- Mar 20, 2006
"The Jetsons" was a staple of NBC's Saturday morning lineup in reruns for many years. So I was somewhat surprised one day in the 1970s to see it listed on WGN-Channel 9 in Chicago. They briefly ran it on Saturday mornings (and at that time, while Saturday morning was the "day of cartoons" for the networks, local stations would shy away from them, preferring "counter-programming" like old movies).I'm sure that was the idea of cartoon express showing lots of short cartoons but in Southern California any show with at least 13 episodes was shown in syndication in the 70's and 80's. They would run it for 6 months and then change. They had to since the majority of HB and other Saturday morning shows were only 1 original season.
I very distinctly remember watching Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch (1974) syndicated in 1979 each morning before I went to school in 7th grade. That show had only 13 episodes and I never realized there were that few.
Later WFLD-Channel 32 picked up "The Jetsons" and initially ran it only once a week on Sunday mornings, presumably due to the small number of episodes. Although by the 1980s, they were running it on weekdays, usually during the summer.
WFLD usually had a lineup that started in the fall and would mostly stay the same until June (though it might be tweaked a little in January). As far as their cartoon lineup went, by the late 1970s they often ran their most popular cartoons like Woody Woodpecker, Tom & Jerry and the Flintstones twice a day during what I would call the "school year" (roughly September into June).
In the summertime it was different, I guess because overall viewing was generally down. I remember preferring the summer lineups because they had more variety, and some shows only ran in the summer because they weren't as popular. And they usually didn't run shows twice a day during the summer (although there were occasional exceptions), leaving more room for other shows.
The summer lineups usually stayed the same from June into early September, but I remember one summer they pulled "The Jetsons" after about a month and switched to "Underdog." (They brought it back the following year.) Maybe this also had to do with the small number of episodes.
WFLD usually had the same lineup Monday through Friday, but I remember one year they had something called "Cartoon Festival" which featured a different show scheduled for each weekday. Again, these were all short-run series. It's a long time ago but I think this lineup consisted of "The Jetsons," "The Brady Kids," "Valley Of The Dinosaurs" and the animated "Star Trek." Either I am forgetting the fifth series or one of them aired on two days.