Popeye Show / CBS
New adventures of the strong to the finish sailor man. This series
lasted for five years and is the version of Popeye you
are most likely to see today.
"Political correctness in 1978! It was silly how the
producers explained away Popeye's pipe in an anti-smoking segment
with Bluto (naturally) puffing away and coughing. The sailor-man
says it's just for making his trademark tooting sound, not for
tobacco. As if!
"Sometimes remakes shouldn't be done - the Max
Fleischer Popeyes of the 1930s and '40s were much better."
- Victoria Mielke
Bugs Bunny /
Road Runner / CBS
Ninety minutes of the same cartoons that have been running for
over a decade on Saturday mornings. But they hold up!
Tarzan and the
Super Seven / CBS
Another ninety minute show
devoted to the separate adventures of seven super-types.
Tarzan first came to Saturday mornings
in 1976. This series was produced by Filmation - who was giving
Hanna-Barbera some serious competition.
In addition to Tarzan there was
Web Woman (no relation to current Web women), a female Spiderman
who snared criminals with her sticky nocturnal emmisions.
Batman and Robin returned to Saturdays
in new adventures, voiced by Adam West and Burt Ward, stars of
the classic 1966 primetime series.
The Freedom Force brought together Isis (now in animated form),
Super-Samurai, Sinbad, Merlin and Hercules to fight crime.
Micro Woman and Super Stretch followed the cartoon husband and
wife who could shrink and stretch respectively.
Moray and Manta patrol the seven seas as the 'daring duo of the
Jason and the Star Command stars James Doohan (Scotty on 'Star
Trek') and Craig Littler in a live action science-fiction series
set in the 22nd century. Sid Haig played the villian, Dragos.
So many special effects artists got their start on this series.
Space Academy / CBS
Returning from last year, all reruns.
Jonathan Harris (dastardly Dr.
Smith on Lost in Space) stars as a space-opera good guy
this time, 300 year old Gampu, wise advisor to the young Space
Typical episode: Peepo the robot
invents a device to cool down planets that turn explosive.
Fat Albert and
the Cosby Kids / CBS
fills an hour at 1:00 with episodes of Ark II, and 30
Minutes, a news magazine geared to high school students with
anchors Christopher Glenn and Betsy Aaron.
Where are You? / ABC
Reruns of the original half-hour format from 1969.
Fangface / ABC
Teenagers running around with their monster friend solving mysteries
- just like Scooby. Lasts
In this entry, little Sherman
Fangsworth changes into Fangface the werewolf - and changes back
to typical teen when the sun rises. He's teamed with pals Kim,
Biff, and Puggsy to battle weirdo adversaries.
Produced by Ruby/Spears, who would
really hit their stride in the 1980s.
the Superfriends / ABC
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the Wonder Twins in competition
with aliens and 'The Legion of Doom' for the fate of the universe.
Characters weren't allowed to wrestle
around much on Saturday morning shows anymore, so conflicts had
to be solved in other ways - like through competitive sports.
"When I was a kid, I loved watching 'Super Friends' (although
'Battle of the Planets' was a better show).
"'Challenge of the Super Friends' was basically about the
war between the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom. Although
there was one episode were there was a competition between the
sides, that was the only one.
"More typical were episodes had the Legion going back
in time to prevent the origins of the most powerful members of
the Super Friends, or the episodes where the Legion uses a special
jewel to systematicaly kill the members of the team. Usually episodes
ended with a massive showdown battle."
- Kenneth Chisholm
Power Hour / NBC
Hanna-Barbera contribute another hour of cultured entertainment.
In this one, Godzilla lives in the bottom of the ocean and comes
up when his friends aboard the 'Calico' summon him for help.
featuring 'Jana of the Jungle' with character designs
by Doug Wildey.
Fantastic Four / NBC
Would'a, could'a, should'a been a faithful adaptation of the Marvel
comic book. The stories were written and storyboarded by original
creators - Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Unfortunately, network execs were
nervous about including the 'Human Torch' (afraid kids would set
themselves on fire, you know), so he was replaced by 'Herbie the
Robot', who looked like a flying gas pump.
This show lasted only one year,
hindered by the fact that no fighting of any kind was allowed
on cartoons in 1978. It's kinda hard to battle Doctor Doom and
not lay a punch, so the FF relied on ray guns that held people
still or moved them gently from one place to another.
Krofft Superstar Hour / NBC
ABC figured that, if the variety
show format was dead in primetime, maybe it would work for Saturday
mornings. So after two years as 'The Krofft Supershow', this series
became more of a musical variety hour starring Scottish teen sensation
the Bay City Rollers.
Bay City Roller's first single
'Keep on Dancing' made #9 on the UK charts in 1971. In 1976 'Saturday
Night' reached #1 in the USA.
Weenie the Genie, H.R. Pufnstuf
and other Kroft regulars from previous shows like Lidsville
joined together in nonsensical segments that were poorly written
and hastily produced.
This production only lasted two months - in November the show
was reduced to a half-hour and the Bay City Rollers got their
own show ('The Bay City Rollers Show') without the puppets.
That version lasted only until the end of the season and the
'Rollers' have barely been heard from since (unless you count
the recent tabloid headlines about one of the member's dalliance
with an underaged girl and subsequent arrest).
Fabulous Funnies / NBC
Archie's TV Funnies' former cartoon stars (and King Features syndicate
comic strip features) 'Broomhilda', 'Alley Oop', 'Nancy and Sluggo'
et al are now joined by 'Shoe' in educational spots about eating
healthy and being non-violent.
NBC was trying to undo some of the
damage done by the last four hours of non-stop cereal commercials
and cartoon mayhem by airing something gentle and nurturing. Gone
after this season.
Baggy Pants and
The Nitwits / NBC
Back (briefly) for a second season of reruns - a cartoon with
Arte Johnson and Ruth Buzzi as their 'Dirty Old Man and Gladys'
characters (from 'Laugh-in') in a segment called 'The Nitwits'.
Left the schedule in October when
NBC re-vamped it's losing line-up.