Toonami (UK & Ireland)
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|Launched||28 September 2003|
|Closed||24 May 2007|
|Owned by||Turner Broadcasting System Europe (Time Warner)|
|Audience share||0.1% (January 2007, BARB)|
|Sister channel(s)||Cartoon Network|
Cartoon Network Too
(at time of closure)
|Sky Digital||Channel 602|
|Virgin Media||Channel 732|
Toonami was a British children's channel which aired from September 2003 to May 2007.
This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Toonami was a programming block on 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 like the Adult Swim originals, and dramas like The Shield and Birds of Prey at night. The network's audience was the young adult male demos that's currently catered by the UK's Bravo and the US's Spike TV. Almost a year later, CNX was relaunched as Toonami and now targeted towards a much younger audience. However, TOM was not voiced by Steven Blum, instead given a new voice actor.
In 2005, Toonami was added to the TV and video on demand kids' package for VNL's HomeChoice (now TalkTalk TV). Broadcasting for the channel involved using advanced MPEG-4 compression technology, the first TV channel in the world to do so.
On 6 March 2006, Toonami changed its focus from action cartoons to entertainment in general, as the channel moved to Sky 602 and began airing five live-action shows: Backyard Science, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Stencil, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Life with Derek. Additionally, the entire design of the channel was overhauled, with the stark, simplistic black, white and red logos replaced with blue, as well as the introduction of giggling, blob-like mascots that populate the commercial bumpers and channel idents.
On May 24, 2007, Toonami shut down at 3 am. The old version of Cartoon Network Too had closed down at 7 pm the day prior. The latter was moved to Toonami's space and Cartoonito launched in Cartoon Network Too's old slot as a channel.
2006 power outage
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On the night of 27 July 2006 Cartoon Network, along with its sister channels suffered a major technical fault due to a power cut in Soho, London. This was due to the 2006 European heat wave, with thunderstorms taking full force.
The power cut caused a mix up of Turner Broadcasting System Europe channels (i.e. Cartoon Network being broadcast on Boomerang and Toonami, with Boomerang being broadcast on Cartoon Network 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 downtime of timesharing. Most advertising was suspended and several of the channel websites were offline also. Those who could still receive the channels had a backup transmission played out, making people confused when Cartoon Network Too and Boomerang were showing episodes of The Flintstones at the same time. These backups where played out with a scrolling message which said "We apologise for the disruption to this service. This is due to technical problems. We will resume normal programming as soon as possible" in multiple languages.
Whilst most channels returned to the air quickly, it took longer for Cartoon Network 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 due to the lack of live action programming aired during the outage.
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.
When the channel launched in 2003, the idents would be the Toonami logo in the Sensor Room, or TOM's Face, whispering Toonami.
Toonami rebranded in 2004 and got rid of TOM. The idents were on a pale cyan background (alike Cartoonito's) and were based on CNX's idents. They had a black rectangle filling up with white before the white part turned into the Toonami logo.
In 2006, Toonami rebranded for the final time using the logo in a azure background and colored monsters which would play with the Toonami logo. The shutdown ident on the website was the Toonami logo, with the "Too" part pushing away the "nami" and the logo changing into the Cartoon Network Too logo on the same background from the 2004 idents.