YTV is a Canadian Category-A cable and satellite television channel owned by Corus Entertainment. Although the "YTV" moniker was originally thought by some viewers as "Youth Television", the channel's website defines it as just three letters, despite the fact that the network had originally branded itself as a youth network from the start. Its programming consists of original live-action and animated shows television shows, movies, and third-party programming from US cable channel Nickelodeon and other distributors. As of August of 2013, the network is available in over 11 million Canadian households.
YTV launched at 7 p.m. EST on September 1, 1988 with a preview special hosted by John Candy. It had become the successor to two prior special programming services operated by various Ontario cable companies, Rogers Cable and CUC Broadcasting, both of which were acquired by Shaw Comunications. In 1995, through a various number of acquisitions and trades, Shaw secured full control of YTV. It was later spun-off as part of Corus Entertainment in 1999.
Due to a lack of available children's and teen-oriented programming at YTV's launch, its schedule was initially filled primarily with reruns of family-friendly classic and more recent TV shows from the United States (such as Batman, Bonanza, Dennis the Menace, Lassie, The Roy Rogers Show, Carol Burnett and Friends and the original Flipper), Canada (including Adventures in Rainbow Country, The Forest Rangers, The Trouble with Tracy and The Littlest Hobo), the United Kingdom (including Doctor Who, Blake's 7, The Tomorrow People, Thunderbirds, The Young Ones, Yes, Prime Minister, Space: 1999 and Are You Being Served?) and Australia (including Home and Away) before it began producing its own kid/teen-oriented shows, along with acquiring newer shows from Nickelodeon, The WB/The CW and other American and foreign networks and channels oriented to its target audience.
Around 1998, YTV began to use a Nickelodeon-style "gross-out" factor in its branding, with much less slime. They also began to use the slogan, "Keep It Weird". Throughout the years, the network had used a number of different on-air logos, featuring the same arrangement of white letters on various bizarre and imaginative creatures. The logo that was used on production credits and the "official" logo, features an arrangement on a red screen of a stylized purple TV set. The advertisements that the network showed often focused on promoting the brand through crude humor.
In the fall of 2005, a new post-6PM advertising style was developed for older audiences. This advertising used a much simpler logo with much sleeker packaging with barely any gross-out tactics. In the spring of 2006, the simple logo was first featured on YTV promos and had even appeared in the closing credits of new YTV shows that premiered that year. The look was later adapted for the entire channel in 2007. By September of 2009, it's logo featured new colors, and a simpler background, leading to reduced variations to the network's bumpers.
By 2013, the network began airing reruns of select Teletoon shows, as a result of Corus Entertainment completing their acquisition of TELETOON Canada, Inc. As a result, anime shows, such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, and its original series Oh No! It's an Alien Invasion, which would be starting its second season, moved to Teletoon. The following year, the network went through yet another brand change, which included new graphics and bumpers created by design studio Eloisa Iturbe Studio.
- Program Listing: A complete listing of shows that have aired on YTV.
Ever since the network was launched, YTV had divided its programming into different blocks for a variety of reasons. An unnamed block which later became known as "The Treehouse" and "The Afterschool Block", which is now known as "The Zone", were the first and second blocks established in the channel's early years. Instead of filling the time with public service announcements or other filler material, the several minutes between shows were devoted to interaction between hosts.
Other blocks on the network, such as Limbo and Bionix were created for the specific purpose of designing programming intended for older or specific audiences. These blocks were unhosted without any advertising restrictions being applied.
Current Program Blocks
- The Zone (Weekdays from 4-6PM EST/PST)
- The Zone Weekends (Weekends from 7AM-12PM EST/PST)
- Big Fun Movies (Sundays starting at 2PM EST/PST)
Former Program Blocks
- The Treehouse (spun-off into its own specialty channel Treehouse TV)
- The Alley
- YTV News
- The Breakfast Zone
- Snit Station
- The Dark Corner
- YTV Jr.
- 3 Hairy Thumbs Up
- Big Fun Weeknights
- YTV PlayTime