Cartoon Network is a cable channel created by Turner Broadcasting in 1992. It debuted on October 1st that year, beginning its broadcast with the Looney Tunes short The Great Piggy Bank Robbery. Initially created following the Turner company having bought the Hanna-Barbera cartoon library, the network also housed the color Looney Tunes shorts produced up to 1948, which were under Turner's ownership at the time (these shorts were also being shown on fellow Turner-owned channels TNT and TBS).
Pre-1948 Looney Tunes shorts airing on Cartoon Network were aired under the name "The Bugs & Daffy Show". The show initially used the faded 1956 a.a.p. prints of the pre-1948 shorts from 1992-1994. Cartoon Network did have rights to the WB opening and closing cards, while Nickelodeon did not.
In 1995, some new prints of these pre-1948 shorts were restored (a.k.a. Turner "dubbed" versions) with altered ending cards, depending on the producer, were created for the network, which would continue to be seen on TV today. Depending on the producer, or when it was reissued, it would be the 1938 card or the 1947 ending with a disclaimer by Turner by the bottom. These prints were created to restore quality in the cartoons to make them marketable for the modern television era, although some of the cartoons did not get a dubbed version, like the Censored Eleven. There is a note in color change when watching dubbed versions on TV. The dubbed versions did have the original opening cards though. This has angered many watchers as they got rid of the original ending cards, especially The Old Grey Hare, which has the ending gag ruined because of the dubbed version end card plastering over the original end gag, although a second dubbed version which preserved the original end gag exists (which airs overseas). However, some original closing cards have been found and restored on the DVDs on sale, while others the dubbed version is the only one to exist and is present on such DVD.
- If the cartoon was released before I Wanna Play House, but was not given a blue ribbon reissue, the original closing was present with a disclaimer on the bottom.
- If the cartoon was released between 1936-1944 OR reissued between 1943-1944, the closing would be the 1938 rings with a disclaimer on the bottom. The American dubbed card has a reddish tint, while the European dubbed card has a golden tint.
- If the cartoon was released between 1944-1948 OR reissued between 1945-56, the closing would be the 1947-48 rings with the disclaimer on the bottom, this was the most common, even for cartoons produced by Leon Schlesinger but were reissued after he sold the studio.
- Dubbed versions with the cartoons reissued in the 1952-53 season would have THE END replaced with the 1947-48 dubbed card.
At the time when Cartoon Network started showing post-1948 cartoons, some post-1948 cartoons were aired as "dubbed versions", where like the pre-1948 cartoons, these are quality-restored prints with dubbed endings, except that these post-1948 dubbed versions were made by Warner Bros. rather than Turner Entertainment during the years 1997 and 1998, preserve the original ending cards, and use "THIS VERSION" rather than "DUBBED VERSION" on the dubbed disclaimer. While only a few WB 1997/1998 dubbed versions were aired on Cartoon Network in the USA (such as Don't Give Up The Sheep, The Wearing Of The Grin and Robot Rabbit), most of these dubbed versions were aired on Cartoon Network overseas, and even turned up on a selection of European VHS tapes.
Reruns of Looney Tunes
In 1996, as a result of Warner Bros. merging with Turner Entertainment, Cartoon Network was now allowed to show more Warner Bros. cartoons. However, since most of the post-1948 Looney Tunes cartoons were still under contract to be shown on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network would not be able to show them until September 1999. In 2002, airings of classic Looney Tunes shorts on Cartoon Network have been changed from "The Bugs & Daffy Show" to "The Looney Tunes Show."
In the meantime, reruns of Taz-Mania appeared on Cartoon Network in late 1996. Then in 1998, the first 45 episodes of Animaniacs were shown on Cartoon Network, and Tiny Toon Adventures and Pinky and the Brain joined it in September 1999. However, Tiny Toons, Taz-Mania, and Animaniacs were eventually removed from the channel's schedule by 2001. However, in 2002, Cartoon Network picked up reruns of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries and ran them until 2005. To date, Loonatics Unleashed have never been shown on Cartoon Network, except in some non-US regions during the late 2006 till early 2007 season.
When Boomerang was launched as a separate cable channel in 2000, the Looney Tunes shorts were shown on the network until 2007, where they were dropped from Boomerang's daily line-up and would not return to the schedule till October 2013.
As a result of the network's reface in June 2004, the Looney Tunes shorts were dropped from Cartoon Network's regular schedule altogether in October of that year, though The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries and Duck Dodgers remained until mid-2005. However, Bah, HumDuck! A Looney Tunes Christmas has aired every December since its release as part of the channel's Christmas marathons. Also, Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales and Wakko's Wish are still aired occasionally, and Bugs Bunny's Howl-o-ween Special was also aired on the network for the first time in October of 2009.
The channel finally brought the Looney Tunes shorts back to their regular schedule in November 2009, only to drop them again in January 2010. The shorts returned to the network again on March 25, 2011. Currently, there is not yet any word on if any other WB Animated Universe shows will also be returning to the network, but The Looney Tunes Show premiered on the channel in May 2011. Midway through 2013, Cartoon Network returned to showing Looney Tunes shorts daily and also returned them to its sister channel Boomerang after a 3-year hiatus in October 2013.
Cartoon Network has also taken Looney Tunes off again in March 2016 to make room for Adult Swim shows. The show has returned to reruns on September 15, 2016.