Channel logo circa 2013
|Tagline(s):||"Entertaining Little Americans"|
Spree is a basic cable and satellite television channel that was launched on August 1st, 1977, and is owned by Vector Networks. It is exclusively aimed at children and adolescents in the seven to eighteen age group, but prior to the unveiling of Spree Jr. also featured a range of weekday morning edutainment programming targeted at younger children in the two to six year old age bracket.
As of August 2013, Spree is available to approximately ninety four million pay television households (roughly eighty percent of households with at least one tv set) in the United States.
The channel was first launched on a national level on August 1st, 1977. It originally aired under the name "ToonZone" featuring adolescent-oriented programming in afternoon timeslots and small child-oriented edutainment programming in weekday morning timeslots. It took its name from the fact that it originally screened animated cartoons before adapting to include non-animated shows in the early eighties. The channel was originally commercial-free with advertizing added in 1986 to provide an extra revenue stream for Vector Networks.
In 1981 the channel was rebranded under the name "Spree". A consideration panel employed by the network decided that the old name was outdated and no longer properly represented the direction the channel was headed in. The network wanted to add teen-oriented reality and drama shows and felt that the ToonZone name would only confuse its viewers. The new name was selected to foster ideas of fun and excitement in the minds of the young viewers watching the channel. It is intended to focus exclusively on the "tween" and "teen" age groups featuring a range of programming created to appeal to both age brackets.
Spree currently runs an early morning line-up, a mid-afternoon line-up and an early evening line-up to fit around school times so as to be viewable to its targeted audience. It also frequently runs cartoon and popular series marathons in the weekends for the enjoyment of its viewers. All television series hosted on Spree are closely monitored by a panel of censors to ensure that all they remain suitable for the channel's young viewers. To this end the channel has ruthlessly cancelled and banned several shows for inappropriate content.
Current Programming Edit
Animated Cartoons Edit
Teen Sitcoms/Dramas Edit
Former Programming Edit
- Anything Goes (cancelled due to inappropriate adult-level violence)
- Coop & Berry (cancelled due to low ratings)
Channel Logo History EditAs a channel with a long history of revisioning and reinventing itself has altered its logo several times of the course of its broadcasting history. Below is a gallery of the changing logos over the years.
Anything Goes Edit
In 2009 a committee of disgruntled parents filed a class action lawsuit against Vector Networks due to the animated series "Anything Goes". They claimed that their children had mimicked the R-rated acts of graphic violence depicted in the show causing them to become aggressively violent. A heated legal battle ensued with the network's legal team attempting to prove that the behaviour of the children was not connected to the television show. However, their efforts were foiled when the parents successfully proved that their children had in fact directly copied the actions seen in the show. One child spoke at the trial admitting that he had been inspired by the show to use what he had seen in one episode on a bully at his school.
Vector Networks, which owns the channel, was forced to make substantial reparation payments to the families involved. As a result of the lawsuit Anything Goes was cancelled and banned from ever airing again in any form. A court order also banned it any DVD releases, online screenings and any form of distribution. Episodes of the ill-fated show are now so hard to find that fans have begun referring to it as "The Lost Cartoon". Hopes for a late-night revival of Anything Goes or at least an online restricted audience viewing have been denied due to the legal conditions imposed by the lawsuit. As far as the lawyers and Vector Networks is concerned, Anything Goes is gone forever.
- Spree is a parody of the adolescent-oriented television channel Nickelodeon. It features many similarities to its real-life inspiration such as having changed its logo several times using stylized fonts, was officially launched in 1977 and had its name changed early in its history. The channel. like Nickelodeon, is also the parent channel to other closely related channels such as Spree Jr. (which is itself a parody of Nick Jr.).
- The channel's critics have criticized it for not showing educational content to stimulate the minds of its young viewers. Spree has defended its position stating that it exists to entertain and amuse children - if they need to be educated they should be at school. It recently won a lawsuit filed by a disgruntled parent based on these grounds.