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1971
1970 was a very good year for network Saturday morning revenues, so 1971 brought a continuation of the shows that were working - along with remakes of proven series from the past. CBS had success with reruns of the 67-68 sitcom 'The Monkees,' so ABC added its long-running 'Bewitched' to the Saturday schedule in 1971.

'In The News' started this year - 2 1/2 minute news segments running eight times a morning on CBS.

All three networks started giving in to pressure from parent groups to offer more educational, and less violent programs. For the most part they are all flops. 'You Are There' was a notable exception but 'Curiosity Shop' and 'Take A Giant Step' failed to catch on.

An 'Archie/Sabrina' spin-off 'Groovie Golies' aired on CBS Sunday Mornings.

saturday morning cartoons


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8:00

Bugs Bunny / CBS
The "silly Wabbit" went solo in 1971, without being paired with the Road Runner (they had a long association together).

Cut down to a half-hour, the show still features Tweety, Yosemite and the rest of the Warner Bros' crew.

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8:30

Scooby Doo,
Where Are You?
/ CBS
Third and last season in the original half-hour format.

The longest running character ever created for Saturday morning television, Scooby helped make Hanna-Barbera studios a powerhouse in the Seventies.

Veteran H-B music director Hoyt Curtin wrote the scores for countless cartoons beginning in 1957, including "Yogi Bear", "Scooby-Doo" and "Jonny Quest." Ironically, his best known theme, "The Flintstones", was created in a panic because production of the show was way behind schedule.

Hoyt Curtin died on Dec. 3, 2000. He was 78.

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9:00

Harlem
Globetrotters
/ CBS
Another season of the trick basketball players jumping into adventures around the world.

A soundtrack album was released.

The Globetrotters returned with a live-action variety show on CBS Saturday mornings a few seasons later.

9:30

Help! It's the
Hair Bear Bunch!
/ CBS
More manic Hanna-Barbera inanity. Stupid beyond belief.

About a pack of bears living in a zoo that want more from life and are always breaking out, pulling Sgt. Bilko scams on the Park rangers.

Featured the celebrity voices of Joe E. "Ooh-Ooh" Ross (It's About Time'), Daws Butler (a million cartoon voices), Paul Winchell ('Winchell and Mahoney Time') and John Stephenson doing a near-perfect mimic of Joe Flynn, a voice he would later use on Inch High Private Eye 2 years later - and 5 years after that in the “Galaxy Goof-Ups” segment of Yogi’s Space Race.

The show returned with Sunday morning repeats in 1974.

Thanks to Jacob Gilbert for info on this show.

10:00

Pebbles And
Bamm Bamm
/ CBS
(debut)
The kids go solo in this half-hour cartoon about the Flintstone teenagers and their wiggy stone-age pals. "Oh my staaaars!"

Pebbles voiced by Sally Struthers ('All in the Family'), Bamm Bamm by Jay North ('Dennis the Menace'). Big ratings winner for CBS

10:30

Archie's TV
Funnies
/ CBS

(debut)
Another format change for the super-popular Riverdale gang.

Now the teens are running a television station and introducing cartoons starring the King Syndicate's newspaper comic strips - Dick Tracy, Nancy and Sluggo, Broom Hilda, The Captain and Kids, Moon Mullins, Nancy and Sluggo, et al.

This was the only Archie format to last more than one season.

11:00

Sabrina, the
Teenage Witch
/ CBS


Second season of this popular Filmation show now trimmed to a half-hour and newly titled. The Groovie Goolies (Sabrina's rock group co-stars from the previous season) got their own show on Sunday mornings.

11:30

Josie and the Pussycats / CBS
Second season (repeats) with the rockin' Pussycats - Josie, Alexandra, Melody, Valerie, and Alan.

The plot: Handsome Alan likes Josie, but crafty band member Alexandra wants Alan for herself, so this leads to cartoon catfights and conniving backstage backstabbing while the kittenish rock group tours the globe. Also featuring Melody and Valerie and their manager Alexander.

The next season, the group blasts off into space in new episodes.

12:00

Monkees / CBS
Another season of reruns with new songs inserted over old footage in an attempt to restart record sales.

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12:30

You Are There / CBS
History reenacted with excellent results, a remake of the 1953-57 CBS news program now aimed at children. Walter Cronkite was the narrator of both series incarnations.

Television 'reporters' report historical events as if they are happening. The first episode dealt with the "Mystery of Emelia Earhart" and featured a young Richard Dreyfuss and Geraldine Brooks in the cast.

"The Siege of the Alamo" starred Fred Gwynne and Roger Davis. Also: the cure for cholera, the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, a Pony Express ride.

Followed by The CBS Children's Film Festival at 1:00pm.

8:00

Dr. Doolittle / NBC
Another year of cartoon "fun" with Dr. Doolittle, Tommy Stubbins (voiced by Hal Smith) and the rock group 'The Grasshoppers'.

He could talk to the animals, but was no match for Bugs Bunny on CBS.

8:30

Woody
Woodpecker
/ NBC
More Walter Lantz cartoons from the Forties, Fifties and Sixties.

Lantz himself showed how animation was created in newly filmed segments.

Featuring the voices of Paul Frees, June Foray, Daws Butler, and Lantz' wife Grace Stafford.

9:00

Deputy Dawg / NBC
(debut)
Revival of the 1961 Terrytoon cartoon series about the dumbass detective dog. Lasted only one year.

9:30

The New Pink
Panther Show
/ NBC
Not really new at all, 'The Pink Panther' was on every season from 1969 - 1979, but this season had new cartoon features including 'The Ant and The Aardvark', a series of cartoons that first ran in movie theaters starting in 1966.

All-star voices added in 1971 included Pat Harrington, Jr (Inspector Clouseau), John Byner (Ant and Aardvark', imitating Dean Martin and Joey Bishop), Arte Johnson (Mr. Jaws) and Catfish the Hunter (Arnold Stang).

10:00

Barrier Reef / NBC
(debut)
Live-action adventures with the five man crew of the 200-ton windjammer 'Endeavor' off of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, with marine biologist Joe Francis (Richard Melkle), Captain King (Joe James), computer whiz Dr. Elizabeth Hanna (Ihab Nafa) and the Captain's son Kip (Ken James).

Plotlines included: avoiding the bends, mysterious radioactive signals from the sea, coral poachers, a Stonefish is needed for poison antidote, and a WWII minefield is uncovered.

Live action shows were not popular on Saturday mornings in 1971, this series scored dismal ratings like most of the NBC Saturday schedule this year.

10:30

Take a
Giant Step
/ NBC
(debut)
Sixty minutes of kids talking about their lives and thoughts with occasional adult guests. Lasts in this format only one year.

Producers described the production this way: "attempts to help youngsters 7-14 formulate their own value judgments". Since the kids on the show drove the content (with the help of the show's staff and guest advisors) it often slipped into unrestrained chaos.

The premiere episode dealt with beginnings and endings - like your mom and dad's marriage. Also seen were reports on fashion designer Betsy Johnson, the film Cabaret, a visit to the UN, the Moog synthesizer is shown.

TV Guide critiqued, "Take A Giant Step, run by a handful of teen-age hosts, is murky of purpose and often unintelligible. Its young performers exhibit no signs of professional training or poise, but are left to stumble over each other's words as they bravely but vainly attempt to communicate with their audience."

Twice as many kids watched Road Runner reruns rather than this show.

Six months later, a similar but better realized program began a long run on PBS - ZOOM.

11:30

The Bugaloos / NBC
Season two (reruns) of the odd (but entertaining) goings on in Sid and Marty Krofft's Tranquility Forest.

Magnificent old-school movie/radio comedienne Martha Raye stars as Benita Bizarre - Martha Raye also appeared in the big screen version of 'HR Pufnstuff'.

12:00

Mr. Wizard / NBC
One season revival of the 1951-1965 NBC series (originally broadcast from Chicago) starring Don Herbert as Mr. Wizard. Mr. Wizard who would amaze his child guest with a feat of science or physics experiment, and then show how it's done.

There were five-minute 'Mr. Wizard Close-up' short segments running in daytime syndication during the Seventies.

Mr. Wizard returned in basically the same format in 1983 on the Nickelodeon network - and ran for another seven years of original episodes.

12:30

Jetsons / NBC
Moved to NBC after two years on CBS and ran continuously for five more years. In 1962, the Jetsons was the first ABC program ever broadcast in color.

No other show has been repeated on Saturday Mornings more than 'The Jetsons'. That's saying a lot, especially since only one season's worth of episodes were ever filmed - until 1985 when pathetic new episodes were made for syndication.

  Periscope aired at 1:00pm.

 

In 1971, Soul Train debuted
to big ratings in syndication.

 

8:00

Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Stand up! / ABC
Second and last season for Lewis' last network series to date - he was a producer of the show but the voice of Jerry in the cartoon belonged to David L. Lander, 'Squiggy' on 'Laverne & Shirley. Howard Morris (Ernest T. Bass) was also heard.

8:30

Road Runner / ABC
The Road Runner moved from CBS to ABC to star in his own half-hour show. This format ran only one year.

9:00

Funky Phantom / ABC
(debut)
Three kids teamed with their colonial era ghost that popped out of an old grandfather clock from 1776.

The ghost loved to tell tall tales and drop names and places in history while hanging out with his teenage pals and their dog solving mysteries that generally turn out to be about someone committing real estate fraud.

Another Scooby rip-off.

9:30

Jackson 5ive / ABC
(debut)
Cartoon adventures of the singing, dancing Jackson family, including a blue snake and the rest of Michael's odd menagerie.

This cartoon did not use the voices of the actual Jackson Five but did use their original songs. This was the closest thing around to music videos on TV in the Seventies.

A Rankin-Bass production, the animators who did the wildly popular 'Beatles' cartoon and 'Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer'.

10:00

Bewitched
/ ABC
Reruns of the classic sitcom begin even as 'Bewitched' was still airing in primetime.

On the first Saturday episode, Sam tries to hide Tabitha's developing witchcraft powers from Darin.

AVAILABLE ON VIDEO!

10:30

Lidsville / ABC
(debut)
Mark (Butch Patrick) falls into a giant hat that leads to a Sid and Marty Krofft land of hat-people.

Weird concept, great cast and lots of fun with Charles Nelson Reilly as "Hoo-Doo" and the brilliant Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo) as "Weenie the Genie".

Ran for two years on ABC, one on NBC.

11:00

Curiosity Shop / ABC
(debut)
Sixty-minutes of science experiments and discovery kinds of things for younger kids. Networks were under attack from parent's groups for not providing enough educational shows for children, this show was created with that in mind. Combines live action, animation, puppets and music - 'Mr. Wizard' meets 'Sesame Street'.

Hosted by Chuck Jones, animator extraordinaire and VP of Saturday Programming for ABC in 1971.

Two kids visit the shop and discover something new each week, with the help of puppets like Baron Balthazar, S.I. Trivia (a worm in the dictionary), and Gittle the Bumbling Witch. There were also Dennis the Menace, Miss Peach and B.C. cartoon segments.

One memorable animated segment was the first Multiplication Rock - "Three Is The Magic Number." This became a regular Saturday morning feature in 1972.

Other features on stop-motion animator George Pal, cartoonist Johnny Hart (BC), improv comedians The Committee do Goldilocks, 'The Strange World of Mr. Mum,' a 1908 cartoon "Fantasmagoria" by Emil Cohl, the origin of the handshake, the invention of the sun dial.

The show moved to the Sunday morning boneyard in the fall of 1972, where programs were routinely bumped by local affiliates for church broadcasts (at least where I lived).

12:00

Johnny Quest / ABC
Second year of reruns from the exciting 1964-65 animated primetime series - in 1970 it aired on Sunday mornings.

This ambitious series ran only one season originally, with storyboards and character designs by Doug Wildley and Alex Toth. Considered by many to be the best production ever from Hanna-Barbera.

12:30

Lancelot Link,
Secret Chimp
/ ABC
Second and last season of silliness, a year of reruns. In all, 16 chimps were used for the cast. The budget was over a million dollars for the season, high for Saturday mornings.

The clip is from a very entertaining documentary called "I Created Lancelot Link" featuring an interview with series creators Stan Burns and Mike Marmer.

Followed by American Bandstand at 1:00pm.

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