Twenty years young and still having fun.
The Cartoon Network celebrated its 20th birthday on Monday Oct. 1 with a fun-filled, over-sized party at its Midtown headquarters.
Launching on Oct. 1, 1992, with just two million U.S. homes, Cartoon Network has grown to become the No. 1 television network among boys 6-11, and is currently seen in more than 175 countries, in more than 365 million households worldwide and in 26 different languages.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was on hand Monday along with Turner Broadcasting Chairman and CEO Phil Kent, and Cartoon Network President and COO Stuart Snyder, to congratulate and celebrate with Cartoon Network employees who were gathered at the network’s headquarters at 1050 Techwood Drive.
Reed presented the Phoenix Award and a City proclamation honoring the network’s unique cultural contribution. Citing both their creativity and profitability, the mayor told several hundred employees gathered that, “When I think about what you have accomplished…y’all have to give it up for yourselves.”
Later the mayor said, “You keep our city on the leading edge,” adding that “you make our city so much better, so much stronger.”
Network Founder Ted Turner—widely questioned at the time for trusting an audience existed for cartoons 24 hours a day—delivered a taped message to congratulate the network’s employees, who were joined by numerous Cartoon Network costumed characters and the Atlanta Falcons Drumline.
The celebration also included a giant custom cake sculpted by acclaimed Atlanta baker Karen Portaleo, and the world premiere of an original animated music video featuring music by the artist collaborative Mad Decent (M.I.A., Major Lazer, Beyoncé, No Doubt and Usher).
Building originally upon beloved classic characters such as The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and The Looney Tunes, Cartoon Network has since introduced dozens of award-winning original characters, including Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls and Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. Today, the network also boasts global franchise hits Ben 10, Adventure Time, Regular Show and Gumball.
This year, Cartoon Network scored its most-watched spring and summer in its history.
Cartoon Network’s birthday celebration will continue each weekend in October, as well. The network will present select classic theatrical shorts and network series episodes spotlighting the top six finalists among creatively-themed categories that viewers can enjoy and review before logging on to CartoonNetwork.com to vote for their all-time favorite picks.
The 20th birthday celebration will culminate on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4, with an afternoon on-air tribute announcing the fan-selected winners of each category, bringing a fitting crescendo to the birthday festivities.
In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.