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When did Saturday Morning Cartoons decline?

Discussion in 'Saturday Morning Forever!' started by VG_Addict, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Hypeathon

    Hypeathon Well-Known Member

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    I never said it was. What I was trying to refer to was merely the period of time where 4Kids was starting to and proceeded to struggle while at the same time having their name be more of a primary home for Saturday morning cartoons. In the case of Pokemon as an example, whether or not it actually aired on a block running by 4Kids like 4KidsTV (which I know it didn't) is not what I'm arguing. Instead I'm arguing how much of a problem it meant for 4Kids to lose the license to a show that was very successful for them when they had it. While it's probably the case cable networks made Saturday morning blocks less appealing in comparison and that there was a decline even before 4Kids' financial stumbles, I don't think anyone can deny that Pokemon, the anime in particular, had a noticeable impact while it was on both weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings under 4Kids's ownership. And when the company had to let it go, they lost something that made them money at a time when into the coming years they would lose more money.

    What I said was that 4Kids and its financial struggles were a factor to a further decline of saturday morning cartoons, not the factor. I don't think they are the sole, definitive reason for the decline of Saturday morning blocks. I'm not trying to argue against the notion that cable networks made Saturday morning blocks seem less appealing in comparison or that Saturday morning blocks prior to 4Kids' involvement had some state of decline. Frankly, I don't feel I have a vivid enough understanding about the state of Saturday morning cartoons and the business behind it to argue otherwise, so I can't help but take everyone else's word for it.

    However, what I do understand is that there was a period where 4Kids as company was financially stable and had successful shows under its belt and then there was a time afterward where it kept losing shows and money. As I've already said, I don't believe the company's decline was solely definitive to the decline of Saturday morning cartoons. But I do sincerely believe that if hypothetically 4Kids didn't lose all the money it lost and could keep all the shows and franchises it lost, Saturday morning cartoons would still exist in some form. It probably wouldn't re-energize Saturday morning blocks to its glory days whenever those were, but they would still exist and not have gone away the way it did.
     
  2. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I must have misunderstood you since you were listing off various 4Kids properties. Losing Pokemon was a heavy loss for 4Kids. That was probably the start of their own financial problems. Either that or when the economy crashed. Pokemon was still doing pretty well in ratings from what I've seen of the later Kids' WB block ratings. It wasn't the heavy hitter that it was during its prime of popularity, but it was doing really well for itself. If they were able to keep the license and move Pokemon to one of their blocks after it was taken off of Kids' WB, it's possible that it could have helped them out, as well as allowed for their blocks to last longer. Having premiere episodes of Pokemon would have been an improvement over most of the lineups of their various blocks.

    I apologize for misreading the original intent of your post again. If 4Kids was able to keep the licenses some of their more popular and successful shows like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! and didn't suffer as much as they did when the economy crashed, it is entirely possible that they would have been able to keep their block on the CW at least. I'm not sure if they wanted to stay on Fox instead, but that could have happened too rather than moving to the CW. 4Kids would have been around instead of being dissolved and its remaining employees being formed into 4K Media to keep producing bad Yu-Gi-Oh! dubs. Like I mentioned before, Pokemon premieres on their lineups would have been an improvement and probably would have gotten good ratings, especially when new games were out. The Yu-Gi-Oh! spin-off series still probably wouldn't do well in ratings, but it's possible that they could have finished dubbing GX and 5D's if their financial condition wasn't as bad as it actually turned out and they would have still gotten some money from the merchandise sales. They might have also been able to continue making TMNT, although probably with a new series instead of a continuation of the 2k3 series.

    Although, I'm not sure how likely it would have been for 4Kids to still have the license to both of those series. Even if the economy didn't hit them so hard, I imagine that the Japanese companies would want to get rid of the third party involvement with their property, especially when there were those legal accusations from TPCI and TV Tokyo that 4Kids violated their contracts to get more money than they agreed upon, or something along those lines. There might have been a better chance for them to keep TMNT by comparison. Still, I agree that if 4Kids had been able to keep the license to their more successful shows, at least one Saturday morning block would still be around.
     
  3. Mikurotoro92

    Mikurotoro92 Well-Known Member

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    absolutely correct!
     
  4. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Well-Known Member

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    Pokémon was brought to the US by 4Kids, initially as a syndicated entry. In my market, it aired on the Fox affiliate at the start of the 1998-9 season. WB picked it up in February '99 seeing how it was tearing up ratings in syndication. The rest is history.
     
  5. VG_Addict

    VG_Addict Member

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    I might be remembering it wrong, but wasn't the first season of Pokemon also on Cartoon Network?
     
  6. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Cartoon Network did air the first season of Pokemon, but it wasn't premiere episodes. They were just new to the channel. Plus, they usually aired reruns on and off throughout the first few seasons. They didn't start airing premiere episodes until the Battle Frontier season.
     
  7. Goldstar Neo

    Goldstar Neo Good Morning!

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    It was considerably before that. Networks stopped programming their own SatAM programming because they couldn't compete with 24 hour cable channels, and cable TV became mainstream around the early to mid 90s.
     
  8. Baltofan2015

    Baltofan2015 Banned

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  9. TnAdct1

    TnAdct1 Ravioli, Ravioli

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    While it was definitely before the early 2000's, as I mentioned earlier, the blame on cable TV feels exaggerated, as most family-based cable networks were likely aware of how Saturday morning was "network time" and opted to air their major programs either later in the day or on a different day altogether.
     
  10. Tommy Lawson

    Tommy Lawson Moderator
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    To back that up, the Los Angeles Times has an article collection, and one article, dated November 15, 1986, details the rise of syndicated cartoons like He-Man and Transformers and the challenges they made to Saturday morning TV network programming. The prediction made in the article about a network dropping cartoons from Saturday morning by 1988 was off by four years: it instead happened in 1992.
     
  11. mimitchi33

    mimitchi33 Kyupikon!

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    Since I grew up with the 2000's Saturday morning blocks, I'd say around the time Kewlopolis was canned and qubo dropped VeggieTales, as they were both big parts of my Saturday mornings as a kid. Heck, I even won a contest Kewlopolis had where 25 viewers would be given $100 dollars if they answered questions based on that morning's programming. I spent the money on a Furby toy that never came to the USA, if anyone's wondering. The major decline for me, using that factor, would be the introduction of Weekend Adventure, especially since my station never aired the last day of ABC Kids due to Hurricane Irene coverage.
     
  12. stephane dumas

    stephane dumas Well-Known Member

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    I remember a old thread on the defunct Yesterdayland forum who mentionned then NBC wanted to pull the plug more earlier, around 1980 if it wasn't for Fred Silverman before he departed from NBC at the time and gambled in agreement with Hanna-Barbara to give one more chance for NBC Saturday morning cartoons with The Smurfs.
     
  13. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    Did your station happen to be in the New York area?
     
  14. imanidrayton

    imanidrayton Member

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    In 2008 when they shut down Kids WB. That's when Saturday mornings ended for me.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  15. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Kids' WB ended for me after they took Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! off their lineup. The latter was at least understandable given that it was over, but taking off Pokemon really bothered me. Admittedly, I should have stuck around for Beware the Batman since I did like it for the most part and I definitely wish that I had seen Spectacular Spider-Man a lot sooner than I did, but there wasn't enough to keep me interested in Kids' WB after losing my two favorite shows at the same time. I spent time watching Cartoon Network, the various 4Kids blocks and Saban's Vortex, but it wasn't the same.

    I still remember feeling much more sad over the end of their weekday afternoon block than when the whole block itself ended. Coming home from school to watch the block was something that always made me happy, so losing it was pretty hard. I just didn't have that kind of connection with the block by the time it ended. Plus, the block was well past its prime by that point, so it was for the best that the block was over and 4Kids took over those time slots for a few years.
     
  16. D-nice is the man.

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    I blame the FCC mandating that every broadcast station in the United States that's not cable at least three hours of Educational programming a week...and Litton Entertainment monopolization of the Major Networks doesn't make it better. Besides, children want to be entertained on a weekend morning, not educated. Plus I think that current programs on Saturday morning's serve a better purpose on cable tv.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    I concur.
     
  18. Fratomon

    Fratomon New Member

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    In my opinion, Saturday Morning Cartoons died in the early 90's, were resurrected in the late 90's, and were inevitably destroyed in 2005. Come the late 90's when Kids WB and Fox Kids ere actually thriving, we were really getting anime over here in the states. I've seen many people make the claim that anime killed Saturday mornings, particularly Animaniacs creator Tom Ruegger, who says Pokemon killed a lot of possible content due to Kids WB 'basically getting Pokemon for free, and then expecting everything else to be free'

    It seems like Pokemon helped make Saturday morning relevant again for Cartoons, but also viciously took years off of it's lifespan.
     
  19. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I've heard of that statement as well regarding Pokemon airing on Kids WB relatively for free. While that did result in less original content made for Saturday mornings, that probably would have happened even if Pokemon didn't air on Kids' WB back in the day. With more channels being created for kids and the Internet coming into play, I doubt that traditional Saturday morning blocks would have lasted much longer than they ended up even if Pokemon didn't enter the equation. At most, they could have lasted a bit longer, but there were other factors behinds Saturday morning blocks' decline besides being able to air anime without paying as much for it compared to brand new content that would have remained the same either way.
     
  20. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Uncreative Hack

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    Officially? When EI standards started getting inflicted on Saturday morning cartoons starting in 1997. However, some would say the damage started earlier when ABC brought in the psychological consulting firm Q5 to micromanage their shows in the late 80s.
     

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