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 Eddy, Johnny Bravo, Cow 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 Panther, Thunderbirds, Wacky 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 108, Ben 10, Chowder, 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.
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.