The TOM Era (July 1999 - March 2001)

Enter: The New Moltar known as TOMJuly 10: Toonami relaunches itself with a new host (TOM), a new HQ (the GPSS Absolution), a new place to play at (Toonami Midnight Run), the return of old school classics (Thundercats, Voltron, Robotech, and Roulette), and a whole new attitude. Around this time, Ghost Planet Industries renames itself Williams Street Productions.

August: A fake Cartoon Network fall lineup is circulated online, which showed a prime-time Toonami lineup on Saturdays and Sundays, and a three-hour Toonami weekday lineup, among other changes.

August 16: Rhino announces plans to bring classic episodes of Transformers, Jem and the Holograms, and G.I. Joe to home video. 80s animation is becoming reachable to the masses!

August 26: and Voyager announces that Star Blazers would return to the masses exclusively online absolutely free, setting the stage for online-exclusive anime and outlets like Toonami Reactor, which would house Star Blazers when it launches in 2001.

August 30: Bohbot Kids Network's BKN Bulldog lineup premieres both in syndication and Sci-Fi with shows like Roughnecks: Starship Troopers, Rambo, Monster Rancher and Roswell Conspiracies. Many people thought that BKN would be the one to bring syndication back to the forefront, but the block was buried in early morning periods, with Sci-Fi dropping the lineup by year's end.

September: Perhaps the most important month in Toonami's history since March 1997 and July 1999. New episodes of Dragon Ball Z premiered in a Z-Day marathon. On September 24, TOM closed transmission on Jonny Quest for good, ending that series' two-year reign on the block untouched. Two days later, Ronin Warriors premiered on Toonami in that timeslot. In the middle of all of this, rumors emerged about anime that was coming to Toonami ranging from Evangelion to Gundam Wing to Trigun. At Anime Weekend Atlanta, there was a Toonami panel which featured shows never even seen before on the block, speculating that a Toonami network was in the planning stages.

October: On America Online, TOM confronted the fans and answered a few questions and rumors were cleared up. The chat did confirm that Gundam Wing (Bandai did their own press release days later) and Tenchi were coming to Toonami next year. Over at Kidscreen, the Canadian magazine dedicated to "kidvid" announced that the popular anime series Slayers was headed to Sci-Fi to premiere in the first quarter of 2000.


January: AOL stuns the industry by announcing that they're buying a slight majority of Time-Warner Entertainment (51%) and renaming the company AOL Time Warner by the time the deal is complete. An anxious world is both optimistic and pessimistic about the new company. On an unrelated note, Robotech left the block for good at the beginning of the year, replaced by G-Force on Toonami Midnight Run. The official Toonami site was announced as was a pair of ReBoot movies coming in 2001. No Slayers on Sci-Fi, but Toonami sponsors the New York International Children's Film Festival, showing Toonami standards like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon, non-Toonami fare like Ranma 1/2 and Cardcaptors, and premiering the English version of Castle in the Sky, something Disney hasn't done yet.

February: Toonami Midnight Run ends its run with a scheduling glitch that had Silverhawks on the weekly block, but, instead, replaced with another episode of G-Force. USA Today announces that Toonami has picked up a whopping 150 episodes of Dragon Ball Z for September. A CGI series based on the popular 80s game Centipede was announced for a 26-episode run on Toonami. No Slayers on Sci-Fi.

March 6: Toonami adapts a new logo, which appears to be permanent. The most significant addition on Toonami was Gundam Wing, which also was the cornerstone of the new Toonami Midnight Run in an uncut edition (mild profanity, blood, and violence were now welcome).

March: You know, I'm thinking (and Central Park Media revealed) that Slayers isn't coming to Sci-Fi. The month revealed Toonami's first original production, The Intruder, for the fall. Toonami's Latin American equivalent, Talisman, got new look and a kickass webpage. Also, Sean Akins, Toonami's co-producer, was interviewed, publically stating his fondness for Vision of Escaflowne.

April: Fox Kids apparently had a fondness for the series as well, adding it to their Fall lineup. A whole lot of shows made the list, and half of them didn't air (Xarandor and Diabolik never made it past the list).

April 8: Twenty-four hours of Toonami became a reality, even if it was only a day. Full Cycle invaded the airwaves one glorious Saturday with movies, episodes, and the premiere of the Garlic Jr. Saga, which, of course, became a part of Rising Sun lineup a week later.

May: A Toonami vet make the news this month. Voltron is licensed by an up and coming comic company, Broken Glass Studios for a release in a few months. Also, Cardcaptors is announced to be a part of the Kids' WB lineup in the fall. Of course, in KWB's eyes, the fall began on June 18.

June: A lot of news outside of Toonami is revealed, such as Teletoon, Canada's animation station, revealing that they are spinning off several digital networks, including an action network, Fox Kids premiering their entire fall lineup in August, and the announcement of the Powerpuff Girls movie in the summer of 2002. There was an interview with TOM on CNX with the first images from September's Intruder event, but that's self-promotional, and I don't do that.

June 12: Cloverway, Toei's North American division, premieres newly dubbed episodes of the S season of Sailor Moon on Toonami. The SuperS season follows months later.

June 17: Cardcaptor Sakura, known as Cardcaptors in North America, debuts on Kids' WB

July 3:Tenchi Muyo, Batman, and the Third Hour enters Toonami on this day (Batman's first day in the weekday Toonami lineup).

July 21-22:Toonami invades SDCC! The San Diego Comic Con featured a pair of Toonami showcases, including the premiere of Blue Submarine No. 6 and the announcements of acquisitions on the block, including The Big O and Outlaw Star, and the development of shows for the block like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Leave it to Brak (during this time, there was nothing even resembling Adult Swim on the horizon). A Toonami vet also made news at ComiCon as Robotech's parent company Harmony Gold formally inked the ADV Films deal to release the entire series on DVD as well as announced the official webpage and the production of a brand new Robotech series scheduled for 2002.

September 18-22: The Intruder was everything the promos said it was. It not only introduced the Clydes and Sara, but it also revamped the block's host, TOM. The event also gave viewers background information about how he became a the pilot of the Absolution. Interactive and interesting, The Intruder was just the best. Unfortunately, The Intruder left behind the pipe titles which has irritated a lot of longtime viewers.

Fall: The aftermath of The Intruder was seen throughout the fall. The Toonami movie franchise was relaunched by the end of October with the debut of Endless Waltz, which was preceeded by the premiere of Blue Submarine No. Six.

December 31, 2000 - January 1, 2001: The first New Year's Evil was held, this one dedicated to the airing of the Garlic Jr. Saga from midnight to 5 AM, ending the greatest year in Toonami's history.


January: Outlaw Star premieres on both Toonami and TMR.

February 14: Toonami celebrates Villiantine's Day, featuring the best of the bad guys.

February: A coup takes place at Turner Broadcasting. Led by new ATW COO Bob Pittman, the new Turner order put The WB Television Network under the same aegis as the Turner networks, with The WB's founder and minority owner Jamie Kellner becoming Turner's new President and CEO. One of his first duties is to merge the advertising units of Cartoon Network and Kids' WB. Almost immediately, Betty Cohen, the founder of Cartoon Network, resigns and haven't been seen nor heard from since. The nightmare begins.

March: After prematurely announcing that this was the fifth anniversary of Toonami, Cartoon Network doesn't do much, except announce that a new series called Samurai Jack, a new series based on the Justice League, 100+ episodes of Dragonball Z, Dragonball, Mobile Suit Gundam, and a block called Adult Swim, headlined by earlier acquisition Home Movies and some series called Cowboy Bebop, will be premiering this fall.

April 2: The Big O begins its initial run on Toonami and TMR with excellent ratings. Too bad the series only has 13 episodes. If only they had just a little more.

Go here to see a dark age in Toonami's history . . . the Kellner years!