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Nicktoons is a digital cable and satellite television network owned by Viacom. It is a sister service of the Nickelodeon cable channel. The network broadcasts Nickelodeon's animated series, Nicktoons, along with other original animated series and foreign animation from other Nickelodeon networks overseas 24 hours a day. The slogan for the network is "Big Stars, Animated."
As Nicktoons TV (2002-2003)
Nicktoons was launched on April 1, 2002 as Nicktoons TV as part of the digital cable-exclusive MTV Digital Suite in order to entice cable operators to pick up the network and give them a marketing advantage over satellite services. However, by early 2004, Nickelodeon management changed course and offered it to the digital satellite services DirecTV and Dish Network also, based on consumer demand. At first, airing only archived Nicktoons, the network was marketed as commercial free, with comedic promos involving the Nickelodeon Animation Studios, two-minute cartoon shorts from foreign markets, and former program promotions which had previously been used on Nickelodeon taking up commercial time. As the network's distribution increased, by fall 2005, the network was airing regular advertising.
First Nicktoons Era (2003-2005)
The network was renamed to Nicktoons in 2003, featuring a white CGI version of the Nickelodeon "splat" logo with blue text, replacing a rotating logo which featured various silhouettes of Nicktoons characters in orange with the NICK logomark above the text "Toons TV".
As Nicktoons Network (2005-2009)
As part of the launch on the satellite services, the network once again rebranded further as Nicktoons Network on September 23, 2005. A new logo with the familiar Nickelodeon "Splat" fanning onto a globe shape was used, along with the new slogan of "Animation Capital of the World" and a promotion theme consisting of the characters being placed in a celebrity setting.
Second Nicktoons Era (2009-present)
On September 28, 2009, Nicktoons Network's logo changed as part of Nickelodeon's universal rebranding effort that also saw Nickelodeon's first logo change in 25 years and name changes for sister networks The N to TeenNick and Noggin to Nick Jr.. In conjunction with this move the "Network" identifier was dropped, leaving the network to be rebranded as Nicktoons for the second time in its history.
- Main article: List of programs broadcast by Nicktoons
Its original programming consists nearly all of animated television programs formerly or currently broadcasted on its parent network. As has been the pattern with many children's networks over the years as they make forays into original programming and build up an archive of their newer series, older Nicktoons programs, along with those which had low sustaining popularity, have moved off the network's schedule. Advertising was also added before the 2005 relaunch. The network also aired original episodes of the final season of My Life as a Teenage Robot in October 2008; that series had long been pulled off Nickelodeon's main schedule. A similar thing occurred with Invader Zim and Yakkity Yak. The Nicktoons now show the old Nickelodeon cartoons only very early in the morning and late at night on the weekend.
For a Halloween theme week in October 2008, the network aired the 90's live-action program Are You Afraid of the Dark? on October 20, the first non-animated program to air on the network, although live-action segments involving the Nicktoons studio and animators have aired in the past in short form during commercial breaks. An episode of Nick News also aired on the network in early February 2009, along with episodes of Nick@Nite series Glenn Martin, DDS and new Nickelodeon teen series The Troop. In March 2010, Nicktoons decided to finally to bring back Invader Zim for one month only.
Nicktoons was launched in the United Kingdom on 22 July 2002, although, unlike the United States version, it has been ad-supported since it launched. Also unlike the US version, it does not broadcast 24 hours a day. There are also other Nicktoons channels in Spain, The Netherlands, and the Flemish region of Belgium. Nicktoons will also launch in Australia along with its competitor Disney XD on Foxtel and Austar in mid 2010.
- Nick Jr.
- Nickelodeon Unveils New Logo, Variety.com, July 29, 2009
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