Toonami (UK & Ireland)

Toonami (UK & Ireland)

Toonami was a British cartoons channel which aired from September 2003 to May 2007.

History

Toonami was a programming block on the Cartoon Network, until October 2002 when it became a key component of CNX, a new channel launched by Cartoon Network UK, the first Cartoon Network derivative to launch outside North America. CNX also broadcast martial arts movies, adult-oriented animation (such as Adult Swim programming), and dramas like The Shield and Birds of Prey at night. The network catered towards a young male audience. A year later, CNX was relaunched as Toonami and now targeted a younger audience.

Toonami UK, throughout its existence, also aired cartoons based on DC Comics properties on the channel, such as Justice League Unlimited and the first two seasons of Batman Beyond (aired as Batman of the Future). Contractual disputes with Warner TV distribution prevented the channel from showing the third and final season of Batman Beyond and the whole of Superman: The Animated Series, forcing the channel to recycle through the first two seasons of Batman Beyond as a result.

From March 6, 2006, Toonami UK changed its focus from action cartoons to entertainment in general, as the channel moved to Sky 602 and began airing live-action shows such as Backyard Science, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Stencil, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Life with Derek. Additionally, the channel's graphics were redesigned, with the black, white and red logos replaced with a new blue background logo and giggling, blob-like mascots that are used in the channel's commercial bumpers and channel indents.

Toonami and Cartoon Network Too merged into one channel on May 24 2007, with the pre-school programming slot Cartoonito taking Toonami's channel slot as a separate channel.

Criticisms

Toonami UK has had its critics ever since day one after it was relaunched from the previous CNX format. The biggest criticisms has come from viewers who wanted more action-animation aimed towards older audiences which had all but disappeared Dragonball Z was one of the most watched shows.

In March 2006, criticism about Toonami increased after the network relaunched itself from an action-animation network into a general entertainment outlet airing teen soaps, live-action sitcoms, and other non-animated programming. The changes were criticised by older fans of the channel, who thought that it was moving away from its original premise as an all-ages channel to take a younger audience. However, the changes to the channel brought a drop in ratings and the live-action shows were phased out over the next few weeks.

Destination Friday

For a short period of time, Toonami UK aired a special programming block on Fridays called "Destination Friday", which ran from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Near the end of its run, Toonami UK's newer shows had only aired once or twice a week, such as One Piece, Code Lyoko and Pokémon Chronicles. Code Lyoko which was later aired across seven days. "Destination Friday" initially repeated the week's episodes for viewers who either want to see them again or missed them the first time round. Between 5.30PM and 7 p.m., a feature-length animated movie has also been shown.

A selection of several Batman animated movies were shown, such as Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. The UK premieres of the Dragon Ball, and Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT movies occupied this slot throughout the summer months.

Shows that aired on Toonami UK

Technical faults and interruptions

On July 27, 2006, Toonami, along with CN Too, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Boomerang +1 and TCM, have been suffered a major technical fault due to a power cut in Soho, London. This was due to the energy supplier EDF cutting power from different parts of Soho one at a time for four hours, purposely, due to the inability as the 2006 European heat wave had hit Turner Broadcasting System Europe.

The power cut caused a mix up of channels (i.e. Cartoon Network being broadcast on Boomerang and Toonami, with Boomerang being broadcast on CN Too). Boomerang +1 was off air for some time, while TCM, reverted between TCM France and other programming during the times it was able to provide a service. TCM 2 didn't have a power cut because of its downtimes of timesharing. Most advertising was suspended and several of the channel websites were offline also.

However, Those who could still receive the channels had a backup transmission played out, making people curious into why the incorrect programmes were played out when compared to the EPG CN Too and Boomerang were showing episodes of The Flintstones. These backups where played out with a scrolling message which said "We apologise for the disruption to this service. This is due to technical difficulties. We will resume normal programming as soon as possible" in multiple languages.

Whilst most channels returned to the air relatively quickly, it took longer for CN Too to resume programming and it was also joked on various animation based forums by Toonami UK viewers, many of whom have made note of their disdain for the direction in which Turner took the Brand in the UK, that the backup transmission was more entertaining, purely on the basis that there's no live action aired during the blackout.

The idents on Toonami which aired between shows during the black-out displayed the message "Sorry! Toonami is broken, we'll be right back as soon as we fix it.". These idents have since been re-used in disclaimers warning viewers not to try stunts on various shows at home.

Website

Even though Toonami has became CN Too, the official Toonami website is still running. The "sign in" feature has now been taken off the site and replaced with the CN Too logo. Before Toonami closed down, a message warned viewers about the merge with the CN Too channel. The message was 'Breaking News: Toonami becomes the bigger and better Cartoon Network Too on 24th May (Sky 602, Virgin 732, Tiscali 326)'

References

See also

External links

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