What happened to saturday morning cartoons?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Farley, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    I remember getting the TV Guide Saturday morning preview issues, and they would have a half-hour preview of all the new cartoons every year. It was agonizing to choose which network to watch every half-hour from 6 til around noon. What the heck happened? All there is now is this One Saturday Morning crap (I'm sorry, but it's crap.) At least, there should be the perennial Bugs Bunny/Road Runner hour(or two). Was it that the drugs that the producers were on from the 60s-80s wore off? We've been robbed. My future children have been robbed. [​IMG]
     
  2. Lee Jamilkowski

    Lee Jamilkowski Stunt Coordinator

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    There is Fox's Fox Box on Saturday morning. It will include the series Stargate Infinity. More details can be found at http://www.gateworld.net/infinity/index.shtml
    But, you are correct. There is a lack of programming in general. I mean NBC and now ABC have morning basketball. I still remember the days of watching things like Smurfs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    *Debates on whether to tell him that Smurfs was NBC and TMNT was CBS*

    What killed Saturday morning was Soccer, video games, the Internet and Cartoon Netwok. Bugs is exclusive property of Cartoon Network, and all the good shows are on cable

    I agree, it will never be as good again as it was in the mid-80s
     
  4. Shana

    Shana Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin, I agree. Todays cartoons consist of monsters and just plain freaks or winy ass kids. I think the new creaters are the ones on the big time drugs.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    You know, that's why I love "Boomer" which basically just shows saturday morning cartoons from the past.. it's amazing to watch, sometimes.. I was watching Thundarr, the Barbarian, a show I watched with my little brothers / sisters and loved.. talk about a cartoon show for saturday morning that wouldn't make it now.. concept for those unfamiliar: the moon is destroyed and the earth devolves into chaos, catastrophe wipes out most of mankind. Now, a loan barbarian, his sorceress accompliss and a mutated being ride around the world, finding evil wizards and those with access to technology and prevent them from enslaving poorer people.. whew! You see cartoons like that (with real, half our long great sci-fi plots) and then you watch a lot of current saturday morning crap, and yeah, you miss it.
    I have toddlers, and yeah, they love the nickjr! stuff on CBS, and I'm OK with that.. but I also think kids need some time for fanciful imagination as well as faux education [​IMG]
     
  6. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    The biggest problem came in when the government said that the majority of children's programming needed to have educational value.

    By putting in those things, they have simply reduced the fun content of the show. It also became cheaper in the long run I believe for the Networks to not only do live action 'comedies' like Saved By The Bell and the like instead of animated shows...and besides, most of the bulk of Saturday Morning program is now either local (basically free) or national news.

    While taking away a day that used to fun for children in the mornings, then you would go outside and play, they have instead given children reasons to worry with national and international news and helpful home tips from Martha Stewart.
     
  7. Lee Jamilkowski

    Lee Jamilkowski Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I realize that Smurfs and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were on different channels. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear originally. I was just going for a variety of samples of what I watched back in the day.
     
  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Fox did run a half hour preview of the Fox Box last Sunday
    SO that was somethign [​IMG]
     
  9. Frank Anderson

    Frank Anderson Cinematographer

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    A couple of friends and I were just talking about Thundarr. It seems all three of us loved it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    The main reason why there is fairly little in the way of Saturday Morning Cartoons on the broadcast networks these days (unlike the 1960s, 1970s & 1980s) is due primarily to the widespread popularity in the last 10-15 years of cable/satellite tv in the USA, specifically CARTOON NETWORK (and to a degree, its sister station, BOOMERANG), NICKELODEON and the DISNEY CHANNEL (plus a few others).

    In the old days, ABC, CBS & NBC (and later, Fox), always after the widest possible audience, could only devote a fraction of their affiliates' airtime per week to kid-specific programming (Saturday mornings and early prime-time (when there used to be more of a "family hour")). Also, as far as adult viewership was concerned, Saturday Morning was a ratings graveyard, so made for the perfect place for the networks to cater to kids, who had the weekend off anyway.

    Nowadays, NICKELODEON and CARTOON NETWORK and DISNEY CHANNEL (etc) can (and do) gear their programming toward young people 24 hours a day, all week long. New cartoons made exclusively for these channels, like POWERPUFF GIRLS, DEXTER'S LAB, RUGRATS, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS and REN & STIMPY, have proven to be extremely popular, without exposure on the broadcast networks. So a kid today might ask him/herself, "Why should I wait until Saturday Morning for cartoons, when I can watch my favorites RIGHT NOW (or at some point today)?".

    Sensing this, networks like NBC experimented a few years ago with Saturday Morning editions of programming like the TODAY show, and teen-oriented sitcoms, and saw ratings as good as, or better than, their kiddie cartoon fare, so most of the cartoons got the boot. Also, since Time/Warner owns a large chunk of the popular older cartoons (Looney Tunes, FLINTSTONES, JETSONS, SCOOBY DOO, SUPERMAN, BATMAN, etc) that have been re-run (or brought back in new incarnations) for years on Saturday Morning, own and run what used to be the Hanna-Barbera cartoon factory, and own/operate CARTOON NETWORK & BOOMERANG, it's only natural that they'd move all their cartoons exclusively to their kid networks, boosting those channels' ratings (and maximizing profits, rather than having to split them with ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox).

    Video games, VHS/DVD, soccer practice, etc, took further toll on what used to be Saturday Morning as we knew it. All part of the evolution of American TV from a generally three-network universe into one where upwards of a hundred or so (mostly specialized) channels vie for our (constant) attention. This also is why something like THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW could probably never happen today.
     
  11. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Great, so kids'll grow up thinking it's OK to pay for ad-supported TV (I was taught early on that the commercials were what PAID for the shows, which is why we didn't have to PAY to get regular TV. Channels like HBO had no commercials but basic cable channels charge viewers AND show commercials!) They'll also think it's OK to have a logo onscreen during the whole show (local stations putting IDs onscreen for 10 seconds and talking over the end credits was bad enough!)
    We got shafted a lot on the West Coast because they'd cancel a lot of the later shows for sports.
     
  12. JoeDelan

    JoeDelan Stunt Coordinator

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    Bring Back DUngeons and Dragons, Land of the Lost, The Smurfs, Thundarr the Barbarian, Super Friends and get rid of the News and crappy infomercials...Yes here in DC they show Infomercials on Saturday on ABC...
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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  14. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

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    I miss the:

    smurfs
    snorks
    ad&d cartoon
    gummi bears
    gi joe
    wuzzles

    The list goes on.....
     
  15. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    When I saw that the networks were censoring the Road Runner cartoons, I said "you are dead to me" to Saturday mornings.

    Ren and Stimpy was the beginning of the end for network cartoons. It proved that quality cartoons can be found on cable and didn't have to be the latest derivative of Captain Planet.
     
  16. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    The networks found more money to be made in showing sports shows like golf or college football. The only reason ABC still shows some sort of cartoons is because it is owned by Disney. Except if the need to pre-empt those hours for:

    Indy 500
    Triple Crown
    Final Four
    Bowl Games
     
  17. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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  18. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Good point Lew. Reminds me of when I was watching saturday morning cartoons back around 1993 (You never outgrow Looney Tunes) and the network with Peter Jennings at the helm cut into the cartoon and showed the aftermath of a marketplace bombing in the former Yugoslavia.

    Yep its Wyle E. Coyote and Sylvester thats poisoning our childrens minds.
     

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