|Cartoon Network (1992–2004)
|Warner Bros. Discovery Networks
|The Cartoon Network, Inc.
|October 3, 2004(block)
|Boomerang from Cartoon Network (2000–2015)
Boomerang is an American cable television network owned by Warner Bros. Discovery U.S. Networks, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery.
A spin-off of Cartoon Network, the channel primarily broadcasts animated programming from the Warner Bros. Animation library, including Warner Bros. Cartoons and Hanna-Barbera productions among others, as well as contemporary reboots of classic franchises. From time to time, the channel has also broadcast reruns of Cartoon Network original series.
Boomerang debuted in 1992 as a programming block on Cartoon Network, dedicated to classic animation from the WB library, and was eventually spun-off into its own separate network in 2000. In the late 2000s, Boomerang would begin to airing more modern and contemporary programming, including reruns of shows that had previously aired on Cartoon Network.
A 2015 relaunch (which aimed to promote Boomerang as a "second flagship" brand alongside Cartoon Network) saw Boomerang begin to produce its own original programming, with a focus on reboots of franchises such as Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo. In 2017, Boomerang launched a subscription video on-demand over-the-top streaming service.
As of September 2018[update], Boomerang is available to approximately 38 million pay television households in the United States.
Turner Broadcasting System built up an extensive catalogue of MGM and early Warner Brothers cartoons in the 1980s. These made up much of the extensive children's programming on TBS and TNT, which was phased out after the creation of the Cartoon Network on October 1, 1992.
Boomerang was created as a new home for these and similar cartoons. It originated as a programming block on Cartoon Network that debuted on December 8, 1992. It originally aired for four hours every weekend, but the block's start time had changed frequently. The Saturday block moved to Saturday afternoons, then back to the early morning, and the Sunday block moved to Sunday evenings. Eventually, Boomerang was shortened by an hour, reducing it from four hours to three each weekend.
With Cartoon Network downplaying its archival programming in favor of newer original series, Turner Broadcasting System launched the Boomerang cable channel on April 1, 2000. The Cartoon Network block continued to run under the new Boomerang channel branding until October 3, 2004.
On February 4, 2014, as part of Turner Broadcasting's 2014 upfronts, it was announced that Boomerang would become advertising-supported, and that there were plans to expand the brand globally. In October 2014, Cartoon Network unveiled a global rebranding for Boomerang, which first launched in Latin America in late September, and arrived in the United States on January 19, 2015. Alongside the previously-announced plan to introduce advertising, the network planned to introduce original programming for the first time, and place a particular focus on the archive's most well-known franchises with an explicitly family-friendly approach. Turner executives described the changes as being an effort to grow Boomerang into a "second flagship" on par with the main Cartoon Network channel.
In 2017, an online Boomerang video-on-demand service was launched. In 2018, 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards nominated Boomerang and Captain Planet Foundation for Best in Entertainment. May 2020 saw the launch of HBO Max, a general entertainment video-on-demand service from Boomerang's corporate parent that includes much of Boomerang's programming.
Main article: List of programs broadcast by Boomerang
Historically, Boomerang avoided overt channel drift and, despite adding newer content to its library, continued to air programming from the breadth of its archives. By spring 2014, however, most of its archival programming had been relegated to graveyard slots, while the daytime schedule became dominated by programming from the 1990s and later. This policy underwent a partial reversal in April 2017, with a greater focus on shows from the 2010s, before older Cartoon Network series returned to Boomerang's schedule from January 2018 to May 2019, and again in half-hour time slots in September 2020. Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, The Smurfs, and various entries in the Scooby-Doo franchise have more or less had permanent places on the schedule since the rebrand, while previous network mainstays The Flintstones and The Jetsons returned in a late-night time slot in July 2018 before leaving again in November of that year.
In 2023, Boomerang began repairing a lot of their classic programing, with Popeye the Sailor, Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Wacky Races, Jabberjaw, Jonny Quest, Wally Gator, and the aforementioned Flintstones and Jetsons permanently returning to the lineup. Classic series from Cartoon Network were also reduced to three shows (namely The Powerpuff Girls, Codename: Kids Next Door, and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends), as the newly-launched Checkered Past block on sister channel Adult Swim has become the exclusive home for reruns of former rebrand-era mainstays such as Dexter's Laboratory, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Cow and Chicken, I Am Weasel, and Evil Con Carne.
Not all of the Warner Bros. animation library is exclusive to Boomerang. A portion of that library which includes series produced in collaboration with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment (including Tiny Toon Adventures and most of Animaniacs), as well as most works involving Batman and Superman (such as the DC Animated Universe), is put out for license to other networks; those properties most recently aired on the Hub Network from late 2012 until its closure in October 2014. In addition, Warner Bros.' collection of Christmas specials — including the latter half of the Rankin/Bass Productions library — is licensed to AMC for their Best Christmas Ever block as of 2018; those specials previously aired on Freeform and its predecessors for nearly 20 years, as part of their 25 Days of Christmas lineup. In 2019, channel fixture The Flintstones was licensed out to MeTV; in 2021, that network introduced morning blocks featuring a mix of Warner Bros. and Paramount Global content (including Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies, Popeye, Betty Boop, and MGM theatrical shorts), many of which still air on Boomerang. MeTV also acquired The Jetsons in that year.
Boomerang itself occasionally licenses programming from other distributors, such as with The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (which aired from 2002-07 and later returned to the channel from 2011-13) and with Garfield and Friends (which aired for a brief time period in 2006 before returning to the network between September 2019 and August 2021).
Although Boomerang's original programming philosophy was to showcase classic cartoons, newer shows have been added in recent years, some even before the rebrand:
Boomerang has been used to burn off programs acquired for Cartoon Network which have rated too low to remain on that network's schedule, much like Nickelodeon's spin-off Nicktoons and TeenNick. Boomerang also simulcasts some episodes of original Cartoon Network programming, mainly season or series premieres and finales.
Because of Boomerang's fluid schedule, programming blocks used to air for a few months, then be removed from the schedule, only to be added again a few months later, until they were almost all phased out in late 2014, due to the network's rebrand.
|Boomerang is carried on a few pay television providers; tiering of the channel varies by service, with some operators offering it as either a basic-tier or higher-tier network. Most providers do not carry the linear channel, instead offering the network's video-on-demand service bundled with Cartoon Network. On March 4, 2019, the channel changed its default ratio to 16:9, with 4:3 content being aired stretched and the screen bug moving away from the 4:3 area, similar to what Cartoon Network did in May 2013. As of January 2020, Boomerang began to be carried in high-definition on several online television services, along with some cable providers through their apps.
|Boomerang On Demand
|The channel's video-on-demand service, offers select episodes of the channel's archived programming, along with select archived Cartoon Network original programs. Launched in 2005, it is available on select digital cable, satellite, and IPTV providers. In April 2013, Boomerang On Demand began to separate program content by "theme" (for example, in observance of Mother's Day, the service featured episodes of The Flintstones and Dexter's Laboratory focusing on Dexter's mom and Wilma Flintstone), but this method was scrapped in January 2015 due to the network's rebrand.
|Boomerang Mobile App/SOVD
|On March 7, 2017, Boomerang announced that it would launch an app that will feature programming from the 5000+ titles from its sister companies Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros, as well as exclusive original programming. The app launched on April 11, 2017, and is available either for $4.99 per month or $39.99 annually. New episodes and content are planned to be added weekly. Currently, the Boomerang App is only available for subscription in the United States. On November 13, 2018, the Boomerang service launched as a channel on the VRV streaming service. It was later removed off VRV on December 1, 2020.
Main article: The Cartoon Network, Inc. § Boomerang
Boomerang, originally established as a cable channel in the United States, has expanded worldwide. Each of these networks was aligned globally in 2015 under one unified branding to reflect a family co-viewing network.