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Saturday morning tv shows 1975

Year of the prime-time castoffs

After a decade d0minated by cartoons, live-action shows came back to Saturday mornings, thanks to the success of 'Land of the Lost' on NBC.

Superhero and adventure shows were in abundance, but violence of any kind was taboo.

CBS presented another season of the 'Children's Film Festival' at 1:00pm, with films from around the world. NBC had their own acclaimed film series meant to broaden young minds at 12:30.

'The Big Blue Marble' and 'Hot Fudge' were popular in syndication.

Saturday morning TV shows

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Pebbles and
The Flintstone teenagers and their wiggy pals tool around Bedrock, make funny 'rock' puns and play groovy music.

Saturday Morning - Bugs Bunny

The Bugs Bunny
Road Runner Hour
The only TV show my dad and I would both watch together on Saturday mornings.

For years, Bugs sold orange flavored Tang, the drink that astronauts drink.


Scooby Doo
Where are You?
Where he's always been - on Saturday mornings.

Scooby rip-off 'The Clue Club' takes over this timeslot mid-season.


The Shazam /
Isis Hour
Captain Marvel was a big hit in 1974, so he returned in 1975 (now played by John Davey) sharing the bill with the live action adventures of Isis, a female superhero who derived her powers from the Gods also.

Isis might have been the Seventies' version of Xena, except no violence of any kind was allowed on Saturday morning shows, so these two heroes just flew around the town dispensing advice.

Today, Shazam star Michael Gray and his wife run Casa Bella, a flower shop in Beverly Hills.

11:00 Far Out Space Nuts

Far Out
Space Nuts
Bob Denver (Gilligan) and long time New York City kid show host Chuck McCann are loading food into a NASA capsule when they're accidently blasted into outer space.

They are joined along the way by their space-pet Honk in this live-action comedy.


Ghost Busters / CBS
Before the movie there was this lame live-action show. Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker ('F Troop') were two ghost chasers who are teamed with a gorilla detective.

Kind of sad to see two once big prime-time stars in a low budget Lou Scheimer / Norm Prescott ('Archie') production.

Produced and directed by Norman Abbott (who directed 'The Munsters' and many other prime-time classics).

When the movie by the (almost) same name became a hit, a cartoon version of this series popped up as the 'Original Ghost Busters' and lawsuits were filed and settled over the next decade.

Valley of
the Dinosaurs
Year two (reruns) for a family lost in cartoon time.


Fat Albert and
the Cosby Kids
The fourth season opening episode deals with having respect for authority figures. When did we stop teaching that by the way?

Children's Film Festival / CBS
This season's foriegn films:

"Me and You, Kangaroo" is the story of a boy raising a kangaroo.

"Friends For Life" concerns a lynx and a Russian forest ranger.

"The Boy Who Wore Spectacles" was another Russian film - little Kuvy daydreams about besting the bullies who torment him.


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Hong Kong Fooey / ABC
Reruns from the year before fill up this second season for the Kung-Fu pooch; the same 17 episodes run over and over!


The Tom and Jerry /
Grape Ape Show
The Grape Ape is a 30-foot tall purple ape who hangs out with his talking Beagle buddy.

Tom and Jerry were resurrected from Hanna-Barbera's Oscar-winning past in new, seperate segments.

This was the first of a three year run, Mumbley (the snickering dog) joined the duo next year.

Lost Saucer / ABC
Live action shows with two of the Sixties' biggest primetime stars - reduced to appearing in a low-budget kid show.

Jim Nabors (his Gomer Pyle series was number two in primetime when he quit in 1969) was Fum and Ruth Buzzi (Laugh-in) was Fi, two alien space explorers who accidently pick up an Earth kid Jerry, and his babysitter.

They spent their one season flying through space and time trying to get the kids back home.

Moved to noon mid-season, reruns were bundled with next year's 'Krofft Supershow'.



New Adventures of
Second hand drawn season.

There were two series featuring Bob Denver on Saturday mornings this year. Makes sense - reruns of the original 'Gilligan's Island' were more popular than ever in 1975 as the show became the official babysitter of the baby boom generation.


Uncle Croc's
Live action hour with Charles Nelson Reilly as a kid show host named Uncle Croc, a guy who despised both his show and his co-host - Mr. Rabbit Ears.

Jonathan Harris (Dr. Smith on 'Lost in Space') played the show's director Mr. Bitterbottom.

Cartoon segments starring 'Fraidy Cat', 'Wacky and Packy' and a cartoon version of M*A*S*H called M*U*S*H, starring dogs, of course.

The show was demoted to half-hour status in October with 'Wacky and Packy' as the only cartoon segment.

It was pretty unusual for a Saturday morning show in the Seventies to be yanked mid-season, but this show was such a big bomb for ABC that it was removed from the schedule altogether in February of 1976 (along with the Gilligan cartoon) and replaced with reruns of Groovie Goulies (1971) and then Super Friends repeats.


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Oddball Couple / ABC
Paul Winchell's voice stars in the cartoon version of the long-running ABC show 'The Odd Couple'.

Fleabag is a sloppy dog, and his roommate Spiffy is a fastidious kitty.

Paul Winchell starred in the very first Saturday Morning kid show.


Speed Buggy / ABC
Moves from CBS to ABC for a third season.

American Bandstand / ABC
Tavares and Gabe Kaplan guest-star on the season opener.

This season saw guests like the Rhythm Heritage ('Theme from SWAT'), Eddie Kendricks,John Davidson, Kool and the Gang, Natalie Cole, B.T. Express, George Carlin and Freddie Prinze. ABC should just rerun this stuff on Saturday Mornings.


Make A Wish

Sunday Morning series starring Tom Chapin, produced, written and directed by Lester Cooper. Educational in nature, this show is fondly remembered for the original folksy tunes, written and sung by Tom Chapin (singer Harry Chapin's bother). Different subjects were explored each week, but in 1975 the show's focus shifted to bicentienial themes.

'Make A Wish' was one of those rare educational shows that kids actually liked and parent groups lauded with awards.

The premier episode of the Bicentienial season (on September 7, 1975) looked back at the first trans-continental railway.

ABC AfterSchool
now on DVD

Saturday TV shows

plus 4
Reruns from the previous two season's episodes.

The 'plus 4' were kids named Jason, Mat, Randy and Sally, who joined the cartoonic Gage and DeSoto in responding to emergencies all over cartoonic LA.

As if the primetime series weren't cartoon enough, this version lasted three years.


Sigmund and the
Sea Monsters
A year of reruns was scheduled, but the show was removed in October and 'Josie and the Pussycats' was moved to this slot.


Secret Lives of
Waldo Kitty
Howard Morris was the voice for a Walter Mitty real live kitty that imagines himself in all sorts of cartoon adventures. Allan Melvin provided the voice of Tyrone.

Episodes included: Cat Man, Catzan of the Apes, The Lone Kitty... you get the idea.

Veteran kid's TV comedy performer "Uncle Johnny" Coons used his imitation of Andy Devine for the voice of one of Tyrone's henchdogs on the series. Mr. Coons also used his Andy Devine like voice for the character of "Officer Heap O'Calorie" for the UPA Dick Tracy TV cartoons).


Pink Panther / NBC
This was the last year of the original half-hour format. The Pink Panther was one of the hottest cartoons on the Saturday schedule.


Land of the Lost / NBC
A second season brought new adventures of Marshall Will, and Holly.

In the season 2 opener, our landlost family tries to help Cha-ka free a baby dinosaur named Dopey from the tar pit.

on DVD



Run, Joe, Run / NBC

A second (and last) season of original episodes found Joe and a backpacker named Josh McCoy (Chad States) teaming up together to travel the backroads of America.

Joe was a German Shepherd on the run when he was falsely accused of attacking his master in a police training camp.

In episodes this season, Joe and Josh help a fisherman who's nephew won't go to school, encounter a city-bred Indian who runs afoul of a wild bear, hunt down a wanted fugitive from a plane crash, lose a vintage car and rescue an elderly antiques dealer who runs afoul of criminals.

A lot of people write to TVparty! requesting this show on DVD.


Return to the Planet
of the Apes
Animated sequel to the popular (and surprisingly good) 1970's movie series (and the short-lived 1974 primetime TV series on CBS).
Produced by DePatie/Freleng.

Typical plots: Jeff, TBill and Judy trek to a human settlement near the mountain ranges when they spot the apes playing war games with a WW II airplane.

In the Below World, Bill, Jeff, Judy and Krador battle a lava flow when the apes find their lazer gun.

Lasted only this one season.


Westwind / NBC
Live action series starring Van Williams ('The Green Hornet', 'Surfside 6') set in Hawaii.

Steve Andrews (Williams) is an underwater photographer who has a marine biologist named Kate (Niki Dantine) for a wife, two adventurous children, Robin and Tom (Kimberly Beck, Steve Burns), and a boat called the "Westwind". Together they find fun and thrills in a tropical paradise, and who wouldn't?

Typical episodes: Steve and Kate are charged with kidnapping when they take a new friend out on the boat, a vengeful cripple kidnaps Robin, Tom comes to the aid of an old fisherman, Robin and Tom are bitten by water snakes, and the crew is forced to dive for treasure in shark infested waters, this time kidnapped by pirates.

John Carradine guest-starred on one episode as an old sea dog looking for stolen jade. This show lasted only one season.


Josie and
the Pussycats
Reruns of the original CBS series, before the Pussycats were blasted into space. In this version, they are a rock band on tour, running into espionage at every turn. In October, Josie was moved to 8:30 and 'The Jetsons' returned to NBC after a two month hiatus.

Back for a third year, with an emphasis on dramatic historical pieces in honor of the upcoming Bicentennial (1976).

The previous year this show won a Peabody award for excellence. The third season opens with a drama about a slave named "Gordon".

In an episode titled "River Raft", a poor family migrating across the country finds all of their possessions stolen.

In "Deborah Samson", a girl disguises herself as a boy to join the Continental Army.

From You Tube - opening to Westwind



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