Adult Swim (stylized as [adult swim]) is an American adult-oriented nighttime programming block of the basic cable network Cartoon Network that is programmed by its in-house production studio, Williams Street. Marketed as a separate network for ratings purposes, Adult Swim currently broadcasts nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. ET/PT.

Debuting in 2001, Adult Swim serves as the nighttime identity of Cartoon Network, and it was established as alternative programming during late night hours when Cartoon Network’s primary target audience, children between the ages of 7 and 15, would normally be sleeping. In 2005, Adult Swim was granted its own Nielsen ratings report from Cartoon Network due to it targeting a separate demographic. The block features stylistically varied animated and live-action shows, including original programming, syndicated series, anime, original video animations, and short films with generally minimal or no editing for content.


Adult Swim has frequently aired adult animation features, mockumentaries, sketch comedy, and pilots. The block’s shows are known for their sexual themes, frank sexual discussion, nudity, strong language, and graphic violence. Many of its programs are esthetically experimental, transgressive, improvised, and surrealist in nature. Adult Swim has contracted with various studios known for their productions in absurd and shock comedy.


Original shows currently in-production and seen on Adult Swim include Robot Chicken, Squidbillies, The Eric Andre Show, and Rick and Morty. Adult Swim is best known for its inaugural slate of programming, which were mainly parodies and remakes based on Hanna-Barbera cartoons (including Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and Sealab 2021).

Adult Swim also airs syndicated programs from 20th Television (Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers), original series produced for sister network TBS (American Dad! and Final Space), and have acquired and even co-produced various anime series. Adult Swim is currently one of the only networks in the United States that airs anime (besides Disney XD) and the only network that airs such programming aimed at young adults and teens rather than children.

Currently, anime and most action-genre programming air on Saturday nights as part of Toonami, a former Cartoon Network programming block that was relaunched by Adult Swim on May 26, 2012 as a «block-within-a-block». Cartoon Network shows that have gained a following among older viewers have also aired on Toonami; in particular, Samurai Jack proved popular enough in reruns to warrant a revival in 2017.

A variety of Adult Swim’s original content has been made available to stream on the WarnerMedia-owned streaming service HBO Max since its May 2020 launch.