March 2, 1998


June 14, 2004


Primal Screen


Tom Clark (2000–02)
Doug Preis (2002–04)
Phil Hartman (1998)
Harry Shearer (1998–99)
Keith David (1998–2004)
Frank Welker (1998–2000)

Preceded by


Succeeded by

CN City

CN president(s)

Betty Cohen (1998–2001)
Jim Samples (2001–04)

Powerhouse Look

Powerhouse Look

Powerhouse Era Bumpers

The Powerhouse era was the third era of Cartoon Network. It began in March 2, 1998 and ended during the early morning hours of June 14, 2004. It was succeeded by the CN City era. The last program to air under the Powerhouse era on June 14, 2004 was Captain Planet. The era was named after the Raymond Scott composition, "Powerhouse", which was the musical theme for most bumpers and graphical elements of this period. However, in January 2003, the Powerhouse music was removed from the bumpers and replaced with a series of generic fanfares and themes (except for the Robot Jones and Codename: Kids Next Door bumpers and on the later weekends, when the Powerhouse music was used for Coming Up Next bumpers). Also, as for the yellow, green and dark blue/black backgrounds were removed in 2003 (with the strange exceptions of the "Coming Up Next" bumpers), the blue and purple backgrounds of that era were still used until 2004.


With the transition from both the Checkerboard and Starburst eras to the Powerhouse era, the network slowly began to feature their original series more prominently. This eventually led to the classic animation programming block, Boomerang, being split off into its own network in April 2000, taking most of the classic Hanna-Barbera series with it. A total of 14 original series were produced during this era.

During this era several notable programming blocks were introduced including: Cartoon Network's Cartoon Theatre, a movie block that aired on CN from July 1998 to 2007; Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, a weekly programming block through which the network premiered new episodes of its original series; and Adult Swim, a late-night block aimed at a more mature audience that became its own network in 2005.

CN Original Series

Acquired Series


  • When Grim & Evil split and separated into The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Evil Con Carne in late 2003, the two series did not have their very own Powerhouse bumpers. They, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Megas XLR, where the only original Cartoon Network series to not have their very own Powerhouse bumpers that aired during the commercials.
  • In Asia and Australia, this era aired from August 1, 1999 to October 1, 2005.
  • In Japan, this era aired all the way until sometime in 2006.
  • Also when the Friday-themed program blocks were not airing at any time of the week, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Evil Con Carne episodes that first aired on Grim & Evil were the only episodes seen during the Powerhouse era's normal weekly and weekend programming.
  • The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, Codename: Kids Next Door and Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? were the last three shows to have Powerhouse bumpers in 2002.
    • In the 2003 era, the Kids Next Door and Robot Jones bumpers are remains in use the original Powerhouse music, as well as the Sylvester and Tweety bumpers are replaced by the generic "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers during the commercial breaks of the show.
  • After Adult Swim signed out at 5:00am on June 14, 2004, Time Squad and Captain Planet were the final two shows to air under the Powerhouse era. At 6:00am, the City era debuted and The Powerpuff Girls was the first show to air under the City era.
  • When the Powerhouse era was slightly updated in 2003, not only was the original music removed from the "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers, but the green, yellow, and dark blue/black backgrounds of those bumpers were also removed, leaving the blue and purple backgrounds seen during those bumpers seen from 2003 to 2004.
    • However the green and yellow backgrounds were not removed permanently from the network, as the "Coming Up Next" bumpers often contained the green and yellow backgrounds. These "Coming Up Next" bumpers with the green and yellow backgrounds, where really being mixed with the blue and purple "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers at the time.
  • Also, when Toonami: Midnight Run aired or after Adult Swim signed off during that time, the dark blue/black "Coming Up Next" bumpers were also used.
  • According to some, from May 30, 2004 to June 13, 2004 (16 days before the City era officially began), the then City bumpers were being mixed with the Powerhouse bumpers. Instead of showing the "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to The Show" bumpers during the show, the City era bumpers (with the 1992 Cartoon Network logo) would air during the commercials, while the "Coming Up Next" bumpers would continue to be used until the early hours of June 14, 2004.
  • In the "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers for many shows in morning, afternoon, evening time, primetime in weekdays and weekends, the era's announcers Hartman, Shearer, Welker and Clark were eventually replaced as announcer by CN characters, such as Bugs Bunny (voiced by Jeff Bergman), Dexter (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh), Ed (voiced by Matt Hill), Lu (voiced by Nancy Cartwright), Courage (voiced by Marty Grabstein) and Johnny Bravo (voiced by Jeff Bennett). Also, in the Powerpuff Girls-related bumpers, any characters from the show doesn't narrating it, instead, these bumpers were featuring the voice of the narrator (voiced by Tom Kenny). The bumpers with the characters as the announcers were used until 2003 when Doug Preis came only to say "We'll be right back with [SHOW NAME]!" or "And now, back to [SHOW NAME]!".
    • Also, even though other announcers replaces previous announcers, some "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers (such as Cow and Chicken, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, etc.) were diverted from those of the previous announcers until the early-Preis era, but all were unified to voiceover of Preis in 2003.

See also