Monday, November 30, 2015

The Saturday Morning Block Rater

As most of us likely know,Saturday Mornings were a very special time back in the day. Kids across the US woke up every SatAM,fixed a bowl of cereal,and rushed to the TV to watch their favorite Shows. Nowadays that's impossible..unless they have the Blu-Ray or DVDs of such shows.

Anyway,Each SatAM block provided us with great entertainment..but they weren't all awesome.

This Is the Saturday Morning Block Rater.

NBC

Unnamed NBC Block 1.0 (1967-1983)

This was the 1st SatAM Block. I don't remember anything about this block..not even the final year (I was born in '82). From what I've seen though [via youtube],it wasn't anything too special.

Grade: C-
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Unnamed NBC Block 2.0 (1983-1989)

The 2nd incarnation of the unnamed NBC Block. Don't remember much about it's early years,but the 87-89 years is when this block really started to pick up. With shows like Mr.T,Alvin and the Chipmunks,Alf: The Animated Series,Punky Brewster,Kidd Video,Ed Grimley,and The Smurfs.

They also began airing PSAs,but unlike the retarded ones of today these PSA's were intelegent and much more memorable. The 1st incarnation was called "One To Grow On". In 1989,"One To Grow On" was replaced with "The More You Know".

Another little tidbit about this era is that in the '84-'87 years,The Late Casey Kasem did the voice work for the bumpers. Cool,huh?

The rollercoster bumpers were a nice touch too.

Even though NBC hit it big in '87-'89,It would only get even more awesome in it's next incarnation.

Grade: B-
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Unnamed NBC Block 3.0 (1989-1992)

This is when the awesomeness of NBC's SatAM programming reached it's highest. Saved By The Bell debut and became an instant classic. Plus we had fun and memorable animated series like: Captain N and The Adventures of Super Mario Bros.3,Camp Candy,Prostars,Wishkid,Captain N and the New Super Mario World,and The Karate Kid.

The bumpers were fun too..especially the claymation Bedroom one from '89-'90. And the Chip & Pepper segments from 1991 were just weird(but strangely fun). The most memorable bumpers[for me,at least] were the ones with that wide-headed kid.

This was the absolute best time to watch the NBC Saturday Morning block..unfortunatly,things would just go down hill from there...way down.

Grade: A
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TNBC 1.0 (1992-1994)

1992 was the year that NBC decided to ditch their Animated stuff and just focus on the teen sitcoms. On the plus side,Unlike the horrid teen sitcoms that Disney and Nick have,These sitcoms were pretty good. Califirnia Dreams remains a favorite...even to this day. Saved By The Bell:The New Class wan't too bad either.

But thats all the good that can be said about this block. From that point on everything falls apart for NBC's SatAM line-up.

Grade: C+
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TNBC 2.0 (1994-2001)

1994 was the year that NBC's SatAM block officially lost its ligitness AS a SatAM block. This is due to the lack of fun and smart programming. I stopped watching it fully in 1994. But the worst was yet to come.

Grade: D-
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Discovery Kids on NBC (2001-2006),qubo on NBC (2006-2012),and NBC Kids (2012-Today)

Baby shows have taken over NBC and continue to reign supreme.

These blocks don't even Deserve to be called SatAM Blocks..Period.

Grade: F+
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CBS

Unnamed CBS Block 1.0 (1968-1971)

This is CBS and I have no clue what the hell this block was about since I wasn't even born yet. The Only thing I know about kt is that it featured Captain Kangaroo.

Grade: D
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Unnamed CBS Block 2.0 (1971-1986)

The only things I remember about this incarnation of the block is that it aired Fat Albert,Saturday Supercade,and those cool video game inspired bumpers. The space bumpers were nice too.

Also,in 1985,the CBS Story Break made it's debut. I love it's theme song.

All and all,it was an average time for CBS on Saturday Morning. But things would get much better.

Grade: C+
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CBS Kid TV (1986-1992)

This is when CBS was hitting their SatAM pique. Lots of fun shows during this era. We had Garfield and Friends,Peewee's Playhouse,Muppet Babies,Hey Vern,It's Ernest,Galaxy High,Where's Waldo,and of course,Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The promos and bumpers were very memorable too...especially the ones with the kids working the master control room. The Fido Dido bumpers were also fun and memorable.

This was one excellent SatAM block,too bad CBS couldn't follow up with their next blocks.

Grade: A
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Toontastik/CBS Kidz (1992-1997)

This era added a couple of Disney animated series to the list. Shows like Raw Toonage,Aladdin(series),The Little Mermaid (series),and Timon and Pumbaa. I also loved watching Beakman's World. Bill Nye[the science guy] also aired during this era.

In 1994,CBS decided to give the block an action oriented sub-block called the action zone. It aired action cartoons such as: Caddilacs and Dinosaurs,Wild C.A.T.S.,and Ninja Turtles.

The "In Your Eye" bumpers from the early days of this block were fun,though not as memorable as the Fido Dido ones. The Toontastik bumpers were forgetable and not as fun.

This block had its moments and fun shows,but in terms of execution,I coudn't help but to feel that this block was a bit lacking compared to it's previous incarnation. The early days were good,but started to lose it's greatness as time went on.

Grade: B-
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KidzShow (1997-2000)

Things started going south for this block from the get-go,with only a very small handful of stuff worth watching (like the weird al show,beakmen's world,and the felix the cat bumpers). The serge of Canadian shows in 1998 decimated the block and left it's ratings reeling.

In 1999,CBS lost its ligitness as a provider of Saturday Morning Entertainment.

In 2000,the block began to free fall.

Not much to say about this block except that it started out mediocre and just went downhill from there.

Grade: D-
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Nick Jr. On CBS (2000-2006),KOL Secret Slumber Party (2006-2007),KEWLopolus (2007-2009),Cookie Jar TV (2009-2013),and CBS Dream Team (2013-Today)

Nick Jr on CBS = Baby Crap. KOL Secret Slumber Party = Girly Crap. KEWLopolus = Even More Girly Crap. Cookie Jar TV = Canadian Crap. And CBS Dream Team = Educational Crap.

These Blocks Are Crap..Total Nonstop Crap!

Grade: F+
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ABC

Unnamed ABC Block 1.0 (1973-1987)

The Alphebet Network's Very 1st SatAM Block.

The Legendary 'School House Rock' debuts and would continue to run until 1997.

I don't remember too much about this era. However,from what I Do remember is that the block aired various Hannah Barbera and Looney Tunes stuff. They also aired The Real Ghostbusters [which debut in '86].

The bumpers were not too bad,though not too remarkable either.

Mediocre is best to describe this block. Though ABC Does get better at this.

Grade: C+
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Unnamed ABC Block 2.0 (1987-1997)

Now This block I remember. This is when ABC started become more fresh. They still aired Looney Tunes and new episodes of The Real Ghostbusters.

They also aired Beetlejuice,The Addams Family (90's),Pirates of Dark Water,Land Of The Lost,C.O.W.Boys of Moo Masa,Sonic SatAM,Cro,Tales from the Crypt Keeper,ReBoot,Bump in the Night,And Various Disney Shows.

The various claymation bumpers were fun. They began airing from 1987-1989. They returned in 1992,this time starring the 3 main characters from the show 'Bump in the Night'. These bumpers lasted until 1994. The final batch of bumpers aired from '96-'97. These bumpers starred the Toy Story Army Men.

All and all,the shows were fun,the bumpers were fun,and the most memorable factor was pretty good. The

Grade: B-
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One Saturday Morning (1997-2002)

During this fun era,Disney took full control of ABC's Saturday Morning. The whole block took place inside a zany building and aired almost nothing but Disney shows. The Only non-Disney show was Science Court.

There were also alot of fun segments,including: Mrs.Mungers Class,Genie's 'Great Minds Think for Themselves',and Manny The Uncanny.

The block was great and it felt so right watching it. This was,without a doubt,the best SatAM Block on ABC.

Grade: A
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ABC Kids aka Disney Channel on ABC + Power Rangers (2002-2011)

It's The Disney Channel on ABC....with Power Rangers. This is not a True Saturday Morning Block.

Infact Kim Possible,The Replacements,Emporors New School,and Power Rangers were the ONLY things watchable on this block. Everything else can just be tossed in the trash.

But things would only get worse.

Grade: F-
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Litton's Weekend Adventure (2011-Today)

Edutainment...nuff said!

Grade: F+
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FOX

Unnamed Block (1987-1991)

Fox may suck nowadays,but back then,they were good.

This was Fox's very first SatAM block. However,not much to this block,as it was just the Weekday line-up on a Saturday. So nothing special.

Grade: C
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Fox Kids Network (1991-1995)

Not much to say about Fox Kids Network on Saturday,as it was just the Weekday Block with 1 or 2 exclusive shows.

But that didn't mean it was bad..far from it. The bumpers were fun and the shows were great. The one of the most memorable things about this era was the Dynamo Duck bumpers. This was also the block that introduced America to Super Sentai with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

Other memorable shows were: Tazmania,Tiny Toon Adventures,Batman:The Animated Series,Tom and Jerrys Kids,Eek the Cat,Bobby's World,X-Men,Spider-Man:The Animated Series,Animaniacs,and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

So there you go,Fox Kids Network SatAM edition is the same as it's Weekday Afternoon counterpart,with the exception of a few exclusive shows. A very good block,but nothing too spectacular.

Grade: B-
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Fox Kids (1995-2002)

The next incarnation of Fox's SatAM Block. Same deal as before,it's just the same as it's Weekday block,but with exclusive shows.

Still,the block was very fun and how about that catchy promo from the early days,huh? Fox Kids Is Cool,Indeed! The bumpers were also fun.

Some of the fun shows were: Power Rangers,Where On Earth is Carmen Sandiego?,The Tick,The Adventures of Batman and Robin,Life With Louie,Big Bad Beetleborgs,and Digimon.

Out of all of the SatAM blocks that Fox had,this one was the most memorable and most beloved. In the mid-late 90's,Fox Kids was my main SatAM block.

Grade: B+
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Fox Box (2002-2005)

A downgrade from Fox Kids and the beginning of 4Kids Entertainment's reign.

Not much about this block except that Anime took up 80% of the block. They also had a really sucky dub of Ultraman Tiga. Every show on this block was mediocre. The only exception was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2k3.

The promos and bumoers weren't that great either. There's also the fact that 4Kids overedits many of the Anime that they aquire. Not Good!

Grade: D
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4Kids TV (2005-2009)

Same as The Fox Box except with more Anime. The promos were still weak and the bumpers were still lame.

Once again the only show worth anything on this block was Ninja Turtles.....that is,until Fast Forward. Fast Forward marked the downfall of the 2k3 Turtles series.

The lack of American shows,that disgusting Bratz cartoon,and 4Kids doing their thing make this block pitiful.

Grade: D+
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WB/CW

Kids WB: The WB Era (1995-2006)

The glory days of KidsWB. This block aired almost nothing but cool and beloved animated shows...especially those made by Warner Bros.

And in 1998,KidsWB introduced the world to the Pokemon Anime,which became an absolute hit. In 2000,Yu-Gi-Oh! made its American debut and it also became popular.

And starting in 1998,most of the WB shows that aired on Fox Kids,started migrating to KidsWB. Awesome.

Some of the promos and bumpers were very entertaining. I won't go into detail,so you'l just have to experience them for yourselves.

The most memorable and beloved shows include: Freakazoid,Animaniacs,Pinky and the Brain,Superman:The Animated Series,Yu-Gi-Oh!,Static Shock,Batman Beyond,Max Steel,Jackie Chan Adventures,Men in Black: The Series,The new Batman Adventures,and of course,Pokemon.

Although the Saturday AM version of KidsWB was just a copy of it's Weekday block,but with exclusive shows,there's no denying the coolness that was KidsWB.

Unfortunatly,things would just go downhill from here.

Grade: B+
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Kids WB: The CW Era (2006-2008)

Amost every show during this era was Canadian,thus why this block sucked. The promos were weak,the bumpers were lame and most of the shows were sucky.

The Batman,Spectacular Spider-Man,and Yu-Gi-Oh! were the Only good shows. But not even they could save this cringeworthy block.

Pitiful huh? Well things only go down hill from here.

Grade: F
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CW4Kids (2008-2010)

Nothing good about this block,as it's just an extention of 4Kids TV. The Only shows worth watching on this block were Spectacular Spider-Man,Yu-Gi-Oh!,and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

The promos and bumpers were ultra lame.

Grade: F-
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Toonzai (2010-2012)

This block is just CW4Kids renamed. Yu-Gi-Oh! is the Only thing watchable. Also the promos sucked and the bumpers were mediocre.

Where Epic Anime Lives? What A Load Of BS!

Grade: F
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Vortexx (2012-2014)

When Saban took back Saturday Morning,we were relieved,because we all believed that Saban would would Save SatAM. Boy Were We Wrong!

Vortexx was nothing more than Toonzai 2.0 with crappy promos and bumpers. None of the shows were watchable (especially the new ones).

I hate Justice League Unlimited and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexel. They aired Power Rangers Lost Galaxy for a short time,but not even that show could save this retarded block.

Oh Haim Saban,how far you've fallen.

Grade: F+
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Litton's One Magnificent Morning (2014-Today)

After Vortexx was canned another block took it's place.....and it was ugly. This block is 100% pure Edutainment. Very little fun factor(if any) can be found in Edutainment.

Grade: F+
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Fox Family/ABC Family

Unnamed Weekend Morning Block (2001-2005)

This block basically just picked up where Fox Kids left off. So all was good.

Grade: B-
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Jetix (2005-2006)

An all action cartoon block. The overflow of Canadian shows almost killed this block.

The promos and bumpers were ok,nothing special.

If it wasn't for those stupid canadian shows,Jetix would've been much better.

Grade: C-
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USA Network

The USA Action Xtreme Team (1996-1998)

I always ignored the SatAM edition of this block and focused on it's Sunday and Weekday Morning editions instead.

The promos and bumpers were as fun as the shows themselves. I loved this Block as a whole and wish it stayed longer.

Grade: B-
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Cartoon Network

Toonami:The Rising Sun (1999-2000)

It's just Toonami re-arranged for Saturday Mornings. So it's nothing special. They didn't even have exclusive shows.

Grade: C
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The Hub Network

Unnamed Block (2012-2014)

Just thought I'd post this here. Nothing really special about this block either,as it's just the Networks normal programming re-arranged for Saturday.

Grade: D-
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This was an interesting,yet weird experiment that I wanted to do. I may not do this type of thing again. You probaly noticed that I left out PBS and it's various blocks. The reason for that is,I never watched them,nor cared for them. It's also why I never listed their Weekday Afternoon block in my 'Weekday Afternoon TV' tribute posts.

Anyway,I'm finished here. What's next? I have no idea.

2 comments:

RekkaDragonJay said...

Not bad, not bad at all. You should give those execs a grade, too. That would be something. :D

Stefan said...

Thanms. I meant to do this for a whike. glad it's finally completed