Cartoon Network (UK & Ireland)

This article is about the UK & Ireland variant of Cartoon Network. For the original American version, see Cartoon Network. For Cartoon Network around the world, see List of international Cartoon Network channels.
Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network
Launched September 17, 1993 (1993-09-17)
As Cartoon Network UK/Europe.
(English soundtrack)

October 15, 1999 (1999-10-15)
Ex UK/pan-European feed became UK & Ireland only and scrambled on Astra 1C[1][2]
Owned by Turner Broadcasting System Europe Ltd
Parent: Time Warner Inc.
Picture format 576i (16:9/4:3) (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.29%
0.10% (+1) (September 2015 (2015-09), BARB)
Slogan Check it.
What a Cartoon![3]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Headquarters Turner House,
Great Marlborough Street,
London, United Kingdom[5]
Sister channel(s) Boomerang
CNN International
Turner Classic Movies
Timeshift service Cartoon Network +1
Sky (UK & Ireland) Channel 601 (SD/HD)
Channel 602 (+1)
Channel 634 (SD)
On Demand
Virgin Media (UK) Channel 704
Channel 705 (+1)
Channel 732 (HD)
TV Choice On Demand: Kids
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 617 (+1)
Channel 620
Melita (Malta) Channel 453
WightFibre (UK) Channel 56 (+1)
Channel 10
Kabel Deutschland (Germany) channel 620 (HD)
TalkTalk Plus TV (UK) Channel 486
BT (UK) Channel 486
Plusnet (UK) Channel 486
Streaming media
TVPlayer Watch live (UK only) (TVPlayer Plus subscription required)
Sky Go Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)
Horizon Watch live (Ireland only)
Melita TV Anywhere Watch live (Malta only)

Cartoon Network (commonly abbreviated as CN) is a British television channel available on Sky, Virgin Media, Smallworld Cable, TalkTalk Plus TV, UPC Ireland and TVPlayer (When subscribed to TVPlayer). The channel is owned and operated by Turner Broadcasting System Europe (a semi-autonomous unit of Time Warner).[5]

The channel primarily shows animated programming and was launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland as Cartoon Network UK/Europe on 17 September 1993.[6][7]

The United Kingdom was the first country to have a Cartoon Network headquarters outside of the United States in 1993,[8][9][10] serving Western Europe, but did not have a UK and Ireland only version until 1999. This was even though until 1999, the pan-European version only showed British advertisements,[11][12] and a majority of its audience were British. 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 also serves as the English language feed for Europe, which is also used by Malta. 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, 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 5am until 7pm,[18] with TNT taking over from 7pm to 5am. Sunday afternoons saw "Super Chunk", which showed back to back episodes of one show for two hours between 1pm and 3pm.[19] Another feature was "The Longest Day", in which Cartoon Network ran for an extra four hours until 11pm 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 service

On 2 September 1996, Cartoon Network began running for an extra two hours until 9pm, 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. 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 version

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 UK and Ireland only version of TNT launched. Prior to this date, Cartoon Network Europe moved to Sirius II to 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, 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.

Post-pan European split

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 August 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.

Current events

On 24 May 2007, the network changed its branding to a similar look to ones one used during 1999-2005. On 11 November 2009, the network revamped which was designed by the design studio, Stardust. The new idents main theming is an arrow moving through several environments animated in 3D computer-generated imagery, such as a jungle, a city populated with DC Comics superheroes, a Disco/Rock concert and a Japanese anime themed world. This branding lasted until 26 September 2010.

A variation of the network's current logo which resembles its original logo, used as of 2010.

On 27 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]

On April 1, 2014, Cartoon Network's DOG moved to the top-right corner and a new Next banner using graphics from the Check It 3.0. branding package was introduced. Also on April 1, 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 July 21, 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] The Check It 3.0. branding package is a collaborative work by Alex Grigg (UK), Eamonn O’Neill (UK/Ireland), Impactist (Kelly Meador and Daniel Elwing) (USA), CRCR (France), Rubber House (Australia), and Awesome Incorporated (USA).[34] On 17 November 2015, Cartoon Network UK launched their anti-bullying campaign in conjunction with Childline called Cartoon Network Buddy Network.[35]

After nearly two years of the Laughternoons programming block was replaced with Mega Mondays on 14 April 2014,[36] 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.[37][38] Mega Mondays is currently the name of Cartoon Network UK's new episodes programming block. 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]

Cartoon Network programmes

Original scheduling

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.

Programming blocks

In September 2000, Toonami began broadcasting weekdays for two hours between 4pm until 6pm, then from 9pm until 11pm, as well as weekends from 10am until 12 midday and 10pm 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).

Around the same time, there was almost completely new programming on the channel, and so Boomerang began in a late night slot.

Sister networks


On 27 May 2000, the channel Boomerang was launched by Cartoon Network in the UK and Ireland,[43] and most "classic" cartoons were moved from Cartoon Network to the new channel, which initially broadcast from 6am–12am. On 1 October 2001, Boomerang became a 24-hour channel and the remaining "classic" cartoons (except for Looney Tunes ,Tom and Jerry shorts,Scooby Doo and The Flinstones, which remained until August and October 2002) also moved to Boomerang.[44]


Main article: Cartoonito

On 24 May 2007, Cartoonito was launched as a pre-school channel replacing Toonami. The channel airs from 4am to 9pm.

Defunct sister networks


Main article: CNX

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)


Main article: Toonami (UK)

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 Cartoonito.

Cartoon Network Too

Main article: Cartoon Network Too

On 24 April 2006, Cartoon Network Too was launched on Sky 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][45] 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.[46] On 1 April 2014, Cartoon Network Too was replaced by a relaunched Cartoon Network +1.

Related services

Cartoon Network +1

Main article: Cartoon Network +1

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.

Cartoon Network HD

On 14 September 2011, a high-definition simulcast of Cartoon Network called Cartoon Network HD launched on Sky.[13] The channel broadcasts popular shows such as Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Regular Show, Adventure Time and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Amazing World of Gumball, Thundercats, Transformers: Prime, Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 and Bakugan Gundalian Invaders in HD, as well as slightly older programs such as Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. On 17 January 2013, Cartoon Network HD launched on the Virgin Media's cable TV platform.[47]

Virgin On Demand service

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.

Great Marlborough Productions

Great Marlborough Productions (formerly Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe) is based in Shoreditch, London, located three miles away from Turner EMEA's headquarters.[48] 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 2010 it produced its first show, The Amazing World of Gumball,[49] created by Ben Bocquelet. Cartoon Network UK 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,[50] Hero 108, Spaced Out, VBirds, Cult Toons, Best Ed, Chop Socky Chooks and Skatoony. The studio has also produced animation for the Malaria No More organisation.[51] 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. Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe is still used as a production card name for Great Marlborough Productions and can be seen at the end of the credits of every episode of The Amazing World of Gumball.

Animated shorts

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.[52]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cartoon Network.


  1. "Technical Changes To Cartoon Network and TNT Classic Movies (Archived by WayBack Machine: 27 Nov 1999)". Cartoon Network UK Website. Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Archived from the original on 26 August 2001. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  2. "Transponder News". Stefan Hagedorn. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  3. "Cartoon Network UK (See bottom of page for slogan)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  4. "Pan-European Opportunity: Cartoon Network". Turner Media Innovations. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Company Information". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  6. "Turner Info - Press Office". Turner Broadcasting System Europe.
  7. Turner Broadcasting comes of age with Cartoon Network HD | News | Rapid TV News
  8. "Turner - About Us". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  9. "Turner - Jobs - UK". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Europe Plan By Turner". The New York Times. 9 March 1993. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  11. "Cartoon Network reklam från 1996/1997 med engelska reklamfilmer. (1/3)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  12. "Cartoon Network reklam från 1996/1997 med engelska reklamfilmer. (2/3) + Toon Byte". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  13. 1 2 "Cartoon Network HD to launch next month". Digital Spy. 15 August 2011.
  14. "Cartoon Network UK goes HD". Kidscreen. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  15. "Why Ted Turner is Cool". Dr Film. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  16. "Cartoon Network off to a slow start". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  17. 1 2 Thompson, Douglas (30 August 1993). "Golden World Of The Cartoon Kings" (PDF). The Daily Express. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  18. Rosenbaum, Martin (28 July 1993). "Media: American invaders are targeting your kids: Children's rights and non-stop cartoons will do battle as US cable channels vie for British viewers". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  19. "Cartoon Network 1998". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  20. "6-22-1996 "It's 10:50 and Cartoon Network is still on. Why? They were up late last night for the longest day."". Paramount Comedy Channel/New Mailbox. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  21. "6-24-1996 "Do you think it will ever be possible for The Cartoon Network to stay on until midnight every night? We're not the people to ask. Cartoon Network is 24 hours in America, though."". Paramount Comedy Channel/New Mailbox. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  22. "Cartoon Network Network ID". Hatmaker Studios (Corey, McPherson and Nash). Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  23. "Corey, McPherson and Nash Clients". Corey, McPherson and Nash. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  24. "Hatmaker Studios History". Hatmaker Studios. Hatmaker Studios (Corey, McPherson and Nash). Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 "Timeline: Turner Broadcasting System Europe LTD". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  26. "Race to find digital broadcaster". BBC. 1 May 2002. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  27. "Cartoon Network commercial (AKA sting)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 10 July 2011.
  28. "End of transmissions for TCM / Cartoon Network". AnalogueSat. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  29. "REFACE "CASILLAS"". Ink Apache. Ink Apache. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  30. "Cartoon Network Block Bumpers (2001)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  31. "Cartoon Network International News Thread". Toon Zone. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  32. "Fan Talk: What do you like about the new look?". Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  33. "Cartoon Network July and August 2014 Highlights" (PDF). Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  34. "Listen Look: New Work for Cartoon Network". Impactist. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  35. "Cartoon Network UK Teams Up With Childline & Tinie Tempah For Buddy Network Anti-Bullying Campaign". Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  36. "Mega Mondays April 2014 Promo (Cartoon Network UK)". Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  37. "Cartoon Network UK Laughternoons Starts 11th January". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  38. "Cartoon Network UK January 2016 Highlights". Turner Broadcasting System Europe (Press Release). Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  39. "Cartoon Network Anything Mobile App Launches In The UK". Turner Broadcasting System Europe (Press Release). Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  40. "Cartoon Network UK First Check It 4.0 Promo - RegularCapital Website". RegularCapital Website. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  41. "Cartoon Network UK Rebranded Today 22nd July 2016". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  42. "Cartoon Network UK Sky Exclusive On-Demand Boxsets Deal". Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  43. "Boomerang launches". Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  44. "Boomerang expands". Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  45. "Turner fights ITV and BBC with launch plans". Campaign. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  46. "New look for Turner channels". Toy News Online. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  47. "TCM and Cartoon Network launch in HD on Virgin Media". Digital Spy. 17 January 2013.
  48. "Cartoon Network UK October 2015 Highlights". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  49. McLean, Thomas. "U.K.-Produced 'Gumball' Debuts on CN May 8". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  50. "New Show The Happos Family On Boomerang UK In October". RegularCapital: Cartoon Network International News. Turner Broadcasting System Europe (Press Release). Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  51. "MNM UK launch Beat The Mozzy". London: The Sun (News International). 9 August 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  52. McLean, Thomas. "Six Shorts from CN Development Studio Europe". Retrieved 2 September 2011.

External links

Look up Cartoon Network in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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