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Cartoon Network is a television network dedicated to showing nothing but cartoons nonstop, 24/7, 365 days per year, until your eyes burst. Many of their shows were sent by the Comedy Gods, only to be foolishly canceled after a mere one or two seasons.
In its glory days, CN was known for shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Ed, Edd n Eddy, The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. However, these were ousted by faster, stronger shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Uncle Grandpa via the magic of natural selection.
edit 1992–95: The Oncoming Storm
In 1992, Ted Turner acquired Hanna-Barbera during a game of Texas Hold 'Em. Like Majin Buu, by this time he had already absorbed the complete works of MGM, Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, and Popeye into his corporate being. But still Ted Turner hungered for more media might for his cartoon kingdom.
Cartoon Network started with a bang on October 1, 1992. During these first few years, the network was still in its larval state, mostly because they showed nothing but classic cartoons, like Late Night Black and White which showed early black-and-white Fleischer Studios and Walter Lantz shorts. This drew audience away from Turner's other twenty-hour single-genre channel, CNN. Older audiences, especially those with death living just down the hall, would rather watch a cartoon cat and mouse from their childhood shoot at each other than listen to another slow news cycle eat up their twilight years. As if a flock of Daffy Ducks in a V formation, Turner's other networks TNT and TBS carried the fledgling CN with their updraft, passing cartoons like SWAT Kats, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and 2 Stupid Dogs along to the others like an avian flu.
Everything changed in 1994 when cartoon network dug up Space Ghost out of Turner's animation graveyard and bound his spirit to celluloid to serve them as a hip late night talk show host; however the mind behind Captain Planet insisted they recycle old animation cells as much as possible.
edit 1995–2004: Ages of Animated Empire
In 1995, Turner set up the What a Cartoon! animation showcase to serve as an explosives testing site, and to get some fresh young talent on the scene. The shorts program was a success, causing a chain reaction that produced the famed "Cartoon Cartoons": Dexter's Laboratory Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, I Am Weasel, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Mike, Lu & Og, yielding a megaton of viewers.
In 1996 Turner Broadcasting System preformed the fusion dance with Turner Broadcasting System, resulting in a gestalt entity with access to all of Warner's animation archives, and paving the way for new DC properties like The Justice League.
By 1997 Cartoon Network began airing their two most popular blocks: Toonami, and Adult Swim. Toonami is the greatest block that has ever or will ever air. It was created in 1997 by Moltar, a producer for Space Ghost.
From 2001 to 2004, Adult Swim was one of the funniest programming blocks around, mainly due to such genius-ness as The Brak Show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Futurama, Mission Hill, Baby Blues, Stressed Eric, the first three seasons of Family Guy, Moral Orel, and Cowboy Bebop.
edit 2004–07: Decline
edit 2007–12: Dark Ages
President Jim Samples resigned from his post on February 9, 2007, following a scare in Boston caused by Aqua Teen Hunger Force Lite-Brites that citizens mistook for bombs, merely because they were duct-taped to bridge abutments to garner publicity by looking like bombs. Stuart Snyder was named Samples' successor, and in an attempt to compete with Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, began introducing live-action shows to the network (thereby making the network's name a bit of an oxymoron). Toonami was also cancelled, as the Internet had made it easier for otakus to download uncut anime, and made the block obsolete.
As a result of these changes, millions of viewers turned their backs on Cartoon Network — even children found their new direction to be puzzling. But then, in 2010, they had a stroke of luck with a pair of shows: Adventure Time and Regular Show. These shows arrived like a guardian angel, and convinced CN to get out of the live-action business and back into the animation industry.
edit 2012–present: Possible comeback
Toonami was briefly revived on April 1, 2012 on Adult Swim, in honor of April Fool's Day. The joke was on Adult Swim, as fans demanded that the network #BringBackToonami permanently. On May 16, Adult Swim announced that #ToonamisBackBitches and will return May 26, 2012 @ Midnight ET.
edit Programming blocks
- Adult Swim (2001–present) – A block that airs educational cartoons for adults, such as Robot Chicken, Family Guy, and Rick and Morty.
- Toonami (1997–2008, 2012-present) – An anime block for the Wapanese that airs shows such as Dragon Ball Z and One-Punch Man. It was off the air for a few years, but returned after an April Fools' joke that managed to stay.
- Boomerang (1992–2004) – A block that showcased classic cartoons your grandparents loved. It is now a separate channel.