The Kellner/Kids' WB Era (April 2001 - December 2002)

April: Kellner announces that Fall 2001 will bring a Toonami lineup to Kids' WB, creating instant hostility and frustration in the Toonami fanbase. The fandom of Toonami splintered into two subdivisions, fans of the original Cartoon Network Toonami, who feared that their block would be completely watered down to nothingness, and "fans" of the KWB Toonami, who began trolling on forums hosted by pro-CN Toonami sites.

May 7: The second Doom age begins. The third hour is gone, preparing for the imminent arrival of the KWB Toonami.

June 4: Cardcaptors, a series from Kids' WB, arrives on Cartoon Network's Toonami in the new lead 5 PM slot.

Summer: Toonami: Deep Space Bass, a new album from Joe Boyd Vigil, musician extraordinaire, showcases the music of Toonami, including a track that is credited as the Toonami theme to Batman Beyond, which isn't on the CN block (yet). It also has a link to a hidden track from the upcoming Lockdown Total Immersion Event. Also, a new theatrical Toonami promo featured shows from Cartoon Network . . . and promoted both the Cartoon Network and the new Kids' WB Toonami block. This would be the only promotion of both Toonami blocks at the same time. Ever.

July 2: Mobile Suit Gundam premieres on Toonami AND 08th MS Team premieres on TMR, the first time there has been a dual premiere on Toonami.

July 30: Fall comes early for Kids' WB, as their Toonami block premieres, in most markets, at 3 PM EST, with Pokemon, Cardcaptors, Pokemon, and Cartoon Network's Dragonball Z in the lineup and various items like Toonami Music Videos and giveaways on a daily basis. Oh, and no crosspromotion of the Cartoon Network Toonami block nor acknowledgement of the original block in the opening. The block is refered to as Toonami, not Cartoon Network's Toonami on Kids' WB!, just Toonami. Overall, Toonami fans are unimpressed.

August 3: The Fraturdays comedy lineup of Detention and Generation O remains a part of KWB's Toonami, which frustrates a lot of long-time fans, proving that Toonami was basically used as nothing more than a bitter candy shell for the Kids' WB lineup.

August 20: Dragonball, the earlier adventures of the core of the DBZ cast, begins its run on Toonami and TMR.

August 31: Toonami Special Edition brings music videos to Toonami for one last summer blast. Toonami-made videos are just a small part of the hour-long special which brought the first four Daft Punk animated videos and three videos from the popular animated band, Gorillaz to the Toonami fans.

September 2: Williams Street's SECOND programming block, Adult Swim, premieres with Bandai series Cowboy Bebop winding down the night in an hour block.

September 11:

September 11 - Mid-December: As a result of the tragic events of the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and D.C., Cartoon Network alters programming to remove any type of warplay, terrorism, or anything that could trigger any harmful reactions to the youth of the nation. Mobile Suit Gundam is pulled almost immediately, replaced with a two-hour Toonami block, several episodes of Cowboy Bebop are pulled, and several shorts and Cartoon Cartoon episodes with buildings falling, planes crashing, and terrorists are removed from rotation.

September 17 - 21: Toonami's second Total Immersion Event, Lockdown, launches. Not much of a story on the air, but the online game is well-received by the fans. The story, which involves the Absolution getting pulled in by a trash compacter, ends kind of anticlimatically, unfortunately, without any major changes to the look of the block.

October 1: Batman Beyond premieres on the Cartoon Network Toonami, and for the first time ever, airs in complete order, including the episode that Kids' WB skipped, Unmasked.

October 5: The fourth season of ReBoot, which consisted of the Daemon Rising and the My Two Bobs movies broken down into eight parts, premiered as a Friday exclusive.

December 31, 2001 - January 1, 2002: New Year's Evil strikes again with a twist. Instead of just DBZ, other shows got a chance to shine, including the return of Gundam Wing to Toonami and the final episode of Mobile Suit Gundam.


January - April: The slowest months in Toonami's history, largely because of the lack of love for the block from the new management, led by Jamie Kellner, and a greater concentration of Williams Street Productions towards their Adult Swim blocks, which expanded in mid-February with the premiere of Adult Swim Action, which could be described as an edgier Toonami block, featuring a pair of Toonami veterans (Outlaw Star and Tenchi Muyo), a show that was originally headed to Toonami (Pilot Candidate), a show that was rumored to come to Toonami (Yu Yu Hakusho), a new Gundam series (0083), and Adult Swim vet Cowboy Bebop. With no new news for months, CN Toonami fans just have to sit and wonder why the block is deteriorating with nothing really new (except for two cycles of Dragonball episodes in mid-February). Meanwhile, KWB Toonami fans were treated to a non-action show airing on the block by the end of April, Scooby-Doo. That had to be the last straw and the lowest moment of Toonami. Ever.

April 1: Joker's Day on Toonami! In what could have been a regular airing of Joker-themed Batman episodes, Toonami had a mini-event with Sara, the Absolution's computer, getting infected by a Joker computer virus. At the end of the mini-marathon, TOM rushes in and removes the infection at once, and all is good. I think.

April: Cartoon Network and Kids' WB hold a joint press conference to announce their fall shows. The biggest thing to come out of the conference from the Kids' WB side was that the Toonami name would be leaving Kids' WB for good by the fall, when the new lineup, which includes new episodes of Scooby-Doo. Also, Cartoon Network announced that G Gundam will premiere in July, a new series featuring He-Man and the Masters of the Universe will premiere in August, and Transformers: Armada would premiere in the fall.

May: Powerpuff Girls arrive on Kids' WB's Toonami lineup. The last hurrah for Kids' WB's Toonami lineup.

June 3: Hamtaro premieres, bringing back the third hour and an uncomfortable amount of cuteness and comedy. It's funny, yes, but TOM's initial reaction to the series, is funnier and a priceless Toonami moment.

June 28: The long national nightmare known as Kids' WB's Toonami airs for the last time, making the Toonami on Cartoon Network the ONLY Toonami, as it should be.

July: After slowly taking over the world with their editions in the UK, India, France, Austrailia, Italy, and Africa, Toonami finally enters the land of the Rising Sun, Japan, with one minor exception. Instead of a lineup comprised mostly of anime, Toonami Japan is all-North American with ReBoot, Shadow Raiders, Batman, Batman of the Future, Justice League, and Todd McFarlane's Spawn.

July 2/3: The Iron Giant makes its Cartoon Network debut in a 24-hour marathon, including airing in Toonami's regular timeslot. It was a unique premiere because it ran unedited (that's right, unedited, utterances of hell, damn, and holy Mary mother of God were present) during the whole day, which is a very, very good thing. Also, it was used to promote the Powerpuff Girls Movie, in case you didn't seem them.

July 3: I think the Powerpuff Girls Movie premiered on this day, but I couldn't find any theaters playing it at a decent time. It "bombs" . . . badly thanks largely in part to overmarketing to non-fans, bad theater showings, terrible and unwarranted criticism from competing companies (Ebert, an employee of Disney, compared the damage caused by the girls to the events of 9/11/01?!? That's wrong and a new low! And Maltin, a Viacom employee, thrashed the movie as well), and mismarketing to suburban mallgirls who watch TRL and Nickelodeon rather than the core audience that has grown to love the series. Hopefully, Cartoon Network won't let PPG's lack of success hinder them from making any more feature films.

July 15: Powerpuff Girls is removed from Kids' WB, almost immediately after the "failure" of the PPG film. Shameful business decision in my book, but at least it makes PPG a Cartoon Network-exclusive franchise again.

July 29: Zoids: Chaotic Century premieres on the Toonami lineup, making a more favorable impression than Hamtaro and the earlier Zoids series, which was basically thrown on the block without much of an impact.

August 5: G Gundam, the first Gundam series to premiere on a Toonami block since last fall's inauspicous Gundam 0083: War in the Pocket (which premiered quietly weeks after 9/11), makes an immediate impact with its Alternate Universe storyline about a world tournament.

August 9: Weeks after Batman Beyond was removed, the movie Return of the Joker, which had never been seen before on Cartoon Network, was voted as the first movie for the relaunch of In-Flight Movies.

August 16: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe make their triumphant return in a new movie on Toonami, starting a weekly run on August 30.

August 23: Transformers: Armada premieres on Toonami, starting a weekly run the following week. Its premiere had mixed reactions, most of it unfavorable.

September 16 - 20: The third Total Immersion Event, Trapped in Hyperspace, airs on Toonami. The storyline, which involved TOM saving Sara from an insidious virus known as Swayzak, aired in mini-installments.

October 1: Cartoon Network turns 10 years old, the world's oldest animation-only station. Aside from the promo that aired on October 2, they paid little attention and did anything special to celebrate this important date.

October 14: Turner Broadcasting's first European-only network is launched on this day. Its mission? Provide action-animation, anime, adult animation, martial arts, and all things "lad-oriented" to the UK. Powered by Cartoon Network UK, this network brought together the action we've grown to love on Toonami and Adult Swim Saturday. Its name? CNX. Sigh. I know. Still, it's the first Toonami-inspired network from Cartoon Network. Hopefully, it won't be the last. Also on this date, Batman: The Animated Series aired a pre-Toonami slot back to back with Batman Beyond, which was now the lead show of a promising Toonami block.

October 21: To mark the premiere of the third, um, second season of Dragonball, Toonami radically changed the lineup by not only removing Batman Beyond and Zoids: Chaotic Century, but also by placing reruns of yesterday's Dragonball and Dragonball Z in the first hour of Toonami. Oh, and the reruns of that day's Dragonball and DBZ also aired during Midnight Run.

November 4: As G Gundam left the weekday block in favor of new episodes of MotU and Armada, it moved to a revamped Midnight Run lineup (rumored to be the final TMR lineup before it get removed in favor of a weeknight Adult Swim Action block stripping InuYasha and Cowboy Bebop in that slot) along with the Toonami premiere of the 80's classic G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

December 28: Samurai Jack, Cartoon Network's series about a wandering samurai, makes a brief Toonami appearance in a marathon.

December 30: The Second Doom Age officially ends when Toonami reverts back to normal . . . no repeats of yesterday's shows and the return of Batman on the block.

Go here to see the prelude to the second rebirth of Toonami.