Adult Swim (stylized as [adult swim]) is the adult-oriented nighttime programming block of American children's cable network, Cartoon Network, that operates daily from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am, Eastern and Pacific Time. It is programmed by Williams Street Productions, a subsidiary of Turner, which also developed two other programming blocks for Cartoon Network: Toonami (which later became a block on Adult Swim in 2012) and Miguzi. The block gets its name from a phrase used by public swimming pools in the United States to label designated times when children are restricted from using the facilities in favor of adults.
|Launched||September 2, 2001|
|Owned by||The Cartoon Network, Inc. (Turner Broadcasting System, a Time Warner Company)|
(programming block of Cartoon Network)
|Available on many cable providers||Check local listings for channel number|
|Google Fiber||351 (HD/SD)|
|Adult Swim Live||(available nightly from 8:00PM until 6:00 AM ET/PT)|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol television|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
|Hulu Live TV||Internet Protocol television|
Debuting in 2001, Adult Swim serves as the nighttime identity of Cartoon Network, and was established as alternative programming during the late night hours when Cartoon Network's primary target audience, children between the ages of 7–16, would normally be sleeping. Much of Adult Swim's general content is known for their experimental, risqué, unorthodox, crude, dry, and improvisational humor, along with purposefully cheap-looking animation, and often bizarre presentation. In 2005, the block was granted its own Nielsen ratings report from Cartoon Network due to targeting a separate demographic. The block features stylistically varied animated and live-action shows including original programming, syndicated series mainly consisting of Fox animated programming, short films, original video animation, and anime, generally with minimal or no editing for content.
In the United States, Adult Swim has frequently aired adult animation features, anime, mockumentaries, sketch comedy, live-action, and pilots. Shows may have sexual themes, frank sexual discussion, nudity, strong language, and graphic violence; in other words, programs that would be deemed inappropriate if aired during the day on Cartoon Network, when children would be watching. While the network features comedic and dramatic programs of all types, many of its programs are aesthetically experimental, transgressive, improvised, and surrealist in nature. Thus, Adult Swim has become a source of conflict, with some saying that it is too controversial, while others noting that its ability to question the norm brings a level of surrealism and experimentalism that is welcome. Adult Swim has contracted with various studios known for their productions in absurd and shock comedy.
As with Cartoon Network, Adult Swim's reach through various services totals 94 million American households.
2000–2001: Creation and developmentEdit
Cartoon Network's original head programmer Mike Lazzo conceived (and continues to operate) Adult Swim. The block grew out of Cartoon Network's previous attempts at airing content appropriate for teenagers and young adults who might be watching the channel after 11 pm (ET/PT). The network began experimenting with its late night programming by airing anthology shows like ToonHeads, The Bob Clampett Show, The Tex Avery Show, Late Night Black and White, and O, Canada, which all presented uncensored classic cartoon shorts. In numerous interviews, it has been stated that at the time, one third of Cartoon Network's audience were adults.
During the 1990s, prime time animation geared at adults started growing popular due to the success of Fox's hit show The Simpsons. This was followed by a trend of other adult-oriented animated shows, such as King of the Hill, Liquid Television, Cartoon Sushi, Beavis and Butt-Head, The Head, The Maxx, Æon Flux, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Brothers Grunt, Daria, South Park, Bob and Margaret, Fish Police, Capitol Critters, Family Dog, Spicy City, The Critic, Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man, The PJs, Stressed Eric, Celebrity Deathmatch, Invasion America, TV Funhouse, Dilbert, Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Home Movies, The Oblongs, Baby Blues, Futurama, and Family Guy. The Ren & Stimpy Show and Rocko's Modern Life were two other popular and heavily influential cartoons; although these latter two series were technically created for children, they had many adult themes, giving them wide appeal across all age groups.
Space Ghost Coast to Coast, one of Cartoon Network's first forays into original programming, was created in 1994 specifically for late night audiences. The series was created by Mike Lazzo's Ghost Planet Industries, which eventually became Williams Street Studios, the eventual producers and programmers of Adult Swim.
Between 4:00 am and 5:00 am on December 21, and December 30, 2000 (while Space Ghost Coast to Coast was on hiatus), several new Williams Street series made unannounced "stealth" premieres. Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Brak Show all premiered unannounced; the official schedules listed the shows as "Special Programming". Prior to that in Entertainment Weekly it stated that Michael Ouweleen's next project was working on the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Pilot with J.J. Sedelmaier. In a 1999 interview, the indie pop rock band Calamine stated they had recorded the theme song for Sealab 2021.
2001–2003: Swimming pool eraEdit
In June 2001, TV Guide had recorded an interview with Cartoon Network's former President, Betty Cohen. She stated there was a new programming block coming out in September that was aimed for an adult audience. During this month at the Cartoon Network Confidential, "Cartoon Network's best originals and outrageous animated shorts for discriminating adults" in New York City an upcoming episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast "Kentucky Nightmare", the stealth pilots from December, Captain Linger, and an episode of Home Movies were screened for free. The screening was part of the Toyota Comedy Festival. On Saturday July 21, 2001, the Space Ghost Coast to Coast panel at San Diego Comic Con had a trivia game in which the winners won a promotional CD that had the theme songs to the upcoming Adult Swim Shows. Everybody who attended got a free Adult Swim t-shirt that was packaged to look like a roll of bandages that a lifeguard might carry.
At the Comic Con audiences got to see clips of the upcoming shows and vote for what show they wanted to see as a sneak peek. Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law was the winner and the pilot was screened. The Leave It to Brak episode "War Next Door" and Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "The Justice Hole" were also screened and clips to the episode "Sweet for Brak". In an interview on creativemac.com on July 25, 2001 J.J. Sedelmaier talked about working on the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law pilot. On August 12, the very first commercial advertising the new block aired on Cartoon Network. Around this time a press kit came out that featured towels and a promotional CD And another press kit designed as a first aid kit came with a promo VHS with info on all the shows. Access Hollywood also highlighted the upcoming premier. Print ads were shown in an August issue of Entertainment Weekly. On August 31, Adult Swim.com officially launched.
The Adult Swim block launched on September 2, 2001 at 10 PM EST, with the debut airing of the Home Movies episode "Director's Cut", which had been shelved before airing on its original network, UPN. According to Linda Simensky, "We had a bunch of episodes to screen for Mike Lazzo and by only the second episode, he yelled, Buy it!" Cartoon Network bought the original five UPN episodes and ordered eight more to complete the season. The series' first season was animated in Squigglevision, however, the later seasons that were done in flash animation. The first anime broadcast on the block also aired on the night of its launch, Cowboy Bebop. Aqua Teen Hunger Force debuted on the block on September 9, with the episode "Escape from Leprechaupolis". The block initially aired on Sunday nights from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET, with a repeat of the same block on Thursday nights.
Adult Swim had a disclaimer that read "Parents strongly cautioned—the following programs are intended for mature audiences over the age of 18. These programs may contain some material that many parents would not find suitable for children and may include intense violence, sexual situations, coarse language and suggestive dialog."
Adult Swim's original bumpers shown in-between the shows featured footage of elderly people swimming in public pools, eating, exercising, and doing other pool-related activities. It would show signs all around the pool saying things like "Warning Potential Violence", "Warning Strong Language in use", "Caution Sexual Innuendo", "Caution Limited Animation", "No Diving", "No Kids", "Warning Adult Situations", Some of these bumpers were narrated by a lifeguard who spoke through a megaphone. Most notably he would shout "All kids out of the pool". The logo was the words "Adult Swim" in all capital letters, shown after a freeze frame of the footage. Sometimes they were even shown in reverse. The block's original theme music, titled "D-Code," was a remix of "Mambo Gallego" done by the Melbourne musician Dust Devil, originally played by Latin jazz musician Tito Puente, Sr. When the programs were shown on TV, in the right corner of the screen big red letters would say Adult Swim. The next year, the lettering was changed to white letters. Some of the bumps on the block included, Aqua Man Dance Party that featured a cartoon Aqua Man dancing in front of live action landfill footage, Captain Linger, a series of shorts created by J. J. Sedelmaier, Watering Hole, a series of shorts about animals talking in a bar created by Soup2Nuts, 1960s Hanna-Barbera action cartoons dubbed with the voices of children, a series of shorts called Not for Air that had the speech of Hanna-Barbera characters bleeped to make it seem like the characters were swearing, The New Adventures of The Wonder Twins, What They're Really Thinking, which had a voice narrate a character's thoughts in a comedic way, and Brak Puppet Party, a puppet show featuring classic Hanna Barbera characters. Commercials starring characters from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law, and Sealab 2021 started to appear as well such as 1-800-CALL-ATT, Nestea, Dr Pepper, Coca-Cola, Dodge Ram, Quizno's Sub, Maximum Hair Dye, Verizon Wireless and movie promos for Austin Powers in Goldmember, Kung Pow Enter the Fist, Eight Legged Freaks and The PowerPuff Girls Movie Brak would also host a segment called Adult Swim News. Due to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, episodes of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Cowboy Bebop, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force were delayed. In the winter of 2001 another Adult Swim CD was made available for free to anyone who purchased issue 28 of Hitch Magazine and the same CD came with issue 29. When the Saturday night block debuted on February 23, 2002 it was known as Adult Swim Action. Various anime programs displayed on the block from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am ET This was divided between Adult Swim Action and Adult Swim Comedy. Adult Swim Comedy was Sunday nights and ran from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET. At this point, Adult Swim stopped airing on Thursday nights. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and The Popeye Show took Cowboy Bebop's place for 12:00 am and 12:30 am ET. On June 15, 2002 Adult Swim had their first contest called "Adult Swim Happiness Sweepstakes" winners could win a Master Shake air freshener.
It would become increasingly common for Adult Swim to act as a home for reruns of animated series that had been cancelled prematurely, such as Home Movies, Family Guy, Futurama, Mission Hill, Baby Blues, The Ripping Friends, The Oblongs, and God, the Devil and Bob, as well as burn off remaining episodes of said shows that never aired on their original networks, as a result of their premature cancellation. The block obtained Futurama's exclusive cable syndication rights in March 2002 for a reported $10 million, and the series first aired on the network on January 6, 2003. Family Guy premiered on Adult Swim on April 20, 2003, debuting with the episode "Brian in Love", and immediately became the block's top-rated program, dominating late night viewing in its time period vs. cable and broadcast competition and boosting viewership of both the block, and Cartoon Network itself, by 239 percent. (Seth MacFarlane had previously created Larry and Steve, a cartoon predecessor to Family Guy, that was aired on Cartoon Network's What a Cartoon! Show in 1997. MacFarlane had also worked on several Cartoon Network shows, such as Johnny Bravo and Dexter's Laboratory).
On New Years Eve 2002, Brak from The Brak Show and Carl Brutananadilewski from Aqua Teen Hunger Force hosted a New Year's Eve special from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am This was the first time Adult Swim aired on a Tuesday night.
On January 12, 2003 the senior citizen bumpers were replaced by animated safety manuals featuring Adult Swim characters. The logo was changed to the words "adult swim" in red and a black circle with a yellow penumbra. Beginning on January 13, 2003, Adult Swim was airing five nights a week, Sundays through Thursdays from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am. Saturday Nights were dropped. On February 9, 2003, after the NBA All-Star game, Adult Swim aired on the TNT Network on a block called "Adult Swim All Star Extravaganza" as a one time special from 11:00 pm to 12:15 am ET.
2003–2014: Black-and-white intertitle and ActN eraEdit
New bumps debuted on May 25, 2003 and feature black intertitle "cards" in white Helvetica Neue Condensed Bold type. The cards discuss everything from programming news to personal staff opinions on unrelated subjects. In addition, the bumpers for the action shows include tilt-shift miniature and other abstract photos of Japan, often accompanied by clips of various Yesterdays New Quintet songs. The most recent bumper cards have the "[adult swim]" or "[as]" caption somewhere within photographs of places – often with roads or road signs throughout the world. One of the more infamous bumps was " cus anime is teh s uck" this started because of someone on a message board was complaining about anime and the message board wouldn't allow the word "sucks" to be written, Adult Swim turned it into a running gag and sold T-shirts with the phrase written on it.
At certain times during the evening, the bumps will give a programming lineup for an upcoming date. When this format is given, certain shows will be given a specified color (indicating a premiere), with a caption at the bottom that reads "All Times and Music Eastern". The music in the background has a decidedly Indian flair.
On June 26, 2003 Spike TV aired their own adult animation block called "The Strip" airing Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, Stripperella and Gary the Rat. On October 2, 2003 the television program VH1 Goes Inside had a documentary about Adult Swim. On October 5, 2003 Adult Swim was on from 11:00 pm to 5:00 am ET. On October 26, 2003 Brak's Dad from The Brak Show hosted Halloween-themed bumps. That same night Adult Swim hosted a live webcam show on their website, featuring the Adult swim staff having a party. The Big O series finale episode "The Show Must Go On", was supposed to premiere that night at 11:00 pm, Adult Swim had to reschedule the episode for the next week on Sunday, November 2, taking the place for scheduled unaired episode of Family Guy "When you wish upon a Weinstein", upsetting many fans. The Family Guy episode had to air on November 9. When Big O premiered on November 2, a rerun episode, "Stripes" was airing but then Adult Swim said it was just a joke and they finally aired the correct episode.
Adult Swim had another New Years Eve special, this time featuring some of the Adult Swim characters having a party at Brak's house celebrating the night. It was on this night where The Brak Show was officially cancelled. On June 15, 2004 Adult Swim started a Video on Demand. July 19, 2004 Adult Swim had a publicity stunt telling viewers that they needed 1,000,000 people to go to their website so they can "Free Hockey Chicken". An Adult Swim employee was dressed as a chicken in front of a webcam being watched by viewers and he could not leave the studio until they reached their goal. That same year Adult Swim hyped viewers by asking them to vote which would win in a fight a "Flying Shark or a Flying Crocodile."
In the fall of 2004, Adult Swim started a course at Kent State University with lessons by film professor Ron Russo, author of the book "Adult Swim and Comedy". On Halloween night in 2004, Phantasm actor Angus Scrimm hosted an Aqua Teen Hunger Force marathon. November 2, 2004 Adult Swim ran a marathon of the Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law episode "Guitar Control" all through the night. The episode replayed 24 times to celebrate Election Day. On November 28 Adult Swim had a week showing off classic bumps from previous years. On March 28, 2005, Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System began recording Adult Swim Nielsen ratings separately from Cartoon Network for demographic purposes. Promotions for Adult Swim are targeted towards the college age and those in their twenties and thirties, constituting the majority of their viewers. According to a September 1, 2004 article in Promo magazine, representatives travel to 30 universities across the U.S. to promote the Adult Swim lineup, including handing out posters for students' dorm rooms.
Adult Swim had a direct and important role in the revival of an aforementioned popular animated series, Family Guy. Due to the series' popularity in reruns, the block burned off "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein", an episode of the series that had been banned from airing on Fox, in 2003. On September 21, 2003 Seth Macfarlane guessed voice on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Super Trivia". In 2004 from July 26 through July 29 Adult Swim had a week dedicated to Seth MacFarlane where It had him host a Family Guy marathon showing select episodes. On March 29, 2004, less than one year later, Fox announced it would be renewing Family Guy for a fourth season and reviving it from cancellation. Shortly after the announcement, Jim Samples, then-general manager and executive vice president of Cartoon Network, commented, "Bringing Family Guy to the Adult Swim lineup last April really helped turn the block into a cultural phenomenon with young adults."
Futurama was also revived in 2007 by Comedy Central for similar reasons: impressive viewership in syndication as well as high DVD sales. In 2006, Twentieth Television struck a deal to produce four direct-to-video animated features based on Futurama, and, in 2009, the series was revived in normal half-hour installments beginning in 2010 on Comedy Central. In a 2006 interview, Futurama creator Matt Groening explained "There's a long, regal history of misunderstood TV shows, and to Fox's credit, the studio looked at the ratings on the Cartoon Network and how the show does overseas, and saw that there was more money to be made." Before Adult Swim lost the rights to Futurama reruns, they aired an all-night marathon on December 31, 2007, thus, marking Futurama's end on the block. On New Years Eve 2005, Adult Swim had a countdown for the new year featuring characters from the shows. Beginning on March 27, 2006 Adult Swim's time began at 10:30 pm ET weekdays.
On January 31, 2007, Adult Swim attracted national media attention as part of the 2007 Boston Mooninite panic. Both the Boston Police Department and the Boston Fire Department mistakenly identified battery-powered LED placards resembling The Mooninites, characters from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, as improvised explosive devices. These devices were in fact part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. The next day, Boston authorities arrested two men involved with the incident. Peter Berdovsky, 27, a freelance video artist from Arlington, Massachusetts, and Sean Stevens, 28, were facing charges of placing a hoax device to incite panic, as well as one count of disorderly conduct, according to CNN (which is also owned by Turner Broadcasting System).
On February 5, Turner Broadcasting and marketer Interference, Inc. announced that they would pay $2 million in amends: one million to the city of Boston, and one million in goodwill funds. Four days later, on February 9, Jim Samples, general manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network since 2001, resigned. Turner Broadcasting later issued an apology for the ad campaign that caused the bomb scares. A statement emailed to The Boston Globe from Turner Broadcasting said:
"The 'packages' in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim's animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They had been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger."
In 2007, Adult Swim announced it would expand to seven nights a week starting that July. Up until then, it was only on Saturdays-Thursdays, with Cartoon Network airing 24 hours on Friday. On July 6 of that year, Adult Swim had its first broadcast on a Friday with an all-night marathon of Family Guy with one episode, "Peter's Two Dads", rerunning the April Fools gag of that year, running the first half-hour of Aqua Teen Hunger ET hour back, making Adult Swim start at 9:00 pm ET.
2014–2017: Landscape pans eraEdit
On March 31, 2014, adult swim re-branded their bumpers. From 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT), the bumpers include live action pans of landscapes, signs, objects, and animals with the Adult Swim logo embossed in them, sometimes hidden. Also the advisory sign-on bumper has changed from the traditional black and white bumper to a live shot as well, these indents are reminiscent of the AcTN/Tokyo photoshoot bumpers that were used from 2005 to 2010.
The content warning message is "[adult swim] may contain mature material some viewers may not find suitable". Adult Swim still airs the traditional black and white bumpers and advisory bumpers from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (ET/PT) every day except Saturday night/Sunday morning, since Toonami is aired then. Instead, the live shot identifications are shown.
Also on March 31, 2014, Adult Swim's sign-on time was moved to 8:00 p.m. ET, further extending the network's daily schedule to ten hours and effectively matching the airtime of most nights that Nick at Nite has. Sometimes, Cartoon Network takes the 8:00 p.m. ET hour back, making Adult Swim start at 9:00 p.m. ET again. This has happened two times since 2014, from October 26 to November 29, 2015 and September 26, 2016 to December 5, 2016.
Adult Swim occasionally airs bumpers that pay tribute to a recent celebrity death, in which there is no music or sound effects, but only a fade-in, showing the person's name, along with the year of their birth and the year of their death, followed by a fade-out. This has been done for many celebrities, including Vincent Schiavelli, Macho Man Randy Savage, Elizabeth Taylor, Alex Toth, Harry Goz, Frank Buckles, Andy Griffith, Neil Armstrong, Johnny Cash, John Ritter, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Gary Coleman, Richard Dunn, Steve Jobs, Yogi Berra, Prince, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Charlie Murphy.
When news broke of the death of Space Ghost Coast to Coast voice actor and animator C. Martin Croker, who died on September 18, 2016, the network paid tribute to him by playing the first Coast to Coast episode in his memory that night. They also played a bump in his memory that talked about his work for Adult Swim, and then his name, year of birth, and year of death, with a slow fade in and fade out, like bumps for other deaths. This bump was 30 seconds, while most regular bumps are half of that time.
April Fools' Day stuntsEdit
Adult Swim has an annual tradition of celebrating April Fools' Day by tricking and fooling their audience by altering programs or airing different and obscure programs.
- Starting in 2004, all of the regularly scheduled episodes were aired with random mustaches drawn on the characters; however, the next night the episodes were aired again this time without the random mustaches.
- In 2005, Adult Swim aired an early, unfinished version of the Squidbillies pilot, instead of Robot Chicken. Right after the rough cut, it was announced that the animated series would premiere later in October 2005.
- In 2006, Adult Swim aired old re-runs of Mr. T and Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos, and then aired episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex with fart noises added to the dialog.
- On March 31, 2007, Adult Swim aired every episode of Perfect Hair Forever in reverse order. The episodes were digitally degraded to look like several generations-old videotapes with grammatically incorrect subtitles in Engrish. At one point, the subtitles shown on screen were actually for an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode.
- On April 1, 2007, Adult Swim had been advertising that it would be airing Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters in its entirety on April Fools' Day. Technically, they made good on their promise by showing the first two minutes (which had long been available on the movie's website) full-screen and the entire rest of the film in a very small picture-in-picture window with its sound played over SAP.
- In 2008, Adult Swim aired a night of unfinished sneak peeks, pilots and stealth episode premieres of future upcoming shows in place of the Aqua Teen movie, featuring Fat Guy Stuck in Internet, The Venture Bros., Delocated, Superjail!, Young Person's Guide to History, Metalocalypse, Robot Chicken, and Moral Orel. The repeat block did air the scheduled ATHF movie, with bumps teasing the viewer about missing the premieres.
- In 2009, Adult Swim aired The Room, a 2003 independent film that was considered a cult classic, with sex scenes obscured with black boxes. That was followed by the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! episode "Tommy", which featured the star and director of the film Tommy Wiseau.
- In 2010, Adult Swim re-aired The Room for a second year in a row, with bumps featuring Tommy Wiseau being interviewed on Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Sex scenes remained censored, but the parental rating was raised to TV-MA.
- In 2011, The Room was aired once again with the TV-MA rating and was followed by a 15-minute special titled Earth Ghost, a CGI version of the Lowe Country pilot shown on Adult Swim Video in 2007.
- In 2012, Adult Swim replaced its lineup with Toonami, a former programming block from Cartoon Network. After first playing the opening sequence of The Room, the scene switched to the Toonami host T.O.M. noting that it was April Fools' Day before introducing that week's scheduled episode of Bleach. The Toonami bumps and programming would continue throughout the night, featuring Dragon Ball Z, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Outlaw Star, The Big O season 1, Yu Yu Hakusho, Blue Submarine No. 6, Trigun, Astro Boy, and Gigantor. T.O.M. also presented a review of Mass Effect 3 and promoted the recent DVD releases of the series featured. Subsequently, on May 16, 2012, Adult Swim announced via Twitter and later by a press release that Toonami would return to Adult Swim on May 26, 2012 as a regular weekly Saturday night programming block.
- In 2013, Adult Swim featured images of cats throughout much of its programming. All of the bumps contained videos and images of cats, while the episodes of the live action shows aired that night had cat faces covering up the faces of the actors. The [adult swim] logo was replaced with "[meow meow]".
- In 2014, Adult Swim premiered an eighth episode of Perfect Hair Forever, seven years following the series finale. This was followed by an unannounced Space Ghost Coast to Coast marathon featuring creator-chosen episodes (including the full version of "Fire Ant", which has rarely been shown on TV). During the marathon, bumps were included between episodes showing outtakes and commentary from the writers and staff. The entire stunt was replayed all day the following day without advertisements on the adultswim.com website.
- In 2015, Adult Swim aired a selected marathon of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, with superimposed coins on the screen. That was a version of the "Coin Hunt" game from adultswim.com's streaming show FishCenter, in which the main characters of the show collected points by hovering over the coins during the episodes, which were counted and tabulated throughout the night. This stunt was paired with a 6-hour-long live broadcast of FishCenter, streaming from midnight till 6:00 am eastern time on the Adult Swim website. The live all-nighter featured special guest Trixie Mattel, Zach White, a music performance by Chris Arrison and several confused call-ins.
- In 2016, advertisements were shown for the April Fools' broadcast, recapping their 12-year history of pranks and hyping up that year's prank. When midnight did occur, regular programming played, with the implication being that the prank for 2016 was that there was no prank.
- On March 31, 2017, all the regularly scheduled episodes after midnight had a weird audio mix, including added laugh tracks, Seinfeld stings, robotic and pitch-shifted filters added to particular voices, various sound effects and alternate musical pieces.
- On April 1, 2017, in another rare two joke-fer, the evening portion of Adult Swim was replaced with the unannounced Rick and Morty Season 3 premiere. The episode "The Rickshank Rickdemption" aired repeatedly from 8pm until midnight on TV (shortening Toonami in the process and removing premieres of Samurai Jack and Dragon Ball Super), and was also streaming on a loop on the adultswim.com digital streams all night. The bumps included new commissioned idents related to Rick and Morty and announcement promos of upcoming shows and seasons.
Adult Swim shows include The Venture Bros., The Boondocks, Metalocalypse, Squidbillies, Robot Chicken, Black Dynamite, Rick and Morty and Aqua Teen Hunger Force (also known by various alternative titles). Some are remakes or relaunches of Hanna-Barbera cartoons — Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, Sealab 2021, and Space Ghost Coast to Coast's spin-off series, The Brak Show. Adult Swim also runs off-network syndicated programs such as Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, Bob's Burgers, and The Oblongs.
The channel additionally shows anime series. Since May 26, 2012, block-within-a-block, Toonami, broadcasts Saturday nights, with shows such as Dragon Ball Super, Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Hunter × Hunter, Lupin the Third Part IV, Naruto: Shippuden, Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop and Attack on Titan. Some Cartoon Network programming has also aired on Adult Swim, such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Sym-Bionic Titan, the 2011 ThunderCats series, Samurai Jack, and Beware the Batman.
Merchandise and media offeringsEdit
Adult Swim's official website features adultswimtv.com (formerly Adult Swim Video), forum message boards (until late October 2016), online video games, music downloads, shopping (until April 16, 2012), mobile phone downloads, adult swim show sites, and the programming schedule for Adult Swim.
Online video streamingEdit
Beginning in 2006, Adult Swim Video (originally named Adult Swim Fix upon launch) offered a free online video on demand service for recent and older episodes of a selection of its shows. In June 2010, they began delaying episode availability on Adult Swim Video by one week after original television broadcast. Previously, episodes had appeared 1–3 days after broadcast. In late 2012, the service was rebranded as "adultswimtv.com". Now, AdultSwim is available over a US portal adultswim.com, a UK portal at adultswim.co.uk, and Australian programming is hosted by Nine Network.
In August 2011, Adult Swim introduced Adult Swim Gold, a paywall available for cable and satellite subscribers with TV Everywhere authentication to see full episodes of Adult Swim programs. The selection of full episodes available on Adult Swim Video for public viewing without using Adult Swim Gold was greatly reduced from the prior offering. As of June 2014, the service has been combined with "Watch [adult swim]" (see also "Live Stream in the United States") with the latest episodes available only to subscribers.
As of December 2013, over 30 online-exclusive shows are available on the website.
In 2014, Adult Swim began posting every episode of select shows online for permanent free viewing. However, some of the shows that had all their episodes available for free (Such as Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, and Moral Orel) have been removed as Hulu gained the rights to the shows, exclusively for Plus users. Around the same time, Adult Swim added a 24/7 live webcam to their official website that streams marathons of different shows all day long on a loop. Nowadays, there are multiple marathon streams; for Tim & Eric shows, Venture Bros. and Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Adult Swim partnered with Midway Games in 2005 to begin development on video games based on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Brak Show and Sealab 2021. The game based on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am, was released on November 5, 2007 for PlayStation 2. The game is a golf game with fighting and racing levels. A video game based on Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law has been released by Capcom for PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii.
The video game Saints Row: The Third features an in game "radio station", which shuffles a collection of songs that were featured on Adult Swim shows and was hosted by Jon from Adult Swim show Delocated.
On February 15, 2013, Adult Swim published Super House of Dead Ninjas on Steam under their Adult Swim games publishing label.
Adult Swim has partnerships with several independent music labels, and has co-produced and released compilation albums with Stones Throw Records, Ghostly International, Definitive Jux, and Chocolate Industries through their own label, Williams Street Records. Many of Adult Swim's bumps and packaging make use of instrumental and electronic music. Various music is also often borrowed from artists signed onto a wide array of different labels, including Warp Records and Ninja Tune Records.
Video on demandEdit
In mid-2004, Adult Swim launched a video on demand service on cable television providers, branded as "Adult Swim Video". The comedy section features several episodes from various Adult Swim original series, while the action section shows anime series and movies licensed by Bandai Entertainment, Geneon Entertainment, and Viz Media, some of which were never broadcast. The anime series s-CRY-ed initially premiered on demand before debuting on the regular block in May 2005.
Several Adult Swim shows are also available for purchase on iTunes. Furthermore, as of November 22, 2006, some Adult Swim shows can be bought and accessed from the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, PlayStation Video Store, and the Amazon Video on Demand Store.
In October 2013, Turner Broadcasting in partnership with MCM Media and Movideo launched a video on demand service Adult Swim Australia. The site features a library of 1500 Adult Swim episodes and short video clips from various Adult Swim series.
Podcast and Adult Swim MobileEdit
Adult Swim offered a video podcast on iTunes from March 21 to September 19, 2006. The podcasts featured behind-the-scenes segments of shows and exclusive content; such as an interview with Saved by the Bell's Dennis Haskins and a look at Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha's Metalocalypse. The podcast reached number two in iTunes' ranking of most downloaded podcasts.
Live Stream in the United StatesEdit
Beginning on September 25, 2013 Turner Broadcasting System's The Cartoon Network Inc. began the live streaming of the Adult Swim channel through the Adult Swim mobile app and on the Adultswim.com Video on Demand service known as "AS LIVE". To access the live stream the user must be a subscriber to and log-in through their cable or satellite provider service account. Once authenticated the user can then select either the East or West Coast feeds to view the live feed which is optimized to play on both wireless Internet and cell data (i.e. 3G/4G) services.
Currently the Watch Adult Swim service is available to subscribers of approximately 100 different cable and satellite providers including AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, Suddenlink and Verizon FiOS, and new cable providers are added frequently as needed.
Unlike its traditional broadcast counterpart, the AS Live internet stream does not show the same commercials. This is primarily due to a contractual agreement between most American broadcast networks, including Turner owned properties, and the union SAG-AFTRA which represents television and radio performers and ASCAP and BMI which acts on behalf of music composers and performers for royalty payments. Under this agreement broadcast networks are required to pay a certain royalty fee to performers for commercials that they appeared in, provided voice-over or musical performance in. To usurp this Adult Swim broadcasts either a still card with a picture of an owl and the words "Please Stand-By Commercial Break" or Adult Swim program promos.
As of October 2017, the Adult Swim Live stream now broadcasts Eleven channels:
|Channel||Channel Name||Channel Description|
|One||Williams Stream||Marathon of Williams Street produced animated and live action series.|
|Two||Toonami||A marathon of all of Toonami programming|
|Three||Animation Marathon||Marathon of various animated Adult Swim shows.|
|Four||Live Action Marathon||A marathon of various live action Adult Swim shows.|
|Five||The Venture Bros.||A marathon of every episode and specials from The Ventures Bros. aired all day, everyday.|
|Six||The Tim & Eric channel||A marathon of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! episodes.|
|Seven||Off the Air||a marathon of Off the Air.|
|Eight||Rick and Morty Marathon||Marathon of Rick and Morty episodes|
|Nine||Squidbillies Marathon||Marathon of Squidbillies episodes|
|Ten||Adult Swim East||Simulcast of the East Coast feed starting at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific (Cable or Satellite provider subscription required to view).|
|Eleven||Adult Swim West||Simulcast of the West Coast feed starting at 8pm Pacific/11pm Eastern (Cable or Satellite provider subscription required to view).|
Adult Swim has been actively expanding its reach across the world since 2005. As with the United States, the block airs in Canada, Australia, Russia, Brazil and the rest of Latin America. Other Cartoon Network markets choose not to air it due to local market conditions, licensing programs to other broadcasters or government content restrictions or regulations – such as Ofcom in the United Kingdom. In those markets, where regulation issues arise, the block is licensed to other networks or television stations instead.
Australia and New ZealandEdit
In October 2013, Turner Broadcasting in partnership with MCM Media and Movideo launched a video on demand service Adult Swim Australia. The site features a library of 1500 Adult Swim episodes and short video clips from various Adult Swim series.
The Australian and New Zealand version of Adult Swim was broadcast on Cartoon Network until December 31, 2007. Shows aired at that time were Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law (which also aired on SBS), Tom Goes to the Mayor, Home Movies, The Venture Bros., and before its closure, Squidbillies. The comedy block aired every Friday and Saturday and an action block aired during the week, including mature anime like Cowboy Bebop, InuYasha, Bleach, Air Gear, Black Cat and Ghost in the Shell.
The channel is no longer on Cartoon Network, but the comedy shows are now airing on The Comedy Channel in Australia. The block returned on The Comedy Channel with Robot Chicken and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, in March 2008, with Aqua Teen Hunger Force joining the lineup on July 1. The Boondocks also airs on the same channel, although it is not under the Adult Swim banner and instead airs separately.
To date, the Adult Swim lineup on The Comedy Channel has grown considerably with the block now airing every Saturday from 12 to 2 am AEST and 6:30 to 7:30 pm AEST to keep with the late night tradition of the former block. The new incarnation also premiered a lot of other Adult Swim shows including Moral Orel, Titan Maximum, Robot Chicken: Star Wars, Frisky Dingo, Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job and Childrens Hospital (airing uncensored with profanity intact), along with the latest additions but aired at a different time, Metalocalypse and The Venture Bros, the latter making it the third show with Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Harvey Birdman to have been aired on both the old and the new block.
Some series that aired on Adult Swim have been released to Region 4 DVD by Madman Entertainment, including shows that have never been shown on Australian television before. Madman Entertainment has also released R4 exclusive DVDs not available in the USA, including Volume 2 and 3 of Moral Orel and complete collections of Minoriteam and Assy McGee.
The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters has also been quietly released to DVD. After moving to The Comedy Channel, Adult Swim does not currently air in New Zealand.
In June 2016, Channel 9 signed a two-year deal with Turner Broadcasting to stream a small block of Adult Swim on 9Go! Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force usually broadcast in this block.
Teletoon's English-language service in Canada has an adult-oriented block called "Teletoon at Night" (previously known as "The Detour") that airs programming similar to Adult Swim every night. Adult Swim programs that have aired in the past include 12 oz. Mouse, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Metalocalypse, Robot Chicken, Squidbillies, Stroker and Hoop, The Boondocks, The Venture Bros., Home Movies, Tom Goes to the Mayor and Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! aired on Bell Media's The Comedy Network. Since July 2007, 7 of the 14 Adult Swim programs airing on The Detour left the block and made way for Canadian-made adult cartoon series. Robot Chicken was the final Adult Swim series on the block. Teletoon's French-language service also has an adult-oriented block called "Télétoon la Nuit" that airs shows like The Boondocks, Family Guy, Home Movies, Robot Chicken, American Dad! and Futurama.
Meanwhile, YTV aired anime series that premiered on Adult Swim in its Bionix block. As well, G4's Anime Current block, Razer's (now MTV2) Kamikaze block, the defunct Scream (later Dusk) and Super Channel have all aired various anime titles.
In June 2009, G4 Canada Canada launched Adult Digital Distraction, a programing block featuring many Adult Swim shows. In late 2011, the block was discontinued due to pressure from the CRTC on account of the channel deviating from its original format (which was to air technology-related programming). The block had briefly been relaunched featuring Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Eagleheart, NTSF:SD:SUV::, Delocated, Metalocalypse, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Superjail!, and The Venture Bros. but was once again discontinued in 2012.
On February 2, 2012, TELETOON Canada Inc. announced that it would be launching a Canadian version of Adult Swim, sharing channel space with the Canadian version of Cartoon Network as one speciality channel. The block launched on July 4, 2012. From September 2015 - September 2017, all of Adult Swim's original series were aired exclusively on the block.
On February 25, 2016, Williams Street launched a Canada-specific subscription video-on-demand service for iOS and Android devices. The app contains the majority of Adult Swim produced content, including programming not seen on Canadian television. New premieres are added soon after their U.S broadcast, with the exception of new episodes of Robot Chicken and, initially, Rick and Morty, which are added the day after its premiere on the Canadian block.
The block was launched on March 4, 2011 and airs every night from 11 pm to 6 am on Cartoon Network France. It has aired Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, Metalocalypse, Moral Orel, Robot Chicken and Squidbillies. Like most international Adult Swim blocks, it does not air Fox and action shows. Most of the block's programming is not dubbed and airs with English audio and French subtitles.
In the early 2000s, there was a late-night block called "Dezaxe", which carried the 2001 Adult Swim look, but did not have any adult shows, except for Home Movies. Case Closed was aired on Cartoon Network and Toonami. Dezaxe aired random Cartoon Network shows and old promos.
A new block of Adult Swim is launched to March 2015 in Enorme TV. The block stopped broadcasting in June 2016.
The block airs on TNT Comedy. Programs on the block include Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Assy McGee, Lucy, The Daughter of the Devil, Metalocalypse, Moral Orel, Robot Chicken, Stroker and Hoop, The Brak Show, Venture Bros. and Supernanny.
In Latin America, an Adult Swim block aired during the overnight hours on Cartoon Network beginning on October 7, 2005. It was originally carried on the regional version of the channel, when it was pulled off and picked up by I.Sat, another Turner Broadcasting System Latin America-owned-and-operated network, due to the fact that it was received with negative reviews from parents.[vague]
On October 29, 2010, I.Sat revealed that it was cutting Adult Swim programming due to low ratings, adding: "No matter if we add new shows, it would not work". Adult Swim once had a SAP audio in early 2007.
In 2014, it was announced that Adult Swim would return to Latin America that same year. Adult Swim premiered on the Brazilian feed of TBS on November 3, 2014. Adult Swim relaunched in Latin America on April 3, 2015 on I.Sat, premiering Rick and Morty for the first time on the region.
2×2, a Russian channel specializing in animation, airs Adult Swim's original series. There was a separate Adult Swim block, and also an English-language block, where shows were broadcast in English without dubbing, both now being defunct. Adult Swim produced shows that have aired include Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, Sealab 2021, 12 oz. Mouse, The Venture Bros., The Brak Show, Stroker and Hoop, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Squidbillies, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Frisky Dingo, Perfect Hair Forever, Metalocalypse, Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil and others. 2×2 also broadcast many of the anime that premiered in the U.S. on Adult Swim, although not on 2×2's Adult Swim's schedule. Some shows including The Boondocks, "Rick and Morty" also premiered outside Adult Swim's block.
United Kingdom and IrelandEdit
In 2002, CNX was launched in the United Kingdom as a spin-off of Cartoon Network. It featured much of the content found on Adult Swim and Toonami, anime shows and adult action films, but closed operations after a year in 2003.
A nightly Adult Swim channel was launched on July 8, 2006, on the now defunct Bravo owned by Virgin Media Television, generally starting at midnight. Shows that were previously a part of the UK's Adult Swim block are Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Venture Bros., Moral Orel, and Metalocalypse, Non-Williams Street shows on the block include Stripperella and Kid Notorious. The first "action" series was the anime Afro Samurai, which aired on May 4, 2007 alongside a new UK animated show Modern Toss. On July 7, 2008, Adult Swim ceased to broadcast on Bravo.
The UK Adult Swim website offers free access to full episodes of shows including Squidbillies, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Minoriteam, Stroker and Hoop, Moral Orel, 12 oz. Mouse, Perfect Hair Forever, Metalocalypse, and Frisky Dingo. Revolver Entertainment began distributing original Adult Swim series on DVD in the UK and Ireland.
FX aired Robot Chicken, Titan Maximum, Venture Brothers and Metalocalypse. These shows were advertised with [adult swim] branding. They began airing on June 5, 2010 in conjunction with the channel's regular schedule and ended on November 27, 2010. On December 14, 2011, the Robot Chicken: Star Wars trilogy appeared on Syfy at 10 pm. The block began airing on TCM 2 starting on January 4, 2012.
As of September 2017, Adult Swim doesn't broadcast on television in the UK although Adult Swim shows are available to watch on Netflix in the UK.
High definition channels and serviceEdit
A high definition feed of Adult Swim is available on many cable and all satellite service providers, and is shared with Cartoon Network. The high definition feed was launched on October 15, 2007, and standard-definition programming is pillarboxed to preserve the original 4:3 aspect ratio.
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