Nicktoons (formerly known as Nicktoons TV and Nicktoons Network) is an American digital cable and satellite television network owned by Viacom. It is a sister service of the Nickelodeon cable channel. The network broadcasts Nickelodeon's animated series, Nicktoons, along with other original animated series and foreign animation from other Nickelodeon networks overseas 24 hours a day. The current network slogan is "Not Just Cartoons: Nicktoons!"
Nicktoons was launched on May 1, 2002 as Nicktoons TV, part of the digital cable-exclusive MTV Digital Suite, in order to entice cable operators to pick up the network and give them a marketing advantage over satellite services. However, by early 2004, Nickelodeon management changed course and offered it to digital satellite services DirecTV and Dish Network. The network was originally marketed as commercial free, with comedic promos involving Nickelodeon Animation Studios, two-minute cartoon shorts from foreign markets, and former program promotions which had previously been used on Nickelodeon taking up commercial time. By September 23, 2005, as the network's distribution increased, the network began airing regular advertising.
The network rebranded itself as Nicktoons in 2003, but as part of the launch on satellite services, the network was renamed Nicktoons Network on September 23, 2005. A new logo with the familiar Nickelodeon "Splat" fanning onto a globe shape was used, along with the new slogan of "Animation Capital of the World" and a promotion theme consisting of the characters being placed in a celebrity setting.
On September 28, 2009, the network's logo changed as part of Nickelodeon's universal rebranding effort that also saw Nickelodeon's first logo change in 25 years, and name changes for sister networks: The N to TeenNick and Noggin to Nick Jr. In conjunction with this, the "Network" identifier was dropped, leaving the network to be rebranded as Nicktoons for the second time in its history.
Current programming seen on Nicktoons includes former Nickelodeon animated series such as El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, My Life as a Teenage Robot, ChalkZone, Danny Phantom, Avatar: The Last Airbender, All Grown Up!, Invader Zim, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Back at the Barnyard and The Mighty B!. Current Nickelodeon animated series airing on Nicktoons include Nickelodeon's flagship series, along with SpongeBob SquarePants, Fanboy and Chum Chum, The Fairly OddParents, The Penguins of Madagascar, T.U.F.F. Puppy and Planet Sheen, one of the newest Nickelodeon shows include Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness along with Nick at Nite animated series Glenn Martin, DDS.
Animated series that have never aired on Nickelodeon and are exclusive to Nicktoons include Dragon Ball Z Kai[dubious – discuss], 'Dragon Ball GT ,Voltron Force, Wolverine and the X-Men, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Making Fiends, Three Delivery, Zevo-3, Speed Racer: The Next Generation, and a production between Nickelodeon, Curious Pictures, and the National Football League. The channel also airs a series of animated shorts produced under the name Random! Cartoons. Nicktoons also airs some live-action programming such as The Troop, Power Rangers Samurai and Supah Ninjas. Since March 2011, Nicktoons airs a daily three-hour morning program block called the "Nicktoons Comedy Breakfast", running daily from 6-9 a.m. ET; the block currently consists of double-episode airings of current Nickelodeon live-action series The Troop, Power Rangers Samurai and Supah Ninjas, and former Nickelodeon series Drake & Josh and Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
Between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET, Nicktoons utilizes a network generic closing credit format (similar to that used by Nickelodeon, TeenNick and most of the other MTV Networks channels) to allow promotion of its programming and includes traditional commercial advertising during breaks within each program; at other times, the current program's regular production closing credits are shown at the end of a program, while commercial breaks exclusively consist of promos for Nicktoons and Nickelodeon programming, along with three-minute clips of Nicktoon series under the banner "Rockin' Nicktoons Moments", with little to no traditional advertising.
The network in recent times seems to be shifting focus away from comedic programming and towards action-centered programming. Archival comedy shows are currently relegated to overnights on the Nicktoons lineup; in 2009 and early 2010, most of the 1990s Nicktoons did not air at all, other than an hour very early on Sunday mornings, but in summer 2010, Nicktoons began airing multi-hour marathon blocks of shows such as The Ren & Stimpy Show, CatDog and Rocko's Modern Life in the overnight weeknight hours. According to promotions, these shows are expected to migrate to the new The '90s Are All That block on sister network TeenNick; the two blocks ran concurrently for at least the first month.
Since the launch of the channel a Spanish language audio is available via SAP with some cable and satellite providers offering the Spanish feed as a separate channel. Nicktoons was launched in the United Kingdom on 22 July 2002, although, unlike the United States version, it has been ad-supported since it launched. Also unlike the US version, it does not broadcast 24 hours a day. There are also other Nicktoons channels in Flanders, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain replacing Nick Premium. The Channel will be released in HD in Latin America and Brazil in 2012.