What's the Better Channel: ABC Family or Cartoon Network/Adult Swim?


People love oxygen but they hate Oxygen! Congratulations to...

Great comments! I liked these a lot:

withoutcanseco: "If this was a way to actually get networks off the air, that would be fantastic. Oxygen is the worst. Food Network gets my vote by about 10,000 miles."

misslee022884: "Oxygen... It doesn't make me feel bad about my unsophisticated, understocked refrigerator."

Miz_Tasha: "Maybe it's the Martha Stewart in me, but I'd rather learn how to make a chocolate souffle than see a bunch of starving girls trip over themselves on a runway. Food Network wins by a landslide."


New business!


This week's battle will NOT be family friendly!

Background: Today ABC Family is one of the best known cable channels due to its original programming and broad appeal, but many people may not be aware of its, um, unique origins. Originally founded in 1977 (!) by Pat Robertson (!) and known as the Christian Broadcasting Network, it was technically a non-profit evangelical outfit. But by 1990 it was definitely a for-profit station so it changed its name to The Family Channel and began airing more secular content considered safe for children and teenagers. (NICE teenagers, anyway). But in 1997 the network was bought by noted agnostics Fox Broadcasting and rechristened the Fox Family Channel. HOWEVER, a permanent clause in the sales contract guaranteed that Pat Robertson's daily talk show The 700 Club would continue to air regardless of network ownership for the rest of eternity (or until the Rapture happens?). So even after Disney swooped in and bought the channel in 2002, ABC Family has continued upholding that original contract by airing the leftover Christian-themed programming, albeit with heavy disclaimers distancing itself from Pat Robertson's occasionally extremist beliefs. It's possibly the most awkward arranged marriage in cable history.

Original Programming: In recent years ABC Family has put less emphasis on its ABC and Disney Channel cast-offs and put more muscle into its original programming. Kyle XY, Greek, and 10 Things I Hate About You started things off, but newer hits like Switched at Birth, Pretty Little Liars, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and The Lying Game have cemented ABC Family's place in pop culture relevancy.

Reruns: Reruns include forgettable nonsense like America's Funniest Home Videos and the borderline unwatchable Full House, but I've got two words for fans of excellent television: Gilmore Girls.

Why It's The Best: I may not be the desired demographic for this channel, but even I have to admit it's really shaping up to be the AMC Jr. of my cable package.

Why It's The Worst: The 700 Club thing is a legitimate bummer. Figure out a way to evict your lousy tenant, ABC Family!

 

Background: In 1991 Rich Granddaddy Ted Turner purchased the Hanna-Barbera cartoon library to go along with the vast archives of other animated content he'd acquired over the years, and celebrated by launching Cartoon Network in the fall of '92. As rival children's network Nickelodeon had begun to focus on live-action entertainment, Cartoon Network became the only network to rely primarily on animated content, and 24 hours a day at that. It was more or less an instant success; by 1994 it claimed to be the fifth most popular cable channel in the U.S. Shortly afterward, the network began to produce original content and scored immediate hits with Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and Powerpuff Girls. Aware of its popularity among college students in the later evening hours, Cartoon network launched Adult Swim in 2001, which airs adult and—and let's be honest—stoner-friendly content. Adult Swim initially featured Home Movies and various remixes of the Hanna-Barbera vaults, including Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Harvey Birdman, The Brak Show, and Sealab 2020. Recently Cartoon Network has attempted to launch more live-action series, with mixed success.

Original Programming: While Powerpuff Girls put it on the map and things like Aqua Teen Hunger Force gave it comedy credibility, Cartoon Network's biggest current hits are Star Wars: Clone Wars, ThunderCats, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Ben 10, Generator Rex, and the Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack. Current Adult Swim favorites include Squidbillies, Eagleheart, Childrens Hospital, Delocated, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, Check it Out! With Dr. Steve Brule, The Boondocks, China, IL, The Venture Brothers, and Metalocalypse. Additionally, in the middle of the night it airs various Japanese animation imports.

Reruns: Not only does Cartoon Network pull from its vast archive of older cartoons, it frequently dusts off classic series like Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Saved By the Bell, as well as British imports The Office, The Mighty Boosh, and Look Around You. To say nothing of its annual April Fool's Day tradition of airing Tommy Wiseau's classic film The Room.

Why It's the Best: Because Adult Swim.

Why It's the Worst: Because Adult Swim isn't on 24 hours a day.



Official TV.com Verdict
Adult Swim Cartoon Network.


But now it's your turn! COMMENT BELOW and tell us your verdict: ABC Family or Cartoon Network? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?


Click below to see the full tournament bracket:


Note: Because we started with an odd number of channels, we gave some of the bigger channels a first-round bye.


Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.

Comments (135)
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Are you kidding? This is a complete non contest, and I would almost dare say it goes well beyond even personal bias. I didn't even KNOW ABC Family was still really even considered a noteable entity in the TV world. I would venture to guess that both critically and in terms of viewership that Cartoon Network wins harder than *insert whatever metaphor you will*
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CARTOON NETWORK WINS BY A MILE. they have creative shows like adventure time,regular show,mad, ben 10, ninjago, johnny test, total drama, pokemon, star wars the clone wars, generator rex, etc. I barely watch ab family.
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Cartoon Network/[adult swim], even if a lot of shows these days on CN are bad (Total Drama, Problem Solverz, etc.) there are still SOME good programs on heck Cartoon Planet offers the CN classics. As for [as], I mostly watch it for King of the Hill, Family Guy, and others. ABC Family has gone downhill, I don't see why it's still called ABC Family it should be called ABC Drama.
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Cartoon Network And Adult Swim. Because I've watched Cartoon Network as a kid. Cartoon Network needs to bring back the 90's Cartoon Network. My favorite show on Adult Swim is Aquateen Hungerforce. It's the best.
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Adult Swim. Adult Swim. Cartoon Network block is a minus. Adult Swim is a plus.
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Tough Choice .. but I'll go with Cartoon Network .. only thing I watch on ABC Family is "Switched at Birth"
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Definitely Cartoon Network, ABC Family can go create another crappy, cheesy, pathetic, poorly scripted, dumb, painful to watch sitcom while Cartoon Network can create amazing masterpieces like Regular Show, Adventure Time, The Problem Solverz and The Amazing World of Gumball.
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Cartoon Network has been more successful than ABC Family.
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Cartoon Network FTW
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Cartoon Network/Adult Swim! Just because its thoroughly entertaining, also (and you didn't mention it) it has NTSF:SD:SUV:: enough said :)
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Powerpuff Girls!! Which I still re-watch even today as a 20 year old. Johnny Bravo, Johnny Test, Dexter's Lab, Ben 10! Cartoons are just the best, and I don't mean stoner-cartoons either. I cast my vote not for Adult Swim, but for the cartoon network and all of it's Saturday morning goodness :)



Plus if I want teen drama at least the CW does it with a Supernatural edge (haha yeah).
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GO TEAM VENTURE!
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i thought it through i think its ABC family, i don't even bother looking at Cartoon network, maybe when i was younger
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ABC FAMILY! I am and forever will be in love with Greek, even though it already ended.
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Cartoon Network all the way!!!!!!!
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ABC Family. It's annoying how often they reuse actors for tv shows and original movies though.
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ABC gave us Greek and Make it or break it in a time when other popular dramas had ended and left a void to be filled. The actors and writers of those shows continue to fill that void, and should be commended for it.
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Cartoon Network [adult swim] by a mile.
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Cartoon Network... the only time I ever have about ABC Family on is when they have the 25 days of Christmas and extended Harry Potters.
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ABC FAMILY BY A LANDSLIDE Pretty Little Liars, Lying Game, Switched at Birth, Jane By Design, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Make it or Break it, Kyle XY, Falcon Beach, Wildfire plus others in addition they show various reruns of some decent shows(AFHV, Full House, 70 show, Gilmore Girls) original movies Teen Spirit and Cyber-bully!!

Cartoon Network Besides Star Wars the Clone Wars, ThunderCats ,Ben 10 and coming later this year Green Lantern that is it, now for Adventure Time, Gumball, Johnny Test are not that good, Firebreather was awesome but no series bad decision, but Level Up that was so so movie, is an series another bad decision as for ADULT SWIM , please get rid of it please!!!
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ABC Family because if I had to choose between feeling like an idiot watching teenage shows versus feeling like an idiot watching kids shows...teens ftw. They can be campy or overly dramatic but there is something inexplicably appealing about some of their shows. Plus they would have had my vote for showing reruns of shows I loved like My Wife and Kids and Boy Meets World.
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I'm back with the numbers...



ABC Family: +5 for Pretty Little Liars, +10 for back catalogue and syndicated programming, but -5 for Pat Robertson (seriously ABC Family, if you were a person then he would be your gangrenous foot - cut him off) = +10



CN [Adult Swim]: +5 each for Chidrens Hospital, NTSF, The Boondocks (although it did take them far too long to bring it back), Robot Chicken, +20 for back catalogue and syndicated programming, an extra +10 for Cowboy Bebop & Ghost in the Shell (which are awsome) and an extra +5 for picking up The Mighty Boosh. [not much of an actual contribution there from CN, but nevermind!] = 55



Winner (by a landslide)... ADULT SWIM (or cartoon network, whatever).
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Cartoon Network all the way on this one. After ABC Family cancelled Kyle XY, it was pretty much it for me with that network.
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Cartoon Network! It had the best toons any kid could hope for while I was younger! ABC family is just not for me. Its mainly aimed at teen girls.
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Hence the name ABC "Family", its obvious to know that Disney Enterprises, Inc. (the owners of ABC Family and all of the ESPN Networks) wants to aim all of its "ABC Family" programming choices towards males & females of all ages.



Did You Know? Back in 1991, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) was cut-off and replaced with the, "FOX Family Channel."



In 1997, Disney Enterprises, Inc. bought the rights to, "FOX Family Channel" and renamed it to, "ABC Family." Disney Enterprises, Inc. renamed "FOX Family Channel" to, "ABC Family" because Disney Enterprises, Inc. wanted to make "ABC Family" a family-friendly version of local "ABC" television stations throughout the country, and aim all of its programming choices towards males & females all of ages.
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that is not true at all, ABC FAMILY is one of the better channels overall they have better shows than NBC and FOX
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@bkyle2429.

I totally agree with all of your statements, facts, and/or opinions: 336,000%. I am 17-years-old now. Even when I was a little kid I always thought that CARTOON NETWORK (CN) sucked and I still do to this day.



I'd rather watch ABC Family & TBS than CARTOON NETWORK (CN) or [gay swim].



Hence the name ABC "Family", its obvious to know that Disney Enterprises, Inc. (the owners of ABC Family and all of the ESPN Networks) wants to aim all of its "ABC Family" programming choices towards males & females of all ages.



Did You Know? Back in 1991, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) was cut-off and replaced with the, "FOX Family Channel."



In 1997, Disney Enterprises, Inc. bought the rights to, "FOX Family Channel" and renamed it to, "ABC Family." Disney Enterprises, Inc. renamed "FOX Family Channel" to, "ABC Family" because Disney Enterprises, Inc. wanted to make "ABC Family" a family-friendly version of local "ABC" television stations throughout the country, and aim all of its programming choices towards males & females all of ages.
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While ABC Family occasionally has a decent flick on, it doesn't hold a candle to good ol Cartoonnetwork. Cartoonnetwork gets my vote no contest.



I guess I could see someone liking ABC Family, if you're a pregnant teenage girl, or enjoy terrible acting.
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Cartoon Network.
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USA and FX are above all others.













ABC family is horrible unless you're a teenage girl.
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@MarWash.

Your quote: "ABC Family's programming choices are too horrible to watch unless you're a teenage girl" is NOT True. (How's this you may ask?) Your opinion is NOT TRUE, because I am 17-year-old male and I enjoy watching some of, "ABC Family" television programs, sitcoms, dramas, movies, etc. (Just to clarify, I am not gay. Whenever I see an attractive girl I stare at her when she's NOT LOOKING)



Currently, my favorite 'ABC Family' television program are the hit TV-sitcom, "Melissa & Joey."

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abc family
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@turkling

ABC Family wins my "vote" as well. I also like to watch the television networks, "Boomerang" "TV Land" "TBS" & "FOX."



I use to be a fan of "nickelodeon", but not anymore.



I don't watch "NICEKLODEON" anymore, because since September 24, 2007 @ 8pm EDT after "NICKELODEON" aired the last & final episode of, "Drake & Josh" ever, "NICKELODEON" started going throughout the course of the toilet drain.



After, "Drake & Josh" ended "NICKELODEON" TV programmers started airing crappy/terrible television programs such as: "The Mighty Lisp! "Gak & the Power of Homos" "Back at the Fatyard "The Mannequins of Madagayscar" "Gayscratch" "All Drowned Up" "UnGAYBulous" "GayTORIous" "iCraply" "Big Time Bush" "How to Die" & "Homo Gaywads!"
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This is a real apples and oranges situation. Given that I don't watch ABC Family at all and watch [adult swim] religiously, it's obvious to whom my vote goes.



ATHF, Sealab 2021, Squidbillies, Frisky Dingo (a terrific precursor to Archer), Tim and Eric (inspired insanity), Steve Brule (returning this spring!), The Venture Brothers (which gets better and denser each season), etc. Many of the live action series (Childrens Hospital, NTSF:SD:SVU) are also quite good. We can forgive their occasional mistakes such as Delocated.



While I'm at it, a big thumbs up to Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time with Finn and Jake." Yes, it's a children's cartoon, but it has a lot to please adults as well. I'm completely unashamed to say that I loved it from the very first time I watched it. And it has yet to go limp like SpongeBob has.

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ABC Family all the way!!!!!!!!
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Food Network over Oxygen, for sure.
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@mindmalfunction



I'd rather watch, "TBS" TV-sitcoms over, "Food Network" & "Oxygen any day.



Every day, I watch the following TV-sitcoms on "TBS":

-"The Fresh Prince of Belleair"

-"Tyler Perry's HOUSE OF PAYNE"

-"Home Improvement"

-"Men @ Work"

& -"The Big Fang Theory"

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Oh, I miss Fresh Prince. The Big Bang Theory reruns are great too.
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ABC FAMILY! There's just no contest.
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ABC Family! Pretty Little Liars and Switched at Birth... And it's the network that put me on the tv inside Kappa Tau on Greek (sure I was one of a swarm of Buckeye's rushing the field, but whatever).
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cartoon network/adult swim all the way. all abc family has going for it is constantly showing the harry potter films. CN has adult swim, and even has decent stuff on normal hours (obv finn and jake)
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ABC Family no question. Pretty Little Liars is one of my favorites
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@b7a7seball

Currently, my two (2) favorite "ABC Family" television programs are: "Melissa & Joey" & "Bunheads."



I like "Melissa & Joey" the best.
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Why are these even being compared!? They target totally different audiences! One is more of a family/young child network (ABC fam) and the other targets teens and young adults (cartoon network/ADULT (get it for adults?) swim). This is like comparing totally different sports or apples and oranges.
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There can be only one. It's not just like things. In the end it may come down to QVC vs the Spice network.
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I want a vote in that poll!
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Well, they both have had quite a number of irredeemably bad shows, and both have had a decent number of shows that were just ok, so it's really about the best shows each has done. While ABC Family has had some good shows like The Middleman, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and 10 Things I Hate About You, I've never seen anything really excellent from them. Meanwhile CN has had the amazing Sealab 2021, Frisky Dingo, Tower Prep (Lost for kids), Childrens Hospital, and an unending list of awesome anime and some other really good cartoons. So yeah, Adult Swim pretty much trounces ABC Family.
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This is a tough one. I think I am going to have to go with Cartoon Network.
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ABC Family.
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ABC Family
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Adult Swim. Why? Robot Chicken Star Wars special.
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Count me for Cartoon Network. Yes to Adult Swim, no to Pat Robertson.
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ABC Family definitely, it has all the soapy/thriller/drama goodness anyone could desire. Adult Swim is just strange....-__-
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Cartoon Network, all the way! What other network could introduce me to superheroes (Justice League-Young Justice) AND anime (Sailor Moon, people)? Definitely shaped who I am today!
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@xxroxy115



Q: "What other cable/satellite TV network could introduce to me to newer superhero television programs?"

A: "Disney XD, Boomerang, & NICKTOONS"
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ABC Family
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@mksystem74

I agree with you programming choice: 336,000%.
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abc fam
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Cartoon Network. So much of my fmaily's TV history is tied in with these two networks. Early in my marriage I watched B&W reruns like Love That Bob on CBN and then game shows like Shop til You Drop on The Family Channel. My oldest son watched cartoons on Fox Family and my younger son watched Dexter's Lab and the Powerpuff Girls on the Cartoon Network. I don't watch either network these days, but I will vote for Cartoon Network because they still have cool shows like Adventure Time and The Venture Brothers. None of the teen shows on ABC Family appeal to me. However, 5-6 years ago I watched their reruns of Boy Meets World every afternoon, and that's what led me to TV.com.
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Cartoon Network/Adult Swim.... enough said...
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ABC Family! :)
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Cartooon Network
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