Adult Swim (British and Irish TV programming block)


Adult Swim is a late night programming block which has sporadically aired on various channels in the United Kingdom and Ireland since 2006. As of 2019, Adult Swim programmes are broadcast on E4 and available for streaming on All 4.

In addition, Adult Swim also maintains a website and a mobile TV service which are run separately from its sister channel, Cartoon Network, unlike its American counterpart.


Adult Swim is an American channel block that airs on the United States cable network Cartoon Network after the watershed, and features a mix of original and syndicated programming geared towards an adult audience. A Canadian version was launched as the late night counterpart to Cartoon Network (Canada) in 2012.

In the UK, channels like Cartoon Network are considered to be children’s channels, according to the classification of platform providers such as Sky;[1] channels listed as kids‘ services are prevented under the Ofcom broadcasting code from airing content unsuitable for children at any time of day,[2] even after the watershed. As a result, Adult Swim would not be allowed to be broadcast on the local Cartoon Network. Some early Adult Swim programmes, notably Space Ghost Coast to Coast, did appear on Cartoon Network UK, predominantly in the late-90s evening block „AKA Cartoon Network“ alongside older-skewing CN fare and UK productions such as Cult Toons; however, for Adult Swim’s more edgy shows which followed, alternative homes had to be found.

Many of Adult Swim’s original programmes have been aired in the UK on channels aimed at older audiences, having either been sold individually or as part of designated AS program blocks.

In the past, such blocks have aired on Bravo,[3]TCM 2, FX (later Fox) and Comedy Central.

In January 2012, Adult Swim began a one-hour weekly broadcast on Turner’s TCM 2 channel, marking the first time that Adult Swim has aired on one of Turner’s own channels in the UK and Ireland. The programming block ended in August 2013, due to the closure of TCM 2.

Adult Swim returned to UK and Irish television with a new block on Fox starting 10 September 2015 at 23:00.[4] In late 2016, the Fox block began airing on Thursday nights between midnight and 01:00. During late 2016 this ran concurrently with a Friday-night block on truTV, then owned by Turner, making several series available to Freeview users.[5] The TRUTV block stopped at the end of 2016, Turner selling the channel to Sony Pictures Television in early 2017. The AS programming block ceased on Fox on 1 September 2017. Following the demise of the Fox and truTV blocks, Rick and Morty was sold to Comedy Central UK, which premiered the show’s third season in the UK, and Netflix.

It was announced in January 2019 that Channel 4 had partnered with Adult Swim to introduce a new one-hour Adult Swim programming block would be introduced on E4 from February 2019. It was also revealed that Channel 4 would air numerous episodes of AS content on its online streaming and catch-up platform, All 4 as well as exclusively airing the upcoming fourth season of Rick and Morty on Channel 4. On 1 February, it was announced that Adult Swim would be coming to E4 on 15 February. It teased shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Mr Pickles, Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken and more.[6] On 15 February 2019, E4 started airing the Adult Swim programming block by airing Rick and Morty Season 1 and the Robot Chicken Walking Dead special. The next week, they replaced the Walking Dead Special with Season 9 of Robot Chicken. This would also mark the first time that Adult Swim UK would be available in Switzerland.

On 8 March 2019, E4 started airing Season 2 of Dream Corp LLC, replacing the second episode of Robot Chicken Season 9 that aired on the Adult Swim programming block.

On 27 April 2019, E4 started airing Season 2 of Rick and Morty.

On 3 May 2019, E4 started airing the Adult Swim programming block, Fridays in the really early mornings. The really early morning block airs the previous episode of Rick and Morty Season 2 and two episodes of Robot Chicken Season 8. The late night block airs the next episode of Rick and Morty Season 2, Robot Chicken Season 9, Dream Corp LLC Season 2 and Rick and Morty Season 1. On the same day, Samurai Jack came to All 4. The Robot Chicken Star Wars special aired on E4 on 4 May 2019 at midnight. From June 2019, The Eric Andre Show replaced DreamCorp LLC in the E4 block.

On 15 May 2019, it was announced at the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 that Season 4 of Rick and Morty would premiere in November 2019.

All 4 added more Adult Swim shows every other Thursday, starting from 24 May 2019.

Programming and broadcast[edit]

Adult Swim in the UK has been broadcast on various channels since its inception in 2006 with various programming.

(E) indicates shows which received a linear scheduled broadcast on E4. Rick and Morty episodes were loaded to All 4 in tandem with their E4 broadcast.

Online & DVD[edit]

The Adult Swim website, like its American counterpart, offers free access to full episodes of shows including Squidbillies, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Minoriteam, Stroker and Hoop, Moral Orel, 12 oz. Mouse, Perfect Hair Forever, Metalocalypse, and Frisky Dingo. As of Wednesday 11 July 2012, the UK site started redirecting visitors to the U.S site. It has since been redesigned, showing a clip of Rick and Morty via YouTube, their social media sites, and their TV guide for the UK blocks.[7] After the Fox and TruTV blocks ceased airing, the TV guide was removed.

Revolver Entertainment recently began distributing some original Adult Swim series on DVD in the UK and Ireland.[8]

The shows are no longer released on DVD, but Rick and Morty is streaming on Netflix.

See also[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Not an Adult Swim show, but shown in an Adult Swim programming block
  2. ^ Series 1 was broadcast in the second half of 2017, with series 2 broadcast from January to February 2018.
  3. ^ (series 9- on E4; series 6- on All 4)
  4. ^ (Series 1-2 on All 4; Series 3 on E4)
  5. ^ (UK premiere)
  6. ^ (UK premiere)
  7. ^ (UK premiere)
  8. ^ (UK premiere)
  9. ^ (UK premiere)
  10. ^ (UK premiere)
  11. ^ (UK premiere)


External links[edit]


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