In 1991, Margaret Loesch became head of Fox Children's Network. Having championed the Pryde of the X-Men pilot in 1989, she was quick to set up an order for 13 episodes of X-Men. X-Men was originally to premiere over the Labor Day weekend in September of 1992; due to production delays, it was pushed to the end of October. When the animation team AKOM turned in the first episode, it contained hundreds of animation errors, which AKOM refused to fix. Because of time constraints, the episode was aired in that unfinished form. The second episode was turned in just before deadline, with 50 scenes missing and only a single day reserved for editing. The "Night of the Sentinels" two-part episode originally aired as a "sneak preview" on October 31, 1992.
Because of the production delays and animation errors in these two episodes, Fox threatened to sever AKOM's contracts. When Fox re-aired the pilot in early 1993, the errors were corrected. The series earned top ratings throughout its first season, and was renewed for a second season of 13 episodes. X-Men stands as the longest-running show based on a Marvel Comics property, lasting 76 episodes spanning 5 seasons. The second longest, the 1990s Spider-Man animated series, lasted 65 episodes.
After the box office success of the live-action X-Men film in the summer of 2000, Fox began airing reruns of the cartoon on weekday afternoons. At first, only episodes that primarily featured content in the movie were broadcast. Later, the series was aired in proper order, but it was pulled from the air in early 2001. Soon after, ABC Family and Toon Disney began airing reruns, due to Disney's buyout of all Saban Entertainment programs. X-Men was taken off the air again after Toon Disney was discontinued and Disney XD took over its programming.
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