After school special
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The American Broadcasting Company coined the term after school special in 1972 with a series of television films, usually dealing with controversial or socially relevant issues, that were generally broadcast in the late afternoon and meant to be viewed by school-age children, particularly teenagers. The specials were generally broadcast four to six times during the school year, pre-empting local programming that would usually follow the network schedule in the late afternoon hours.
CBS distributed its own productions as the CBS Afternoon Playhouse (later known as CBS Schoolbreak Special). It also had a program called Famous Classic Tales, which aired Australian cartoons that were adapted from literature books (similar to Family Classic Tales). NBC had afterschool programs under the umbrella title Special Treat. ABC had the ABC Afterschool Special; similar programs included The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie and the ABC Weekend Special.
- Last of the Curlews – The very first ABC Afterschool Special (1972), and one of a very few animated ones.
- Degrassi (franchise)
- Schoolhouse Rock!
- Very special episode
- Public information film – In the UK, extended versions of these were shown in schools. These were often about safety.
- WonderWorks – Produced several afterschool-type specials for PBS
- Complete list of ABC After School Specials at the Internet Movie Database
- Complete list of CBS Schoolbreak Specials at the Internet Movie Database
- Partial list of NBC Special Treat episodes at the Internet Movie Database
- Reviews of a DVD collection of ABC After School Specials
- The strange afterlife of the After School Special – by Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe January 1, 2006
- My Dad Lives In A Downtown Hotel: The Subtle Brilliance of the After School Special by Marisa Meltzer – Slate – July 20, 2006