- Apr 30, 2018
Does Chowder and Flapjack really count as classics even if they both ended in the early 2010’s
As of late, I've been of the mind that Cartoon Network's originals can be pinned down to two main eras, 1996-2009, and 2010 to the present day. At the time, Chowder and Flapjack looked more like the start of a new period, but they were really more of the end of a dying era.
I know many consider 2004-2009 to be the second era of Cartoon Network's originals, but rather I think that there are a few smaller waves in the first phase of their run.Good analysis. Back in 2004, people thought the premiere of "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" and "Megas XLR" marked the turning point (especially when combined with the end of "Johnny Bravo", "Dexter's Lab" and "Samurai Jack" all around that same time period). Anything prior to "Fosters" was supposed to be a Cartoon Network classic, but the "City" era did a great job of combining all of past and present Cartoon Network together in a way that worked.
Chowder and Flapjack premiered after the "City" era ended (in 2007 and 2008), so they never got to hang out in the "City" promo segments, to feel like they were part of the same community of cartoons, so they were meant to be the start of the new era....but then Cartoon Network did a reset and started over again in 2010.
I think we were originally supposed to see "Squirrel Boy" and "Class of 3000" (both premiered in 2006) as the last of the "classics". The way Cartoon Network probably originally envisioned the 2007/2008 era was to have the Noods era last 5 years (until 2013), but cable/the economy/everything changed in the late 2000's, so they ended up doing the reset in 2010.
Thus, "Chowder" and "Flapjack" (both of which ended in August, 2010) are surprisingly the last remnants of "classic Cartoon Network". EDIT: And yes, "The Secret Saturdays" as well (it premiered in 2008, ended in January 2010).
EDIT 2: I have sometimes maintained the "end point" of classic Cartoon Network was the final "Ed, Edd n Eddy" movie in November, 2009, and so maybe just consider the remaining episodes of "Chowder" and "Flapjack" that premiered in 2010 as just remnants of the prior "classic" era.
I know many consider 2004-2009 to be the second era of Cartoon Network's originals, but rather I think that there are a few smaller waves in the first phase of their run.
Wave 1- 1996-1998, aka What-A-Cartoon/Checkerboard era- Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo, Cow & Chicken/I Am Weasel, and Powerpuff Girls all debut in this space, with the shows premiering on different days of the week.
Wave 2- 1999-2003, aka Cartoon Cartoon/Powerhouse era- Ed, Edd n' Eddy, Courage, Billy & Mandy, Samurai Jack, Kids Next Door and others all premiere during this time, with a designated block made for these shows, Cartoon Cartoon Fridays. Dexter's Lab and Cow & Chicken/I Am Weasel end in 99, although the former comes back, while the networks starts seeing failed originals with Mike, Lu & Og and Sheep in the Big City, among others.
Wave 3- 2004-2007, aka Fridays/City era- Most of the early originals will end in about a year's time, with Dexter's Lab, Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls and Johnny Bravo are gone by mid-05. Meanwhile, not only do Ed, Edd n' Eddy, Billy & Mandy, and Kids Next Door thrive, and new originals of mixed levels of quality and success arrive, such as Megas XLR, Foster's Home, Camp Lazlo, Gym Partner, Ben 10, and others. CCF turns into the Friday's block, which airs many of these originals along with other series, like What's New Scooby-Doo, Duck Dodgers, and Atomic Betty.
Wave 4- 2007-early 2010, aka Noods/Fried Dynamite era- A majority of the shows from the previous era ended their runs and have their airings cut back from the channel. Originals start premiering less frequently, but we do receive a few, primarily Chowder, Flapjack, and the Secret Saturdays. Each have their fans, but none tend to blow up the way some of CN's previous hits have. Fridays turns into Fried Dynamite before its own implosion, with Friday nights turned into an action block, and Chowder and Flapjack having Thursday premieres.
There are definitely differences in each of these phases, but I think it's still roughly the same channel. I do think that there was a definite change by the time Adventure Time premiered in 2010, and we're still more or less living in that world.
That said, have you noticed that since 1996, the only years to not have a premiere of a Cartoon Network original on the channel were 2003 (unless you count the original Clone Wars), 2009, and 2020?
Ha, fair on moving Powerpuff's start to Wave 2. While there's only a two month difference between the two, I'd still lean towards Ed, Edd n' Eddy being the start for it being the first CN original to not be made as a part of the What-a-Cartoon series, nor does it have any ties to Hanna--Barbera. Powerpuff Girls, meanwhile, was the last series to be made by HB before being absorbed into Cartoon Network Studios.I'll go one step further and say the transition from what you call "Wave 1" to "Wave 2" is the premiere of Powerpuff Girls in November, 1998. I consider that the true start of the "Powerhouse" era.
Yes, it used to be that lots of people debated what was the "end point" for Cartoon Network (and it's mostly tied in to their preferences, or when they "grew up"). There were fans that had trouble adapting to the City era in 2004, others who didn't like the Fall/Noods era.....but the consistency (or rather, the "fixed" status) of Cartoon Network since Adventure Time premiered in 2010 (and especially for Cartoon Network since 2013 onward, with the "death of the Action cartoons"), leads to people considering anything prior to 2010 as "Classic Era".