The history of Cartoon Network

Photo Credit: Adventure Time/Cartoon Network Image Acquired from Turner Press

In October of 2017 Cartoon Network turns 25 years old. In celebration of the anniversary we take a look at how it started and where its going.

October of 1992 Cartoon Network was born. This channel entertains millions of kids everyday and many adults also grew up on the channel. As the world’s oldest 24-hour children’s channel, Cartoon Network had to overcome major hurdles. Cartoon Network also revolutionized the way we watch cartoons. So, lets take a look at how it all the started.

The Beginning

In 1976 Ted Turner had a vision. After years of hard work in 1980 Turner launched the first 24-hour news station we know today as CNNMany thought Turner would fail. In that day and time people could not get their news 24 hours a day. If you wanted to know what was going on around the world, you had to wait for the evening news.

In 1986 Turner Broadcasting bought MGM due to the company being in major debt. However, 74-days later Turner was forced to sell the company back to  Kirk Kerkorian, but Turner was able to keep a large part of the MGM cartoon library. In 1991 Turner Broadcasting purchased Hanna-Barbera productions for $320 million. Which included most notable shows such as: Looney Toons and Popeye. At this point Turner Broadcasting had over 8500 hours worth of cartoon shows.

After the purchase of Hanna-Barbera, Turner Broadcasting announced plans to launch a 24-hour cartoon channel. Again, people thought Turner would fail. While technology was starting to rise, most people only had one TV. Children still mostly played outside after school, and adults dominated what channel to watch. On October 1, 1992 Cartoon Network was launched.

Revolutionizing the industry

In 1994 the Hanna-Barbera’s division began work on a show known as What a Cartoon. The project reached out to independent animators, which set the stage for shows like: Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and the Powerpuff Girls. The project was spearheaded in by Cartoon Network executives. John Kricfalusi and Fred Seibert served as advisers on the project. This is a big deal as these two were formerly driving forces behind competitor Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons.

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In 1997 Cartoon Network launched an afternoon block known as Toonami. Toonami hosted a block of action-packed cartoons. Many of which were dubbed Japanese animations such as: Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, and Gundom Wing. In fact, if it wasn’t for Cartoon Network’s Toonami, America wouldn’t have the thousands, if not millions of anime fans it has today.

In 2000, Cartoon Network launched Boomerang. Boomerang is a channel that shows classic cartoons 24-hours a day. Many adults love this channel. At one point Ted Turner said in a televised interview that Cartoon Network had more adult viewers than CNN, which he also owned.

Cartoon Network today

Today Cartoon Network is one of the biggest anti bully companies in the world. The network even aired a short documentary, which also aired on CNN.

Cartoon Network is also pending sale. The sale has been approved by the European commission, Mexican authorities, and Chilean authorities. The sale needs to approved by the United States and Brazil to push through. However, the US department of justice said it will not review the deal. AT&T is trying to buy Cartoon Network from Turner Broadcasting for $108.7 billion.