Cartoon Network announced during its programming last Saturday that it was ending the last vestiges of the action animation block Toonami, its Saturday night two-hour block. Naruto was the only anime series airing in that slot, which also included Spider-Man.
Toonami was once the flagship of Cartoon Network programming in the key weekday after school hours. It was relegated to a five hour block on Saturday nights, targeting an older audience (see “Toonomi Gets Saturday Night Fever”), in early 2004. It was replaced by the Miguzi block on weekday afternoons. Now, some four years later, the Miguzi block is gone and so is the last two hours of Toonomi.
Toonami had been a reliable venue for anime during all of its incarnations. The elimination of Toonami follows changes at Adult Swim earlier this year, see “Adult Swim Cuts Back on Anime”).
Toonami Jetstream, the streaming service jointly owned by Cartoon Network and Viz (see “Viz and Cartoon Network Stream Together”), is expected to continue.