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Breaking Cartoon Network up into 3 year cycles

Discussion in 'The Cartoon Network/Boomerang Cartoon Forum' started by wonderfly, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Just a weird observation:

    As I look over the last 25 years of Cartoon Network, I find it interesting how the network changes every 3 years - that's a long enough period for there to be sufficient turnover in the scheduling, it would appear. In other words, the network kinda re-invents itself every 3 years.

    1992 to 1994: Cartoon Network in it's infancy. The focus was entirely on Hanna-Barbera/Looney Tunes material. Only in 1994 did they start to slowly experiment with original material (with Space Ghost: Coast to Coast being the only premiere).

    1995-1997: The early experimentation period. Cartoon Network adds "Cartoon Planet" in 1995 and "Dexter's Lab" in 1996, while March 1997 sees the launch of Toonami, and Summer 1997 launches the Powerhouse era.

    1998-2000: The first half of the Powerhouse era. The start of "Cartoon Cartoon Fridays", Toonami goes mainstream with "TOM" as the new host, the premiere of several CN originals (Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Ed, Edd, and Eddy, etc).

    2001-2003: The second half of the Powerhouse era. Toonami in it's "Golden Age". Dragon Ball Z at the height of it's popularity. Plus Adult Swim premieres, fundamentally changing the channel at night over the next few years. Cartoon Network experiments with original action shows (Samurai Jack, Justice League, Teen Titans, "Star Wars: Clone Wars").

    2004-2006:
    The City era. The classics of the Powerhouse era start to end. Toonami enters it's "Silver Age". "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" is a huge hit. This was the era of "Camp Lazlo", "Life and Times of Juniper Lee" and "Ben 10". Also, the era of "Miguzi".

    2007-2009: Summer and Fall 2007, and the Nood era. The dark era of Cartoon Network, with Reality TV shows creeping onto the network, with a lot of the classics being cancelled ("Billy and Mandy", "Codenamed Kids Next Door"). There were a few new shows at first ("Chowder" and "Flapjack") but there was an over-reliance on Johnny Test, and 2009 had no new premieres. Adult Swim completes it's consumption of the late night schedule.

    2010-2012: The Cartoon Network Renaissance. Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gumball, and Sym-bionic Titan all premiere. Cartoon Network celebrates it's 20th anniversary in 2012. Toonami is rebooted as an Adult Swim creation towards the end of this era.

    2013-2015: The death of the action cartoon genre on Cartoon Network. Thundercats, Green Lantern, Young Justice, and Beware the Batman all fail. "Teen Titans Go" premieres in 2013 and starts to eat up the schedule within a year or two. "Stephen Universe" is another huge success though. Toonami enters it's Renaissance ("Nu-Renaissance?") with "Attack on Titan" and world premieres like "Space Dandy".

    2016 to Present: Era of the reboots or restarts (Ben 10, Powerpuff Girls, Dragon Ball Super). Era of continuous "Teen Titans Go" spamming. Toonami is bogged down with lengthy long running Shonen series ("Hunter x Hunter", "DBZ Kai", "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure"). The end of several shows (Regular Show, Clarence, Uncle Grandpa, with Gumball and Adventure Time ending soon). Darkness reigns across the land. (okay, that last part is a bit of an exaggeration). :)

    Does this sound about right to anyone else, as far as the different eras?

    What's your favorite 3 year period of Cartoon Network?
     
  2. Toon4Thought

    Toon4Thought Giving a slightly closer look.

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    Eh... I'm not sure 2016-present can be accurately described as the era of reboots and restarts, since all the CN shows slated to come in the future are original products, with one or two spin offs. The cancellation thing is true though, with the possible exception of Gumball (kind of ambiguous as of now), so it could definitely be seen as the end of the 2010 era with that in mind.
     
  3. mqg96

    mqg96 Member

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    @wonderfly

    You nailed it! There's always been a 3 year cycle for CN which I've noticed as well but I never brought it up until you did! My favorite 3 year cycle is DEFINITELY 2001-2003, but 2004-2006 was really good as well. History says 2019 to 2020 will be a big change for Cartoon Network, which makes sense because once Adventure Time ends in 2018 I believe the CHECK it era will be on its way out for a new era of shows and bumpers coming up.
     
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  4. mqg96

    mqg96 Member

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    Another thing I've noticed is that the first year of the 3 year cycle has always been the transitional year from the previous era into the new era. 1995 was a transitional year for CN with the What A Cartoon Show and World Premiere Toons bringing out new original series. 1998 marked the end of the Checkerboard Era and the beginning of the Powerhouse Era. 2001 is when the 2nd half of the Powerhouse Era began with [adult swim] and Primetime (block) coming up, but don't forget it was also the year the majority of HB cartoons were moved to Boomerang (or the block) as well. 2004 marked the end of the Powerhouse Era and the beginning of the City Era with a lot of changes that happened throughout the year (the list is too long). 2007 marked the official end of the City branding (Yes! Era) and the beginning of CN's dark age with the Fall Era followed by Nood Era. 2010 marked the end of CN's dark age and the beginning of the Renaissance age with Adventure Time and Regular Show premiering including Young Justice, Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc, Sym-Bionic Titan and MAD. 2013 is when Teen Titans Go! came up and all the action shows were cancelled like you mentioned, but Adventure Time and Regular Show were still popular while Steven Universe and Clarence premiered. I guess you can say 2013-2015 was a whole transition period from CN Renaissance shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Gumball being the kings of the channel to reboots like Teen Titans Go!, PPG 2016, and Ben 10 2017 becoming the kings, which is the era we're in today.
     
  5. Toon4Thought

    Toon4Thought Giving a slightly closer look.

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    I don't think that's quite true, considering PPG 2016 is being pretty much buried, at least in the US, since I guess it tried so hard to appealed to everyone that it appealed to no one (I mean in general terms; I know there's a few fans here and there, but unlike TTG I've yet to come across any that genuinely find it great). Ben 10 2017 will likely go down a similar path, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree. Apart from TTG, the other king I'd list would probably be Steven Universe.

    I honestly can easily see OK KO growing in popularity over time and becoming one of the kings from 2018 on. I mean, it already has a modest following and more and more people seem to be getting into it.
     
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  6. SparkleMan

    SparkleMan Well-Known Member

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    Nailed it! Only thing you missed was The Moxy Show from 1993.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    That's because I'd rather forget the Moxy Show. ;)

    More thoughts:

    I initially wondered if "every 6 years" would be more appropriate breaking down of the cycles (1992-1997, 1998-2003, 2004-2009, 2010-2015). I mean, yeah, just about all of 1992 to 1997 is the "Checkerboard" era, and all of 1998 to 2003 is the "Powerhouse" era, but 1998 didn't have much in common with 2003. I think the emergence of Adult Swim really splits the Powerhouse era in half.

    Same with 2004 in the same bracket as 2009 - they don't share much in common.

    Just my two cents.
     
  8. Golden Geek

    Golden Geek Gera Gera Po

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    I watched the most Cartoon Network in the 2010 to 2012 period, though I certainly have my fond memories of earlier periods. Adventure Time and Regular Show were very exciting to see premiere and develop loyal fanbases. We also got the great action cartoons Sym-Bionic Titan and ThunderCats, plus the revival of Toonami...great time.

    I still occasionally watched Cartoon Network in the 2013 to 2015 period, but at the same time, I could tell that the channel was struggling. I stopped making Toonami a priority around this time when they filled several slots with long-running shonen that I wasn't interested in, though they still had some great premieres in this time (and continue to occasionally to this day).
     
  9. mqg96

    mqg96 Member

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    The addition of Primetime block during the weeknights and the lack of Hanna-Barbera cartoons too.
     
  10. Dan's Revenge

    Dan's Revenge Gooood kittyyyy

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    Probably 2001-2003 for me. Toonami was a huge thing once I got into it, and I enjoyed a lot of the Cartoon-Cartoons played. Classics as well that I thought still had good treatment though it looked almost as if of what classics are remained on Boomerang right now. Mostly LT, T&J and some S-D!

    For the heck of it, a couple nods...

    First one for 1998-2000 since that was my first 3-year cycle of CN (1999, I think...) as I enjoyed Cartoon Planet and Coast to Coast Friday nights at 11. Memorable Cartoon Theaters, plus CN originals really paving the way for the future. Still wasn't able to get into most of the H-B classics that were still shown in this time.

    Last nod for me is the city era of 2004-2006. Awesome bumpers, and some to-me interesting scheduling. I suppose though I was never too fond of the logo change to "CN" the way it was stylized. I had noticed though my own decline in watching CN in this era, as I wasn't able to catch on to newer CN originals and kept going back for reruns of the previous couple eras and at least watching new episodes of them as they continued. I believe I still watched this channel most of the time however in TV viewing.
     
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  11. jaylop97

    jaylop97 L Twins

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    I enjoy the 2010-2012 timeline of CN to me I prefer it the most because it really felt like Cartoon Network was really trying significantly to do well, sure there were some bumps along the drive but it was a pretty great time given the shows. To be honest my memories before 2004 were kind of blank to really have much of an opinion.
     
  12. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    This is my ranking of the Cartoon Network eras:

    1. 2001-2003:
    My favorite era is definitely 2001-2003, though that may be tied into those being the exact years I had cable while living on my own during college, and the period after college (I graduated in December 2001). I have lots of fond memories of watching the channel in that period. It doesn't hurt that this was the era of Toonami's Golden Age, and yes, I was very much into Dragon Ball Z, but also was into the Cartoon Network originals and the Adult Swim material of this time period. I also enjoyed the "Saturday Video Entertainment System" block of 2003.

    Having said that, if I could relive an era of Cartoon Network, I think I'd rather go with 1998-2000, or 2004-2006. Why? Because I don't have as many memories of the channel during those eras (due to life circumstances), but when I did get to watch the channel during those years, I liked what I saw, and would've wanted to see more.

    2. 1998-2000:
    I didn't have cable from 1998 to 2000. I was in college and poor. I did get to watch the channel occasionally, on campus or at friend's houses, or at my (at the time) girlfriend's house (though she wasn't really interested in watching the channel, but when she wasn't around or she was asleep, I'd tune in...). Really though, in my own home, this was the era of "Kids WB" for me, as I finally discovered that channel and it was my primary "go to" place for animation.

    I do remember catching Toonami occasionally during this period, and wondering "Whoa, who's this new 'TOM' guy they got hosting?!?" I could also tell that Dragon Ball Z was on the rise with the network...

    I finally got cable in December 2000, just in time to start the 2001-2003 CN era. Interestingly, I found myself no longer watching Kids WB from about the Summer of 2001 onward...

    3. 2004-2006:
    2004-2006
    is a different story - I had fallen on hard times and decided to move back to my home town in January 2004. I lived with either my grandma or my parents for much of this period, and it's just different (harder) to watch Cartoon Network when sharing a home with others with different interests. I would tune in occasionally, but it wasn't quite the same. But I liked a lot of what I did catch on TV, and would enjoy revisiting this era.

    As far as what memories I do have, in particular I do have lots of memories of watching "Star Wars: Clone Wars", "Justice League Unlimited" and "Duck Dodgers" over at my friends' house. Oh yeah, and "Full Metal Alchemist". I had a friend that loved that show.

    4. 1995-1997:
    I have plenty of memories of Cartoon Network during the 1995-1997 era, so I don't really feel as strong of a need to revisit it. I had graduated from High School during this era, moved out of my parents' house and did share an apartment with friends for a year or two after high school (it was the first time I had cable), and we enjoyed watching the Cartoon Network of this era (along with the Sci-fi Channel and Discovery Channel of this era). We watched the "Moltar" era of Toonami pretty faithfully for much of 1997, even it if was mostly 80's cartoon reruns. I moved to a new town in January 1998, to finish pursuing my college degree (in retrospect, it's interesting my moving to different homes in January every few years ties in with the transition to different eras).

    5. 2007-2009:
    Lastly would be the 2007-2009 era, the period in which I got married, had kids, starting focusing more on my work and family and couldn't watch Cartoon Network as much (and the network went slowly downhill, so there was less of interest to watch anyway). There was a few good memories from this period (early episodes of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", final episodes of "Codename: Kids Next Door", etc), but it was an era of change, for Cartoon Network and for myself.

    In the Summer of 2009, we moved to a new place and "cut the cord", and haven't truly had cable since then. And while I have watched the channel sporadically since then (either at friends' houses, or by way of "Sling TV", etc), it's just never been the same, for me, so I don't feel I can rank the 1992-1994 era, or the 2010-onward eras.

    Sorry if this was a little bloggish, but I enjoyed watching Cartoon Network off and on for over 10 years, so I figured I'd share.
     
    #12 wonderfly, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  13. NeoplanDan

    NeoplanDan Musical ZF

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    Pretty much long than I expected


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    #13 NeoplanDan, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2017

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