The Cartoon Network is a cable TV channel created by Turner Broadcasting and dedicated to showing cartoons. It premiered on October 1, 1992 in the United States, and 17 September 1993 in the United Kingdom.
By the end of the 1980s, Ted Turner's cable TV conglomerate had acquired the MGM film library (which included the older catalog of Warner Bros. cartoons), and its cable channel Turner Network Television had gained an audience with its film library. In 1991, they purchased animation studio Hanna-Barbera Productions and acquired its large backlog. The Cartoon Network channel was created as an outlet for Turner's considerable library of animation, and the initial programming on the channel consisted exclusively of re-runs of classic Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons, with many Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons used as time fillers.
In 1996, Time Warner purchased Turner Broadcasting, and the Cartoon Network came under their corporate umbrella. This provided still more material for the Cartoon Network, as the channel now had access to the Warner Bros. cartoon library from the 1950s and 1960s.
Time Warner changed the direction of Hanna Barbera Productions, and focused the studio exclusively on creating new material for the Cartoon Network channel. Among the numerous shows the studio has produced are Dexter's Laboratory (1996), Johnny Bravo (1997), Cow and Chicken (1997), and The Powerpuff Girls (1998). Ed, Edd, n Eddy (1999), another original cartoon, was made by a.k.a. Cartoon and shown on Cartoon Network.
The changes made have practically eliminated the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the network's schedule, forcing them to move to the nostalgia-themed Boomerang sister network.
In recent years, Cartoon Network has also made attempts to attract viewers outside its core audience (young children). Their mid-afternoon cartoon block Toonami consists of reruns of acceptable-for-teens anime from Japan, while a late-night cartoon block called Adult Swim shows more risque, teenage- and adult-oriented cartoons (with a combination of anime and American-produced comedies such Futurama and Family Guy). On April 17, 2004, Toonami was moved to Saturday evenings and the afternoon slot was filled with Miguzi, showing action-oriented American TV shows aimed at a slightly younger age group than Toonami.
In October 2004, Cartoon Network finally removed the Looney Tunes show and additional classic cartoon programming making its schedule almost exclusively new programming. Excepting CN's broadcasts of Tom and Jerry (a longtime staple of the Turner networks), Turner Classic Movies and Boomerang are now the only networks left in the United States to showcase classic animation of the Golden Age and TV Eras. In Europe Boomerang is still a part of the original Cartoon Network, meaning that from 5 pm GMT, no new cartoons are shown. In Brazil and Latin America, Boomerang is a separate channel.
In Britain, in September 2000, Toonami began broadcasting weekdays for two hours between 4pm - 6pm, and 9pm - 11pm, as well as weekends from 10am - 12pm and 10pm - 12am. It's 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 of the Future (called Batman Beyond in the US). Around the same time, there was almost completely new programming on the channel, and so Boomerang began in a late night slot. In mid 2002, all 'classic' cartoons, except Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo and The Flintstones, were removed from Cartoon Network and moved to Boomerang, which became a channel in Britain on 27 May 2000, running from 6am - 12am. Before long, however, it became 24 hours, and the other three shows were removed from Cartoon Network.
In June 2002, Toonami disappeared from Cartoon Network UK, and in October, a new channel was created called CNX . It was hailed as a high-octane, "'triple A' mix of Action, Adventure, and Anime". All American and Japanese animation shown on Toonami was broadcast on this 24 hour channel from 6am - 12am, and during the night, there were hard hitting American dramas such as The Shield, adventure shows such as Spawn, martial arts films and extreme sports programmes. In 2003, there was a slot between 9pm and 10pm showing Cartoon Network produced comedy such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The extreme sports and films were squashed into a small slot between 10pm and 2am. For the rest of the time, Toonami returned, on CNX, showing all it's previous output, plus a number of new shows. In September 2003, after just 11 months on air, CNX was shut down, and Toonami became a 24 hour channel, which still broadcasts today.
Cartoon Network is also broadcasting in other languages like Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Hindi etc. (it is interesting, however, that most of the Cartoon Network channels in Europe are broadcast from the United Kingdom, including an English language audio channel). Other Cartoon Network stations where Kids WB isn't shown for other languages in some places. Most of the Kids WB shows are broadcast on Cartoon Network like the one in Latin America.
See also: List of programs broadcast by Cartoon Network