Apart from Nickelodeon and Cartoon network, any other Cable TV network of the 90s you remember? Do you have a recollection of the Boomerang? Back then, we used to identify the cable network with some of the best series and cartoons.
The early 90s marked an era of rapid technological advancement in many sectors of the economy. TV and movie industry was among the top industries to enjoy the goodies that Silicon Valley presented. Cameras, the internet, movie equipment, and everything that depended on technology to work improved tenfold during this period.
Even the distribution of movies and TV series at the time was enhanced. Thanks to the introduction of many other new cable networks and acquisitions that increased the chances of shows getting exposure. It is around this time that the cartoons were even becoming more refined.
Around the early to mid-90s, people became taking cartoons seriously. And they were not just for kids. There were many adult swims and different versions of cartoons that appealed to the older demographic.
Background History of Boomerang Cable TV Network
The Kids, Young Adults, and Classics division of Warner Bros. Ent., a division of AT & T’s WarnerMedia, owns Boomerang. Boomerang was a popular cable TV network and streaming service in the United States.
’90s was the era of internet streaming as the internet became faster and more versatile. It is at this time that people realized that the internet was not just used for sending and receiving email. But it could also be used in the entertainment sector to quickly and conveniently distributed content.
Classic cartoons from the WB collection, such as the WB Cartoons and Hanna-Barbera films, were the emphasis of Boomerang’s original programming block on Cartoon Network when it was launched in 1992. In 2000, Boomerang expanded into its own channel.
To compete with Cartoon Network, Boomerang rebranded in 2015 with the goal of positioning itself as the second flagship brand. As a result, Boomerang began airing original series, many of which were reboots of beloved classics like Looney Tunes and The Adventures of Superman.
In addition to reruns of current and recent Cartoon Network shows, the network has shifted its focus to more contemporary fare. Classic cartoons are the core of Boomerang’s new over-the-top subscription service, which debuted in 2017.
Boomerang was available in the United States to an estimated 38.312 million pay-TV households by the year 2018.
All you Need to Know About the ‘90s Boomerang Cable TV Network
Like all the other cable TV networks, it was not smooth sailing for Boomerang. During this year, the competition was rife. The internet which brought opportunities to the cable TV industry was also posing a threat to their existence.
It was either you join them or you lose out. Cable Networks that did not take the chances of hopping into the online streaming bandwagon really missed out. And many of them did close shop.
Boomerang was lucky to have a team of think tanks that helped the network to remain afloat. In the 1980s, Turner Broadcasting Systems amassed a large collection of MGM and Warner Bro. cartoons. After the launch of the kid-focused Cartoon network in 1992, these shows made up a significant portion of TBS and TNT’s vast children’s programming.
Cartoons like these and others found a new home at Boomerang. It began as a block of programs on Cartoon Network, which aired for the first time in 1992. It used to air for four hours on the weekends, but the start times had been shifting regularly throughout the years.
Sunday evenings and Saturday afternoons were added to the Saturday block, while the Sunday block returned to the early morning. Boomerang was eventually trimmed by an hour, from four to three hours each weekend.
A standalone Boomerang cable channel was launched on April 1, 2000, by Turner Broadcasting System because Cartoon Network was prioritizing new original shows above older ones. The Boomerang Channel’s Cartoon Network bock remained on the air until October 2004 under the new Boomerang log.
Ad-supported Boomerang was announced in 2014 as part of Turner Broadcasting’s 2014 upfronts, and the network was now looking for foreign distribution. To coincide with the launch of Boomerang in Latin America at the end of September, Cartoon Network presented a global rebranding effort in 2014.
On January 2015, Boomerang made its North American debut. For the first time, the network revealed plans to air original programming and focus on the most well-known properties from the library, all with a clear family-friendly approach. They said the adjustments were an effort to make Boomerang a flagship at par with Cartoon Network which was the main network at the time.
Boomerang’s video-on-demand services were introduced in 2017 online. HBO Max, Boomerang’s parent general entertainment video-on-demand service, went live on May 2020 and featured a significant potion of Boomerang’s content.
Boomerang’s Subscription Services.
They say if you can't beat them, then you should consider joining them. The internet has been a blessing and a curse to the entertainment industry at large. While it presents an easier way to distribute content directly to the clients, it is also the same conduit for pirated content.
Streaming services were once loathed by cable TV networks because they would eat into their subscription services. But with time, the networks found a symbiotic way of relating with the internet and the opportunities that it provided for the cable networks.
It is possible to get Boomerang through a few Pay-TV providers. However, depending on the service, it may be available as the basic or higher-tier network. Instead of the linear channel, most providers package the network’s video on-demand service with Cartoon Network.
By 2019, Cartoon Network’s standard 16:9 aspect ratio had been replaced with 4:3 programming being aired stretched. Hulu and other streaming services including Boomerang were able to watch Boomerang in high definition by the beginning of 2020.
The Boomerang network has a history of avoiding overt channel drift and airing programming from all of its archives, albeit adding new content. Its vintage programming was consigned to the graveyard by spring of 2014, while the daytime schedule was dominated by shows from the 90s and later.
Before older Cartoon Network series returned to Boomerang’s schedule in 2018 and 2019, as well as again half-hour slots in 2020, this trend was particularly reversed in 2017 with a greater concentration on programming from the 2010s.
In addition to Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes, The Smurfs, and a number of Scooby-Doo episodes, the networks’ long-running shows The Flintstones and The Jetsons returned to the lineup in 2018 before being canceled again in November.
Boomerang has access to some of WarnerMedia animation content, but not all of it. Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, and most of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment’s Batman and Superman projects such as the DC animated universe are among the titles in this catalog that have been licensed to other networks; The Hub Network aired these shows from the end of 2012 until its demise in October 2014.
It is also worth noting that WanerMedia has licensed AMC’s Best Christmas Ever block, which includes the Ranking/Bass Christmas specials that ran on Freedom for over 20 years, to air the latter half of those episodes beginning in 2018.
Previously on Boomerang, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS material such as Looney Tunes (Merrie Melodies), Popeye, Betty Boop, and MGM theatrical shorts was featured in two-morning bocks on MeTV beginning 2021. MeTV was also supposed to take up The Jetsons in 2021 which was another former Boomerang property.
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and Garfield and Friends are examples of Boomerang’s occasional licensing of content from other distributors such as the short-lived run of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show in 2013.
Boomerang’s original programming philosophy was to promote classic cartoons, although newer shows have been introduced in recent years, some even before the rebranding. The station aired episodes of Puppy in My Pocket: Adventures in Pocketville from January through December of 2012.
An animated interstitial series previously seen on Cartoon Network called Wedgies was revived for the network in 2013. Teen Titans Go! And Amazing World of Gumball was introduced to Boomerang’s programming in December 2014 and aired alongside their Cartoon Network counterparts until April 2017, when they were pulled.
Boomerang was announced to be receiving original shows such as New Looney Tunes, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! And an animated version of Bunnicula. Regular shows, Mighty Magiswords, Adventure Time and Steven Universe were all added to Boomerang’s mid-2018’s lineup or re-runs.
First-run episodes of acquired series previously ordered for CN that doesn’t fit the latter network’s programming direction are shown in the first—run of Boomerang, just like Nickelodeon with Nicktoons and TeenNick. Grizzy and the Lemmings joined in 2017 and My Knight &me arrived later in the same year.
On top of that, Cartoon Network shows like Johnny Test and Ben 10: Omniverse has show unannounced first runs on the channel before their official debut, and the network regularly co-airs shows from both its own and Cartoon Network’s parent networks for cross-promotional purposes.
Other Services Offered by Boomerang
A video-on-demand service provided by Cartoon Network, Boomerang On Demand features selected episodes of the network’s archived programming, includes some of Cartoon Network’s original content.
This approach was discarded in 2015 due to the network’s redesign because Boomerang was no longer a Boomerang channel.
Boomerang’s Smartphone Subscription Services
At the beginning of 2017, Boomerang stated that they were launching an app that would feature television from its sister companies, as well as exclusive original material. The app was released in 2017 and costs $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year.
Weekly additions of new episodes and other content were planned. Only Americans could subscribe to the Boomerang App at this time. The VRV streaming services added that Boomerang service as a channel in 2018. In 2020 it was withdrawn from VRV.
After starting off in the US, Boomerang did spread its reach throughout the world. These networks were combined globally in 2015 under the same banner to represent a family viewing network.
Boomerang in Africa
Africa was one of the early stops for Boomerang. This was necessitated by the fans and followership that the cable network enjoyed from the continent.
Boomerang HQ, the pan-European version, was introduced in 2005 with select shows in Hungarian. Like its American counterpart, Cartoon Network and Hanna-Barbera cartoons predominated. For the middle East and North Africa region, the network began airing certain series with Arabic subtitles in 2008.
The first Roma
Cartoonito, a popular children’s show, was added to both channels at around the same time as a morning block. This show continued to air even after Boomerang went bankrupt, including in Africa and the Middle East. It also aired in Europe and the Czech Republic through a few select TV providers.
Up until that day, the channel was available in Portugal, but it was taken off the air when Cartoon Network launched a Portuguese feed. When all Benelux and Czech TV operators switched to Boomerang CEE on November 1st, 2014, only Greece and Cyprus were left with Boomerang HQ.
Beginning in 2016, beIN and Gulf IPTV providers began offering a the Middle East and North Africa-specific stream, complete with its own schedule, programming roster, and Arabic audio track. Greece and Cyprus have also switched to Boomerang MENA, which is a feed from the Middle East and North Africa.
Boomerang In Australia
In March 2004, Boomerang launched in Australia as part of Foxtel’s digital service launch, with a roster remarkably identical to that of the U.K. version. In 2001, the Australian edition of Cartoon Network began running on a 24-hour schedule with a four-hour bock of shows.
A new on-air design was unveiled in December 2012, with the same logo and appearance as the European networks. The channel’s current log was unveiled in November of 2014.
It is unfortunate that Boomerang is no longer among the top cable TV networks for cartons. I would love to see a re-run of most of the shows that made it to among the top best cable TV networks in the 90s. However, with the advanced technology and internet reach today, it will only make sense if they launch it as a fully online product.
How do you remember Boomerang from the 90s? Were you a fan of the cable network?
Would you love to see a re-run of some of the popular 90s shows in the network?