John Candy got green slimed on YTV's premiere broadcast after uttering the show's trigger phrase, "I don't know." YTV also had the Slimelight Sweepstakes, its own version of Nickelodeon's "Slime-In" contests which flew winners to the CJOH-TV studios, where the show was made, to get slimed.
  • International Coproduction:
  • Large-Ham Announcer: Eddie. Glen. The Funny page speaks for itself.
  • Production Posse: Given that their both owned by Corus Entertainment, it's little surprise that Nelvana cartoons have long been a staple of YTV's original productions.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • YTV screwed Bionix so hard, it almost makes what Cartoon Network did to Toonami look minor in comparison. The block originally ran on Friday nights, airing a mixture of Anime and Western Animation. However, when Death Note and Gundam SEED Destiny ended, YTV failed to pick up any new shows to replace them with that had been picked up in the States (i.e Code Geass or Gundam 00). The block was shortened and moved to Saturday nights, which isolated its viewing audience. After Avatar: The Last Airbender ended, they did pick up Blue Dragon, but the run was short, barely lasting 15 or 20 episodes. All they had left at that point was Naruto, Bleach, and Zatch Bell!, and they cut Zatch Bell a few months later. With only Naruto and Bleach left, they shifted what was left of the block to run from Midnight to 2:00 AM. Not only that, but both series were in filler hell. Finally, when the filler episodes ran out, they simply went back to reruns. No Shippuden, and no Arrancar. Soon after, the block was scrapped and YTV hasn't aired any mature anime series since.
    • During Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl's run, YTV gave it this treatment. When new episodes were supposed to air, the network would sometimes show The Fairly OddParents!, SpongeBob SquarePants, or even Pretty Cure in its' time slot. On Victoria Day 2009, when YTV was supposed to air a marathon of new episodes, a SpongeBob marathon aired instead.
      • YTV used to air Diamond and Pearl on Friday nights, instead of Saturday afternoons. By the time Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension began airing, the channel was airing new episodes on Friday mornings, at a time when the target audience was going to school.
    • The Ocean Group-produced dub of Futari wa Pretty Cure got a nasty case of this, with episodes only airing on Friday mornings. The thing is, YTV commissioned the dub.
    • Despite treating previous adaptions well, YTV gave one hell of a welcome back to Digimon when the channel aired Digimon Fusion. The show appeared out of nowhere in March 2014, on a Friday morning, with ZERO promotion, and disappeared soon after. This is despite the show targeting the same crowd as B-Daman Crossfire, which also received no promotion but got a lot better treatment. The best bet for Canadian fans to watch the show was through a nearby CW affiliate that carried Vortexx, which was already months ahead of YTV's broadcast anyways.
    • The Fairly OddParents! caught a case of this in Summer 2016. Unlike Nickelodeon, which shuffled reruns over to Nicktoons, YTV still aired the show... at 5am in the morning. Which show bumped OddParents from its longtime spot on The Zone and completely took over the weekday block in the process? Why SpongeBob SquarePants, of course!
    • If it's a show aimed at girls, YTV will screw it over. They mostly do this by only airing the show on Sunday mornings with little-to-no promotion. Nowadays, whenever Corus acquires a show it perceives to be aimed at girls, they simply air on the preschool-oriented Treehouse TV instead.
      • Perhaps due to it being a Nelvana-produced series, Mysticons was a minor aversion to this trope. Just as Nickelodeon did, Mysticons premiered in a five-day, week-long event, and also airs new episodes on Sundays. Unlike Nickelodeon, YTV airs reruns on Saturday mornings, as well as weekdays, and the show even had premiere events on Teletoon's English and French channels, with the latter channel also hosting a five-day premiere.
      • On the flip side, Regal Academy plays it straight, with new episodes being aired on weekends at 6am.
    • Despite all of the other Nicktoons that aired on YTV being treated well and given good promotion, KaBlam! was treated HORRIBLY by YTV. It was only aired in graveyard timeslots and as such was extremely short lived on the channel.



The YTV logo from around 1997.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / VanityPlate

Media sources: