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What Does Adult Swim's 'Checkered Past' Mean For Cartoon Network's Future?


Announced back in June, Adult Swim plans on airing a programming block filled with old Cartoon Network series. Titled “Checkered Past”, the channel has rolled out promos that reveal a 2000s nostalgia-influenced video package that showcases several former, iconic programs previously on the network. Shows like Ed Edd n Eddy, Billy & Mandy, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Courage the Cowardly Dog have already been revealed to be scheduled to air during a controversial timeslot. 

Because along with the announcement in June, it was revealed Adult Swim would be starting on August 28th. The slot will be scheduled for two hours every weekday, from 5 PM to 7 PM. This piece of news was surprising to many longtime fans of the channel-- people who grew up with the adult-oriented block starting at anywhere between 8 to 10 PM. While many fans were disgruntled at this shift, others have pointed out that Adult Swim’s original programming has been performing significantly better in the ratings. 

Cartoon Network has not aired a new show since We Baby Bears back in January of last year, which makes this the longest gap in between new shows since the channel’s inception. 

While they’ve announced many titles coming to the network soon (such as The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe, Tiny Toons Looniversity, and Jessica’s Big Little World), this is still a significant reason as to why many viewers have become bored or upset with the channel’s current state.



What does this exactly mean for the future of the network? There’s rampant paranoia surrounding the channel and brand as a whole-- with the current SAG-AFTRA strikes taking place and having a strong effect on the world of animation, the company’s building shutting down, and the lack of original programming coming to the main block, there’s most certainly justifiable
pessimism in the fanbase.

At least with the titular block shortening its runtime, Checkered Past still brings what many longtime fans have been asking for: more screen time to classic Cartoon Network shows. Warner Bros. Discovery and Michael Oulween have both stated multiple occasions that the expansion of their animated IP and animation as a medium is high on their list of priorities, and it goes without saying that this block is part of an attempt to rope in viewers who have fallen off the channel throughout the years.



Justin Wlosko is a Georgia-based Journalism and International Affairs student with an immense admiration for animation. Growing up on television, he appreciates every element of broadcasted production-- from the advertisements to the bumpers. He has a strong sense of optimism for the world of animation and feels like keeping up with the news surrounding the medium is intriguing and integral. Outside of that, he enjoys studying languages, watching sports, and exercising as much as possible. Find him on YouTube