Williams Street (previously known as Ghost Planet Industries) is a division of Cartoon Network, which is owned by Turner Broadcasting. Keith Crofford and Mike Lazzo oversee operations for the studio building. The main priority is production of original series which air on Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim block of adult-oriented programming. They also produce DVDs and soundtracks for their series, unrelated music from selected artists, and interactive video and web games.
Williams Street was originally a building constructed in the early 1900s. No information exists for what the building was used for up until the 70s, rumors state it was once a carpet factory. In 1976, Ted Turner bought the building and used it for his own television station WTCG. This new channel was was the result of a recent UHF takeover. In December 1976, the first WTCG signal was beamed via satellite to its four cable systems located around Georgia. This broadcast was the first use of non-pay-service satellite transmission, an innovation that would come to revolutionize basic cable nationwide.
Starting out as a minor local channel, the station grew into success and was re-launched as WTBS in 1979. Then after a 5 year period, WTBS was renamed TBS Superstation. During this time, Turner also created CNN, a 24-hour news network. Both became standard for cable providers by the late 80s. Due to this success, the studio building became too small to operate as a headquarters. A new campus was built across the street for the expanding Turner empire. Upon completion, Turner launched Cartoon Network to showcase their recent acquisitions of the vast MGM and Hannah-Barbera library of cartoons.
When Turner moved out of the Williams Street building, they kept ownership, using it as a storage facility. Although no longer it's main purpose, to this day Williams Street houses all the show tapes for Turner Networks. Appointed to run the building were veteran turner employees such as Keith Crofford, Andy Merril, and former mail-room employee Mike Lazzo. Although Cartoon Network was run at Hannah-Barbera studios at the time, certain duties were eventually controlled by the trio at Williams Street. One of their most important early tasks were producing host segments for The Moxy Pirate Show (later The Moxy Show).
From 1990 to 1993, TBS had started it's own original programming such as "Captain Planet" and "2 Stupid Dogs". This interested the team at Williams Street, and they all wished to create their own series. Towards the end of '93, the three mustered up courage to approach Ted Turner with their ideas for Cartoon Network original programming. It didn't go as planned, and were eventually kicked out of Ted's office. According to Lazzo, they were clearly told that unless CN started making more money for Turner, they wouldn't be allowed funding or a chance. They didn't listen.
They decided to produce their own series pilot. On a shoe-string budget, they tried to come up with compatible ideas. During brain storming, they realized they could simply re-use footage of any animation in the turner library. They eventually settled on "Space ghost & Dino Boy". Because they felt it would fit, they paired it with Mike Lazzo's idea of a "Satirical talk show with a clueless host asking guests a stream of stupid questions." The final pilot featured rotoscoped animation super-imposed on a simple background, and used CNN interview footage for the live-action interview.
They went back to Turner and presented the pilot, and the series was then greenlit for a 10 episode season. Work began and the minor CN production/storage facility became it's own studio, named after Coast to Coast's own in-show one : Ghost Planet Industries. Soon the series was acquiring it's first C and D-list celebrity guests, small animation and writing crew, and voice actors. The voice actor for Space Ghost was local voice actor George Lowe, all other roles were done by the GPI crew. The series eventually premiered in April 14th, 1994. This marked Cartoon Network's first original series, and the first animated talk-show in history.
Due to it's more mature surreal humor, the series attracted a devoted cult audience. It's success led to a special which was simulcast on TBS, a special short for VHS release of blockbuster "The Mask", and much more famous guests. In the height of popularity, it was awarded it's own spinoff. Turner commissioned GPI to produce some sort of lighter version for TBS, due to a need for children's programming. Cartoon Planet premiered on TBS in 1995 and later moved to Cartoon Network in 1996. The series featured Space Ghost hosting segments and cartoons for young viewers. After 2 seasons, TBS decided to cancel all kids programming, following the trend of TNT and USA.
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The name originates from the location of the studios (which double as the home office for Adult Swim) on Williams Street in Atlanta, Georgia, in proximity to the current offices of Ted Turner-founded WTBS, CNN, and the Cartoon Network itself.
The building seen in their logo is the original concept of the "animated" Ghost Planet Industries building, which was later rendered in 3D for Space Ghost Coast to Coast and Toonami's introductions. The real-life studio looks much different, as it has an old TBS logo on the front and is much longer, and more elevated in the middle. The studio, on Williams Street in midtown Atlanta, is directly across the Downtown Connector from TBS's corporate headquarters.
After showing up to 5 seconds of the Williams Street logo, it cuts to a barely visible skull and crossbones design with the 1992-2004 Cartoon Network logo as the teeth. This did not occur during the Ghost Planet Industries era, as it was followed by a less subliminal Cartoon Network logo.
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- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1994-2004)
- Cartoon Planet (1995-1998, 2012-Present)
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2000-present)
- The Brak Show (2000-2007)
- Perfect Hair Forever (2004-2007, 2014)
- 12 oz. Mouse (2005-2007)
- Squidbillies (2005-present)
- Sealab 2021 (with 70/30 Productions) (2000-2005)
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (with Turner Studios) (2000-2007)
- The Venture Bros. (with World Leaders and Astrobase GO!) (2003-present)
- Stroker and Hoop (with Turner Studios) (2004-2005)
- Tom Goes to the Mayor (with Dipshot Films) (2004-2006)
- Robot Chicken (with ShadowMachine Films, Stoopid Monkey and Sony Pictures Digital) (2005-present)
- Moral Orel (with [[ShadowMachine Films] and Fragical Productions) (2005-2008)
- Minoriteam (with Funny Garbage, Reas T International, and Monkey Wrangler Productions) (2005-2006)
- Metalocalypse (with Titmouse Inc.) (2006-present)
- Frisky Dingo (with 70/30 Productions) (2006-2008)
- Assy McGee (with Soup2Nuts andClambake Animation) (2006-2008)
- Saul of the Molemen (2007)
- Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (with Absolutely) (2007-present)
- Lucy, Daughter of the Devil (2005-present) (with Fluid)
- Xavier: Renegade Angel (with PFFR and Cinematico) (2007-present)
- Fat Guy Stuck in Internet (2007-2008)
- Superjail (with Augenblick Studios) (2008-Present)
- The Drinky Crow Show (with Mirari Films) (2008-Present)
- Titan Maximum (with ShadowMachine Films, Stoopid Monkey, and Tom is Awesome) (2009-Present)
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters (released by First Look Pictures)(2007)
- Death Fighter (In Production)
- Korgoth of Barbaria (with Cartoon Network Studios) (2006)
- Let's Fish (with Titmouse Inc.) (2007)
- The Xtacles (with 70/30 Productions) (2008)
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters Colon the Soundtrack - Multiple Artists (2007)
- The Dethalbum - Dethklok (2007)
- Awesome Record, Great Songs! Volume 1 - Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (2008)
- Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que - Multiple Artists (1997)
- Space Ghost's Surf & Turf - Multiple Artists (1998)
- Brak Presents the Brak Album Starring Brak - Multiple Artists (2000)
- Chocolate Swim - Various Artists (with Chocolate Industries) (2006)
- Definitive Swim - Various Artists (with Definitive Jux) (2007)
- Warm & Scratchy - Various Artists (with Esurance) (2007)
- The Diary Of An American Witchdoctor - Witchdoctor (2007)
- Ghostly Swim - Various Artists (with Ghostly International) (2008)
- World Wide Renewal Program - Various Artists (with Chocolate Industries) (2008)
- African Swim - Various Artists (2008)
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am (with Midway)(2007)
- Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (with Capcom)(2007)
There are several divisions that fall under different names, which handle different materials.
- Williams Street handles the other divisions, and production of it's original series.
- Williams Street Records are their record label. Under this label, they have released original works of music, which may or may not be related to their shows. The label is run by Jason Demarco.
- Williams Street Games is the division that produces video games based off of their original series. The logo and branding has recently been implemented on their online web-games.
- Williams Street DVD Whores is the division that releases their original series on DVD. For a brief period, they were known as Williams Street DVD Sluts, because as they put it, "whores get paid".
- The audio clip used in the logo bumper was lifted from actor Jack Webb's production company Mark VII Limited, where a hammer is used to hit a stamp to produce the Roman Numeral VII(for 7) in the logo.
- William Street as it appears on the logo is actually the former Space Ghost Industries building.