As reported by gaijinside, and via Toon Zone; Toonami will have it's last airing on Cartoon Network tonight. After 11 years of being a network staple, airing at one point, daily, and then starting in 2004 it became a Saturday night event. After tonight, however, it will be gone, exact reasons are unknown at this point. My guess is the programming, ever since, I'm guessing 2005 when Dual Masters started I personally lost interest in the block. And then Naurto came along, and that really boosted the Saturday ratings, but I never really got attached to it.
I'm going to have to say that the biggest blow to the block was it's most recent make over, in which Toonami's host, TOM, looked more like a Thomas the Tank Engine, robot hybrid. I think when that happened, the main demographic for the block was lost entirely, gone was Gundam, Rurouni Kenshin, even Dragonball. Instead viewers were given Naruto, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Bakugan, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Despite the programming block leaving, it seems the online version, Toonami Jetstream will still be available.
In addition to this, I think I should point out Cartoon Network's recent direction. For one, there's been an utter lack of original content, with shows like My Gym Partner's A Monkey, Camp Lazlo, Class of 3000, Squirrel Boy, and as of next year, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, all ending or being canceled too early in their time and without notice to the viewers. As I've stated before, now all the network shows is outsourced Flash animation from Canada's Teletoon. The only original shows now are Chowder, Flapjack, Ben 10: Alien Force, and Transformers Animated, all of which have finished their seasons, with no premieres set for a few months.
New shows will becoming for a newly action-oriented Friday block, which hopefully cancels the dreadful Fried Dynamite. This new block will consist of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a continuation of the unnecessary theatrical release, and The Secret Saturdays, a family based action show that follows a similar style to Johnny Quest. Also set for the block is the latest Batman series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which you can see the trailer for at VFHvideo. And lastly, new episodes of Ben 10: Alien Force will also be part of this new found block.
I really hope Cartoon Network knows what they're doing, because I've had so much faith in the channel since I was little, in fact, without it, I probably wouldn't be a cartoonist pursuing a career in animation.
Anyways, enough ranting, make sure you watch Toonami tonight, because it will be the last chance you ever get! It's from 9 to 11 p.m. EST. Which is actually a surprise to me because back when the Saturday Toonami first launched, it was from 7 to 11, and there was variety. Now it's an hour of Naruto, yuck, a re-run of Ben 10 ... again. The only special aspect is that they air one episode of Samurai Jack; tonight's episode is "XXVI - Jack's Sandals", so at least Toonami leaves on a good note.
UPDATE: Right after Samurai Jack ended there was a somewhat, heartfelt message from TOM say that it was the final broadcast and thanked the fans. From there, they other bots shut down the system and TOM flew off ... Goodbye to you too old friend...