The rise and fall of Cartoon Network


When I was a kid, there was nothing better than Cartoon Network. It was the best channel I could ever watch when I was in primary school, and suffice it to say, I was addicted to Cartoon Network. I remember the TV being on, and my and my twin brother were watching, with at least one of us being on the family PC (which was in the basement play room before I was 9), and the other playing Pokémon on Game Boy Color.

Nowadays, I can’t go back to those days with even a candle light. Why? Well for starters, I was pushed away from it due the pressure to “grow up”. Secondly, in the 6 years that I’ve stopped watching Cartoon Network and Boomerang, the programme line-up has changed beyond recognition, to the point that there’s barely anything good anymore.

Allow me to explain. Cartoon Network came to our shores in September 1993, and spin-off channel Boomerang would come along in the year 2000. During my childhood in the early ’00s, it aired such classic original shows as Ed, Edd n EddyJohnny BravoCow and Chicken, and many more. They also aired classic shows that were produced by other networks during the Baby Boomer era, such as The Pink PantherThunderbirdsWacky Races, among others, along with more obscure shows like Fat Dog Mendoza and Ned’s Newt.

Nowadays, when you look at the schedule for them, all you’ll find are relatively mediocre shows like Hero 108Ben 10Chowder, and many more shows from 2008-onwards.

Cartoon Network used to have another spin-off known as Toonami, which used to air more action-oriented shows for older kids. It was killed off in 2002, when it was replaced with CNX (essentially the same thing but with more anime). In 2006, three years after its 2003 relaunch, it began to focus on airing sitcoms for teenagers, which I didn’t really take notice of until I was 13, and I hated that Cartoon Network and its spin-offs would turn their backs on us.

In 2006, they launched a channel called Cartoon Network Too, which was a secondary block for the channel that allowed them to air classic shows on a separate channel. During its early days, I thought that was a great idea. However, when I started Year 8 (in September 2006), it turned 9 hours of airtime between 6am and 3pm into a pre-school programming block called “Cartoonito”. This decision was annoying for me, and it was a sign that the larger corporate body of Cartoon Network began to see the classic shows as inferior. But my main issue with that move was that it oversaw a kindergarten takeover of TV that wasn’t meant for them.

cn too old logo

Those eyes should probably be bloodshot by now from having to deal with so many pre-schoolers.

In May of the following year, Cartoon Network Too and Cartoonito became separate channels, but at the same time, Toonami was killed off forever. As the years went by, their schedule began to change as more of our favourite shows began to die out in the US and UK.

I must ask, who the f**k made those decisions over the past 10 years? I never knew, but now, after some research, I know who owns Cartoon Network.

Cartoon Network UK and its spin-offs are owned by Turner, a large TV conglomerate that also owns TCM, TNT and CNN, all of which are controlled by media mogul Ted Turner. In 1991, Ted Turner purchased Hanna-Barbera Productions, along with other additional content which would become Cartoon Network in 1992. This means that Ted Turner owns Cartoon Network, and he apparently doesn’t have any respect for kids.

Being that this post is about Cartoon Network, you’d think Simon and friends would show up by now. But apparently they’re studying for some end of year test.

Overall, I hate how Cartoon Network as a corporate entity has discarded its classic shows, but I never really wanted to grow out of them when I did, and when the time comes, I’ll find a way to satisfy that ancient urge once more, so I can outgrow it naturally, rather than by force.


18 thoughts on “The rise and fall of Cartoon Network

  1. That’s exactly what I meant.

    Mac is saving face just to stay on his mother’s good side and he is considered a nerd by everyone else.

  2. I hope I didn’t scare you away with my crackpot theories. I believe that whatever happened to Mac’s father, Bloo helped Mac accept the fact that he was gone. However, Mac’s mother is still stuck in denial and Terrence is still trapped in anger. Combine everything and I feel that Mac has been repressing himself ever since, becoming a severe Stepford Smiler.

    They seriously could’ve gone somewhere with that so I, at least, could relate to Mac and maybe even Mr. McCracken himself even more, but like you said he just didn’t care. I actually talked to my mother about how this show affected me and she said she would never hurt me in such a way.

      • Well, when you get to the point where you feel like writing that post, here’s some food for thought.

        Please take my comment on your post about the character Frank Grimes into account. There are still two certain characters that I care immensely about and they are Mac and Frankie. The truth is that my much prefer Mac and Frankie’s relationship to be much more intriguing than any other relationship in the show. Not as boyfriend and girlfriend, ugh, but as adoptive brother and sister. Before everything went out the window, there’s was probably the only productive adult-to-child relationship the show had to offer.

        I absolutely abhor Mac’s familial situation even more the Timmy Turner’s from the Fairly Oddparents. This is probably going to sound incredibly hateful and malicious, but I never like Mac’s family and I feel that he is much better off with Frankie and Foster’s. Mac’s mother rubbed off on me as someone who was quite careless in her pursuit to have Mac mature.

        In fact, I’ll even go as far as to say that she may have possibly had a prejudice against imaginary friends. My evidence is that she forced Mac to give up to give up a living breathing person with the ability to think, act, and feel so he could “grow up,” and she threatened to move out when Duchess moved in next door in “Duchess of Wails.” Seriously, Mac’s mother had absolutely zero right to do any of that. If Mac’s mother knew any better, she’d realize that it is Terrence who needs to grow up and that Mac is already intelligent enough for his age.

        The world of “Foster’s” I feel is already twisted enough with people getting rid of their own creations just to “grow up.” The show really could have gone somewhere realistic if Mac’s familial situation had been deconstructed. There are a few fanfics that deconstruct Mac’s family situation, but I’m afraid I should not be advertising them. Heck, I even wrote some of my own.

  3. I hate to sound like an obsessive pest, but I would really like to talk more about Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends with you.

    • Well, OK, even though this could be its own post topic here. I first found out about it the same way every other British kid found out, on Cartoon Network in late 2004. Those were simpler times for the channel. Foster’s ran alongside Craig McCracken’s other show The Powerpuff Girls (which ended nearly a year later), along with some of my other childhood favourites like Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy, Dexter’s Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Billy and Mandy, and many more. I never tried out any of those old cartoons again (because I can’t find them), but I remember how Foster’s declined. It used to be a show I could watch, but after a year or two, they started introducing characters who are solely obnoxious (Cheese, for example, has got to be the worst character that ever featured on Cartoon Network), and then they made nearly every character obnoxious, especially Bloo. By 2007, Cartoon Network was already going down the crapper anyway, so I just left it while I was beginning my adolescence. It no longer airs on the channel, being replaced by several other new cartoons. I don’t think I remember much about the actual episodes though.

      • I only remember the spiteful episodes, I really don’t understand Craig McCracken’s sense of humor. Mac suffered quite a bit of out-of-characterization, too. He became much more gullible and irritable as the show went on. You should do that, write your own post on Foster’s so we can really break it down.

      • I do have a bit of a hectic schedule on my hands (because of this, I only release posts every four days now), but it is something I will definitely consider writing within the next few weeks.

        Also, I heard that Craig McCracken left Cartoon Network because the channel was focusing on live-action comedy shows. This, coupled with the network axing its original shows and staff, might have been frustrating him.

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