Checkerboard didn’t have exact ending powerhouse didn’t have exact beginning

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RyanKalata1991

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There seems to be a lot of contradiction and confusion over when the original checkerboard era ended and when the powerhouse era began. Some sources say it happened in July 1997. Others say it happened in March 1998, June 1998 or July 1998. While these are accurate to a small extent neither one of them are entirely accurate. Like how could we say that checkerboard replaced powerhouse in July of 1997 when there’s CN commercial breaks on YouTube from July and August of 1998 that still have the checkerboard Superchunk with the fat guy who says “gimme more”. And it seems that’s Toon Extra wasn’t revamped until late 1998 because on YouTube there’s a commercial break from October 31 1998 with Scooby Doo on Zombie Island and after the film is over it has the checkerboard Toon extra with the words Toon Extra popping out like a jack in the box. But to say Powerhouse didn’t start until 1998 isn’t entirely accurate either because they started phasing in powerhouse in 1997.

1997-1998 is more of a transitional era rather than checkerboard or powerhouse. More or less because the checkerboard material from 1997 and 1998 was what was left from 1992-1996. After 1996 no new checkerboard material was made it either had no resemblance to checkerboard or powerhouse or it was powerhouse material some that may of even lasted until the city reface in 2004. Some call this era starburst because of the logo plastered on a starburst like background. But the starburst was only used for Johnny Brave, Cow and Chicken, and Dexter’s Laboratory so I think transitions era is more appropriate to describe 1997-1998.

The curtain nexts with the spotlight shining on the word next and the series of curtains would open up is an example of early powerhouse material even though dating back to before the powerhouse music was even used. The curtain nexts later evolved into a powerhouse era coming up next. Initially dating back to 1997 the curtain nexts were slowly replacing the checkerboard era strings nexts one by one. The 1997 curtains however only showed the show that was coming up next and shows a short clip of it. The 1998 curtains which were revamped the same day they introduced wrecking ball nexts and slingshot nexts which was either February or March of 1998 were revamped to the style of powerhouse era coming up nexts where instead of showing a clip of what show was coming up next it would say “coming up next its (whatever show was up next) followed by (whatever show followed) on Cartoon Network.” Starting in February or March or 1998 the revamped curtain nexts would be used weekday mornings and afternoons, the wrecking ball nexts would be used weekday evening and weekends(anytime but late night) and the slingshot nexts would be used any day during the late night hours.

Other coming up next bumpers were created in either July 1998 or mid 1999. However once the 1998 coming up next bumpers started all the checkerboard era strings coming up nexts were discontinued. Only shows that aired on the network before 1997 had strings next bumpers. All shows that first appeared on the network in 1997 were given curtain nexts. Than 1998 the coming up next bumpers were retooled for powerhouse era.

From what has been said the earliest usage of powerhouse music dates back to July 16 1997. On this day they introduced the first set of generic first person powerhouse we’ll be back/back to the show bumpers. Among these were the car driving down an alleyway, guy in a hospital bed, a circus tent, a city and a factory. But only the first person WBB/BTTS bumpers were used on this day. The first person powerhouse bumpers for the most part replaced the jester bumpers that were used from the checkerboard era. However there is a video of 1997 Cartoon Network commercial on YouTube that still has jester bumpers used in October 1997. So I’m guessing the first person bumpers were used for mornings afternoons and evenings while the jester ones were still used during late night hours until they started using the first person ones during late night hours too. The first person bumpers and jester ones were only used for shows that didn’t have there own checkerboard or powerhouse WBB/BTTS bumpers. The show specific ones didn’t start until March-June 1998.

On March 2 1998 Batman, Scooby Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Cow and Chicken were given there powerhouse WBB/BTTS bumpers. Beetlejuice, Johnny Bravo,Dexter’s Laboratory, Tom and Jerry and Tex Avery Show got theirs in April of 1998. The rest got theirs on June 12 1998 when all the checkerboard era WBB/BTTS were removed and replaced with powerhouse ones the exceptions were the ones that got theirs in March or April 1998. Others continued to use either checkerboard WBB/BTTS bumpers or the 1997 ones that didn’t resemble either one similar to what Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo and Freakazoid used in 1997 and early 1998 until June 12 1998.

By late 1998 the powerhouse reface was complete with all checkerboard material being removed including station ids, bumpers and skits. Oh one last thing I forgot to mention the great crate contest from 1997 also used the powerhouse music.
 

RyanKalata1991

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I’m glad there’s a lot more checkerboard and powerhouse stuff on YouTube now than there was back in like 2006. I started rewatching clips from the powerhouse and checkerboard eras this summer and all I can say is thank you for helping me remember the good memories.
 

RyanKalata1991

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This video actually says it all about this Checkerboard/Powerhouse dillema (I advise you to look at the video's description)

I saw this video. But this video seems to pertain mostly to the 1997 content that didn’t resemble checkerboard or powerhouse. Looking back it seems like in 1997 the network wanted to scrap checkerboard and phase in a new era but along the way what look they were originally planning on got scrapped and they went with powerhouse instead which lasted until 2004 when the city era began and the logo changed. Powerhouse was definetly the best.
 

RyanKalata1991

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I also like the Powerhouse era more, with all its unique WBRB/BTTS bumpers and such :)

But I said look at the description.


Most of what was said in the description is accurate but some is slightly inaccurate.

It says that by April 1998 checkboard was phased out. Wrong checkerboard wasn’t fully phased out until late 1998/early 1999. If you see some YouTube videos of 1998 commercial breaks you will see that in June-August 1998 they still use the checkerboard version of Superchunk. Other checkerboard elements don’t disappear until a later point in 1998.

There’s a October 31 1998 commerical break video that still has some checkerboard station ids. Like the farm id and the roller coaster is those are all checkerboard material that date back before 1997. The Toon Extra was still checkerboard with the words Toon extra popping out like a jack in the box.

Videos from later in 1998 had the Superchunk with them inflatable letters. The Toon extra with the newspaper. All commercials and bumpers in there powerhouse form.

Also the great crate contest probably wasn’t the first usage of the powerhouse music. According to many the first person generic powerhouse WBB and BTTS bumpers date back to July 16 1997. But only the ones that would be used for shows that didn’t have a checkerboard WBB/BTTS or ones made in 1997 like Freakazoid and the “cartoon cartoons” did until they were phased out. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but I do think that July 16 1997 was the first usage of powerhouse. Of course it isn’t in full swing it still has over a year to go.

And not all shows got their powerhouse WBB/BTTS bumpers in March of 1998. BTSS did because that was its first appearance on the network. Cow and chicken and Scooby Doo did along with Alvin and the Chipmunks because they released those first because that’s what was completed by that point. Than when Beetlejuice arrived on CN it got its Winn set of WBB/BTTS because it first arrived that day and some shows got them because they were complete by April 1998 I believe Tom and Jerry got its powerhouse retool around that time too. But than there was June 12 1998 the day all checkerboard WBB/BTTS were either removed or replaced with powerhouse versions thus meaning that by that point they were finsihed with the powerhouse WBB/BTTS bumpers the rest would come upon the premiere of new shows and shows arriving on the network for the first time. If you look at commerical break videos from March-May 1998 you will see some shows like Swat Kats, Superfriends, and Bugs and Daffy still have there checkerboard bumpers so June 12 1998 must be the date that this is all complete.

But the description is pretty much on point. In 1997 they were introducing new material to the network. Anything checkerboard was what was left from 1992-1996. The earlier 1997 material didn’t resemble checkerboard or powerhouse. I feel as if when they knew Cow and Chicken and Johnny Bravo were going to premiere they went with that set of bumpers. That was probably going to originally going to be the new look of the network. Than they scrapped the idea and went with powerhouse instead. That’s why by the time powerhouse was complete the pre-powerhouse 1997 material was removed along with the checkerboard material.

So in a way the network was kinda sorta in a brief mini era. But it ran concurrent with checkerboard that was being phased out and powerhouse which was being phased in.
 
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wonderfly

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There seems to be a lot of contradiction and confusion over when the original checkerboard era ended and when the powerhouse era began. Some sources say it happened in July 1997. Others say it happened in March 1998, June 1998 or July 1998. While these are accurate to a small extent neither one of them are entirely accurate. Like how could we say that checkerboard replaced powerhouse in July of 1997 when there’s CN commercial breaks on YouTube from July and August of 1998 that still have the checkerboard Superchunk with the fat guy who says “gimme more”. And it seems that’s Toon Extra wasn’t revamped until late 1998 because on YouTube there’s a commercial break from October 31 1998 with Scooby Doo on Zombie Island and after the film is over it has the checkerboard Toon extra with the words Toon Extra popping out like a jack in the box. But to say Powerhouse didn’t start until 1998 isn’t entirely accurate either because they started phasing in powerhouse in 1997.
It's true that for the longest time, I considered "July 1997" as the start of the Powerhouse era (due to that being the month "Johnny Bravo", "I Am Weasel" and "Cow and Chicken" launched). But I've been reviewing my own recordings from 1998 (and other stuff on Youtube) and then read online about the "Starburst" mini-era.

But the starburst was only used for Johnny Brave, Cow and Chicken, and Dexter’s Laboratory so I think transitions era is more appropriate to describe 1997-1998.
"Transitions Era" - that might be a more appropriate title!

I actually consider the point where the transition begins to be March 1997, when Cartoon Network successfully launches a weekday afternoon action block in the form of Toonami. That seems to be the point where the "seeds of change" were planted for the upcoming Powerhouse era.

And it does seem to me that "March 1998" is too soon to be considered the start of the true "Powerhouse" era. I think a better way to look at it is that the "Powerhouse Era" was fully up and running by November 1998, when "The Powerpuff Girls" premiered and became a pop culture sensation.

So I consider the full period of transition (from "Checkerboard" to "Powerhouse") to be from March 1997 to November 1998.

Just my opinion, anyway.
 
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RyanKalata1991

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It's true that for the longest time, I considered "July 1997" as the start of the Powerhouse era (due to that being the month "Johnny Bravo", "I Am Weasel" and "Cow and Chicken" launched). But I've been reviewing my own recordings from 1998 (and other stuff on Youtube) and then read online about the "Starburst" mini-era.



"Transitions Era" - that might be a more appropriate title!

I actually consider the point where the transition begins to be March 1997, when Cartoon Network successfully launches a weekday afternoon action block in the form of Toonami. That seems to be the point where the "seeds of change" were planted for the upcoming Powerhouse era.

And it does seem to me that "March 1998" is too soon to be considered the start of the true "Powerhouse" era. I think a better way to look at it is that the "Powerhouse Era" was fully up and running by November 1998, when "The Powerpuff Girls" premiered and became a pop culture sensation.

So I consider the full period of transition (from "Checkerboard" to "Powerhouse") to be from March 1997 to November 1998.

Just my opinion, anyway.

Seems very valid to me. Also November 1998 might of been when Toon Extra was finally revamped to the newspaper Toon Extra that everyone knew and loved. Which i think is much better than the popping out of the box one from the checkerboard era that one could very easily frighten small children. Superchunk might of been in the fall like September or October 1998 when it got its powerhouse revamp. Definitely not July or August 1998 there are still checkerboard Superchunk promos used back than.

And toonami was definitely a planting seed for things soon to change. It has no checkerboard resemblance and it became a staple of powerhouse era as an afternoon action/anime block.

I think 1997 they made the decision not to produce any more checkerboard material. But it took a lot of time to have all powerhouse material produced. So rather than to remove all checkerboard material until powerhouse is done they phased it out piece by piece until it was complete. That’s why there is a lot of confusion. July 1997 was a very early phase in the transition and March 1998 was also too soon.
 

Dudley

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Holy crap, I remember that Cartoon Cartoon song Red Guy sang! I heard it first on a Cartoon Medley soundtrack. I never knew it was an actual animated commercial!

Anyway, I remember most of those bumpers. I never thought it was it’s own era, but then again I don’t recall the kind of promos they used for the non-Cartoon Cartoon shows.

I want to know who animated the character in The Great Crate Contest ad. It’s really good
 
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