Cartoon Network (British & Irish TV channel)

  (Redirected from Cartoon Network (UK & Ireland))

Cartoon Network (commonly abbreviated as CN) is a 24-hour British children's television channel. The channel is owned and operated by WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks EMEA, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia.

Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Launched17 September 1993; 26 years ago (1993-09-17)
(As Cartoon Network Europe's part)
15 October 1999; 20 years ago (1999-10-15)
(As Cartoon Network UK & Ireland)[1][2]
Owned byWarnerMedia Entertainment Networks EMEA (Warner Media International Ltd)
Picture format576i (SDTV) 16:9
1080i (HDTV) 16:9
Audience share0.11%
0.03% (+1) (June 2019 (2019-06), BARB)
SloganWhat A Cartoon![3]
New New New New
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast area United Kingdom
HeadquartersTurner House,
Great Marlborough Street,
London, United Kingdom[5]
Sister channel(s)Boomerang
CNN International
Turner Classic Movies
Timeshift serviceCartoon Network +1
WebsiteCartoon Network UK
GO (Malta)On Demand and Channel 602
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 601 (SD/HD)
Channel 602 (+1)
Channel 640 (SD)
On Demand
Virgin Media (UK)Channel 704
Channel 705 (+1)
Channel 732 (HD)
TV Choice On Demand: Kids
Virgin Media IrelandChannel 617 (+1)
Channel 620
Melita (Malta)Channel 453
WightFibre (UK)Channel 56 (+1)
Channel 10
TalkTalk Plus TV (UK)Channel 486
BT (UK)Channel 486
Plusnet (UK)Channel 486
eir Vision (Ireland)Channel 603
Streaming media
Sky GoWatch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Now TVWatch live
(UK and Ireland only)
TVPlayerWatch live (UK only) (TVPlayer Plus subscription required)
Virgin TV GoWatch live (UK only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Ireland[1] (Ireland only)

The channel primarily shows animated programming and was launched in Europe on 17 September 1993.[6][7]

The first channel outside the US launched in 1993 based in the UK and targeting Europe with a particular focus on the UK market,[8][9][10] whilst also serving Western Europe and Northern Europe.

In 1999, Cartoon Networks further rationalized its European service[11][12] All programmes on the pan-European version were dubbed in English, with different audio language channels when a translated programme is available, which were indicated as language symbols on Now/Next bumpers. Cartoon Network UK launched in 1999 serving as the English speaking channel across Europe, which is also used by Malta and Ireland. Cartoon Network launched a high definition version of the channel on 14 September 2011.[13][14]



On 1 October 1992, the original version of Cartoon Network was launched at CNN Center, Atlanta, USA. The channel was created in response of Turner Entertainment acquiring MGM's Cartoon and Film library in 1986 and the acquisition of the Hanna-Barbera animation studio and cartoon library in 1991. As a result of Turner purchasing MGM's Cartoon and Film library, Warner Bros. pre-1948 content was also acquired, including early Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts.[15] At launch in the United States, Cartoon Network had an 8,500 hour cartoon library,[16] and it became the first channel dedicated to cartoons. Six months after the launch, Cartoon Network expanded into foreign markets by launching a Latin American version of the channel dubbed in both Spanish, Portuguese and English. Cartoon Network's large animation library was in high demand in Western Europe[10] and as a response to consumer demand, Astra 1C, the satellite on which Cartoon Network broadcast on, was launched on 12 May 1993 on board an Ariane 42L rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. Nine months later, Cartoon Network Europe was launched on 17 September 1993, broadcasting from London. It launched only less than 12 months after the original American version and only 16 days after its main children's television rival, Nickelodeon UK.[17]


The original Cartoon Network logo, used from 17 September 1993 to 11 April 2005. The logo is still used today on some occasions.

The channel was originally twinned with movie channel TNT and ran from 5 am until 7 pm,[18] with TNT taking over from 7 pm to 5 am. Sunday afternoons saw "Super Chunk", which showed back to back episodes of one show for two hours between 1 pm and 3 pm.[19] Another feature was "The Longest Day", in which Cartoon Network ran for an extra four hours until 11 pm on 21 June, every year beginning in 1994.[20][21] This slot was dedicated to full-length cartoon movies. The first theme was the Checkerboard theme, which showed graphics from its US counterpart and lasted until 1999. The Checkerboard branding package was developed by Hatmaker Studios,[22] now merged and part of its sister company - Corey, McPherson and Nash.[23][24] Also unlike its rival Nickelodeon, which was part of Sky Multichannels, Cartoon Network was free-to-air across Europe.[17]

Introduction of 24 hour serviceEdit

On 26 August 1996, Cartoon Network began running for an extra two hours until 9 pm, and on 16 December 1996,[25] it became a 24-hour channel, as did TNT on the Astra 1G satellite. However, a timesharing version of the channel called TNT & Cartoon Network continued to appear on some providers.[citation needed] Two years later on 19 December 1998, Cartoon Network launched as part of the Sky Digital satellite platform on the Astra 2A satellite.[25] Also, in February 1997, Dutch cable provider A2000/KTA added the 24-hour Cartoon Network and TNT channels to its programming lineup.[25]

From 15 November 1998, Cartoon Network was part of ITV Digital's channel package, airing 24 hours a day until the service collapsed on 1 May 2002.[25][26]

Separation from Pan-European versionEdit

On 15 October 1999, Cartoon Network UK officially stopped being a pan-European feed, this was when the shared transponder analogue feed on Astra 1C became scrambled with VideoCrypt and when the short-lived analogue UK and Ireland only version of TNT launched. Prior to this date, Cartoon Network Europe moved to Sirius II for serve Eastern Europe in August 1999 and Cartoon Network France and Spain launched at the same time on 23 August 1999, leaving the ex pan-European version (which is now the UK and Ireland only version) on Astra 1C acting as a de facto free to air secondary/transitional European feed for countries preparing to switchover to their own newly launched local versions of Cartoon Network up until encryption on 15 October 1999. TNT changed its programming from classic movies to general entertainment as the movies were moved to TCM, TNT UK ceased to exist on 1 July 2000 and was replaced with an analogue version of TCM. During the late 90s and the early 2000s, Turner Entertainment Networks International (Now Turner Broadcasting System Europe) started localising their channels to suit different audiences across different countries around Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Post-pan European splitEdit

After the pan-European split, Cartoon Network revamped on 15 October 1999 with the launch of a unique and more intensive variant of the "Powerhouse" theme which had shapes and tiles with lines and footage of characters from various shows shown on Cartoon Network. This lasted until October 2002 and was used throughout Europe. This theme was produced by the British animation studio, Cosgrove Hall Films. A DJ theme was used during the AKA Cartoon Network programming block, bumpers include a live-action DJ scratching a record, which affects the playback of a cartoon clip.[27]

On 30 June 2001, the analogue feed on Astra 1C of Cartoon Network/TCM ceased broadcasting, this was when Sky ended its analogue services.[28]

An example of a bumper during the 2002-2005 Casillas Era.[29] Each box shows a different video clip from the same or different cartoon. In each box, a character does an action, when they leave a box, they move to another box or their action is taken over by another character in another box.[30]
Cartoon Network's second logo, used in various forms and styles from 11 April 2005 to 27 September 2010.

On 11 April 2005, ten months after it was introduced in the United States, the channel debuted a new logo and new idents.[citation needed]

Current eventsEdit

On 24 May 2007, the network changed its branding to a similar look to ones used during 1999-2005, this branding was known as the Arrow Era. There were also alternate Arrow Era idents designed by the design studio, Stardust, which had a 3D style, rather than the 2D style used by the other Arrow Era idents. Cartoon Network UK & Ireland used both 2D and 3D Arrow Era idents, while other Cartoon Network channels that used the Arrow Era usually either used only one. This branding lasted until September 2010.[citation needed]

A variation of the network's current logo which resembles its original logo, used as of 2011.

In September 2010, Cartoon Network UK introduced its current branding and logo. Designed by Brand New School, it makes heavy use of a black and white checkerboard motif, as well as various CMYK color variations and patterns. This branding was used in the USA since 29 May 2010.[31][32] The DOG was moved from the top right corner to the bottom right corner, like in America.

On 1 April 2014 Cartoon Network's DOG moved back to the top-right corner and a new Next banner using graphics from the Check It 3.0. branding package was introduced. Also on 1 April 2014 Cartoon Network Too was closed and was replaced with a reinstated one-hour timeshift service called Cartoon Network +1. Cartoon Network's Check It 3.0 was fully implemented on Cartoon Network UK on 21 July for the official start of the school summer holidays in the UK, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu also premiered on the channel on the same day.[33] On 17 November 2015, Cartoon Network UK launched their anti-bullying campaign in conjunction with Childline called Cartoon Network Buddy Network.[34]

After nearly two years of the Laughternoons programming block was replaced with Mega Mondays on 14 April 2014,[35] Laughternoons (this time with Cartoon Network Australia's/Southeast Asia's graphics/branding) returned to Cartoon Network UK for a short period on 11 January 2016.[36][37] Mega Mondays was the name of Cartoon Network UK's new episodes programming block for three years before being discontinued in July 2017. It was replaced with New Fridays on 30 March 2018.[38]

On 26 October 2015, Cartoon Network UK launched their own localised version of the Cartoon Network Anything app, featuring short-form content such as mini-games and video-clips.[39] On 27 February 2016, Cartoon Network UK used graphics from the Check It 4.0 branding package for the first time on a new episode promo for Transformers: Robots In Disguise.[40] On 22 July 2016, Cartoon Network UK fully rebranded using graphics from the Check It 4.0 branding package.[41] On 14 April 2016, Cartoon Network UK (also including Boomerang and Cartoonito) signed a deal with satellite pay-TV provider Sky for exclusive on-demand boxset rights for a selection of its animated shows.[42] In November 2016, Cartoon Network UK won two PromaxBDA UK awards for their Where's Ice King and Weetabix Weetabuddies television campaigns.[43] On 21 July 2017, Cartoon Network UK fully rebranded using graphics from the Dimensional branding package.[44]

Cartoon Network programsEdit

Original schedulingEdit

When Cartoon Network initially launched, its schedule was mainly made up of short cartoons from both Warner Bros. and other studios, such as WB's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Tom and Jerry. A few years after, it started to broadcast its own programming such as The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory. Eventually, most of the channel's acquired programming was shifted to the sidelines, with the company's original animated series (known as "Cartoon Cartoons", or "Cartoon Network Originals") taking up the majority of the network's timeslots.

Programming blocksEdit

In September 2000, Toonami began broadcasting weekdays for two hours between 4 pm until 6 pm, and from 9 pm until 11 pm, as well as weekends from 10 am until noon and 10 pm until midnight. Dragonball Z had already been airing on Cartoon Network since March 2000, and had been attracting very good ratings, which may have contributed to the decision to launch Toonami in the UK. Its output consisted almost solely of Japanese anime such as the cult Dragonball Z, Tenchi Muyo, and Gundam Wing. The only non-Japanese shows for quite some time were the American-produced The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and Batman Beyond (Batman of the Future in the UK). As time went on, Toonami started to shift away from Japanese anime and action programming, eventually morphing into the short-lived channel CN Too.

Around the same time, there was almost completely new programming on the channel, and so Boomerang began in a late night slot; it ultimately branched off into its own channel after the block was discontinued.

From February 2012 all the way until July 2017, Cartoon Network shifted its major night of premieres to Monday evenings, under the names "Meaty Mondays", and as of April 2014 "Mega Mondays". Additionally, the block's name would change to "Mince Pie Mondays" every December, sporting a more festive look and airing Christmas specials to boot. In May 2014, a much smaller Friday variety block, titled "Funsize Fridays" was launched. This block only ran for around a year, and consisted of playing "a different show every fifteen minutes". The shows featured in the block were Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Clarence, Johnny Test, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Teen Titans Go!, and Uncle Grandpa. Only one of these shows would air new episodes in this block, passing the baton to a different show monthly.

Eventually, both of these blocks were discontinued, and the UK channel was completely devoid of programming blocks for some time. However, on 30th March 2018, a brand new Friday night premiere block launched, under the simple name "New Fridays".[45] The block aired on Friday nights from 4-9pm, and it was based upon the USA feed's "NEW NEW NEW NEW" block, carrying the same neon light branding from its international counterpart. Despite only lasting around 4 months, the block had a large variety of shows rotating in and out of premiere slots, including Adventure Time, The Amazing World of Gumball, Ben 10 (2016), Clarence, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (TV series), Mighty Magiswords, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, The Powerpuff Girls (2016), Regular Show, Steven Universe, Supernoobs, Teen Titans Go!, We Bare Bears, Uncle Grandpa, and Unikitty!. The Canadian import Wishfart also had its premiere and new episodes restricted to the block. On 20th July of the same year, the block was unceremoniously discontinued.

Sister networksEdit


On 27 May 2000, the channel Boomerang was launched by Cartoon Network in the UK and Ireland,[46] and most "classic" cartoons were moved from Cartoon Network to the new channel, which initially broadcast from 6 am to 12 am. On 1 October 2001, Boomerang became a 24-hour channel and the remaining "classic" cartoons (except for Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry shorts, Thunderbirds, Danger Mouse, Scooby Doo, and The Flintstones, which remained until November 2002) like The Smurfs, also moved to Boomerang.[47]


On 24 May 2007, Cartoonito was launched as a pre-school channel replacing the original version of Cartoon Network Too. The channel aired from 4am to 9pm daily. On 15 January 2018, Cartoonito officially began airing 24 hours a day.[48]

Defunct sister networksEdit


CNX was a channel operated by Turner Broadcasting System Europe in the UK and Ireland between 2002 and 2003. It was aimed at a male audience, with daytime programming aimed at older children and teenagers (predominantly 12–18 years of age), and evening programming aimed at older teenagers and young adults (the 17-34 demographic). The channel was carried in the 'Entertainment' section of the Sky programme guide, and was also available on cable (through the firms which are now Virgin Media)


Toonami launched on 28 September 2003 showing action programming. The channel had originally replaced CNX, a channel which launched on 14 October 2002. On 24 May 2007, just 4 years after its launch, Toonami was replaced with a new version of Cartoon Network Too.

Cartoon Network TooEdit

On 24 April 2006, Cartoon Network Too was launched on Sky on the same day as sister TCM 2 and rival Nick Jr. 2, broadcasting cartoons primarily made by Hanna-Barbera such as Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls (original series), Johnny Bravo and Wacky Races.[25][49] The channel aired from 3 am to 7 pm every day until 24 May 2007, when it became a 24-hour channel, taking Toonami's slot and getting a new identity.[50] On 1 April 2014, Cartoon Network Too was replaced by a relaunched of Cartoon Network +1.

Related servicesEdit

Cartoon Network +1Edit

Cartoon Network +1 originally launched in 1998 as a one-hour timeshift of Cartoon Network before it was replaced by Cartoon Network Too on 24 April 2006. The channel was relaunched almost eight years later on 1 April 2014 replacing Cartoon Network Too, just as Cartoon Network Too had replaced them eight years earlier. On 1 July 2018, Cartoon Network +1 was temporarily replaced by a Ben 10 thematic pop-up channel, the channel reverted to Cartoon Network +1 on 11 July 2018.[51]

Cartoon Network HDEdit

On 14 September 2011, a high-definition simulcast of Cartoon Network called Cartoon Network HD launched on Sky.[13] On 17 January 2013, Cartoon Network HD launched on Virgin Media's cable TV platform.[52]

Virgin On Demand serviceEdit

On 26 April 2007, Cartoon Network launched onto Virgin Media's On Demand system, thus allowing Virgin Media customers to watch Cartoon Network programmes whenever they like. They can also take advantage of pause, rewind and fast forward functions, when watching these programmes.

Cartoon Network Studios EuropeEdit

Cartoon Network Studios Europe (formerly Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe) is based in Shoreditch, London, located three miles away from Turner EMEA's headquarters.[53] The studio was named after Great Marlborough Street where Turner Europe, Middle East and Africa's headquarters is located. The studio is the European equivalent to Cartoon Network Studios based in Burbank, California, USA. The studio was founded in 2007 and in 2011 it produced its first show, The Amazing World of Gumball,[54] created by Ben Bocquelet. Cartoon Network Europe has also been involved in other co-productions in the past such as The Cramp Twins, Fat Dog Mendoza, Robotboy, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Elfy Food, The Happos Family,[55] Hero 108, Spaced Out, VBirds, Cult Toons, Taffy,[56] Best Ed, Chop Socky Chooks, Skatoony and The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe.[57] The studio has also produced animation for the Malaria No More organisation.[citation needed] Originally, the studio's main focus was to produce animated shorts that could potentially become animated shows, this changed when production of The Amazing World of Gumball moved from Boulder Media and Dandelion Studios and went in-house with Studio Soi offering support. In September 2018, Cartoon Network Studios Europe's London-based studio will start production on a new animated show, Elliott From Earth.[58]

Animated shortsEdit

The studio has also produced animated shorts. Animated shorts produced by the studio include The Furry Pals, Mutant Moments, Hamshanks and the Himalolly Railway, Elliot's Zoo, Pinky Malinky and Verne on Vacation. The shorts were showcased in a similar way to Cartoonstitute by Cartoon Network USA. The videos were available to watch on the Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe YouTube channel which has since closed.[59]

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ "Transponder News". Stefan Hagedorn. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
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  6. ^ "Turner Info - Press Office". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010.
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External linksEdit