What was that show...?

What was that show...?

-Written by: Lisa Marie Cooper

What Was That Show…?: Anime on American TV

Did you know that since 1963 there hasn’t been a single year when anime didn’t air on American television? True, for a stretch in the ‘70s it was mostly just MushiPro titles running in syndication, but they were there all the same, reaching kids who had no idea this show they loved came from across the Pacific. By the ‘80s, of course, the number of anime series started going up, up, up. How many anime series and movies would you say have aired on American TV? 10? 50? 100? Over 9,000? I honestly didn’t count, but over the course of putting this list together that last number has started to sound pretty accurate.

There’s been so many anime on American TV that you can easily be forgiven for forgetting which shows you watched way back when. Not to worry – I’ve got your back. Organized by year, this is as complete a list as possible of every anime that has aired on American TV (barring a few exceptions I’ll get to in a minute). As long as you can remember the year you saw the show, the channel it was on, and/or have the patience to click through an awful lot of entries, you’ll find the show you’re looking for and a lot more besides.

About syndication: Syndication means a show was offered as a package to any channel willing to pay for it. If a series is listed under “syndication,” it may have aired on a network you got, but not necessarily. Even if you did get the channel it was on, the series wouldn’t necessarily have aired at a reasonable time. (Five a.m. Sailor Moon airings, anyone?)

Exceptions: In the interest of saving sanity and server load times, this list does not (currently) cover video on demand (VOD) channels, The Anime Channel, or Funimation Network. Colours TV, ImaginAsian TV, Starz Edge, Starz Encore Action, KTEH, and the International Channel are similarly excluded. Network One is excluded because I couldn’t find any kind of schedule, but they aired Streamline titles from 1994-98.

Caveats: I have attempted to be as thorough as possible, but I am still only human. If you notice something missing, see an entry with incorrect data, or have any other comments, please reach out to us on social media via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or anywhere else you can find us. Some of the syndication data from the ‘60s and ‘70s is spotty. While the first year a program entered syndication is (hopefully) always listed, subsequent years the series was available are sometimes unknown.

Sources: I have relied on many of the usual suspects in putting this list together, including Wikipedia (cross-checked against citations, of course!), the ever-valuable Anime News Network Encyclopedia, and the internet archivist’s best friend, The Wayback Machine. Particular thanks are also due to the editors at the Toonami Wiki (especially the wonderful souls who added the broadcast sections!), user mbanu at Old School Otaku for scraping the Sci-Fi movie schedule, Fred Patten’s Watching Anime, Reading Manga, Fred Ladd’s Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas,Jonathan Clements’ and Helen McCarthy’s Anime Encyclopedia, and others I am sure I have accidentally forgotten but were no less valuable.

Happy remembrances!

-Lisa Marie Cooper

1963

NBC
Syndication

1964

NBC

Syndication

1965

NBC
Syndication

1966

NBC
Syndication

1967

NBC
Syndication

1968

Syndication

1969

Syndication

1970

Syndication

1971

Syndication

1972

Syndication

1973

Syndication

1974

Syndication

1975

Syndication

1976

Syndication

1977

Syndication

1978

Syndication

1979

Syndication

1980

Syndication

1981

Syndication
Christian Broadcasting Network
  • Superbook - reader submission

1982

Syndication
Christian Broadcasting Network
  • Superbook - reader submission
  • The Flying House

1983

Syndication
Christian Broadcasting Network
  • The Flying House

1984

Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Belle and Sebastian
Syndication

1985

Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
Syndication

1986

Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
Syndication

1987

Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
Syndication
  • Bionic Six
  • Maple Town
  • Sylvanian Families
  • Tales of Magic/Merlin’s Cave/World Famous Fairy Tales

1988

HBO
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
Syndication
  • Bionic Six
  • Sylvanian Families
  • Tales of Magic/Merlin’s Cave/World Famous Fairy Tales

1989

Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication
  • Dragon Warrior

1990

The Family Channel
  • Wowser
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Adventures of the Little Koala
  • The Adventures of Peter Pan
  • Belle and Sebastian
  • The Littl' Bits
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold
  • Noozles
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication
  • Dragon Warrior
  • Maya the Honey Bee

1991

CBS
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Adventures of the Little Koala
  • Jungle Tales
  • The Littl' Bits
  • Noozles
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication

1992

HBO
  • Pinocchio: The Series
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Adventures of the Little Koala
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics
  • The Littl' Bits
  • Noozles
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication
  • Honeybee Hutch
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • Maya the Honey Bee
  • Tic Tac Toons

1993

MTV
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Noozles
  • Adventures of the Little Koala
  • The Littl' Bits
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics
Sci-Fi
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication

1994

Cartoon Network
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics
  • The Littl' Bits
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication

1995

Cartoon Network
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics
  • The Littl’ Bits
Sci-Fi
UPN
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication

1996

Cartoon Network
Nickelodeon/Nick Jr.
  • The Littl’ Bits
Sci-Fi
USA Cartoon Express
Syndication

1997

Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network/Toonami
Sci-Fi
USA Network
Syndication

1998

Cartoon Network/Toonami
Sci-Fi
Toon Disney
Syndication

1999

Cartoon Network/Toonami
Cartoon Network/Toonami: Midnight Run
Fox Kids
Kid’s WB
Sci-Fi
Syndication

2000

Cartoon Network/Toonami
Cartoon Network/Toonami: Midnight Run
Fox Kids
Kid’s WB
PBS

2001

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
Cartoon Network/Toonami: Midnight Run
Fox Kids
Kid’s WB
Sci-Fi
Syndication
  • Tama and Friends

2002

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
Cartoon Network/Toonami: Midnight Run
Fox Kids/ABC Family
FoxBox
G4/Tech TV
Kid’s WB
Nickelodeon
Syndication
  • Tama and Friends

2003

ABC Family/Jetix
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Saturday Video Entertainment System
Cartoon Network/Toonami
Cartoon Network/Toonami: Midnight Run
FoxBox
G4/Tech TV
Kid’s WB

2004

ABC Family/Jetix
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
FoxBox
G4/Tech TV
Kid’s WB
MTV2

2005

4Kids TV
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
G4/Tech TV
Jetix/Toon Disney
Kid’s WB

2006

4Kids TV
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
G4/Tech TV
Jetix/Toon Disney
Kid’s WB

2007

4Kids TV
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
Fuse
Jetix/Toon Disney
Kid’s WB
  • Spider Riders
Spike TV
Sci-Fi

2008

4Kids TV
CW4K!DS
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Cartoon Network/Toonami
Jetix/Toon Disney
Nickelodeon/NickToons
  • Domo TV
Spike TV
Sci-Fi

2009

Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Chiller
CW4K!DS
Disney XD
Jetix/Toon Disney
Nickelodeon/NickToons
  • Domo TV
Sci-Fi/SyFy

2010

Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
CW4K!DS/Toonzai
Disney XD
Nickelodeon/Nicktoons
SyFy

2011

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
Disney XD
G4
Nickelodeon/Nicktoons
SyFy
Toonzai

2012

Cartoon Network/Toonami/Adult Swim’s Toonami
G4
Nicktoons
Toonzai/Vortexx

2013

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Toonami
Nicktoons
Vortexx

2014

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Toonami
Disney XD
Nicktoons
Vortexx

2015

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Toonami
Chiller
Disney XD
Nicktoons

2016

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Toonami
Disney XD
Digimon Fusion

2017

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Toonami
Disney XD
SyFy
Nicktoons

2018

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim’s Toonami
Disney XD
KidsClick
Nicktoons

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