Boomerang is a television channel broadcast in the United Kingdom and in the Republic of Ireland launched on 27 May 2000. It is broadcast 24 hours on the Sky, Virgin Media, Smallworld Cable, BT TV, TalkTalk Plus TV, Virgin Media Ireland and TVPlayer (When subscribed to TVPlayer Plus). It mostly features classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and Scooby-Doo.
It is a subscription digital based television channel, which features cartoons, mostly from the Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. Animation libraries, which include many Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. Animation titles.
Boomerang was originally started in 8 December 1992 as a programming block on Cartoon Network USA. It originally aired for four hours every weekend. The programming block followed a unique programming format—every week, cartoons produced during a certain year (and cartoons produced during years prior to that year) would be showcased. For example, if Boomerang was showcasing the year 1969, the viewer would more than likely see an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! or Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. US Boomerang channel was launched in April 2000.
Boomerang launched on 27 May 2000, airing between 06:00-00:00, on Sky Digital and certain cable systems. Cartoon Network at the time had a tight schedule and so the channel was created by Turner Broadcasting to broadcast classic cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Warner Bros archive programme library, as well as freeing its sister network of many classics in the schedule. It targeted at babyboomers and their children. In May 2001 the channel became the second highest rated kids' channel (amongst 4-9 year olds), with over 1.3m kids tuning in. It was beaten only by sister channel Cartoon Network. In July that year the channel was launched on UK cable operator Telewest network, thus increasing viewers. James Greville, head of Cartoon Network UK at the time, said, "The channel launched barely a year ago and yet it's already beaten established kids' channels in terms of ratings and share". By November the channel was launched on NTL platform. Boomerang increased its library of old cartoons by acquiring rights to other animated shows such as Danger Mouse, Snoopy, The Pink Panther and Garfield. By the end of 2003 the channel started to move away from its original purpose, and moved to broadcast more recent programming.
A timeshift channel known as Boomerang +1 was launched on 6 March 2006.
An HD feed known as Boomerang HD was launched on 24 June 2015.
Between 23 July 2007 to 1 August 2009, the channel started airing live action programming, starting with Fraggle Rock (also on Cartoonito on the same day). The series was a co-production between Jim Henson Television And HiT Entertainment (Jim Henson Television's International distributing arm). The show marks a major investment for Turner in live action at a time when many broadcasters are reviewing their commitment to children's programming (with Pupeeters From America).