Networks In The United States – Part 4

The WB Television Network – Launched January 11, 1995 / Dissolved September 17, 2006
Usually referred to as The WB; while it was not a full fledged children’s network, Warner Bros. Animation’s biggest hit shows would eventually find a home there. The WB launched the Kids’ WB programming block in September 1995 which mixed Warners’ biggest hit shows (like Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs that originated on Fox Kids or in syndication) with new productions and original shows.

After the Turner-Time Warner merger in 1996 Kids’ WB formed an alliance with Cartoon Network, and overtime they shared more and more programming. In 1999 they acquired from syndication the American version of the popular anime Pokémon that became a widespread hit with viewers. Eventually the weekday version of the block dissolved by 2006 along with the network, but retained a Saturday morning lineup on the new CW Television Network under the same name. However by late 2007 the network stated the Kids’ WB block will end in September 2008, selling the programming to (I hope you’re sitting down for this, as my jaw hit the floor when I found this out) 4Kids Entertainment – the same crap factory that ruined the old Fox Saturday morning lineup of cartoons.

If that wasn’t enough to make Warner Brothers jump the shark in relation to animation, its also the fact that they haven’t produced a decent hit show since 1998’s Histeria!, the last good Tom Ruegger produced show for Warner Bros. Animation. So if you are asking has Warner Brothers jumped the shark with its viewing audience and current programming – they have. A show like Animaniacs has aged well and is still as fresh as ever to watch; you sure won’t be able to say that for any of the current (forgettable) cartoons they’ve made recently. The WB network never expanded to Canada – most likely because YTV, Fox, Global, and Teletoon aired most of their programming. Youtube has lots of WB Network related stuff and Kids’ WB related stuff so check that out as well. You can view their network sign off here.

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