Programming blocks
TV Tropes; Wikipedia

For some time now (at least a year or two), I've been meaning to start a page somewhere on my website to talk about Adult Swim, which became kind of important to me almost immediately after it began in 2001. Finally, in January 2014, I decided it was time to get around to it. But then I thought, "What about Toonami?" I thought maybe I'd think of a few blocks to put together on one page. Then I thought there have been other programming blocks of importance to me over the years, probably more than I could call to mind. So of course, I looked it up on Wikipedia. And it reminded me of more than I would have expected, though I did remember some on my own. And I decided that instead of putting them all on a single page, I should give each one its own page, and list them frames-style, like most of my categories here in the TV section of my site.

Still, there are probably some things I don't remember (and which Wikipedia doesn't list), and some things of too little importance to me to bother giving their own pages. I'm sure Nickelodeon has had at least one lineup at some point... I remember Stick Stickly, the host of Nick in the Afternoon, but I don't remember that block, in and of itself. I was thinking of including a page here for Boomerang, which used to be a block on Cartoon Network (starting in 1992, a few years before I had cable); it became a separate channel in 2000. I must have watched at least a bit of the block, but I wouldn't know what to say about it. Same goes for Nick@Nite, a programming block on Nickelodeon (starting in 1985, long before I had cable). And of course there are plenty of programming blocks I've definitely never watched, for whatever reason (before my time, didn't get the channel at the time, no interest, etc.) Oh, and I suppose I won't bother having pages for any annual blocks (or marathons), such as The 25 Days of Christmas (which began in 1996 on The Family Channel) and The 13 Nights of Halloween (which began in 1998 on Fox Family Channel), both of which have continued every year, even after the channel became ABC Family in 2001. And of course other channels also have their own annual programming blocks, such as June Bugs or The Big Pick, on Cartoon Network (but neither of those are still active).

Also I should say Wikipedia may include some things such as Crimetime After Primetime in its list of programming blocks, but that I don't consider blocks because they were just one show on any given day, whereas I think of blocks as containing at least two shows in a row. (But I may make some exceptions to this rule.) Programming blocks should also not be confused with anthology series, which present a totally unrelated story in each episode, but are... you know... not shown in block format. *shrug* Um... and while I'm trying to think of things to say that block programming isn't, it also doesn't include shows of the Three Shorts (or Two Shorts), Animated Anthology, or sketch show persuasions.

You will no doubt notice that the majority of these blocks are for kids or teens. That is because I have always been and always shall be a kid at heart. And possibly because the networks tend to be less interested in creating programming blocks aimed at adults. Though it is kind of ironic that the block that's most important to me, the one that prompted me to start this whole section, is "Adult Swim." It's also interesting to note that several of the blocks listed here are for Saturday morning cartoons. When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s and a ways into the 90s, it went without saying that there would be cartoons on Saturday mornings (even if essentially the only channel I had access to at the time was CBS). So, as far as I recall, there were no actual "blocks" of cartoons on Saturday mornings. Naming a block would have been kind of redundant. But, as cable and syndication gave people the ability to watch cartoons anytime they felt like it, Saturday mornings became kind of superfluous, I guess, and it became less of a "thing" to watch cartoons then. So the broadcast networks eventually kind of stopped bothering. I'm really glad that later on, there was a resurgence of Saturday morning cartoons as a "thing" (thanks largely to Kids' WB), though now, of course, that meant creating blocks. Later still, this renewal of the trend once again began to fade, and in September 2014, the last such block on broadcast televsion (Vortexx) came to an end. But I have faith that the tradition of Saturday morning cartoons will never die entirely.... (It's once again ironic, however, that at least one place to watch a specific block of Saturday morning cartoons is Cartoon Network.)

Please note that I will, on most of these pages, list years that the series I mention debuted and ended, though it's common for networks to move shows around their schedules, so even if a series was part of a particular block at some point, it may not have been part of that block for the entire span of the years listed. Another reason for this is that some shows debuted prior to the creation of a block, and/or continued after the block was defunct. (In some cases I may specify which portion of a show's run was in a given block, but not always.)