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When did Saturday Morning Cartoons decline?

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

  1. bwrosas

    bwrosas Member

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    The decline of saturday morning cartoons :

    For me, I think it came around the late 90's , when the E/I system was really being shoved down networks throats, at a time when networks like CBS, ABC and FOX, etc... were trying to air shows that would probably massively appeal to their intended viewers, but they never got that chance to do so because of the E/I system.

    Now, some will say that when NBC decided to drop their Saturday Morning Cartoon lineup in '92, that that's when the decline really started to happen. But not really. You see, even after that, Saturday Mornings were still going strong, with CBS, ABC, and FOX still leading the charge.

    I mean, CBS, in '94 had the "Action Zone" Block, with shows like a gritty darker TMNT (red sky seasons), WILDC.A.T.S. and Skelton Warriors, along with Garfield and Friends (in it's last season or so), and some others. But unfortuntaly this would the last major Saturday Morning block for CBS, as they too would come to end in '96 with the last season (10) of the TMNT as their last hold out for the Saturday Morning Cartoon Block.

    ABC however, kept going, at least till the late 90's/early 2000s., with shows like Sonic SatAM (93-95), Reboot (93-97), Bugs Bunny and Tweety, and a few others. They even tried to keep going with their centered "One Saturday Morning" Block, which was a spinoff of the Disney AfterNoon" Block, and at one point showcased DuckTales and Darkwing Duck. And even got a spinoff of it's own with Disney's "1 Too" on Sunday Mornings and Weekday Mornings/Mid-Afternoons.

    However, as we got to the early 2000s, ABC would too fall victim to the decline, and would so mostly focus their Saturday morning blocks to a Weekend edition of "Good Morning America" and some Majorly Influenced E/I programs.

    Now FOX Kids and Kids WB may have played a part in the decline of those network's Saturday Morning Cartoon Blocks, (along with some other 24HR Animation Channels, things like DVR and newly developed streaming services), but the one reason I think they were able to survive up to 9/27/2014 (final day of Saturday Morning Cartoons), was because at most times, every fall, they would have a fresh stable of content to showcase (new and renewed) to their viewers.

    Another way was when both Kids WB and Fox Kids (more so dropping their 4kids shows, and eventurally their Saturday morning lineup altogether) merged to becomed THECW4KIDS, and started to air a mixture of both the Kids WB shows and Fox Kids (4kids) together. of course, the CW4kids would be renamed Vortexx, which would the last name for any major Saturday Morning Block in history.



    Other Over the Air Stations have tried to keep the Saturday Morning Cartoons genre alive, stations like ThisTV, MeTV (DIC/Cookie Jar Toons Block), RetroTV, etc... But most of their lineups would consist of cartoons from the '60s, '70s and early '80s. Now that wasn't a bad thing, it's still better than nothing at all, but some of those over the stations, not many got, like RetroTV.

    Unfonturaly, their too fell victim to the decline.



    Nowadays, Streaming services like HULUPlus have channels dedcated to Saturday Mornings, one is even called "Saturday Morning Cartoons". But when one talks about Saturday Morning Cartoons, espeically like me, who grew up in the '80s and '90s, were talking about sitting back with a bowl of cereal, cup of OJ, from 7am till noon, watching all of our favs by switching from channel to channel.



    Now while some will put the blame on the FCC and Parental groups for their constant nagging for more educational programming for the decline, and others may blame the evaloution of digital media, but whatever the reason, the question being asked, "Will Saturday Morning Cartoons ever return to the Big 5 Networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the CW) sometime in the future?" Well, my answer to that is this, Time will tell.

    Yes, time will tell, because I'm sure someone (with a lot of influence) someday will step up to the FCC and others like them and declare that kids get enough Education for 5 days straight, let's give them a 6hr break from that on Saturday Mornings just like back in the 80s and 90s when we were kids.

    Now will this indeed happen, again time will tell, but I believe it will.
     

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  2. TMC1982

    TMC1982 Active Member

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    At the end of the day, was the fight to put more "educational" programming for children on the broadcast networks a fruitless battle!? I mean, the networks themselves, would immediately rid of them if they could!
     
  3. Daikun

    Daikun Long Live the Fighter!
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    For me, the death of Saturday Mornings happened with the downfall of Kids' WB! In my opinion, KWB was the last great Saturday Morning block and nothing could come close to replace it. That block's Golden Age ended when Pokémon became an overnight success. The iconic WBA shows spearheaded by Speilberg, Timm, and Ruegger would slowly become phased out in favor of third-party cartoons and poorly dubbed anime, leading to KWB's Silver Age, which still churned out a few reasonable hits (notably, the stuff that Sony produced for them), but was quickly becoming a shell of its former self. The true end came when AOL merged with Time Warner. At the behest of Turner's new (at the time) leadership, KWB's shows would soon migrate to Cartoon Network and KWB became unrecognizable, churning out utter garbage for the rest of its days.

    What later Saturday Morning blocks would attempt to continue KWB's mantle? Fox Box? ABC Kids? Vortexx? Yeah, the death bell was ringing...
     
  4. ToonJay723

    ToonJay723 Bingo Bongo

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    #44 ToonJay723, Jun 24, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  5. Mikurotoro92

    Mikurotoro92 Well-Known Member

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    Then that means...FOP & SBSP or to put it more accurately Nick killed off Saturday morning cartoons! I really wonder how different things would be if both shows were never created especially reguarding Saturday morning cartoons!
     
  6. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    No, those shows weren't the reason why Saturday mornings were killed off and your really need to stop this obsession with bringing up Spongebob all the time. You've already been given on in-thread warning on the matter. If those shows weren't created, things would be different for Nickelodeon, mainly due to the lack of Spongebob, but Saturday morning cartoon blocks would still be dead. If you really think that Nickelodeon and those two shows alone were responsible for the downfall of Saturday morning cartoon blocks, then you really don't understand all of the factors that led to their demise.

    Channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network did play a key role, but it wouldn't be due just to one or two specific shows. It was just the fact that children entertainment was available every day instead of during a block that made Saturday morning blocks much less appealing for kids. The advancement in technology was another huge factor. Why stay home on Saturday morning to watch shows when you can DVR it, watch it later On Demand or watch it online? Not to mention that there are much more video game systems out there now than there were back in the 90's, so that gives kids more options on what to do on Saturday mornings too.

    By the 2004-2005 season, the Kids' WB block was far from how it was during its prime. The block did get a boost in popularity with hits like Pokemon and just Yu-Gi-Oh! a few years earlier, but both series' popularity had faded by that point, or at least were starting to, and they ended the afternoon block in 2005. The fact that more kids were watching reruns on Nickelodeon than premiers on Kids' WB isn't proof that Spongebob or Fairy Odd Parents killed Saturday morning. It's proof that traditional Saturday morning blocks were outdated for a long time. They were basically the Blockbusters of children programming, so the fact that they were able to keep them on for another decade was amazing in itself, even if the blocks themselves were kind of lackluster.
     
  7. imanidrayton

    imanidrayton Member

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    That's when Saturday mornings ended for me too.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  8. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    I continue to blame the FCC for killing off the tradition of Saturday morning 'toons on broadcast. I'm now understanding why the blame is being placed where it is. I didn't before. And I'm with you that it'll take someone with a LOT of influence to rise up against the FCC and tell them 'Enough's enough! You've had your fun, now take back what you've done!' It'll take someone like a new President of the United States or a new head of the FCC who's seen what's happened and wants reform. It may happen after the upcoming general election (unless Trump wins, which I hope doesn't happen) or it may not happen for 10 or 15 years. We don't know what the future holds. But I do know one thing....kids have enough education Monday-Friday. They deserve a break.
     
  9. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    They can watch Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Nick Jr, PBS, Boomerang, Discovery Family, BabyFirst, Quibo, PBS Kids and Sprout on Saturday mornings so I don't see the problem.
     
  10. imanidrayton

    imanidrayton Member

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    I remember when I was in school, a lot of my favorite shows come on during the school day and the only time we watched was when the days we didn't have school and when we are on break. But now I won't have to worry about that anymore since I graduated last year.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
     
  11. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    I had the same problem with Cow and Chicken and Transformers Animated, but after a few years they got a better timeslot.
     
  12. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Out of all the things a new President of the United States should take care of, changing the FCC is probably on the low end of that list, assuming that it's on the list to begin with. You're acting like the FCC is some huge monster by putting the blame on them for the fall of traditional Saturday morning cartoons on broadcast when there were more factors than just the FCC. This is like wanting people to take down On Demand and blaming that for the fall of Blockbusters.

    Besides all that, kids aren't forced to just educational cartoons. There are a ton of channels dedicated to children's entertainment that wouldn't be just written off as education programming. Sure, they aren't on broadcast network, but there aren't a lot of people who just have broadcast channels nowadays.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    To tell the truth, I never liked Blockbuster to begin with. Was only in there once for a new video game....didn't like it. I'm more of a GameStop guy, thank you.

    And that person with influence was an either/or (but likely to be a new FCC chief). Just because the President has the power to reform the FCC doesn't mean they should.

    However, I'm still with bwrosas on the fact that time will tell if someone with that kind of influence will stand up to the feds and the like. We have no idea what the future holds. If we did, we'd all have stage shows in Las Vegas and we'd all be making millions.
     
    #53 MikeDodgers, Jul 30, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2016
  14. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I think that you missed the point of my Blockbuster example. Traditional Saturday morning blocks are as outdated as Blockbuster was, if not more so. Holding a grudge against the FCC, blaming them for everything and treating them like the bad guy is like saying Comcast is evil for shutting down Blockbuster. It's really nonsensical and ignores the other factors involved with their demise.

    Just because we don't know what the future holds doesn't really work in your argument's favor. You can say that for pretty much anything. Besides that, the chances of something about the FCC changing and bringing back traditional Saturday morning blocks are nonexistent.
     
  15. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    Why do I do that? Why do I always try to look on the bright side of things, Lucario?
     
  16. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I'm all for being optimistic, but you do need to factor in facts and how certain situations work too. Otherwise, you just have blind optimism.
     
  17. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    Blockbuster got kicked off the island because of streaming and On Demand. To tell the truth, I find it better that the chain stays down because I never liked that place.

    Saturday morning cartoons were voted off the island because of the almighty dollar. The ad revenue wasn't there anymore. If there's a situation that could reverse this, we're not sure yet. I will have to do some more research into the matter. As said on another thread, (might have been this one) kids are more loyal to SHOWS rather than NETWORKS. Your mileage definitely varies on that end. However, as I said before, I will have to do more research into the matter.
     
  18. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I don't think that you have to worry about that since I'm pretty sure Blockbuster isn't around anymore. I don't know if Blockbuster On Demand is still a thing though. Although, I still get the impression that you don't understand the point I was trying to make because you keep bringing up your personal feelings on Blockbuster, which shouldn't really factor into why a chain should or should not stay down in the first place. I don't care for a lot of fast food places, but that doesn't mean that they should go out of business because of how I feel about them.

    That was certainly a big factor, but I don't think that was the only one. Steaming and On Demand did a number on Saturday morning cartoon blocks too. Why wake up at a specific time to watch a weekly block when you can just watch it whenever you want On Demand later? Why wait until Saturday to watch cartoons when you can watch cartoons and other children's programming on multiple channels that are about kids' entertainment any day of the week? The fact that there was no money to be made was definitely a big factor, but stuff like On Demand and other children's entertainment channels becoming more widely available are reasons why Saturday morning blocks became less profitable.

    Even if kids were more loyal to networks than shows, I don't think that would have significantly changed anything. The advancement in technology would still have come and Saturday morning blocks still would have been outdated. Plus, it's hard to stay loyal to a network if they don't have shows to appeal to you, so blaming kids for not sticking with these networks does kind of rub me the wrong way.

    I don't think that there is a way to reverse this and quite frankly, I don't really see the point of bringing back Saturday morning blocks at this point. Sure, I have my fond memories of a few blocks, but kids have it better these days when it comes to watching shows. They aren't tied to a specific time to watch their favorite shows. They can go through an entire series on Hulu or get movies On Demand whenever they want. I would have loved something like On Demand back in the day. It would have made missing Pokemon premieres much less stressful if I didn't have to wait until the following Friday to possibly catch the rerun. Kids have it made with different ways to watch their favorite shows, so I don't think that they're missing out on something huge or life changing just because there aren't traditional Saturday morning blocks around anymore.
     
  19. MikeDodgers

    MikeDodgers Member

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    And....generation gap strikes.

    I end my turn with a face-down card.
     
  20. Red Arrow :D

    Red Arrow :D Proud Beneluxer

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    Also notice that many activities for kids are on Saturday mornings. (Well, at least where I live :sweat:)

    Airing new episodes right after school is more tactical. Then there are more children at home.
     

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