This article made me kinda sad….for the first time in over 50 years there are no Saturday morning cartoons airing on any of the broadcast networks.
Saturday morning American broadcast TV was once animation’s home field. Filling a cereal bowl with artificially colored sugar pebbles and staring at the tube was every kid’s weekend plan. Not any more: For the first time in 50-plus years, you won’t find a block of animation on broadcast this morning. It’s the end of an era.
Yes, The CW, the final holdout in Saturday morning animation, ran its last batch of Vortexx cartoons last weekend. This week, where you once saw shows like Cubix, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z and Kai, Digimon Fusion, and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you’ll instead find “One Magnificent Morning,” a block of live-action educational programming.
It’s the end of an era, but it’s been a long time coming: NBC ditched Saturday morning cartoons in 1992, CBS followed suit not long after, and ABC lost its animated weekend mornings in 2004. The CW, a lower-tier broadcast network, was the last holdout in a game that the Big 3 left long ago.
I know that there are classic cartoons running on cable networks, not to mention the fact that kids and/or their parents can pop in a DVD….but it’s just not the same as parking yourself in front of the tv set with a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning and waiting for some of the following classic cartoon openings.
This was my all-time favorite – The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show. This begins with something that kids today know nothing about: the CBS network “tone” that was heard before the beginning of every program.
Here’s a few more Saturday morning favorites….
Beany and Cecil (the opening)
Beany and Cecil (the closing)
There are so many more that I could have included – maybe I’ll do a follow-up someday – but for now….