live action shows were on the schedules again this year, thanks to the
success of last year's entries. Networks continue to shake up their schedules
mid-season, it will remain a yearly custom.
Rocks', the Bicentennial version of 'Schoolhouse Rock', was seen on ABC
in 1976. Big, Blue Marble was popular in syndication.
have a clear recollection of the Saturday 1976 season being called 'Sunshine
Saturday Morning' and had it's own little theme song:
a Sunshine Saturday Morning
This fall on NBC
Got it made in the Sunshine,
Got it made in the Shade."
and Tweety / CBS
The whole Warner Brothers gang was back for another year.
Bugs Bunny /
Road Runner Hour / CBS
CBS leads with an hour and a half of old Warner Brothers cartoons.
CBS shuffled the schedule mid-season, shortened this show to 30
minutes, and 'Clue Club' moved to this timeslot.
Bugs' and Road Runner's show returned to an hour length in the
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle / CBS
Edgar Rice Burrough's jungle character comes to Saturday mornings
as a cartoon.
For decades, you could always find
the old 1940's Tarzan movies airing Saturday and Sunday afternoons
on local stations.
Shazam / Isis / CBS
Third year for teenager Billy Batson, who travels around in a van
with his 'Mentor' and yells "Shazam" to turn into the mighty Captain
Marvel. Starring John Davey , Michael Gray and Les Tremayne.
Teen idol Michael Gray slid into
obscurity and (briefly) drug addiction after 'Shazam' ended. He
now owns a flower shop in LA. John Davey was the second actor to
play the Captain, the first was Jackson Bostwick.
CBS couldn't call the show 'Captain Marvel' because of possible
trademark infringement with Marvel Comics - even though Captain
Marvel was created decades before Marvel Comics came along.
Created for television and seen in
separate adventures and sometimes with Captain Marvel, mighty Isis
was mild-mannered science teacher Andrea Thomas in her day gig.
After finding a magic amulet on an archaeological dig, she takes
on super powers when she utters the words, "Oh Mighty Isis!"
and displays the golden amulet.
Isis was played by the lovely Joanna
Cameron, her pet crow was named Tut.
Shazam/Isis was moved to 11:00 mid-season.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle and The New Adventures of Batman
filled this timeslot starting in February.
The New Adventures of Batman featured the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward and ran until 1981.
Ark II / CBS
Live action futuristic drama about a roving scientific team in the
25th century looking for lost civilizations in a souped-up mini-van
after a great disaster has ravaged the Earth.
Terry Lester as Noah, Jose Flores as Samuel, Jean Marie Hon as
Ruth, along with Adam, the talking chimp. Very similar in concept
to Gene Roddenberry's 'Earth II' TV-movie/pilot.
Typical plots: The Ark II crew finds a village where old and sick
people are left to survive on their own in the wilderness, three
telepathic kids need rescuing, Geoffrey Lewis' spring water causes
instant aging, Samuel creates a fumbling robot that saves them from
a strange gas. An old con man (Jonathan Harris from 'Lost In Space')
leads a band of marauding orphans. A drought has the team looking
for a 20th century rain making machine. The 'Arkites' find a village
where technology is considered evil and meet up with a futuristic
Only one season's worth of episodes were filmed, Ark II moved to
12:30 in February. A second season of reruns were seen on Sundays
II now on DVD!
Clue Club / CBS
Hanna-Barbera rips off their own Scooby-concept - only now it's
two dogs and a group of teenagers out solving mysteries.
Lasts just this season, but is brought back for reruns in 1978.
Fat Albert and the
Cosby Kids / CBS
This season's storylines: Wombly refuses to quit smoking until his
dad has a coughing attack. A TV addict's habit interferes with his
schoolwork. Rudy quits school because he hates his new teacher.
Edward has trouble backing up his tall tales. The gang comes in
contact with drugs. A handicapped boy thinks he won't be accepted
because of his disability. A classmate's parents aren't getting
along. A friend has personal hygiene problems. The guys get stage
fright before a contest and homesick at camp.
All of these problems are solved or
at least resolved with the help of Bill this season.
Way Out Games / CBS
Sonny Fox hosted this game show with
young teams from all over the country competing in athletic feats.
In the Fifties, Sonny Fox was the original host of Wonderama
(still running on Sunday mornings in 1976 over on the Metromedia
'network' with host Bob McAllister).
Both of CBS & ABC's attempts to revive Fifties' kid show hosts
with Saturday morning game shows failed this year (Soupy Sales at
noon was the other).
Way Out Games moved to 1:00 mid-season, then to Sunday mornings
but most local stations dropped it in favor of syndicated shows
In 1977, Sonny Fox was made head of Saturday Morning programming
The CBS Children's Film Festival
Another season hosted by Kukla,
Fran and Ollie - also kid show hosts from the fifties.
This anthology featured hour and
half-hour films, like "Cold Pizza" from Canada.
Tom and Jerry / Grape
Ape / Mumbley Show / ABC
The snickering dog from 'Wacky Races' joins his fellow Hanna-Barbera
creations in an hour of empty-headed cartoons.
The show was downgraded to a half-hour
Jabberjaw / ABC
Now this was a good show! Jabberjaw was a shark with a big mouth,
but I forget what the point of this cartoon was, solving undersea
JJ was also the drummer for his rock
band, The Neptunes
The Scooby Doo
Dynamutt Hour / ABC
A robotic version of Scooby joins the cowardly great Dane for a
hour. Midseason, the show is lengthened to an hour and a half.
Supershow / ABC
Starring Captain Kool and the Kongs, a "rock group", t
served as hosts for an orgy of Sid and Marty Krofft weirdness.
This show was made up of a number
of different segments, including:
Wonderbug was a beach buggy that talked and got into all kinds
of trouble with his teenage companions. Sort of a live action 'Speed
Dr. Shrinker was an evil scientist who could shrink his unfortunate
victims with his deadly shrink ray. A tiny group of his victims
fight back. Billy Barty played Dr. Shrinker’s assistant.
Electra Woman and Dynagirl, the darling duo of Saturday mornings,
are reporters that fight crime as costumed daredolls. Diedre Hall
stars as Superherionne Electra Woman with Judy Strangis as her sidekick
The Lost Saucer is seen in reruns from the previous season. Starring
Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzi as two aliens along with two Earthling
companions lost in space.
Both Nabors and Buzzi were srtarring in top rated prime time shows
(Gomer Pyle USMC & Laugh-in) just a few years
The Krofft Supershow started out at an hour and a half, but was
trimmed to an hour midseason, and Superfriends returned for
a long run.
Anything Goes / ABC
Based on a popular nighttime game show of the day.
Legendary kid show host and TV pioneer
Soupy Sales was the host, young people competed in wacky games for
scholarships and merchandise.
Celebrity guest-stars help out as coaches, including William Shatner,
Marty Allen, Phyllis Diller, Jo Anne Worley, Abe Vigoda, Leslie
Anne Warren, Avery Schieber, Don Knotts, Liz Torres, Jackie Cooper,
Vicki Lawrence and Bill Dailey.
Lasts only one year, moving to Sunday mornings in February.
The show was replaced midseason by 'The Oddball Couple' reruns
from 1975, a cartoon loosely based on 'The Odd Couple' sitcom that
ran on ABC in primetime for 5 years.
American Bandstand / ABC Elton John and Kiki Dee appear on the
season opener - performing their big hit song "Don't Go Breakin' My
Heart". Also appearing on the season opener, Captain Kool and the
Kongs and mime superstars Shields and Yarnell, a duo with their own
variety show on CBS.
Later episodes this season bring: Pointer Sisters, Rufus with Chaka
Khan, Mellisa Manchester, Stephen Bishop, Deniece Williams, The
Ritchie Family, The Sylvers, Bay City Rollers, Johnny Bristol, Four
Tops, Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots (performing 'Disco Duck'),
David Brenner, Walter Murphy, Rick Springfield and a computerized
hand puppet named Rodney.
Starring Dick Clark, AB was the longest-running network
series in 1976.
Clark was on the air 6 days a week on ABC in 1976, with '$25,000
Pyramid' seen Monday-Friday.
Pink Panther / NBC
Now on at
an earlier hour and for an hour and a half. Year seven of an incredible
ten year run.
"Back in the fall of 1973, NBC had comedian Lenny Schultz
host the Pink Panther show for a few weeks. I do remember
seeing these, but can't remember much beyond Lenny and some kids
playing games between the cartoon segments.
"After a few weeks, the Pink Panther was still there, but
no Lenny. Was he fired, or was this an experiment that failed? I've
- Tom Stillabower
McDuff, the Talking Dog / NBC
Live-action adventures of a ghostly English Sheepdog and Calvin
Cambell, the veterinarian who communicates with him.
But not for long, this show was cancelled
after just a couple of months and Speed Buggy returned for a long
Monster Squad / NBC
Monsters as Superheroes in this live action show. The caretaker
(Fred Grandy, who later became a U.S. Congressman!) of a monstrous
wax museum can summon the creatures to life when crime rears it's
"During a time when all action in Saturday
morning was considered taboo (even the slightest hint of a fight),
it was so cool seeing Frankenstein, Dracula, and Bruce Wolfman duke
it out with the bad guys. OK, they traded in punches for bonks in
the head, but still, it beat that boring (but memorable) SHAZAM
any day of the week.
"MS was another show that had very funny dialogue, which
may have led to its (and C.A.P.E.R.'s) cancellation.
"The lines were probably over the kid's heads. It really
reminded me of the 60's Batman tv series with Adam West.
The only things missing from the fight scenes were the "POWS!" and
"And all those guest villians... Julie Newmar (Catwoman
on Batman), John Astin, Marty Allen, Avery Schrieber, just
to name a few.
"The only thing most people remember about the show was
the next year you could find Fred Grandy (Walt) on ABC's The
- Steve S
the Lost / NBC
The Pakunis and the Sleezstacks are
back for new episodes this year.
13 fresh episodes of the Marshalls in the lost land are filmed
with Ron Harper ('Planet of the Apes') joining the cast in the 3rd
and final season as Uncle Jack - after Spencer Milligan (Rick Marshall)
left the series at the end of the second season.
Whatever made the show work in the first place was lost, 'Space
Ghost and Frankenstein Jr.' reruns replaced the series midseason.
Little John / NBC
Producer Sherwood Schwartz ('Bradys',
'Gilligan's Island') was ahead of his time on this one - a live-action
Saturday morning sitcom.
Herb Edelman ('The Good Guys') starred
as a teacher who drinks from a fountain of youth and switches back
and forth between man and boy.
Also starring 70's stalwart Joyce
Bulifant as John's wife and Robbie Rist (cousin Oliver on The
Brady Bunch) as young John.
TVparty gets a lot of mail
on this show, it's fondly remembered but lasted just one year.
C.A.P.E.R. / NBC
One season adventure show with four teenagers - Doc, PT, Bugs and
Doomsday - who are agents of the Civilian Authority for the Protection
of Everyone Regardless.
"The show was live action and involved a group of California
teens who rode around in a remodeled van called the "The Big Bologna"
solving crimes, getting into hi-jinks, etc. The costumes looked
straight out of John Travolta's closet."
- Chris Varney
"Sure it was a Monkees clone, but it was funny! I've had a chance
to look over some of the dialogue from the shows! Groucho Marx would
be proud! "C.A.P.E.R." was one of the most underrated shows of Saturday
- Steve S
"Looking over your Sat. morning listings, I came across
The Kids from C.A.P.E.R.! I agree, it was underrated. Very funny
"I remember with the success of the show, an album was
made of the songs from the series. Trying to create another 'Monkees',
it was obvious they wanted to cash in on the show's heart throb.
I remember seeing it in 1976 at a Tower Records store in Phx. AZ.
There has to be a few still in existence!"
- Jeff Nerone
Muggsy / NBC
Sarah MacDonnell stars as a teenager named 'Muggsy' living in Bridgeport,
During her one season on television, Muggsy's dog is sold to animal
researchers, she tracks down a man who robbed her, her dad Nick
tries to help a former girlfriend hooked on drugs that becomes involved
in a gunrunning scheme, then dad and Muggsy get mixed up in a barmaid's
marital mess and then poor Muggsy and friend Clytemnestra witness
a hit-and-run accident that kills their friend's mom.
"I was 9 years old but I enjoyed the hell out of those shows
at the time, especially the episode of 'Muggsy' when Larry B. Scott
was playing a gang member and accidentally stabs himself in the
leg at the end of the show. What a riot."
- Vernon Jones