With Traditional SatAM Animation blocks now extinct,I've decided to redo an old post.
If you grew up in the 70's,80's,and 90's than you probably watched
cartoons on Saturday Mornings,and thus,know about them. But for those
who don't here's a little info: A Saturday morning cartoon is the term
for the animated television programming which was scheduled on Saturday
mornings on the major American television networks from the Late 1960s
to the Late 1990s.
In the United States,Saturday mornings start
from 8 am. to 12 pm. Starting in the late 60's,American
networks,starting with NBC,created Program Blocks for Saturday Mornings.
Though most of the shows aired on these early blocks were reruns of
Starting in the late-1970s,Network executives started to air shows that doubled as Toy advertisements.
This was part of a special deal they made with the Toy and Game
companies. Cartoons being used to sell Toys and Games was a very common
practice in the 80's.
Because they had shows that contained
limited animation,Filmation and Hanna-Barbera were able to produce a
decent quantity of cartoons to fill the four hour time slot,without
blowing too much money.
In addition to these cartoons,some
Saturday Morning Blocks aired old Warner Bros cartoons,as well as the
Pink Panther and Popeye. These Cartoons,along with live-action
programming,made Saturday Morning TV a great hit.
everyone liked what they say. Some nutjob groups had a problem with wat
was being put on Saturday Mornings.
the Early 70's,Parents lobby groups voiced concerns about the
presentation of violence,anti-social attitudes,and stereotypes in
Saturday morning cartoons.
By the mid-1970s, these groups
exercised enough influence that the TV networks felt compelled to lay
down content rules for the animation houses that were a tad
In a more constructive direction,the networks were
encouraged to create educational spots for their Blocks. The most successful effort was the Schoolhouse Rock series on ABC,which
became a television classic.
Just as notable were CBS's news
segments for children, In the News and NBC's Ask NBC News and One to
Grow On, which featured skits of everyday problems with advice from the
stars of NBC primetime programs.
According to some,the
decline of Saturday Morning TV began in the late 1980's,though I
disagree completely. However these people have a variety of reasons on why it was declining
in the '80's. Here are their reasons:
Reason 1: The rise of first
run syndication programs,which had a greater artistic freedom
and looser standards (not mandated by a network).
Increasing regulation of children's programming content,including
educational requirements and advertising restrictions, which limited the
creative options for the shows.
Reason 3: The increasing
popularity of home video; Some shows were made available on VHS (and much later, DVD).
Reason 4: The rise of cable TV channels
like Nickelodeon,Disney Channel,and Cartoon Network which provided appealing kids
entertainment throughout the week at nearly all hours, making Saturday
morning blocks less important to viewers and advertisers. This reason is
Reason 5: Cable channels also have the additional
advantage of being beyond FCC content regulations, meaning they do not
have to abide by educational or advertising regulations. Now,This one I
Reason 6: Increased popularity of Video Games and, by the late 1990s,the Internet.
7: Many of the same networks who often showed Saturday morning shows
began airing similar programs in the afternoons during the weekdays,
usually when most children were out of school already. This practice has
been discontinued as of late, but it was common throughout the 1990s.(Fox Kids Anyone).
Reason 8: An increase in children playing outside.
9: The success of live action Saturday morning programming for kids and
teens (such as NBC's Saved by the Bell) which led to the development of
more live action shows and teen programming, squeezing out cartoons.
This block was called Teen NBC.
Reason 10:The gradual loss of
most of the American companies which were at one time, iconic producers
of kids shows. These companies include:
in the late 1990s,Networks started airing Anime and in the early
2000's,Canadian Shows. This was a mistake...a mistake that helped killed
Saturday Morning Entertainment.
Because of FCC regulations that began in the mid-1990s, broadcast
stations were required to program a minimum of three hours of children's
educational/informational ("E/I") programming per week. boy,that
Yes it does. NBC,the network that produced the
first SatAM Block,abandoned its Saturday morning cartoon lineup in
1992,replacing it with a Saturday morning edition of The Today Show and
adding an all live-action teen-oriented block called TeenNBC. this Small
block featured Saved by the Bell,California Dreams,Hang Time,and other
teen comedies. And Even though the educational content was minimal to
nonexistent,NBC labeled the live-action shows with an E/I rating.
In Late 1994,NBC gave up on putting any effort into it's Saturday Morning Line-Up. The Block lost its ligitness As a True SatAM Block. Today,NBC's Saturday block is pathetic and
CBS followed NBC's example by producing a
Saturday edition of The Early Show before airing their Saturday Morning
block of live-action semi-educational kids programming.
experiment lasted a few months,and CBS brought back their animated CBS
Storybreak series. In 1999,CBS's Saturday Morning Block became
Pathetic,So Pathetic that it wasn't considered a True Saturday Morning
Block anymore. Today,CBS's Saturday Morning Block is totally
insignificant....Just Like NBC's.
But Who the hell cares what happened to NBC and CBS,because we had Fox Kids and Kids WB to fall back on.
In 2004, ABC was the last of the broadcast networks to add a Saturday
morning edition of their morning news program,Good Morning
America,before airing their Block. In 2006,ABC's Saturday Morning Block (ABC Kids) officially became pathetic. And Like CBS and NBC,It too lost it ligitness
as a Real Saturday Morning Block.
Fox carried little or no E/I
programming, leaving the responsibility of scheduling the E/I shows to
the affiliates themselves. The WB was far more accommodating. For
several years,they've aired the history-themed cartoon Histeria! five
days a week,leaving only a half-hour of E/I programs up to the local
program block producers.
After Disney bought Fox Family and Fox Kids in 2001,the Fox Kids block was canned and
replaced by 4Kids Entertainment's Fox Box a year later. In 2005,The Fox Box became
4Kids TV. This block ended in 2009.
Back in 2008,4Kids Entertainment fused with Kids WB creating the CW 4Kids. In 2010,the block was renamed Toonzai.
In 2011,4Kids Entertainment filed for Bankruptcy and were forced to sell their assets..including their SatAM Block,Toonzai. In 2012,Saban Brands bought out Most of 4Kids assets (excluding yu-gi-oh,which went to Konami's American Branch).
Saban aquired The Toonzai block and renamed it Vortexx. This block was lame,it was like basically Toonzai 2.0. Americans quickly lost faith in it.
Finally in 2014,just recently,Vortexx was canned due to low ratings[surprise,surprise] and replaced with an All education show block for small children,just like ABC did in 2011.
Well that was interesting. Now we are gonna give you a small timeline,chronicling the Birth and Death of Saturday Mornings.
1968?: The Saturday Morning TV is born; NBC creates the First Incarnation of its Saturday Morning Block,followed by CBS.
1973: ABC Saturday Morning TV is born.
1976: Saturday Morning TV gains Popularity.
1987: Fox Enters the Saturday Morning "Race"
1990: Saturday Mornings become Sacred.
1991: Fox Kids debuts.
1992: NBC shortens it's block and rids it of Cartoons
1993: CBS shortens it's block.
1994: NBC Saturday Morning
Line-up looses it's ligitness as a True
Saturday Morning Block.
1995: The WB's Kids WB debuts.
1996: The USA Network's Action Extreme Team Weekend Block debuts.
1997: ABC's One Saturday Morning debuts.
1998: The USA Network's Action Extreme Team Weekend Block ends.
1999: CBS looses the ligitness of it's Saturday Morning Block; Cartoon Network's Toonami The Rising Sun debuts.
Fox Family debuts it's Weekend Kids Block; Toonami The Rising Sun ends.
2002: One Saturday Morning becomes
ABC Kids; Disney buys Fox Kids and Fox Family. Fox Kids ends;Fox Box
2005: The Fox Box becomes 4Kids TV; ABC shortens it's block...but not much.;Jetix invades ABC Family
ABC Family ends its Weekend Kids Block; ABC Kids loses it's ligitness
as a True Saturday Morning Block;Kids WB starts to get pathetic;Saturday
Morning TV dies late in the year.
2008: 4Kids merges with the ailing [ratings wise] Kids WB to become CW 4Kids.
2009: 4Kids TV ends.
2010: CW 4Kids becomes Toonzai.
2011: ABC Kids Ends; 4Kids Entertainment files for Bankruptcy and is forced to sell their assets.
2012: Saban Brands buys out most of 4Kids Entertainments Assets,including The Toonzai Block; Toonzai Becomes Vortexx.
2014: Vortexx Ends due to low ratings.
Well I hope you enjoyed this. Weep for the Loss of Saturday Morning Entertainment! And we all have Twisted Network Executives,Misguided Parents Groups,and The FCC to thank. Thanks A Billion,Losers!
R.I.P SatAM TV