Kangaroo could be seen at 7:30 on CBS, but only until December when the
Captain's 29 year long run on CBS ended.
was a year of TV spin-offs from popular arcade video games - the games
themselves were a new phenomenon.
had informative 90 second spots called "One To Grow On" scattered
during the morning.
WEEKDAY AFTERNOONS: Seven new 'Afterschool Specials' were broadcast
on ABC while CBS had six 'Schoolbreak Specials' that dealt with subjects
like teen suicide. Popular in syndication - He
Man and the Masters of the Universe.
8:00 Shirt Tales / CBS
premise about a bunch of animals living in a city park that can transport
themselves to far off places. Based on a series of greeting cards
Replaced late in the season by the
show that aired before it, The Biskitts.
Get Along Gang / CBS
Montgomery Goose, Zipper the Cat, Dotty Dog and Bingo Beaver provide
Believe it or not, this show was
meant to teach kids that they should follow along with the group
dynamic and not be so individualistic. Must have worked...
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies
Very successful cartoon featuring
the familiar Muppet characters as toddlers.
Dungeons and Dragons / CBS
Everyone I ask says this was a great cartoon! Based
on the game that started in 1974, this was a second season with
All-star cast of voices -
Willie Ames (Eight is Enough) as Hank, Donny Most (Happy Days) as
Eric, Adam Rich (Eight is Enough) as Presto, Peter Cullen (Sonny
and Cher) as Venger, Frank Welker as Uni, Ted Field as Bobby among
A group of six kids ride an amusement
park attraction into a medieval world populated by wizards and fire-breathing
reptiles. Trapped in a game world, they assume new identities to
help the malevolent Dungeonmaster battle the evil Verger.
Returned for repeats in 1987 and
1990. A final episode where the kids made it back to reality was
plotted but never filmed.
Dungeons and Dragons was
cited by one of those advocacy groups as being the most violent
show on TV in 1984.
Pole Position / CBS
Another arcade game becomes a cartoon
in 1984. Crook busting
kids, who happen to be stunt professionals, team with personified
cars and their weirdo monkey creature Kuma.
Thirteen episodes were produced. Cancelled
in December, 1984, the show returned for a few months in 1986.
Animated by DiC, not one of the
10:30 Saturday Supercade / CBS
All your favorite arcade games are brought to animated
life for a second and last season.
Donkey Kong (voiced by Soupy Sales),
Donkey Kong Jr., and Q*Bert are joined this year by the adventures
of Space Ace and Kangaroo with his Monkey Biz Gang.
Supercade switches places on the
schedule with Bugs and Road Runner mid-season, as the popularity
of video games start to take hold. Arcade games in public places
begin to fade away...
Storybreak / CBS
Cartoon and live action adaptations of children's
books started in January, hosted by Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo).
Included: 'Chocolate Fever' by Robert
Pryor's Place / CBS
Richard Pryor was heavily censored on NBC in 1977
primetime and swore off series TV forever as a result. Then
he resurfaced with this kid's show.
This was the first CBS Saturday
morning lineup in twelve years without Fat Albert. Since
Bill Cosby had done so well with Fat Albert, it only made
sense (to someone)
that the same could be done with Pryor.
Sid and Marty Krofft (Lidsville)
CBS had so much faith in this show,
Pryor was prominently positioned in the ads for CBS Saturday shows
that season - but Pryor's Place ran until June, 1985.
Jacob Gilbert writes: As memory serves, CBS Storybreak was aired toward the tail end of the lineup, like ABC’s Weekend Special. You neglect to mention that Ruby-Spears, which bombed badly with Dragon’s Lair & Turbo Teen, also produced Saturday Supercade.
In my area, Pryor’s Place was shown at an earlier time because the local CBS affiliate reserved the 11-1 block for syndicated programming. This practice was discontinued several years later, but it’s a big reason why shows like Pryor’s Place ended up failing after 1 season or less.
Bugs Bunny / Road Runner
You've heard of these guys, right?
Bugs and the Road Runner were on
for an hour in 1984, shuffled to earlier in the morning mid-season
when the 'Starcade' show bombed.
Remember that group that complained
about 'Dungeons and Dragons' being the most violent show on TV in
1984? Bugs Bunny came in second!
Superfriends: The Legendary
Super Powers Show / ABC
After three years of reruns, an hour of new
Superfriends action comes alive in 1984. Storylines (2 per show)
included: Darkseid's Golden Trap, The Wrath of Brainiac and Mr.
Mxyzptlk and The Magic Lamp.
Superman, Batman, Robin and Wonder
Woman are now joined by Cyborg and Firestorm - who took crime fighting
a bit more seriously than those annoying kids with the monkey.
Violence in cartoons was not so
much of a problem in the Reagan era as it was in the 'liberal' seventies.
It got so bad, by 1978 all the Superfriends could do was run around
and have Olympic-style contests!
Voices included Casey Kasem as Robin, Frank Welker
as Darkseid/Kalibak and Adam West as Batman. West famously portrayed Batman
in prime time from 1966-68.
This format ran two years, retitled
'Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians' in 1985.
Mighty Orbots / ABC
Rob, Dia and their robotic companions Tor, Boo, Bo and Bort, protect
our 23rd century Earth from space invaders like Umbra.
Episodes included: Magnetic Menace,
Trapped on a Prehistoric Planet and Raid on the Stellar Queen. Executive
Producers were Fred Silverman and Yutaka Fujioka.
robots could join together to form one big mutha robot.
9:30 Wolf Rock TV / ABC
Music videos hosted by a cartoon Wolfman Jack and
four teenagers working in a TV station.
The dismal Wolf Rock was
yanked after 4 episodes and replaced by -
Turbo Teen / ABC
A Ruby-Spears production.
Teenager Brett Matthews morphs into
a super charged race car whenever he gets too excited.
Twenty years later, we have rampant road rage. I'm sure it's a coincidence.
The voice of Alex was provided by
T.K. Carter (The Corner).
10:00 Dragon's Lair / ABC
Based on the arcade game with Dirk Daring's adventures
in medieval times. Viewers were encouraged to guess the route of
If you played the Dragon's Lair
video game in 1984, you probably did it on a Commodore 64. Today
you'll do it on an X-box or Playstation.
The TV show lasted only until spring,
1985 - Ruby-Spears produced.
New Scooby Doo Mysteries
Scrappy-Doo joins the gang for all-new 'mysteries'.
It was easy to figure out who did
it - the shifty looking person the kids always met in the first two
Scary Scooby Funnies
Rerun fun from the original series.
Kids don't care if they've seen it a dozen times.
Here Come The Littles / ABC
Year two of a three year run.
The Littles are the elves that live behind the walls of a home that become
involved in stories with a moral center.
Based on the popular books by John
Peterson and the animated motion picture 'Here Come The Littles'
Eight new episodes were created
for this season and eight more for the next. Alvy Moore was heard
as Grandpa Little and Hal Smith (Otis on Andy Griffith) was
Mattell had a popular line of dolls, dollhouses and accessories in a
quaint, turn-of-the-century styling.
12:00 Weekend Special / ABC
Low budget, half-hour TV movies filmed (or animated)
New stories for
In 'Mayday! Mayday!", a two-parter, two children are hunted
by killer dogs as they try to get help for their parents after a
'The Trouble with Miss Switch' and
'Miss Switch To The Rescue' - another two-part cartoon adventure.
In it, Rupert and Amelia discover their substitute
teacher is actually a witch with a magical talking cat. Miss Switch
needs the kids to stop an evil coven of witches.
'A Different Twist' - a girl goes
all out to get a traditionally male role in the school play.
12:30 American Bandstand / ABC
Guests this season included:
Katrina and the Waves, Boy Meets Girl, Cyndi Lauper, Greg Kihn,
Tina Marie, Bryan Adams, Scandal, Patrice Rushin.
The longest running show on network
TV in 1984. Hosted by Dick Clark.
Snorks / NBC
First of a two year run for these grotesque Smurf-inspired underwater
creatures with names like Allstar, Casey, Daffney and Tooter. There
were four seasons of original episodes, two stories per show.
Pink Panther and Sons / NBC
Begins a two year run for Pink and his three kids -
Punkin, Pinky and Panky.
Hanna Barbera took over the production
in 1984 from DePatie-Freleng, the original animators of the Pink
Panther - both the movie and TV versions.
Hanna-Barbera was very fond of featuring
junior versions of popular characters to revive the franchise. Scooby
& Scrappy and Popeye and Sons were other examples.
Smurfs / NBC
One of the hottest shows on Saturday mornings in 1984, animated
This was a 90-minute extravaganza
that started in 1981 and ran until 1990. The
Smurfs are little blue people living in a Medieval forest - and
the evil Gargamel wants to eat them.
Baby Smurf first appeared in 1983-84.
Episode titles this season, The Trojan Smurf, Smurf the Other Cheek,
The Smurfomatic Smurfolator and Smurfiplication.
Typical plots: A piece of Gargamel's
magic cloth becomes a diaper that allows Baby Smurf to fly, Brainy's
magic gingerbread cookies come to life and take over the village.
You think I'm making this stuff
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Ran continuously from 1983 (when they had a revival
and a new hit novelty record) until 1991.
Kidd Video / NBC
MTV inspired cartoon
teens (who are also a rock group, of course) fall into a magic land
ruled by the evil Master Blaster when they play a certain song. What?!?!
Featured the voice of Robbie Rist as Whiz and popular
songs hot off the charts by artists like Lionel Richie, Hall & Oates
and Eddy Grant.
Shown here are the actors who played the musical
Kidd Video lasted through two seasons of
original episodes, with reruns on CBS for another season. 26 episodes
were taped and a soundtrack LP was released.
The show was also very popular in Japan and Israel.
Mr. T / NBC
Year two of three.
'The A-Team' was still going strong
in 1984, the number four show in primetime ratings - and Mr. T was
basically a cartoon character anyway, so an animated version was