were programming for a younger audience than a decade before; as a result,
the Saturday shows were getting annoyingly cute by the mid-eighties.
mornings were in turmoil in 1986, ratings were falling. This was the first
Saturday morning lineup in over fifteen years without Scooby Doo.
Bugs and the SuperFriends ate up 2 1/2 hours on ABC in 1985,
but by the fall of 1986 all but Bugs were gone and he was busted to a
NBC took the road of least resistance (lots reruns of established shows),
CBS and ABC took big gambles in 1986 in an attempt to lure a new audience.
It wasn't long before Scooby and the DC heroes returned.
terms of ratings, CBS won the year handily thanks to Pee Wee Herman -
but the real hit cartoons were playing on weekdays after school - Jem,
Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony among many others.
Based on the hit movie starring
Michael J. Fox, first of three years on Saturday mornings
In this version, typical teenager Scott is secretly
a werewolf, known only to his family and a few others. The town
Scott lives in is a place obsessed with werewolves called Wolverton
and even has a distinctly Bavarian-like architecture ala Universal
Of course Teen Wolf never threatened anyone, he
just got hairy which proved embarrassing more often than not.
Playhouse / CBS
CBS's huge gamble - that paid off big.
Pee Wee's Playhouse was
an ambitious series, a very expensive live action comedy starring
Paul Ruebens as Pee Wee Herman, an amalgamation of the kind of kid
show host that was so prevalent on TV in the fifties.
Pee Wee's Playhouse was
populated with an oddball assortment of characters, household items
and bugs that sprang to life.
The Nielsen ratings people found
that Pee Wee attracted a huge adult audience that would videotape
the show and watch it later. This was a new
phenomenon as video recorders were just becoming affordable for
Adventure / CBS
Awe, look at the cute puppies!
Debuted in 1983. This was the last season for Petey
the Puppy's search for his family;
there were a total of thirteen episodes.
Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling! /
Last year of two, reruns from the previous year.
No, the Hulkster didn't take the
time to voice his animated clone, it was Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) who did the
The other famous WWF wrestlers featured
in this series were also voiced by others - including The Iron Sheik,
Andre the Giant and Rowdy Roddy Piper.
CBS's answer to ABC's very successful Afterschool
Wuzzles / ABC
Year two, all reruns.
Henry Gibson and Jo Anne Worley
from Laugh-In provided voices for this cartoon. For a while,
the networks looked to former 1970's variety show stars to add their
vocal talents to Saturday kidvid.
Care Bears Family / ABC
Magical bears from the land of Care-A-Lot frolic in simple morality
Created from a hot line of greeting
cards; there was a box office hit starring the Care Bears in 1985.
9:00 Flintstone Kids
Another attempt to breathe life into a twenty-six year old franchise;
this time Fred, Wilma, Betty and Barney were depicted as little children.
Hey, it worked for the Muppets!
In 1986, Pizza Hut released limited
edition Flintstone Kids drinking glasses.
Although they continued to sell
cereal and vitamins, years of pointless scripts and lousy animation
killed the whole idea of watching anything but the classic Flintstones
episodes and the first Saturday morning revival with Pebbles and
Bamm Bamm as teenagers.
Ghostbusters / ABC
Based on the hit movie. Four guys search for ghosts
their pet glob of green goo.
Just as in the cartoon version
of Teen Wolf, no attempt was made to have the animated
characters look like their big screen counterparts.
This cartoon was so popular it began
running on weekday afternoons.
Pound Puppies / ABC
Some great artists lent their voices to this
one - Frank Welker, Ruth Buzzi, Nancy Cartwright, Pat Carroll among
many others. Like most cartoons of this period, it was based on
a line of toys.
In the animated adventures of the Pound Puppies,
11-year old Holly and her five adorable puppies battle their evil
next door neighbors - who are cat lovers.
Bugs Bunny &
Tweety / ABC
Familiar cartoons from the Looney Tunes
11:30 Ewoks / ABC
These Star Wars cuties became even more annoying in
Weekend Special / ABC
A new season of educational half-hours - kicked off
with an animated 'Cap'n Readmore meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.' Sounds real exciting...
Bandstand / ABC
Dick Clark hosted another
year of new wave dancing and rating records.
Saturday mornings in 1986:
- She's truly outrageous! The Jem TV show debuted in 1985, the adventures of a glamorous
rock group, Jem and the Holograms.
Joe Airing as a wildly popular cartoon for syndication in 1986
- promoting the toy line, of course.
Bear was still hawking cereal
after 25 years or more. The product was originally named Post Sugar
Crisps but had evolved into Super Golden Crisps by the mid-eighties
to appeal to a more health concious society.
Cookies had one of the catchiest jingles
of the mid-eighties. They knew if they could get kids singing, they'll
remember the product and bug their parents about it.
Tag! It was the hottest game in 1986 - but when children got
shot by the police who thought they were packing heat, the craze
faded and the company went bankrupt. Video games soon picked up
the slack, you didn't have to worry about return fire.
TheDominoes Noid? He was
hot in 1986 but no one could figure out why. Claymation characters
were everywhere in TV commercials of the mid-sixties.
Loops 1986 - this was the third decade
for Toucan Sam on TV.
Cruch with Crunch Berries was still going
strong after more than a decade.
made a line of build it yourself toys.
Piecesbecame a hot selling candy in
1983 thanks to a tie-in with the movie E.T. After that, product
placement in movies became big business.
is thirst aid for that deep down body thirst."
Kissyfur / NBC
Some random nonsense about a couple of clown bears
who join a bizarre animal commune.
Returned in 1989 for two seasons.
8:30 Disney's Adventures of the
Gummi Bears / NBC
Reruns from the last year. June Foray, Bill Scott,
Paul Winchell and other greats provided voices for Disney's first
attempt to create a program for Saturday mornings.
Based on the popular candy.
Everything had a tie-in!
Smurfs / NBC
Third year of nine, this time in a ninety-minute format.
It's Punky Brewster / NBC
Punky was prime time kiddie
fodder that translated well into cartoon format.Year two of four.
Soleil Moon-Frye provided the voice
of Punky; in fact, all of the original cast was on hand, as well
as the obligatory added animal cohort with magical powers - in this
case a gopher-like thing named Glomer.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Ran continuously from 1983 (when the Chipmunks enjoyed
a revival and a new hit novelty record) until 1991.
The Alvin Show starring
the Chipmunks aired on Saturday mornings from 1962-1965. They returned
briefly in 1979.
Foofur / NBC
Story of a rich hound dog voiced by Frank Welker.
Ran for two seasons of original shows.
Lazer Tag Academy / NBC
A time traveling teen girl from 3010 lands in the present
to stop the villain Draxon Drear from changing history.
She teamed with her ancestors, Tom,
Nicky, and Beth who are uniquely able to use Lazer Tag guns to travel
through time and manipulate objects. There were 13 episodes filmed
by Ruby Spears Animation.
Kidd Video / NBC
teens (who are also a rock group, of course) who fall into a magic
land ruled by the evil Master Blaster when they play a certain song.
What?!?! The idea is these kids
morph from live action to animated form when they enter 'the Flipside.'
Featured Robbie Rist (Cousin Oliver from The
Brady Bunch) as Whiz and popular music videos 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 (26
episodes) of original episodes - in 1986 a year of reruns were broadcast.
A soundtrack LP was released in 1984.
This show moved from NBC after three
years for a half-season of reruns on CBS in 1987.
The show was also very popular in Japan and Israel.