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Nicktoons is an American 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 May 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 September 23, 2005, the network was airing regular advertising.
First Nicktoons era (2003-2005)
The network was renamed to Nicktoons in 2003, using a "splat" logo with the word "NICKTOONS" in it (initially it was orange on white, this was changed to blue on white in 2004), 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
Current programming seen on Nicktoons includes former Nickelodeon animated series such as CatDog, Danny Phantom, All Grown Up!, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Rugrats, Invader Zim, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and The Ren & Stimpy Show. Current Nickelodeon animated series airing on Nicktoons include Nickelodeon's flagship series SpongeBob SquarePants, along with Fanboy and Chum Chum, The Fairly OddParents, Back at the Barnyard, The Mighty B! and The Penguins of Madagascar, along with Nick at Nite animated series Glenn Martin, DDS.
Animated series that were never aired on Nickelodeon and are exclusive to Nicktoons include Dragon Ball Z Kai, Kappa Mikey, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Wolverine and the X-Men, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Secret Show, Making Fiends, Speed Racer: The Next Generation The channel also airs a series of animated shorts produced under the name Random! Cartoons. Despite the channel's name, Nicktoons also airs a minimal amount of live-action programming from Nickelodeon; currently The Troop (which Nicktoons currently only airs the first ten episodes).
Unusual for a American television network, Nicktoons only runs commercials and employs a generic closing credit format to allow promotion of its programming between 9 a.m. and midnight ET; the current program's regular closing credits are shown at the end of a program and promos for Nicktoons and Nickelodeon programming, along with three-minute clips of Nicktoon series under the banner "Rockin' Nicktoons Moments" are shown during breaks at other times.
The network in recent times seems to be shifting focus away from comedic programming and towards action-centered programming. The network's current line-up of original series reflect this. Archival comedy shows are currently relegated to overnights on the Nicktoons lineup; in 2009 and early 2010, most of the 1990s Nicktoons did not air at all, other than an hour very early on Sunday mornings, but in summer 2010, Nicktoons began airing multi-hour marathon blocks of shows such as Ren & Stimpy, CatDog and Rocko's Modern Life in the overnight weeknight hours.
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 Flanders, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain replacing Nick Premium. Nicktoons will also launch in Australia along with its competitor Disney XD on Foxtel and Austar in November 2010.
- Nick Jr.
- Nickelodeon Unveils New Logo, Variety.com, July 29, 2009
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