Teletoon is a Canadian English-language Category A specialty channel owned by Corus Entertainment that broadcasts animated programming. Its name is a portmanteau of "television" and "cartoon".
The channel primarily airs various animated series, including both original and imported content. Its daytime programming is aimed at children and younger teenagers, while nighttime shows are targeted at older teenagers and adults.
Teletoon operates two timeshift feeds running on Eastern and Pacific schedules. Along with Télétoon, it is available in over 7.3 million Canadian households as of November 2013.
Logo used from October 17, 1997 to February 4, 2007. Early variants had a more 3D appearance and colour variations of the border around the logo, sometimes lacking one entirely.
In 1996, Teletoon was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) after a related application for a channel to be called "Fun TV" had been denied. The channel was launched on October 17, 1997, with the first episode of Caillou. At the time, it was known as The Animation Station before later adding, and then switching to, its current slogan: It's Unreal!
When Teletoon was launched on October 17, 1997 at 9:00am in the morning, it showed more mature fare as the day progressed, with a strong commitment to air diverse and international programming, and the ability to air a great majority of material uncut.
A typical weekday broadcast day ran preschool (little kids) content from 6:00am EST to 12:00pm EST, then Kids (school-aged) content from 12:00pm-6:00pm, then "Family" content from 6:00pm-9:00pm, then "Adult" content from 9:00pm-6:00am. More adult cartoons such as Duckman and various anime programs were aired after midnight.
In 1999, Teletoon started airing bumpers with its first mascot, Teletina. These bumpers were made by Spin Productions in Toronto. Several more bumpers using CGI animation made by Guru Studio subsequently premiered on the channel. An updated look for the channel, no longer featuring the original logo, was later created for a partial rebranding in 2005.
Logo used from February 5, 2007 to September 4, 2011.
The older bumpers were removed in 2007 as part of an on-air rebranding. Said rebrand took place on February 5, 2007; Teletoon's on-air appearance and its website were dramatically changed, the website for The Detour (then the name of its late night block) was moved to teletoon.com, and the aesthetic appearance of both the normal block and The Detour changed.
Four years later, on September 5, 2011, Teletoon's on-air branding changed again to reflect the 50th anniversary of one of its owners, Astral Media, and to reflect the transition to digital television. Since then, Teletoon has begun airing a number of live-action programs in the daytime, including original series such as My Babysitter's a Vampire and Mudpit, as well as acquired programming and movies. This wasn't the first time the channel has aired live-action programming; Teletoon had aired the live-action Fireball XL-5 during the 1997–98 season. Occasionally, the channel also airs live-action movies related to cartoons and comic books, such as Space Jam, Sin City, and Batman.
After Astral Media's stake in TELETOON Canada Inc was purchased by Corus Entertainment, several of Teletoon's original and acquired shows, primarily live-action series, began airing on YTV. In turn, Teletoon began airing anime series that aired on YTV, including Yu-Gi-Oh!, beginning with Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II, and Pokémon, beginning with XY and reruns of Pokémon: Advanced. The debut of Zexal, in particular, marks the first time an acquired anime series aired on the channel since the debut of MegaMan NT Warrior back in 2003.
Since its inception, Teletoon was best known for airing television series from Cartoon Network, which itself airs several Canadian animated series (including those from Teletoon's sister channel, YTV). From September 1, 2015 to Fall 2016, original programming from the American channel was moved over to its Canadian counterpart. Around the same time, several programs airing on Teletoon Retro, which closed down on the same date, began airing on Teletoon. Teletoon would also premiere new original programming from Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang.
The channel was originally owned by a consortium made up of various other Canadian specialty services and producers: Family Channel acting as managing partner at 53.3% (Western International Communications and The Movie Network (by then a division of Astral Media), YTV at 26.7% (Shaw Communications), and Cinar and Nelvana with 10% each.
Corus Entertainment was spun off from Shaw Communications (who originally owned a stake in Teletoon through YTV)
in 1999. In 2000, Corus began to slowly buy out its partners in the service. Western International Communications sold its stake in the service, along with Family, to Corus in 2000, but it had to sell WIC's stakes in Teletoon and Family to Astral Media the next year. Corus bought out Nelvana in 2000 and inherited its stake. Cinar was sold in 2004 to an investment consortium composed of Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor, and Birch Hill Capital Partners, who renamed the company Cookie Jar; Cookie Jar sold its 20% stake in the service to Corus and Astral in 2006, making it a 50-50 joint venture between the two companies.
On March 4, 2013, Corus Entertainment announced that they would buy Astral's stake in Teletoon and take full ownership of the channel. The purchase was in relation to Bell Media's takeover of Astral (which had earlier been rejected by the CRTC in October 2012, but was restructured to allow the sale of certain Astral Media properties in order to allow the purchase to clear regulatory hurdles). Corus's purchase was cleared by the Competition Bureau two weeks later on March 18; on December 20, 2013, the CRTC approved Corus's full ownership of Teletoon and ownership was transferred on January 1, 2014. The channel continues to be owned by Teletoon Canada, now wholly owned by Corus Entertainment under its Corus Kids division.
Teletoon predominantly airs animated television series and movies. Its license originally required that 90% of all programs on the channel be animated. Its French-language counterpart contains a different schedule of programs, some being French-dubbed versions of shows such as South Park.
Occasionally, television pilots that have not to date been developed as full series are shown, such as Nemesis and Bob the Slob (both in 2015). Teletoon also airs select programs from Nickelodeon such as ALVINNN! and the Chipmunks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Power Rangers, as well as programs from Cartoon Network.
At its inception in 1997, the channel had a stated goal of producing 78 half-hours of original content every year, and it has been active in commissioning programming since then. The licence granted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996 required a gradual increase in the portion of Canadian programming on the schedule by about five percent each year starting from 40% in its first year of operation to 60% by 2002. In 1998, network management decided to focus on renewals instead of new shows – adopting a more cautious strategy than launching a significant number of new series, as it had in the prior year. By 2001, however, the station was noted as possibly being the Canadian channel with the highest spending on original production, having invested in 98 series, including 225 half-hour episodes that fall season.
As a bilingual service, Teletoon/Télétoon maintains two separate broadcast feeds, with a single licence for the English- and French-language channels. It is one of only two Canadian specialty services with such a licence. At the original licensing hearing before the CRTC, the network's operators had stated that the two channels "would be similar in nature and programmed with a similar attitude towards them. But for the reasons of rights availability, for the reasons of the question of advertising to children in Québec and for the reason of dealing with the differences in the market, there might be variations in the services offered." To this end, the station implemented a requirement that all original programming be delivered in both languages. By 2007, however, this condition had been relaxed to apply "whenever possible", and over the following years some original series were only shown on one of the channels.
- Big Ticket Movies - This block began in the early 2000s as Cinetoon, then in 2007 as Teletoon Presents before switching to the name Big Ticket Movies in 2009. It airs a movie every Saturday evening at 6 p.m. EST (formerly at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. EST) and every Sunday morning with two movies.
- Long Live Weekends - Airing weekend mornings from 7 a.m. EST to 12 p.m. EST, it originally began in September 2011 as a Saturday morning block under the name "Long Live Saturdays", replacing Laugh Riot. In September 2016, when it began airing on both Saturday and Sunday, the word "Saturdays" in the name was changed to "Weekends".
- Saturday Afternoon Block – Currently airs Pokémon, Power Rangers, Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and Turning Mecard.
- Superfan Fridays – A block for action shows and movies. It currently airs Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and select shows from Disney XD's Marvel Universe block.
- Teletoon at Night – a late night block targeted towards teens and adults, airing every night from 9 p.m. EST to 3 a.m. EST
- Camp Teletoon – The Camp Teletoon block replaces morning programming during the summer vacation period from July to August, containing some of the channel's popular programs, and daily movies. However, in the summer of 2009, Camp Teletoon was placed on hiatus, with Laugh Riot taking its place. The block returned in the summer of 2012, now airing weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST
- Snowed In – This block features holiday specials.
- Original blocks – In 1997, Teletoon chose a different style of animation for each block. Each blocks were represented as planets: Morning Planet for Preschoolers (claymation animation) (5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST), Afternoon Planet for Kids (2D cel animation) (3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.), Evening Planet for Family (collage animation) (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST) and Night Planet for Adult (papier-mâché animation.) (9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. EST). Each block's bumpers were made by Cuppa Coffee Studio. In around August 1998, both planets were removed permanently.
- Teletoon Unleashed – Launched in 2000, Teletoon Unleashed was an adult-oriented block; co-existing with the teen-oriented Detour block until they merged in 2004.
- Teletoon Retro – Teletoon Retro was the branding and block for classic animated programming. It was later spun into a digital channel, which also featured several live-action series. The channel launched on October 1, 2007 and closed on September 1, 2015.
- Teletoon Kapow! – Launched in September 2003, Teletoon Kapow! was an action block, which featured shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider Riders, MegaMan NT Warrior, and The Batman. Teletoon Kapow! was usually shown on weekend mornings in large blocks, although it did air in smaller blocks during the weekdays. The block was removed and replaced by Spin Cycle in September 2006. Teletoon Kapow! was also the name of the Canadian Cartoon Network channel's license.
- Spin Cycle – Spin Cycle was created in September 2006 to replace the Kapow! block, airing weeknights from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST. After a short absence in January 2007, it returned after the channel's February 5 rebrand; Spin Cycle became a 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST block on Fridays only. This time, the block featured different programming every week, such as episodes of specific programming and re-airings of the premiere specials of some shows. On September 3, 2007, Spin Cycle began airing every weekday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST with different shows every day. Throughout the week, viewers could vote online on the Teletoon website to pick one show that would air during the Spin Cycle block. Once a month, five viewers each got to choose the shows for an entire weekday afternoon.
- Laugh Riot – The Laugh Riot block aired weekday mornings from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EST and on Saturday mornings. It aired shows such as Out of Jimmy's Head, Chowder, Jimmy Two-Shoes, Skatoony, and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
- 3 Hours of Awesome – The 3 Hours of Awesome block aired on Monday through Thursdays and Sunday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. EST. On Thursdays, it was called "3 Hours of Really Really Really Awesome" and later "Extra Awesome Thursdays". It aired new episodes of Johnny Test, Jimmy Two-Shoes, Stoked, Total Drama, Majority Rules!, and 6teen. On March 2011, the block fully moved to Sunday.
- Action Force – The Action Force block aired on weekdays starting at 4:00 p.m. EST, and on Sunday mornings/afternoons. It featured action series such as The Secret Saturdays, Bakugan, Chop Socky Chooks, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Loonatics Unleashed, Wolverine and the X-Men, Johnny Test, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Chaotic, The Super Hero Squad Show, and The Spectacular Spider-Man. New additions included Generator Rex, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Transformers: Prime, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders. The block fully moved to Sunday. Some of the block's content overlapped with the Superfan Friday lineup.
- Can't Miss Thursdays – This block aired on Thursday nights, replacing "3 Hours of Really Really Really Awesome", it was the home of Teletoons' first set of live-action hosted segments featuring Andrea Jenna and premiered fare such as Adventure Time, Clarence, Dr. Dimensionpants, and Packages from Planet X.
- Cartoon Network on Teletoon – This block featured series from the Canadian Cartoon Network channel. It first ran from May to June 2012 as the Saturday morning block "Cartoon Network Sneak Peak" before the channel's launch, and returned in April 2013 as the Wednesday night block "Cartoon Network Takeover". The block returned in February 2014, while Cartoon Network was available for free preview around this time.
- MOREvember – This block featured series marathon and sneak peek of series during the month of November, some of these series came from the Canadian Cartoon Network.
- Double Play – a weekday programming block featuring back-to-back episodes of network programming. In Spring 2015, it was hosted by twins Jamie and Jon.
- Famalama DingDong - a four-day block with sister channels YTV and Disney Channel on February 12, 2016 (other Corus Kids channels aired different blocks). It was the last channel to air on February 15, 2016.
- Disney XD takeover - A programming block featuring Disney XD-based programming such as Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Fridays from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
- Retro Weeknights (unofficial block) – This block features programming from its former channel, Teletoon Retro, such as The Flintstones; Batman Beyond, The Scooby-Doo Show and X-Men Evolution. The block is mixed in with newer programming Jimmy Two-Shoes, Camp Lakebottom, Marvel programming Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. as well as Teletoon at Night.
On April 18, 2012, Teletoon launched a high definition feed called Teletoon HD, which simulcasts the East Coast standard definition feed. The Eastern version of Teletoon HD is available through EastLink, Cogeco Cable, Bell TV, Telus Satellite, Shaw Direct, Rogers Cable, and other providers.
Telus Optik TV announced they would carry the Western version of Teletoon HD, which simulcasts the West Coast feed.
Teletoon On Demand
Teletoon On Demand is a video-on-demand channel featuring series from Teletoon.
Teletoon at Night
Launched in September 2002 as "The Detour on Teletoon", the block is an amalgamation of it and "Teletoon Unleashed", an adult programming block. Its French counterpart, Télétoon la nuit, airs on the Francophone Télétoon channel. In September 2009, the block was relaunched under its current name with an overhaul of its on-air appearance.
Teletoon Retro was a Category B digital cable and satellite channel that debuted in Fall 2007, and was named after a program block that featured classic animated series; shows included on the Teletoon Retro channel have included such shows as The Tom and Jerry Show, The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Raccoons, The Jetsons, The Pink Panther, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, and Inspector Gadget. The channel merged with Teletoon and closed on September 1, 2015 and was replaced with Disney Channel Canada (on Bell TV, EastLink, Telus Optik TV, VMedia, and Videotron), and Cartoon Network (on Shaw Direct/Shaw Cable, Rogers Cable, and SaskTel).
Since then, Teletoon now airs all shows from Teletoon Retro.
Télétoon is the French counterpart to Teletoon which broadcasts most of the shows from its English-language counterpart in French.
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