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Večerníček (Czech and Slovak; literally Little Eveninger) is a television program for children in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Before the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, two language versions, Czech and Slovak, aired in the respective parts of Czechoslovakia. It has been broadcast regularly for over 40 years. A similar concept is called Sandmännchen in Germany and Esti mese in Hungary.
Večerníček is aired every day in the evening, in the Czech Republic currently[when?] at 18:45, when the children are supposed to go to sleep. It lasts for seven minutes. Every tale takes about five minutes, and a Večerníček series typically contains 10 - 20 episodes. The format of the program has been unchanged for decades, making it part of the Czech and Slovak culture.
In the Czech Republic, the program's opening and final themes feature a little boy called Večerníček driving a car, which turns into a wooden horse, and then finally into a bike. The boy says "Good Evening" (Dobrý večer in Czech) to the children at the beginning, and "Good Night" (Dobrou noc in Czech) at the end. This opening and closing theme is the longest-running ever broadcast in the country. The graphics were designed by Radek Pilař and the music was provided by Ladislav Simon.
In Slovakia, the program's opening and final themes feature an old man (thought to be a shepherd) living in a house on a hill with his dog living in a kennel. The old man accompanied by the dog "switches on" the stars in the sky, using a lamplighter's pole. Afterwards, the story is shown. After the story ends, the old man and the dog return to their house and kennel, respectively. The old man is called "Grandpa Večerníček", and had his own Večerníček series in the 1980s. This opening and final theme is the longest ever running broadcast in Slovakia. It has been revamped since first made by the addition of better colors, and recently there has been the addition of a cat.
History of the programme
A similar program named "Small Silver Mirror" (Stříbrné zrcátko) has been televised by the Czech part of the Czechoslovak television since 1963 on Sundays. On January 2, 1965, a program named Večerníček appeared; since summer of 1965 the current logo was used. In Slovakia, the original name was "Good Night Story" (Rozprávka na dobrú noc), the current name and logo were introduced in 1965 ((?)1966).
Milan Nápravník designed the concept and was the first dramaturgist of the Czech version. Since 1973 the Večerníček has been shown in color.
Practically all famous Czech and Slovak illustrators, writers, animators and directors, such as Václav Čtvrtek who was behind Víla Amálka, participated in the program. Although the foreign series had minimal airtime, there were, during Communism (and the early 1990s), also appearances of Eastern-Europan cartoons such as Nu, pogodi!, Bolek i Lolek, Tip en Tap. However, there were also two American slapstick cartoons including Tom and Jerry and The Huckleberry Hound Show, which were not believed by the Czech people to be appropriate for very young children.
After 1989, Večerníček survived several attempts to change the logo and even cancel the program.
When it was shown
Information about the Czech version of the programme, from:
- During 1965 - end of July 1966 it was broadcast on Sundays,
- September 1966 - end of December 1966: Thu, Sun,
- 1967 - end of August 1970: Tue, Thu, Sun (different series each day),
- September 1970 - end of August 1971: Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun (different series),
- September 1971 - end of December 1971: Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun,
- 1972: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun at 18:40 on the first channel of Czechoslovak TV, Sundays at 18:50 at the second channel (different series),
- 1973 - end of December 1975: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun on the first channel, Saturdays on the second channel (different series),
- January 1976 - 2012 every day on the first channel, one series for a block of days. Several attempts to broadcast the same or different series on the second channel.
- since 2012, the program has been broadcast on ČT2 instead of ČT1. People are worried about the whole show being definitively cancelled, which would be followed by viewers' transition to foreign children's cartoons.
The Večerníček website was founded by Robert Štípek in 2005 as a specialised database about the series of short movies for children. The goal is to provide complete history of the program.
- Asteroid 33377 Večerníček, discovered by Petr Pravec at Ondřejov Observatory on 12 February 1999, was named after the animated boy.
- The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic issued a stamp on 18th February 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the programme, along with a First Day Cover.
- ">> 40 LET HISTORIE". Vecernicek.Com. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
- "Večerníček se asi přestěhuje z ČT 1 na program ČT 2 –". Novinky.cz. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser". NASA. Retrieved 30 Mar 2015.
- "MPO -Známky vydávané v roce 2015 - Večerníček A" [MPO - Stamps Issued in 2015 - Večerníček A] (in Czech). Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. 23 Feb 2015. Retrieved 30 Mar 2015.