Children's programming on the American Broadcasting Company

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For most of the network's existence, in regard to children's programming, ABC has aired mostly programming from Walt Disney Television or other producers (most notably, Hanna-Barbera Productions and DIC Entertainment).

History[edit]

List of programs[edit]

The Schoolhouse Rock! era (1973–1997)[edit]

The crown jewel of its children's programming lineup was the award-winning Schoolhouse Rock! The series aired from 1973 to 1985, before going on what turned out to be a temporary hiatus prior to its return in 1990. Schoolhouse Rock! was one of several animated interstitials used during this era, others including Time for Timer and The Bod Squad, both of which ended in the 1980s.

During the latter half of the show's run, and for at most until a year after it was canceled (1995), short 30-second segments from America's Funniest People (which were known as America's Funniest Kids) ran within commercial breaks during ABC's Saturday morning lineup. These would usually consist of excerpts from longer segments, usually featuring young kids telling jokes or engaging in stunts.

From 1986 to 1996, ABC was owned by Capital Cities Communications; Capital Cities' sale to The Walt Disney Company during the latter year marked a shift in the station's Saturday morning cartoon output.

More Cool TV (1991–1992)[edit]

At the start of the 1991–92 season, around the same time that ABC's I Love Saturday Night (a block that was inspired by the success of ABC's Friday night TGIF sitcom block) was launched (ultimately ending after several weeks due to low ratings), executive producer/TGIF creator Jim Janicek also brought the hosted programming block concept to Saturday mornings, under the title MCTV (More Cool TV). Live action stars of the Saturday morning lineup, most notably including the cast of ABC's Land of the Lost revival, hosted interstitials every half hour. The MCTV segments at times were several seconds shorter than those shot for TGIF and I Love Saturday Night. While an opening sequence and custom last-segment show bumpers were included, the theme music used was the instrumental version of ABC's 1991 America's Watching campaign. MCTV was soon abandoned, although not as quickly as I Love Saturday Night.

See also[edit]

Disney's One Saturday Morning (1997–2002)[edit]

Following ABC's sale to The Walt Disney Company, the network's content produced by its new owners would increase; this also included animated and/or live-action children's programming broadcast by the network (prior to this, most of Disney's animated programming originated on either CBS, with which Disney had a working relationship prior to their purchase of ABC, or Disney's syndicated block, The Disney Afternoon).

On September 13, 1997, Disney's One Saturday Morning was created as a two-hour block on the ABC Saturday Morning lineup, and originally featured some of the shows that had aired on said latter lineup.[1] Originally, it was scheduled to premiere on September 6, 1997, but due to ABC and other major networks airing the funeral of Princess Diana instead of children's programming that day, the launch of the sub-block was pushed back one week later. On September 6, 1999 a spin-off, Disney's One Too, debuted on UPN and in syndication every weekday in the morning or afternoon and on Sunday mornings.[2] Disney's One Saturday Morning was ended its run on September 7, 2002 (by this point, only bumpers and promos remained as the hosted and animated segments had been dropped in 2000). After Fox Kids was purchased by Disney in 2001, acquiring most of the Fox Kids program library in the process (the purchase was primarily designed to acquire the Fox Family Channel, which was rebranded as "ABC Family" in the process), 4Kids Entertainment began programming a new block called FoxBox (which later became 4Kids TV in 2005) on September 14, 2002. Simultaneously, The Walt Disney Company rebranded Disney's One Saturday Morning as ABC Kids.[3]

During the introduction to Disney's One Saturday Morning as well as other introductions on ABC network, a small lightbulb icon would appear in a bottom corner of the screen alongside an announcer reading the line "Illuminating Television," acknowledging the programming block's E/I content. Then, the lightbulb would be animated off-screen (among them included the bulb turning into a rocket, falling into a garbage can or jumping in a pool) starting with the pull of a chain by a hand.

List of programs[edit]

See also[edit]

ABC Kids (2002–2011)[edit]

In 2001, ABC entered into a program distribution agreement with sister network Disney Channel to air its original programming as part of the network's Saturday morning lineup (this occasionally extended to broadcasts of Disney Channel's made-for-TV movies as part of The Wonderful World of Disney). On September 14, 2002, One Saturday Morning was rebranded as ABC Kids. At the start of the block, ABC Kids contained a few original series, but beginning in approximately 2003, reruns of Disney Channel originals[3] such as Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens came to dominate the lineup. ABC Kids ceased importing new episodes in 2007, setting the entire lineup into reruns for the remaining three years of its existence.

Power Rangers[edit]

Power Rangers was previously broadcast on Fox Kids until midway through the Wild Force season. Starting with the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "Unfinished Business", Power Rangers moved to ABC Kids for the 2002 fall season following Fox Family and Saban Entertainment's purchase by Disney. The remainder of the Wild Force season and all of the episodes that aired as part of the Ninja Storm season that followed had premiered on ABC Kids and then were rebroadcast later on ABC Family's Jetix block. The Dino Thunder, S.P.D., Mystic Force, Operation Overdrive and Jungle Fury seasons had all episodes premiere on Jetix and then rebroadcast later on ABC Kids. The final season to air on a Disney television property, RPM, aired exclusively on ABC Kids. Power Rangers was the last series to air new episodes on the ABC Kids lineup, continuing to do so until 2009, when ABC began rerunning first-season episodes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from the early 1990s, re-versioned with new graphics.

With the rise of federally mandated E/I programming guidelines, some of the network's affiliate groups, mainly Hearst Television and the Allbritton Communications Company, refuse to carry the Power Rangers series in order to instead free up time to air locally slotted programming. However, some stations timeshifted Power Rangers to air either to very early on Saturday mornings, before that week's "live" block began, or to Sunday, often before local newscasts or Good Morning America. Power Rangers ended its run on ABC Kids in 2010 after Haim Saban repurchased the rights to the franchise from Disney and leased the broadcast rights to the series to Nickelodeon, which began airing new seasons of the series starting in 2011 with encores of current and previous seasons also airing on that network.[4]

Other scheduling issues[edit]

  • KITV (channel 4), the ABC affiliate in Honolulu, and in turn the entire state of Hawaii, aired the first six programs within the ABC Kids lineup over three weekdays (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Two programs aired each day from 11 a.m.-12 p.m., preceding ABC's soap opera lineup. This was due to ABC's Saturday afternoon sports coverage, which due to time differences between the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone and the United States mainland, airs live five hours behind their airtime in the Eastern Time Zone (six hours during Daylight Savings Time; Hawaii runs on Standard Time year-round) in the late morning (for instance, a 3:30 p.m. EDT college football game kicking off at 9:30 a.m. HAST) and early afternoons for the primetime game, thus pre-empting ABC Kids and forcing the shows to air elsewhere on the schedule.
  • During the college football season, ABC affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone will often realign programming if there is an ESPN College Football game that starts at 9 a.m. PT, as a noon ET game is often scheduled. Some affiliates moved the ABC Kids programming to Sunday mornings, but until all Sunday-afternoon races moved to ESPN in 2010, ESPN NASCAR Countdown was usually pre-empted.
See also[edit]

Litton's Weekend Adventure (2011–present)[edit]

On September 3, 2011, ABC Kids was replaced by a new Saturday morning block titled Litton's Weekend Adventure, through a time lease agreement with Litton Entertainment, which opted to distribute it as a syndicated program package that is intended to be exclusive to ABC's owned-and-operated stations and affiliates.[5][6][7] The block is not structured as a conventional Saturday morning lineup, in that purchased advertisements within the block are commercials that would otherwise be targeted at the 18-49 demographic and shows within the block, while educational in nature, are marketed for a family audience rather than just children.

See also[edit]

Saturday morning preview specials[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grove, Christopher (August 29, 1997). "Webs roll out season geared to kids". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  2. ^ Pursell, Chris (July 19, 1999). "Mouse brands UPN kidvid". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  3. ^ a b Bernstein, Paula (September 29, 2002). "Kid skeds tread on joint strategy". Variety. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  4. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2010-05-12). "Saban re-acquires rights to 'Rangers' - Entertainment News, TV News, Media - Variety". Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  5. ^ ABC to Premiere ABC Weekend Adventure on Sept. 3, Broadcasting & Cable, May 24, 2011
  6. ^ Litton Announces "ABC Weekend Adventure", Business Wire, May 24, 2011
  7. ^ Litton To Supply Kids Block For ABC Stations, TV News Check, May 24, 2011

External links[edit]