Sunday, February 1, 2015

Boomerang HQ - It WAS All Coming Back To You (part 2)

Based on the sequel posted on the BM CEE blog, it's time to take a look at the history of Boomerang HQ's shows in full detail. It is, basically, another way to look at how the channel evolved in nearly ten years.

As we all know, BM HQ launched five years after the USA and the UK. BM LA, BR, FR, IT and ES launched in the meanwhile and expanded the brand to a broader audience. The channel's initial purpose was to air Turner's huge library of classic cartoons around the world, mostly based on shows that Cartoon Network feeds ceased airing a while earlier. The library consisted of the MGM cartoon library (Tom and Jerry + Tex Avery in general), pre-1948 Looney Tunes (especially Merrie Melodies), the a.a.p. Popeye shorts and Hanna-Barbera content. There were a few other shows that sometimes were neither here, nor there, but still part of the schedule on Boomerangs worldwide.
The huge library, capable to entertain generations very easily, was capable to create TNT, TCM, Cartoon Network and Boomerang. It was a time where Cartoon Networks around the world were starting to axe their classic cartoons in order to make more room for more recent shows, some of them are on our memories while others eventually became underrated.
The concept behind Boomerang was successful in some countries, especially Germany which stayed faithful to their original format for long (despite adding the occasional modern show but was neither here nor there), but unsuccessful in countries like the USA, where the channel holded on with the logo for long and the rebrand resulted in angry netizens wanting the old Boomerang back (from what I've seen on Toonzone, but it won't come back).
Boomerang in the EMEA region stayed true to the initial formula for long, as the channel aired classic cartoons daily and around the clock. Let's take a look at the channel's show history:

When the channel launched in various markets around the world, it focused on classic cartoons from the HB library, and Europe was no exception. According to josie, it felt like watching CN UK/Europe from the mid-90s again. It was a classic cartoon fan's dream come true. The channel included a lot of eternal classics like Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes (especially the Merrie Melodies shorts), Scooby-Doo's various versions in rotation, Popeye (initially the a.a.p. shorts, as already mentioned), the Tex Avery shorts and The Flintstones plus Hanna-Barbera's 60s and 70s classics like Top Cat (which was popular in Sri Lanka), Wacky Races, Hong Kong Phooey, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, The Scooby-Doo Show, Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch, Josie and the Pussycats, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, Atom Ant, Snagglepuss, Jabberjaw, QuickDraw McGraw, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Inch High, Private Eye, Magilla Gorilla, Lippy The Lion and Hardy Har Har (which was shown as a filler around 2008) and Pixie and Dixie. The channel was also home to HB's more recent output, like their well known shows from the 80s and 90s, mostly kid/youth versions of their older shows: A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry Kids, The Flintstone Kids, Yo Yogi!, Droopy and Dripple, Droopy: Master Detective, The New Yogi Bear Show, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, The Addams Family and Flintstone Frolics.

In 2006, the channel got third-party shows for the first time, most of them were British. I'm talking about two shows from the now-defunct Thames Television: Count Duckula and Danger Mouse, both of them were made by Cosgrove-Hall. The channel also premiered Heathcliff and The Mask. From Hanna-Barbera came the animated adaptation of Dumb and Dumber and 2 Stupid Dogs, which is highlighted in the picture. I recall waking up very early on a few Saturday mornings in June 2008 because I wanted to see 2 Stupid Dogs. I haven't seen that show in ages on an actual television. These new additions continues to recapture the spirit of Cartoon Network Europe in the 90s.
Another slow year was 2007. The channel premiered The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries and the 1979, "half-hour" and 1980 "dual-segment" versions of Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo. The 1979 episodes usually commenced with the intro of TVP 2's Kino Bez Rodziców programming block, which aired near midday on the aforementioned public channel. Assume it as the spiritual successor of the "Hanna-Barbera Hour" earlier on. The intro was done all in a crayon-esque style, starting with the image of a teddy bear on a bed, before a door closes and a bloke in a purple pajama turns on the TV, to reveal rainbow static with the words "KINO BEZ RODZICÓW" in it. Despite meaning "Movies Without Parents" it was an HB block, and the intro would usually be followed by the Hanna-Barbera "Comedy" logo from the 90s before the show started. I don't know why did they use TVP's prints, that still remains a mystery to me.
The channel also premiered Cartoon Network original shows for the first time, airing two obscure shows that CN HQ had stopped airing a while earlier: the forgotten Mike, Lu and Og and the less-than-forgotten Sheep in the Big City.
Flag of Poland.svg
In 2008, the channel was now fully available in Polish, resulting in the removal of certain classic shows from the schedule, some of them moved to overnight slots. Shows that weren't dubbed into that language were removed. The channel also started to air their own ad breaks in a sub-feed broadcasting exclusively to that market, setting the tone for the relaunch of CN PL the following year. ZON/NOS added the channel and the EPG had Portuguese descriptions until at least the end of the year. In terms of shows, another CN show, Time Squad, joined the schedule along with another third-party show called King Arthur's Disasters. Remember it? I didn't like this cheap show...

(I was about to use a picture from King Arthur's Disasters but instead I decided to use this as a metaphor because they had the show at a lower price, just like a Polish bloke buying at Biedronka)

Major changes occured in 2009. Dexter's Laboratory and Johnny Bravo join the schedule while a number of classic cartoons leave the schedule and never come back, like the Eds after their first contact with the Kanker Sisters. The King Features Syndicate Popeye shorts from the early 60s premiered (mentioned on EPGs as Popeye Classics), whose premiere promo had "In The Navy" by The Village People. The larger HB properties were still on the schedule, but was still enjoyable. We would finally see Duck Dodgers for the first time and also The Garfield Show - unrelated to Garfield and Friends - the first French show to settle on BM HQ.

In 2010, Pink Panther and Pals (sandwiching the modern version of The Ant and the Aardvark) arrived to the channel, ironically without airing the original. The 1989 Paddington Bear show produced in association with Central Television premiering around the end of the year was quite a surprise, considering that a lot of new shows premired on the channel.

2011 was a major turning point. Cabovisão removed the channel, 60s episodes of The Jetsons returned and the channel now had the Cartoonito block. This was a sign that things on the channel were starting to go downhill. Also the channel started cross-promoting with CN HQ (the reverse was valid as well) and also split to create BM CEE, which had a poor schedule by my standards.

Time flies when you're having fun! In 2012 the number of classics was decreasing and the channel got a new look. While in Eastern Europe things were stabilizing, over here things were going on in the opposite direction.

This continued throughout 2013, which was the last year where I could watch the channel. The channel now had "New" bugs, premiered Animaniacs, which was quite nice, considering that I haven't seen that show in a long time on an actual television but became a sort of "Kids' WB" channel instead. The amount of WB shows was increasing on the channel and became a mere shadow of it's former self.

(image from an old showing of the Top Cat episode King for a Day on Rupavahini (Sri Lanka), where the show is popular)
In 2014, things stabilized with the return of several classic shows, like Top Cat or A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. There was only one downside: we couldn't see those shows anymore because the channel disappeared from our screens because CN PT said so.
And 2015? Well...

Uh... no.
I know that the rebrand only had a minor shake-up and that the channel kept the classic shows but Monday marks the end of an era.
The end of nearly ten years of classic cartoons.
Only Tom and Jerry will stay firm, but only in the overnight slots.
It's like the channel has lost it's purpose. It's like the channel turned to a bland, family-oriented channel that warns us about changing times and formats.

So, in conclusion, Boomerang is no longer a good channel. It is now a weirdly-implemented channel which wants to compete with pre-school channels and wants to focus on more recent content.
I know that there is enough room left for classics but that's not their priority right now.

In conclusion: today is the final day of BM HQ and CEE's classic cartoon heritage and also the end of the line for the line, the channel's longtime logo. Enjoy the remaining classics like Clarence and try to find the good things to fill out what used to be regular viewing of Boomerang.
I'd like to thank BM HQ for the countless hours of entertainment it gave from 2008 to 2013. We need to continue thriving in the future and try to find new shows to watch.


  1. Changes in the program transmission March 7, 2015:
    12:45, 23:15, 4:10 The New Yogi Bear Show
    13:15, 23:40, 4:35 The Quick Draw McGraw Show
    12:45, 23:15, 4:10 Snagglepuss
    13:15, 23:40, 4:35 The Huckleberry Hound Show

    1. That just happens to be fake. Also this is about BM HQ, not BM CEE.

  2. Changes since March 2, on weekdays:
    17:10 The Tom and Jerry Show