Gingo is an American pay television channel owned by NBCUniversal through its the Cable Entertainment Group division. The channel was launched on September 10, 1988, and is aimed mainly at children and young teenagers between ages 7 and 16. Its programming consists of original first-run television series, theatrical and home media-exclusive movies, and select other third-party programming.
As of September 2018, Gingo is available to 86.4 million households in America.
History[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
On February 13, 1988, following its purchase of Michael Wildshill Productions, newspaper publisher and broadcaster Multimedia announced its plans to launch a cable television channel focused on animation. On July 8, 1988, its name was revealed to be Gingo, a reference to a poem which is gingko, and the block The Toon Hour, devoted to short films, was also announced. It was also reported that they would acquire its animated programming from different studios.
1988–1995[edit | edit source]
On September 10, 1988, Gingo was launched and was themed to each block, devoted to each planet. Its first major success was The Toon Hour, which was a launchpad for various Gingo original series. The channel hit increasing ratings, such as competition from Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel and later Cartoon Network.
The channel made its first hit series Gabriel Garza in 1991, which became an instant success and made it a household name for viewers. Additionally, it introduced a mascot named Clover (voiced by Frank Welker), an anthropomorphic green dog. In 1992, the channel followed Gabriel with Mickey the Wicked, another spin-off of sorts from a short on The Toon Hour. Earlier, Gingo partnered with CBS/Fox Video to release episode compilations of the network's programs, which became top sellers. Gingo switched its distribution to Universal Pictures Home Entertainment in 1996, with Universal re-releasing episode compilations of the network's shows on VHS. The channel achieved further success in 1994 with Ray Eilo and BJ and Wally, both of which spun off from The Toon Hour in order to boost the channel's ratings.
The channel was a surprise hit, and in 1994, all the planets were eliminated from the channel to become a standard-focused channel in order to boost up ratings from various children's channels. However, Clover remained the channel's mascot until 2004.
1995–2004[edit | edit source]
In 1995, the channel premiered the smash series The Whackems, which made Gingo a hit among children and other viewers. That same year, it launched two programming blocks in order to compete with Nickelodeon: Gingo Junior, which targeted preschoolers, and Gingo at Nite, a nighttime block devoted to repeats of classic TV shows.
In 1996, Multimedia was sold to MCA, which made Gingo a sister block to USA Action Extreme Team and Sci-Fi's Animation Station. MCA began advertising Gingo programming on their children's programming blocks on USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel and home video releases of feature films, and Gingo acquired various animated programming from Universal Television Animation. Gingo Unleashed was launched later on, and was devoted to various action series. That same year, Hatty premiered on the network. As a result, both blocks gave access to Gingo's programming.
In 1998, Gingo launched the block Gingo on USA on USA Network, devoted to Gingo series and animated cartoons, to replace the defunct USA Action Extreme Team. On July 2, 1999, Hatty in the Big City: The Movie, the first theatrical film based on a Gingo series, was released. It received positive reviews and grossed $116.2 million on a budget of $48 million.
In 2000, Zina Supermoon, which started the career of Sarah Silverman, was launched. In 2001, Gingo on USA was renamed USA Kids. In 2002, older Gingo cartoons like Gabriel Garza and Hatty ended, and due to poor ratings, Gingo announced they would revamp their nighttime block as Gingo Underworld and refocused it on more adult programming to compete with Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. After Disney's One Too ended, Gingo launched an afternoon block UPN's Weekday Mayhem to air on UPN stations.
In 2004, NBC and Universal merged together, creating NBCUniversal, which combined NBC's cable channels like Bravo, CNBC, and MSNBC with Universal's cable channels like USA Network, Sci-Fi, and Gingo together. On December 30, 2004, USA Kids ended its run, so Gingo picked up new episodes of Onion Mastori. In the same year, The Pandemoniums launched.
2005–present[edit | edit source]
In 2005, Gingo revamped its programming identity, with the new slogan "Enjoy the Gingo". Also, the channel debuted the series Ace of All Trades, Chrysocolla & Sam and Worldwide Animals from Joesph von Calbury and former Zina Supermoon writer and The Supernova Spies creator Dave Madson. In 2005, Gingo revamped The Toon Hour into New Gingo Shorts, which lasted eleven years before reverting in 2016. In 2006, Gingo successfully purchased the 2005 Doraemon anime and begin airing it in the United States. Also, the nighttime block Gingo Underworld adopted the new name NightHouse.
In 2008, Gingo launched FusionMania (from Gabriel and Zina creator Geo G., part of the recent overall deal with NBC Universal) and acquired Computeropolis: Adventures of Peri and Nicky. That same year, Gingo's long-running The Whackems ended. The success led to Gingo ordering more shows, and it acquired the series Henry, Bea & Sparky the Dog in 2009. Also, Zina Supermoon finished its run on the network.
In 2011, Comcast acquired NBCUniversal from Vivendi. This made Sprout a sister network to Gingo. In 2014, Gingo launched the successful series Elliot's Guide to Becoming a True Mouse, which emulated the successs of past Gingo shows.
In 2016, Gingo ended New Gingo Shorts, reverting it to The Toon Hour as a revival of the original 1988 block. Also, NBCUniversal acquired competing studio DreamWorks Animation and launched DreamWorks on Gingo in 2017. In 2017, Universal Kids was launched to replace Sprout, which aired Gingo programs. In 2018, Gingo's flagship series Gabriel Garza was revived, followed by Hatty two years later.
Programs of note[edit | edit source]
British sitcoms[edit | edit source]
In its early years, Gingo originally filled its schedule with obscure acquired programs. British sitcoms were used to fill prime time slots, and remained on the channel's late-night schedule for well over a decade, including the North American premiere of Red Dwarf and the TV series The Sooty Show.
Programs such as Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, and Yes Minister were broadcast in late-night time slots, and aired free of time and content edits. However, in 2000 when Gingo began marketing its late-night hours towards older youth viewers, it decided to remove the remaining shows from the schedule.
Radio Active[edit | edit source]
In 1999, Gingo broadcast the U.S. debut of the Canadian TV series Radio Active, however did not air the last episode (77) for an unknown reason.
Anime[edit | edit source]
In 2006, Gingo obtained the American rights to the 2005 Doraemon anime and begin airing in the United States there. Its popularity with teen viewers brought about the creation in 2005 of an anime block, which aired on Friday nights and included Sonic X and repeats of Monster Rancher.
Programming[edit | edit source]
- Main article: List of programs broadcast by Gingo
Programming on Gingo includes original series such as The Toon Hour, Gabriel Garza, Hatty, Ace of All Trades, Candy, Bernard Revamped, Niz Chicoloco (2018), Antonio and Mr. Wacky Fox, and Super Polly, as well as acquired programming from other studios, which as of November 2020 includes Legend Quest, Wishfart, Hero School, Lix & Melody: The New Tunes, Cupcake & Dino: General Services, Snowsnaps, Woody Woodpecker (2018), Zola: Queen of the Deep Web, Nate is Late, Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese, Digimon Adventure:, Araceli's Adventures, and Cherrypillar.
Programming blocks[edit | edit source]
Current[edit | edit source]
- Gingo Junior – Gingo programs series targeted at preschool-age children daily every morning on Monday through Fridays from 8:30 am- 2:00 pm Eastern and Pacific Time (7-10 am during the summer months, other designated school break periods, and on national holidays).
- NightHouse – a late-night block targeted towards teens and adults, airing every night from 10 p.m. EST to 6 a.m. EST.
- DreamWorks on Gingo – a block of animated series produced by DreamWorks Animation that airs from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, which resulted from NBCUniversal's 2016 acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
Yearly[edit | edit source]
- Epic Summer - The Epic Summer block replaces morning programming during the summer vacation period from July to early September, containing some of the channel's popular programs, and daily movies. The block also featured contests.
- Creep Night - This block features Halloween specials.
- Gingo's Snowy Specials – This block features holiday specials.
Former[edit | edit source]
- Original blocks – In 1988, Gingo chose a different style of animation for each block. Each block was represented as planets: Morning Planet for Preschoolers (claymation animation; 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST), Afternoon Planet for Kids (2D cel animation; 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.), Evening Planet for Family (collage animation; 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST) and Night Planet for Adult (paper-mâché animation; 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. EST). In August 1994, all three planets were removed permanently.
- Anizami - It was the block for action-adventure animated and anime programming.
- The Big Crunch - It was the block for classic animated programming. It also featured several live-action series.
- Variety - The Variety block aired weekday mornings from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. EST and on Saturday mornings. It was known for airing new episodes of Gingo programming.
- Sunday Nights - This block aired on Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST.
- Double Pack – A weekday programming block featuring back-to-back episodes of network programming.
- Toasted Saturdays - Launched in 2005, Toasted Saturdays was a Saturday morning and afternoon block. It was similar in format to the Australian children's television program Toasted TV.
- The Big Flicks - A block that aired movies every Saturday at 6:00 p.m. EST (formerly at 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. EST) and every Sunday morning with two movies. The channel previously broadcast films in the late 1990s under the Gingo Cinema banner, followed by The Film Theater in 2007 before adopting the name "The Big Flicks" in 2009.
- Gingo at Nite - A block aired for nighttime programming, mostly for adults, and it consists of shows that were obscure and it didn’t reach syndication. Lasted from 1995 to 2002.
Cross-programming with other networks[edit | edit source]
Cross-programming is a term used in broadcast programming.
From 1998 to 2004, USA Network also ran a Gingo programming block under the name USA Kids (originally titled Gingo on USA until October 2001), replacing the USA Action Extreme Team block which closed in 1998.
On September 1, 2003, UPN launched a Gingo block on its channel under UPN's Weekday Mayhem, replacing Disney's One Too which shut down a day before. On September 15, 2006, the block was replaced by Kids' WB when UPN shut down and programming moved to The CW.
Spanish-language network Univision offered Gingo programming in Spanish on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as part of the Univision Kids block (originally titled Gingo en Univision until 2001), which featured such shows as Paint World and Planetokio.
Special events[edit | edit source]
Death tributes[edit | edit source]
Gingo occasionally airs bumpers that pay tribute to a recent celebrity death, in which there is no music or sound effects, but only a fade-in, showing the person's name and picture, along with the year of their birth and the year of their death, followed by a fade-out.
After Stan Lee passed away on November 12, 2018, Gingo played Marvel films all day the following day, particularly the ones from the MCU in honor of his memory, with NightHouse doing the same thing that night as well but instead of MCU films, they aired Deadpool and more mature Marvel films. Following Chadwick Boseman's death on August 28, 2020, Gingo aired his films such as 42, Get on Up, Marshall, Black Panther, and Avengers: Infinity War without editing it for a TV-PG rating and aired commercial-free, making it the first films since The Big Flicks to be aired on the channel with a TV-14 rating and had a parental advisory after each commercial break and at the beginning of the film as well.
Related media and projects[edit | edit source]
- See also: List of Gingo merchandise
Gingo.com[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Gingo.com
Gingo.com is Gingo's main website, which launched in 1996 as a component of America Online's Kids Only channel before eventually moving to the full World Wide Web. It provides content, as well as video clips and full episodes of Gingo series available for streaming.
Mobile apps[edit | edit source]
Gingo released a free mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers operating on the Apple and Android platforms in December 2012. Like Gingo.com, a TV Everywhere login code provided by participating subscription providers is required to view individual episodes of Gingo's series.
Gingo Animation[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Gingo Animation
Gingo Animation is a production firm located in North Hollywood, California, which serves as the animation facilities for many of the network's animated series.
NightHouse Animation[edit | edit source]
- Main article: NightHouse Animation
NightHouse Animation is the adult production studio division that produces adult-oriented animated feature films and television series and provides an original program to Gingo's late-night program NightHouse, which is located in Burbank, California, along with the main headquarters of the Gingo animation studio.
GingoGames[edit | edit source]
GingoGames (formerly Gingo Interactive) is the video game publisher of video games based on Gingo shows since 1996.
Gingo Movies[edit | edit source]
Gingo Movies is a motion picture production unit that was founded in 1996, as a secondary feature animation division of Universal Pictures (owned by Gingo corporate parent NBCUniversal). The studio has produced films based on Gingo animated programs including Hatty in the Big City: The Movie, The Gabriel Garza Movie, The Whackems: One Big Movie, Zina and the Vivid Crew and The Ace of All Trades Movie: Too Hot For Theaters!.
Gingo Magazine[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Gingo Magazine
Gingo Magazine was a print magazine that was launched in 1994. It incorporated informative non-fiction pieces, humor (including pranks and parodical pieces), interviews, recipes, and a comic book section in the center of each issue featuring original comics by leading underground cartoonists as well as strips about popular Gingo and non-Gingo properties.
Gingo Productions[edit | edit source]
Gingo Productions is the Gingo network's distribution arm. It distributes the shows, pilots, and movies through various international Gingo channels since 1988.
Gingo Branding[edit | edit source]
Gingo Branding is the studio's global licensing and merchandising arm established in 2003. It distributes merchandise of various Gingo brands such as Gabriel Garza, Zina Supermoon, Ace of All Trades, and more.
Video games[edit | edit source]
- Main article: List of Gingo video games
Since 2002, Gingo characters were featured in a four-player mascot brawler fighting game series similar to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. video game series called Fighting Royale. Several video games based on the cartoon series The Pandemoniums were released by Gingo as well. The Gingo website also features various flash games incorporating characters from various Gingo series.
Other services[edit | edit source]
|Gingo HD is a high definition simulcast feed of Gingo that broadcasts in the 1080i resolution format; the feed first began broadcasting in 2008. Most of the network's original series since 2008 – mainly its animated content – as well as episodes of programs carried by NightHouse (that were either natively produced in HD after 2005 or were remastered in high definition) are broadcast in HD, along with feature films, Gingo original movies made after 2005 and select episodes, films and series produced before 2008. Other programs not available in HD are broadcast in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition.|
|Gingo on Demand||Gingo on Demand is the channel's video-on-demand service, offering select episodes of Gingo's original series and certain acquired programs to pay television providers.|
International channels[edit | edit source]
- Main article: List of Gingo international channels
On September 5, 2003, Astral Media launched a Canadian version of Gingo under a brand licensing agreement with Universal Studios; the channel operated as a multiplex channel of Teletoon, which had long maintained a programming distribution agreement with Gingo for the domestic rights to the U.S. channel's series.
Slogans[edit | edit source]
- "A Perfect Place for Animation" (1988–2001)
- "It's Always on the Gingo" (2001–2005)
- "Enjoy the Gingo" (2005–2010)
- "Be Creative" (2010–2014)
- "So Epic" (2014–present)