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NetworkThe CW
LaunchedMay 24, 2008
ClosedAugust 18, 2012
Country of originUnited States
Formerly known asThe CW4Kids (2008–2010)
FormatSaturday morning cartoon block
Running time5 hours (7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
Original language(s)English

Toonzai (formerly known as The CW4Kids from May 24, 2008 to August 7, 2010, or stylized as TOONZAi) was an American Saturday morning cartoon children's television block that aired on The CW from May 24, 2008 to August 18, 2012. The block was created as a result of a four-year agreement between 4Kids Entertainment and The CW. The original name for the block from May 24, 2008 to August 7, 2010, The CW4Kids (stylized as THE CW4K!DS), was retained as a sub-brand through the end of the block's run in order to fulfill branding obligations per 4Kids Entertainment's contract to lease The CW's Saturday morning time slots.[citation needed] The name is a portmanteau of "toon" and the Japanese term banzai, reflecting the majority of anime programming on the block.[citation needed]

The block was replaced by Saban Brands' program block Vortexx, which debuted on August 25, 2012. On April 11, 2013, the Toonzai website redirected to the Vortexx website. Since October 4, 2014, none of 4Kids' shows air on broadcast television anymore (with the exceptions of Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, TMNT, and Sonic X), as Vortexx ended its run on September 27, 2014, and before being replaced by Litton Entertainment's One Magnificent Morning.


Origin and launch

On October 2, 2007, The CW announced due to a joint decision between the network's parent companies Time Warner and CBS Corporation that it would discontinue the Kids' WB programming block, due to the effects of children's advertising limits and competition from cable television, and sell the programming time to 4Kids Entertainment.[1][2][3] Kids' WB ended its run on The CW on May 17, 2008 (Kids' WB, like The WB Television Network that the block originated, then relaunched as an online-only video on demand service). 4Kids Entertainment took over programming the block on May 24, 2008, premiering under the name The CW4Kids. In addition to programming the block, 4Kids also handled responsibilities for its content and advertising revenue.

The CW4Kids logo used exclusively from May 24, 2008 to August 7, 2010. The logo was still being used as a sub-brand to the Toonzai name until August 18, 2012.

At the time of the block's launch, 4Kids also programmed the competing 4Kids TV block for Fox, until that network nullified its time leasing agreement with 4KidsTV on December 27, 2008, due to a dispute between Fox and 4Kids involving 4Kids' failure to pay the network for its time lease, and the network's inability to maintain guaranteed clearances for the block, due to difficulties getting Fox affiliates and stations that would be used as default carriers of the block in markets where the Fox station did not carry 4Kids TV to air it.[4]

On April 27, 2010, 4Kids announced the rebranding of The CW4Kids under the new name Toonzai, a name change that took effect on August 14, 2010.[5][6]

Takeover by Saban Brands and end of Toonzai

On June 26, 2012, Kidsco Media Ventures, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group, finalized a bid to acquire 4Kids' agreement with The CW for the block.[7] On July 2, 2012, it was announced that Saban Brands, via Kidsco Media Ventures, began programming the block, which would be relaunched under the name Vortexx.[8][9] Toonzai quietly ended its run on The CW on August 18, 2012, after a Yu-Gi-Oh! marathon, with Vortexx premiering the following week on August 25, 2012. Some of Toonzai's programming, including Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Sonic X, and Dragon Ball Z Kai continued to air on the block until September 27, 2014, when Vortexx ended its run.[10][8][11][12][13]


It was the final children's block on The CW to be broadcast only in standard definition, because blocks like Litton's Weekend Adventure on ABC and NBC Kids were broadcast in high definition.

Programming differences

In most markets, CW affiliates used the network's recommended Saturday morning scheduling for the block – though some such as CW owned-and-operated station WUPA in Atlanta aired it on Sunday, instead due to regular Saturday programming. Connecticut affiliate WCCT-TV aired three hours on Saturday, and two hours on Sunday. KMAX-TV in Sacramento, California aired the entire lineup, but it had a four-hour tape delay, running from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. WLFL in Raleigh, North Carolina and WNUV in Baltimore, aired the entire lineup, but it had two hours earlier, running from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. San Diego's XETV-TV, aired three hours from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and two hours from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. San Antonio's KMYS, which affiliated with The CW in 2010, aired it on Sunday and Monday before 5:00 a.m. Other stations preempted portions of the block, while Shreveport, Louisiana's KPXJ-TV preempted the final hour of the block. Columbus, Georgia's WLTZ-DT2 preempted the first half-hour of the block.

While The CW recommended that its affiliates carry The CW4Kids/Toonzai block at 7:00 a.m. to Noon Saturday mornings (regardless of time zone), its secondary CW Plus national feed for smaller markets aired the Toonzai block an hour earlier on its broadcast and cable-only affiliates in the Central, Mountain and Alaska time zones, as The CW Plus operates two separate feeds running on Eastern and Pacific time zone schedules. The only exception was in Boise, Idaho, where they had two CW networks (both The CW and The CW Plus), The CW Plus affiliate (now a MeTV affiliate) KNIN-DT2 carried the block (also aired an hour earlier), but the main CW affiliate (now a Fox affiliate) KNIN-TV declined to carry the block or the block's predecessor Kids' WB upon becoming a charter CW affiliate after the affiliation switch from UPN in September 2006; KNIN-TV instead carried syndicated E/I programming in the station's Saturday morning timeslot, making Boise one of the only television markets where Kids' WB and The CW4Kids was not available through over-the-air analog broadcasts before the KNIN-TV's analog signal shutdown on June 12, 2009.

Former programming

The CW4Kids

Programming from 4Kids TV
Title Premiere date End date
Chaotic June 21, 2008 July 10, 2010
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles August 7, 2010
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX September 6, 2008
Viva Piñata September 13, 2008 October 18, 2008
Dinosaur King August 7, 2010
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
GoGoRikiE/I September 27, 2008 November 14, 2009
Sonic X January 3, 2009 August 7, 2010
Kirby: Right Back at Ya! June 6, 2009 July 11, 2009
Winx ClubE/I July 18, 2009 July 17, 2010
Yu-Gi-Oh! September 5, 2009 May 22, 2010
Magical DoReMiE/I April 24, 2010 July 17, 2010
Cubix: Robots for EveryoneE/I July 24, 2010 August 7, 2010
Acquired programming
Title Premiere date End date
Will and DewittE/I May 24, 2008 April 4, 2009
Magi-NationE/I September 20, 2008
Skunk Fu! October 18, 2008
May 29, 2010 July 10, 2010
Tom and Jerry Tales May 24, 2008 September 6, 2008
The Spectacular Spider-Man January 31, 2009
World of Quest June 14, 2008
Johnny Test
Eon Kid
The Batman August 2, 2008
Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight December 13, 2008 December 26, 2009
Huntik: Secrets & Seekers January 3, 2009
RollBots September 19, 2009 January 23, 2010

- Program transitioned from final schedule of Kids' WB
- Program transitioned to Toonzai


Programming from 4Kids TV
Title Premiere date End date
Cubix: Robots for EveryoneE/I August 14, 2010 February 12, 2011
February 18, 2012 August 18, 2012
Sonic X August 14, 2010 August 4, 2012
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles August 21, 2010
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's September 10, 2011
Dinosaur King October 9, 2010
Yu-Gi-Oh! September 4, 2010 August 18, 2012
Tai Chi Chasers September 17, 2011 June 2, 2012
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal October 15, 2011 August 18, 2012
Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters March 24, 2012 April 28, 2012
Acquired programming
Title Premiere date End date
Dragon Ball Z Kai August 14, 2010 August 11, 2012
Magi-NationE/I February 19, 2011 February 11, 2012

- Program transitioned to Vortexx

Short segments

Programming blocks

Film airings

See also


  1. ^ "CW turns to 4Kids on Saturdays". Variety. October 2, 2007. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
  2. ^ Weprin, Alex (October 3, 2007). "4Kids Entertainment Programming The CW's Saturday Morning". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  3. ^ Ball, Ryan (October 3, 2007). "4Kids Gets CW Block". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Fox Ends Saturday-Morning Cartoons". New York Times. November 24, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  5. ^ 4Kids to Rebrand The CW4Kids Block on Saturdays, Anime News Network, April 27, 2010
  6. ^ McLean, Thomas J. (August 18, 2010). "4Kids Reports Losses, Rebranding of CW Block". Animation Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  7. ^ "4Kids Sells Yu-Gi-Oh!, CW Network-Related Assets Jointly to Konami, Kidsco". AnimeNewsNetwork. June 26, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Wallenstein, Andrew (July 2, 2012). "Saban Brands to rebuild CW toon block". Variety. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  9. ^ "'Power Rangers' Backer Saban to Reenter Kiddie TV". Advertising Age. July 12, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "Saban Brands Partners with The CW to Launch Five-Hour Kids Television Block" (PDF). Saban. July 2, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 22, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  11. ^ Marcucci, Carl (July 3, 2012). "The CW signs Saban Brands for kids block". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "Saban builds CW kids' block". C21Media. July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Dickson, Jeremy (July 3, 2012). "Saban and The CW launch kids TV block". KidScreen. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  14. ^ ""Kirby - Fright to the Finish" Movie on TV September 12!". 4Kids TV. September 8, 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2016.