July 16, 1997


June 14, 2004


Primal Screen


Tom Clark (2000–02)
Doug Preis (2002–04)
Phil Hartman (1997–98)
Harry Shearer (1998–99)
Keith David (1998–2004)
Frank Welker (1997–2000)

Preceded by


Succeeded by

CN City

CN president(s)

Betty Cohen (1997–2001)
Jim Samples (2001–04)

Powerhouse Look

Powerhouse Look

Powerhouse Era Bumpers

The Powerhouse era was the second era of Cartoon Network. It began on July 16, 1997 and ended during the early morning hours of June 14, 2004. It was succeeded by the CN City era. The last program to air under the Powerhouse era on June 14, 2004 was Captain Planet. The era was named after the Raymond Scott composition, "Powerhouse", which was the musical theme for most bumpers and graphical elements of this period. However, in January 2003, the Powerhouse music was removed from the bumpers and replaced with a series of generic fanfares and themes (except on the weekends, when the Powerhouse music was used for Coming Up Next bumpers). Also the yellow, green, blue, purple backgrounds of that era were still used from late 2003 until mid-2004.


With the transition from the Checkerboard era to the Powerhouse era, the network slowly began to feature their original series more prominently. This eventually led to the classic animation programming block, Boomerang, being split off into its own network in April 2000, taking most of the classic Hanna-Barbera series with it. A total of 14 original series were produced during this era.

During this era several notable programming blocks were introduced including: Cartoon Network's Cartoon Theatre, a movie block that aired on CN from July 1998 to 2007; Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, a weekly programming block through which the network premiered new episodes of its original series; and Adult Swim, a late-night block aimed at a more mature audience that became its own network in 2005.

CN Original Series

Acquired Series


  • When Grim & Evil splitted and separated The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Evil Con Carne in late 2003, the two series did not have their very own Powerhouse bumpers. They, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Megas XLR, where the only original Cartoon Network series to not have their very own Powerhouse bumpers that aired during the commercials.
  • In Asia and Australia, this era aired from August 1, 1999 to October 1, 2005.
  • Also when the Friday-themed program blocks were not airing at any time of the week, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy and Evil Con Carne episodes that first aired on Grim & Evil were the only episodes seen during the Powerhouse era's normal weekly and weekend programming.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door and Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? are the last two shows to have Powerhouse bumpers in 2002.
  • After Adult Swim signed out at 5:00am on June 14, 2004, Time Squad and Captain Planet were the final two shows to air under the Powerhouse era. At 6:00am, the City era debuted and The Powerpuff Girls was the first show to air under the City era.
  • When the Powerhouse era was slightly updated in 2003, not only was the original music removed from the "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers, but the green, yellow, and dark blue/black backgrounds of those bumpers were also removed, leaving the only blue and purple (for action shows) backgrounds seen during those bumpers seen from mid-2003 to mid-2004.
  • However the green and yellow backgrounds were not removed permanently from the network, as the "Coming Up Next" bumpers often contained the green and yellow backgrounds. These "Coming Up Next" bumpers with the green and yellow backgrounds, where really being mixed with the blue and purple "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to the Show" bumpers at the time.
  • Also, when Midnight Run aired or after Adult Swim signed off during that time, the dark blue/black "Coming Up Next" bumpers were also used.
  • According to some, from May 30, 2004 to June 13, 2004 (16 days before the City era officially began), the then City bumpers were being mixed with the Powerhouse bumpers. Instead of showing the "We'll Be Right Back" and "Back to The Show" bumpers during the show, the City era bumpers (with a 1992-2004 Cartoon Network logo) would air during the commercials, while the Powerhouse "Coming Up Next" bumpers would continue to be used until the early hours of June 14, 2004.
  • Many fans consider this era to be the final classic era of Cartoon Network.