Checkerboard Era


October 1, 1992


June 1997 (primary branding)
March 1, 1998 (secondary branding)


Carrot Top
Frank Welker



Succeeded by


CN president(s)

Betty Cohen

The Checkerboard era was the very first Cartoon Network era. It began at the launch of the network on October 1, 1992 and ended in the United States in June 1997. It was succeeded by the Starburst era. The era was named, by fans, both for the black and white Cartoon Network logo that resembled a checkerboard and for its bumpers, which featured tiles of characters featured on the network in a checkerboard pattern. As of 1997, the era's bumpers, promos, and IDs were still during the Starburst era being phased out up until March 1998, while Powerhouse era was slowly being introduced beginning in December 1997.


When the channel launched, it relied on older shows from the Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Warner Bros. libraries to fill out its schedule. The first cartoon shown on the network was a classic Merrie Melodies short, "Rhapsody Rabbit". In 1993, the network began producing original animation, with its first original series being The Moxy Show. Only a total of 4 original series were produced during this era.

During this era several notable programming blocks were introduced including: Boomerang, a classic animation block which became its own channel in April 2000; Super Chunk, a weekly marathon block that aired on CN from June 1994 to July 2001; and Toonami, a weekday action animation block that aired on CN from March 1997 to September 2008.

In Other Countries

The Checkerboard era began on Cartoon Network Europe in 1993 and was succeeded by the Powerhouse era in 1999.


  • During the era, there were bumpers with a music track that played along to animated square tiles. The name of the soundtrack is unknown. However, a YouTuber named Primal Screen Guy closely replicated it by using a sample from one of the bumpers, which can be found here. Part of the track sounds very similar to Church of the Poison Mind by Culture Club.
  • The actual full Checkerboard soundtrack can be heard in the background on the intro of "A Taste of Cartoon Network".


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