The current logo for Cartoon Network that is used since 27 September 2010.

180px-CN logo.svg

The second logo for Cartoon Network that was used from 2005 until September 2010.

Original Cartoon Network logo

The original Cartoon Network logo, that was used from 1993 until 2005.

Cartoon Network, commonly abbreviated as CN, is a British television channel available on Sky, Virgin Media, Smallworld Cable, TalkTalk Plus TV and UPC Ireland. Distributed by Turner Broadcasting System Europe (a semi-autonomous unit of Time Warner).

The channel primarily shows animated programming and was launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland as Cartoon Network Europe on 17 September 1993.[1]

The United Kingdom was the first country to have a Cartoon Network headquarters outside of the United States in 1993,[2][3][4] serving Western Europe, but did not have a country specific version until 1999. This was even though until 1999, the pan-European version only showed British advertisements,[5][6] 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.[7]



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, which included Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.[8] At launch in the United States, Cartoon Network had a 8,500 hour cartoon library,[9] 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 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.


The channel was originally twinned with movie channel TNT and ran from 5am until 7pm,[10] 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.[11] 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.[12][13] 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. Also unlike its rival Nickelodeon, which was part of Sky Multichannels, Cartoon Network was free-to-air across Europe.

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,[14] 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. Also, in February 1997, Dutch cable provider A2000/KTA added the 24-hour Cartoon Network and TNT channels to its programming lineup.

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.

Separation from Pan-European version

On 15 October 1999, Cartoon Network UK officially split off from the pan-European version, 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 version) on Astra 1C acting as a defacto 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 in 15 October 1999 with the launch of a 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.[15]

On 30 June 2001, the analogue feed on Astra 1C of Cartoon Network/TCM ceased broadcasting, this was when Sky ended its analogue services.[16]


An example of a bumper during 2002-2005. 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.[17]

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

Cartoon Network programmes

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.

Motorsport Sponsorship

Cartoon Network sponsor Steve Dance, driver of the #16 race truck in the UK Pickup Truck Racing series.

Sister Networks


On 27 May 2000, the channel Boomerang was launched by Cartoon Network in the UK and Ireland,[18] 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.[19]


In May 2007, Cartoonito was launched as a pre-school channel replacing Toonami.

Cartoon Network Too

In 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, Johnny Bravo and Wacky Races.[20] 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.[21] On 1 April 2014, it was shut down and replaced with Cartoon Network +1.

Defunct Sister Networks


Toonami launched in September 2003 showing action programming. The channel had originally replaced CNX, a channel which launched in June 2002. In May 2007, just 4 years after its launch, Toonami was replaced with Cartoonito.

Cartoon Network HD

On 14 September 2011, a high-definition simulcast of Cartoon Network called Cartoon Network HD launched on Sky.[22] 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.[23]

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.

Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe

Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe is based at Cartoon Network's UK headquarters, it 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,[24] 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, Hero 108, Spaced Out, VBirds, Cult Toons, Chop Socky Chooks and Skatoony. The studio has also produced animation for the Malaria No More organisation.[25]

Animated shorts

The studio has also produced animated shorts which are accessible from their YouTube channel. 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 are showcased in a similar way to Cartoonstitute by Cartoon Network USA. The studio is currently accepting opinions of the shorts by YouTube users.[26]

External links


  1. "Turner Info - Press Office". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. 
  2. "Turner - About Us". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 29 June 2011. 
  3. "Turner - Jobs - UK". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 29 June 2011. 
  4. "Europe Plan By Turner". The New York Times. 9 March 1993. Retrieved on 29 June 2011. 
  5. "Cartoon Network reklam från 1996/1997 med engelska reklamfilmer. (1/3)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 9 August 2011. 
  6. "Cartoon Network reklam från 1996/1997 med engelska reklamfilmer. (2/3) + Toon Byte". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 9 August 2011. 
  7. "Cartoon Network UK goes HD". Kidscreen. Retrieved on 15 August 2011. 
  8. "Why Ted Turner is Cool". Dr Film. Retrieved on 3 September 2011. 
  9. "Cartoon Network off to a slow start". Observer-Reporter.,57411&dq=cartoon+network&hl=en. Retrieved on 3 September 2011. 
  10. 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". . London. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. 
  11. "Cartoon Network 1998". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. 
  12. "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 on 4 January 2012. 
  13. "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 on 4 January 2012. 
  14. "Timeline: Turner Broadcasting System Europe LTD". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 27 June 2011. 
  15. "Cartoon Network commercial (AKA sting)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 10 July 2011. 
  16. "End of transmissions for TCM / Cartoon Network". AnalogueSat. Retrieved on 20 October 2011. 
  17. "Cartoon Network Block Bumpers (2001)". Turner Broadcasting System Europe. Retrieved on 7 July 2011. 
  18. "Boomerang launches". Retrieved on 5 July 2011. 
  19. "Boomerang expands". Retrieved on 5 July 2011. 
  20. "Turner fights ITV and BBC with launch plans". Campaign. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. 
  21. "New look for Turner channels". Toy News Online. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. 
  22. "Cartoon Network HD to launch next month". Digital Spy. 15 August 2011. 
  23. "TCM and Cartoon Network launch in HD on Virgin Media". Digital Spy. 17 January 2013. 
  24. McLean, Thomas. "U.K.-Produced 'Gumball' Debuts on CN May 8". Animation Magazine. Retrieved on 2 September 2011. 
  25. "MNM UK launch Beat The Mozzy". London: The Sun (News International). 9 August 2011. Retrieved on 2 September 2011. 
  26. McLean, Thomas. "Six Shorts from CN Development Studio Europe". Retrieved on 2 September 2011. 
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