What is the ruling for watching television? Do cartoon programs have a different ruling?
The ruling for watching television depends upon what is being viewed.
If the viewer is viewing unlawful images or watching programs with an un-Islamic content, then it is unlawful for him to do so. On the other hand, if he watches permissible programs such as educational programs or the news, then it is lawful.
Cartoons have nearly the same ruling: If they contain unlawful scenes, then it is forbidden to watch them; otherwise watching them is permissible.
And Allah knows best.