News Commentary

Sadness On The Absolution: Toonami Sheds An Hour of Programming

Toonami LogoToonami fans just got a dose of the sadness yesterday.

The official Toonami Tumblr announced a new, shorter schedule for the block that begins this evening. The official announcement is as follows:

Got a bit of bad news here, AoT fans. Starting tomorrow night, Toonami will be running from 11:30p-5:30a, and the week after will be 11:30p-5:00a for the foreseeable future. There will be no Attack on Titan episode THIS week, and we will pick back up where we left off with Titan next week, when it moves to 2:30am. Adult Swim proper will be picking back up after Toonami in the 5am hour with King of the Hill(s). Full Line-Ups for each week are below. And don’t worry, Sam Jack fans, we haven’t forgotten about you! Starting 1/31, the last two episodes of Samurai Jack (the ones we’ll be skipping) will be up on and VOD for you Jack fans to finish out the show. IGPX will be going on hiatus but will likely be back at some point, as will Sam Jack. Got all that? WHEW!

Sorry for the last minute changes, and thanks for watching!

Toonami co-creator Jason DeMarco took to Twitter to explain the situation further:

It’s certainly not the news that Toonami fans want to hear. That said, though, it’s hardly unexpected. The block expanded to 11:30PM in response to record high ratings posted n June 2014, when an average of 1.5 million viewers tuned in to the midnight block. Shows like Bleach and Attack on Titan delighted viewers and sponsors alike, as they dominated in key demographics within the 18-49 set.

Since that time, though, the numbers collapsed. Toonami’s biggest hits bring in about 500,000 fewer viewers week over week, and year-over-year. From a business standpoint, this is hardly ideal, as advertisers begin to get antsy, and the boards look to reassure their benefactors that things will return to normal, somehow.

The cause of the low ratings is a topic of debate, and while most reasonable arguments are correct to an extent, just how much these factors contribute is difficult to really say. The old content, the less intense programming, the offbeat scheduling, and the like all build up to a larger overall picture that begins to make the logic clearer.

Kill la Kill will certainly have an impact on the numbers. It’s a new show, with a great reputation for its over-the-top action and likeable cast. Just how much it will help, though, remains to be seen. I doubt it’ll pull the numbers people are hoping for, though I’d love to be proven wrong.

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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