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The Disappearance of Saturday Morning

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the where's-your-brain-slug dept.

Television 838

Ant writes "Saturday morning no longer means kids in front of TV sets across the country, glued to the latest in hip cartoons. Why? Gerard Raiti investigates the death of an era." As a former Saturday morning TV addict, this doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

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I remember saturday mornings (3, Funny)

jon787 (512497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934192)

I fought with my sister over whether to watch Garfield and Friends or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Re:I remember saturday mornings (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934200)

This really made me nostalgic. When I was a kid, I would eagerly wait for saturday mornings just to watch those cartoons .....

Re:I remember saturday mornings (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934204)

Is your sister sexay?

Re:I remember saturday mornings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934226)

If I remember correctly, those cartoons were on at different times.

Re:I remember saturday mornings (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934249)

Garfield of course! Actually, I didn't like the "and Friends" part of the show. It was really stupid, but Garfield was cool.

I still can't believe my parents let me have TMNT toys as a kid. What a waste of money.

Re:I remember saturday mornings (5, Interesting)

Mattwolf7 (633112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934288)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles > *

My little brother loves Sat. mornings he always wakes up at some un-godly hour (7:00am!?!) to watch Kids WB and FOX - Yu-Gi-Oh, Jackie Chan, Pokemon...

From Article:
Six key factors have led to children watching less Saturday morning cartoons: more recreational sports, the introduction of cable and satellite TV, the Internet and video games, a poorer quality of animation, and a greater emphasis on family time. These factors are rather self-explanatory with the exception of the latter: the divorce rate of Americans now stands at 49 percent, and time on the weekends has become more precious for children as many commute between parents' houses. For parents who only have limited access to their children due to either divorce or career advancement, plopping them down in front of the television for five hours on a Saturday morning is no longer a viable option. Among most parents, divorced or not, there is a new emphasis on "quality" time. Consequently, taking one's children to the theater, mall, museum, event, zoo or beach on the weekend is deemed more appropriate to being a "good" parent, than letting kids sit and watch cartoons. To this effect, American society has changed substantially enough over the last two decades to the point where Saturday morning cartoons are less important to our culture.


My parents are divorced and my brother still loves to watch TV from 7:00 to Noon. I think the "death" of Sat. Morning Cartoons is due to the 24 hour cartoon stations, not divorce and TiVo. As I was growing up I did not have Cartoon Network, Disney and Nickelodeon. The programming for kids was only on Saturday Mornings and for 1-2 hours after I got home from school. So if I wanted to see the only kids shows I would have to have watched on Sat Morning.

Re:I remember saturday mornings (1)

j_kenpo (571930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934301)

I remember both of those cartoons, but at some point, at least locally where I am at, CBS picked up TMNT so both Garfield and TMNT were on the same channel. But I definitly remember those days :)

Re:I remember saturday mornings (1)

j_kenpo (571930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934320)

Sorry about the smiley face, the excitement of Saturday Morning Cartoons overwhelmed me....

Re:I remember saturday mornings (4, Interesting)

Chasing Amy (450778) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934350)

> I fought with my sister over whether to watch Garfield and Friends or Teenage Mutant
> Ninja Turtles.

The Saturday-morning cartoons I most easily remember from when I was a kid are *The Smurfs* and those public service type edu-toons the stations were required to run, like the *Schoolhouse Rock* cartoons, as well as the musical advertisements from cheese manufacturers' or beef industry associations...

I also recall that my favorite Saturday-morning show wasn't a cartoon, but rather some show in which a bearded guy would tell stories to a room full of kids. Just like story time in elementary school, only on TV. He'd tell some really gruesome kids' stories though, like the one in which a man fights with some sort of man-beast and cuts a chunk out of its flesh during the fight, and takes it home and cooks it up to serve for his family...

A few years later the arrival of *Saved By the Bell* started to change the landscape of Saturday-morning kids' TV, turning it into a time for kids' versions of sitcoms and other live-character shows instead of so many cartoons. Mmmmm, the crush I had on those *Saved By the Bell* gals when I was a kid...

BTW, for anyone who doesn't know, the classic *Schoolhouse Rock* series is available on a special-edition DVD these days. Great nostalgia.

Mmmm infomercials^H^H^H^^H^H^H^^H^H^Hcartoons (2, Insightful)

fiftyfly (516990) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934194)

though I enjoyed my fair share of carttons, I have to wonder who realy loses here. I don't think it's the 'viewers'

I used to love Saturday morning cartoons... (4, Interesting)

CaptCanuk (245649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934195)

I never slept in on Saturday mornings and they were the best thing on TV from 9am-12pm. I recently checked that time slot on the channels I used to watch and there was very little kid-oriented in this time slot. It used to be kids Saturday morning and Christian Evangelists on Sunday morning... so at least one of the two days was ok.

Re:I used to love Saturday morning cartoons... (5, Funny)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934203)

When I was a kid, I thought the cartoons were hilarious and the Christian Evangelists were boring.

Now I think I that the cartoons are boring and the Christian Evangelists are hilarious.

Re:I used to love Saturday morning cartoons... (1)

eenglish_ca (662371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934340)

I use my saturday mornings to read slashdot and now that the saturday morning tv era is ending my fellow children will join me and tube on. I completely agree that sunday morning was fairly entertaining watching the religious fanatics knocking people over as they run around screaming and on their stages just like Steve Ballmer(read his bio on MS, it says he runs every day).

Too busy ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934197)

... typing the first post !!

Re:Too busy ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934295)

I'm not sure how it feels to have your ass handed to you. Please tell me how it feels.

last post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934198)

last post

I didnt fail it, btw.

Re:last post (-1, Offtopic)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934211)

I regret to inform but there are many posts after your "last post". In short, YOU FAIL IT. Godd-bye!

Re:last post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934232)

umm, no I didnt fail it. kekeke ?

I posted the last post, its the people posting after me who failed it. mmmkay???????????????

im ghey bye ok thx

Re:last post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934264)

kekeke ?

Que?

Well... (0, Redundant)

coene (554338) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934199)

If kids in America arent watching cartoons on Saturday mornings (I did!), what are they doing?

My guess is that they're sleeping a lot more due to increasingly hectic schedules. For those who arent sleeping, god knows! And, what age of kids still watch cartoons to begin with?

Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about!

Re:Close (4, Funny)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934302)

The truth is, they're sleeping a lot later due to being up playing CounterStrike all night.

A new Era (4, Insightful)

the-dude-man (629634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934201)

Children have more to do these days on a staurday mornng....like go look at porn on the internet...download illegal moveis off irc, ddos amazon.com...or the favoriate american passtime...crack cocaine!

Then agian, some kids just sleep in

Re:A new Era (0, Offtopic)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934227)

Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American dreams
--Rage Against the Machine

Yeah, it's off-topic, but staying on-topic too much get's very boring.

Since when can "get" possess? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934336)

That is get's very boring on-topic
staying on-topic GETS very boring.
GIT.

Remember nothing (2, Insightful)

DarklordSatin (592675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934205)

I don't know about anyone else, but I still wake up early every Saturday morning to watch cartoons.

Re:Remember nothing (5, Insightful)

Kirsha (201264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934230)

Yeah, same here. FoxBox and WB Kids for me. Call me childish if you want, but enjoying cartoons will keep a part of me forever young. Too many people try to grow up too fast these days, throwing away their childhood in exchange of a stressed adulthood...sad isnt it?

Re:Remember nothing (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934287)

There's something very wrong with full-grown men who watch childrens' cartoons. What's next, having mom drop you off at day care after you get off work? Or how about being put to bed at 8:30?

One word for ya, trollboy: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934313)

anime

increase of Cable/Satelite usage? (0, Redundant)

Rellik66 (596729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934206)

Is it because more and more households have satelite/cable systems allowing the use of 24 hour cartoon networks?

There are alternatives (1, Redundant)

Veovis (612685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934208)

Such as networks as Cartoon Network [cartoonnetwork.com] and Nickelodeon [nick.com] , (or if you have DirecTV [direcv.com] or Dish Network [dishnetwork.com] ) several flavors of each channel, why wait until Saturday?

What about classic cartoons? (5, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934210)

Forget Saturday morning, what has bugged be for a long time is the disappearance of the classic Chuck Jones-style cartoons...

When was the last entertaining Bugs Bunny cartoon made? Around 1960 or so?

I can't help but wonder what happened. Sure, anime is good and all, but not as a replacement for classic cartoons. Why did it die out? They were infinitely more entertaining than anything recent. Did some Texans raise a stink about Yosemitie Sam, and PETA about talking animals being shot at all the time?

Come on... What happened?

Re:What about classic cartoons? (1)

macfreak12 (575262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934248)

I loved watching road runner and the coyote when I was little. I can't imagine children now days not being able to watch cool cartoons like those and daffy duck.

Re:What about classic cartoons? (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934319)

I'm currently in the habbit of downloading politically incorrect cartoons off of Gnutella...

Most WWII ones have politically incorrect Japanese or German characters. In other words, they are damn funny, and P2P is really the only way to get them these days.

Unfortunately, it seems that banned-cartoon afficionados never heard of MPEG4, so most are 100+MB MPEG1/2 files and on slow hosts. The quality often leaves something to be desired.

Anyhow, classic cartoons are still aired on Cartoon Network... Not as much as I think they should be, but if you've got a Tivo, you could accumulate quite a few just setting it to record the Chuck Jones/Tex Avery 30min shows. Rip 'em to Divx and pass 'em around on CD and the Internet for the less fortunate.

Re:What about classic cartoons? (0, Offtopic)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934258)

Holy Crap! I guess I must have really hit on something. That's the fastest I've ever been moderated up.

I post it, then go back to my info page to see it's at +3... Open the link and it's at +4... Now to reload and see if it's at +5 yet...

Re:What about classic cartoons? (3, Insightful)

caino59 (313096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934296)

thats because what you said is so true
cartoons nowadays are crap

unoriginal and just plain unentertaning.

truly, nothing beats the merry melodies of times gone by.

and what memories they are. sure they wre violent, but everyone laughed then, everyone knwe they were jokes.

no we have tv, movies, and NEWS conveying violence to kids that is just so much more believeable and true to life.

and people blame the games and cartoons.

have you turned on the tv lately? notice how much violence and gore is glorified? no wonder we have such fucked up kids today - we plaster the most dsiturbing incidents right on the front page.

go ahead, ask yourself hwo is truly to blame.

and damn did i get way off topic /me goes to search for another beer

Re:What about classic cartoons? (2, Insightful)

secolactico (519805) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934292)

When was the last entertaining Bugs Bunny cartoon made? Around 1960 or so?

I hear you, man! From the article, some of the reasons for the change:

a poorer quality of animation, and a greater emphasis on family time.

Please! The quality of cartoons took a huge dive in the 70's and 80's and those who think that the the quality of animation is poorer today, is looking at the past with rosy colored glasses.

Yogi Bear, Godzilla (ack!),Snagglepus, Atomic Ant, the Tom and Jerry from the age (the oroginals are *classic*) and the many derivatives and re-packaging such as The Jetsons, Galaxy Goofups gave the impression that Hanna Barbera had a crap factory somewhere.

But my main peeve was the cartoons that ended on a "moral footnote": He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Silverhawks...

Plus, who needs saturday morning cartoons when you have 24 hours toon channels, such as Cartoon Network and Fox Kids.

.... Courage the Cowardly Dog, now *that*'s funny.

Re:What about classic cartoons? (5, Informative)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934294)

These cartoons were written for adult audiences. The early Tom & Jerry cartoons were the same way. In fact, they used to air these during USO shows for army troops abroad. That's why they are still funny, even when you watch them again as an adult. There are puns all kinds of other humor in there that I'm sure kids miss (I did).

Anyways it seems to me like sometime in the early seventies, they started making them more kid-oriented (hence Scoobie-Doo, Flinstones, Jetsons, et.al.) and therefore not as all around entertaining.

Anime, as you suggest, is the only thing that comes close because it doesn't pretend to be a product for kids.

Re:What about classic cartoons? (5, Informative)

ChrisTower (122297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934338)

Anime, as you suggest, is the only thing that comes close because it doesn't pretend to be a product for kids.

That's a very common misconception. While the audience might be a bit older here in the states, most of the anime we get is targeted at middle school students in japan.

Re:What about classic cartoons? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934349)

There are puns all kinds of other humor in there that I'm sure kids miss (I did).

Just because kids miss some of the jokes doesn't mean there is a problem. I think just about every kid understands "Duck Season!" "Rabbit Season!". Just because there is an occasional joke that might be over their heads doesn't make it bad. The rest is still funny to kids, and a load better than the current crop.

Besides, most content for kids throws in a few gags for the adults. Look at any recent Disney animated comedy and you'll see the same thing.

Re:What about classic cartoons? (5, Interesting)

Neolithic (70450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934311)

The classic Looney Toons and Calvin and Hobbes have a lot in common for me. Most notably, they get funnier, for me, as time goes on and for different reasons.

Looney Toons and Calvin and Hobbes seem to span the full range of humor. There were simple gags and punch-lines to appeal to children while having hidden adult themes and social commentary subtlely burried to appeal to adults.

"Actually it's a buck-and-a-quarter quarter staff, but I'm not telling him that."

Re:What about classic cartoons? (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934323)

I like to watch Cartoon network at like 4:30 am to see the old, unedited endings -- where Porky Pig or Bugs would pull out a revolver and shoot himself in the head. (Not kidding). Makes me pine for the good old 70's when this came on every afternoon, along with other coolness which is no more.

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be :)

Re:What about classic cartoons? (2, Interesting)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934333)

What happened? They stopped making money.

The death of the entertaining animated short happened when the practice of running animated shorts before movies died out. Way back when, the shorts had to appeal to everyone, because everyone was going to the movies. Today, adults don't watch most animated TV shows (those specifically targeted to younger-than-boomer adults being the exception), so there is no reason to make them appeal to anyone but the pre-pubescent.

Tell me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934212)

Why is it so hard for me to get a girl? Am I transmitting evil bits? I thought I set my availability flag to 1, but still no girls want to talk to me.

It's like I have to do all this work to get the same thing other guys have naturally have happen to them.

I'm not a loser, so that can't be it... Any suggestions?

Re:Tell me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934237)

If you're asking slashdot about this, perhaps you should take a step back and realize that you are indeed a loser

cartoons (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934216)

My friends and I were talking about this the other day, and basically figured out that unless the kids have cable, most cartoons on network TV on Sat. mornings are horrible...and they only last for a couple of hours really early until infomercials and other crap start to come on. Of course, it could be that the lack of viewers is causing the lack of better programming, but that gets you the whole chicken and the egg thing. Any other ideas ?

Gaps in the text? (1, Offtopic)

geekd (14774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934217)

Does anyone else get missing lines in the text? Then when I try to highlight them, they are there. It's annoying as crap, and I had to stop reading the article is was so bad.

Mandrake 9.1, with Mozilla 1.3

Re:Gaps in the text? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934274)

had the exact same problem in galeon with mandrake 9.1. changing fonts did not help.

dumping madrake 9.1 for redhat 9 fixed it though.

Re:Gaps in the text? (1, Funny)

fishbert42 (588754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934289)

Oh wow, you're right! I never would've noticed the gaps had you not ........ wait... no, that's just the white-out on my screen.

I miss them so much (1)

Muerto (656791) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934218)

I sometimes get up before noon on saturdays and I am really upset that the cartoons aren't there anymore... of course the ones that replaces my good old 80's cartoons are no where near as good. I was excited that cartoon network was bringing back he-man and transformers.. until i realized they were alwful bastardizations of the original. I miss the good old days.. it was a simpler time. sigh.

Re:I miss them so much (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934250)

Have you ever gone back and watched those old He-Man cartoons? It would be rather hard to say it's better than even the modern He-Man on Cartoon Network. 90% of the time the character's actions and dialog made no sense whatsoever. There was like 1 female voice actor for all of the female parts. The whole show is just a disaster. It's funny to watch it now, but man, I must have been an idiot as a kid.

Re:I miss them so much (2, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934309)

You were an idiot as a kid. He-man was just a 30-minute advertisement for a line of children's toys. So was GI-Joe, Thundercats, Transformers...etc.

It is because of all Cartoon networks (5, Insightful)

confused philosopher (666299) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934220)

Kids can get cartoons any day of the week now, after school, during school, and before school. Simpsons is the most popular cartoon ever, and it is in the evening, morning, and day.

I was glued to the Transformers in the 80s. There is nothing as good on now. End of an era.

Re:It is because of all Cartoon networks (1)

Dylan Zimmerman (607218) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934290)

My step-dad wouldn't let us watch any sort of TV before school. It was really a pretty stupid restriction because it just resulted in my brother and me going to one of our friend's homes and watching TV or playing video games there.

The Simpsons was entirely verboten, yet he would get the entire family together and make us all watch Buffy. I find that kind of ironic because Buffy has been rated the worst show for families, and he had my 8 year old brother watching it, but I couldn't watch Simpsons at 18.

The original Transformers was awesome! Of course, going back and watching the show again, it loses a lot of its magic. The animation isn't nearly as good as the shows that are on now and the storylines are quite simple. The later transformers series were simply awful. CG rehashes of the old plots. It was really quite a shame to see such a formerly cool series transformed into that.

A bad thing? (5, Interesting)

Troll_Kamikaze (646926) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934222)

I don't mean to come across as a self-righteous curmudgeon, but has watching less TV ever done anything but good for a child?

The alternatives, as I see it, are reading books, using computers, or interacting with other humans. Which one of those activities would you judge to be inferior to staring at the tube? The problem with TV is that it's not interactive; it doesn't require the "user" to think (or even react), but merely to passively stare at it.

Re:A bad thing? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934260)

You forgot sleep. I know that's what I do Saturday morning.

Re:A bad thing? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934282)

reading books, using computers, or interacting with other humans.

Interacting with other humans, depending on the area. As bad as Xtreme Dudez 5 might be for a childs brain, I can't believe interacting with the little brain dead kids around here could be any better.

No cartoon violence == less fun (5, Insightful)

miu (626917) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934223)

Why have children stopped tuning in on Saturday mornings to network cartoons?

Because children don't enjoy boring PC bullshit. I'll bet the little rugrats would tune in to the old WB cartoons, dynamite gags and all.

Re:No cartoon violence == less fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934275)

Well, that explains the popularity of Dragonball and Gundam.

I have to say (1)

sTavvy (669239) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934228)

that back in the day i used to love getting up early on saturday to watch these programs, the all time favorite being Astro-boy! having said that, i think that kids today should be spending more and more time outdoors, playing sports, and having fun being kids.. if they spend the majority of their time indoors watching TV, and just playing computer games, or posting to slashdot, then we are going to breed a nation of Lazy, and overweight kids. the signs of which are already begining to show!

Gerard Raiti? Let me tell you something. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934229)

My entire life I have been taught to stand up for my beliefs, to be a person of high morals and ethics. That's why I feel obligated to ring the bells of truth. The full truth of my conclusion I shall develop in the course of this letter, but the conclusion's general outline is that I, for one, have a dream, a mission, a set path that I would like to travel down. Specifically, my goal is to raise issues, as opposed to guns or knives. Of course, Mr. Gerard Raiti wants to get me thrown in jail. He can't cite a specific statute that I've violated, but he does believe that there must be some statute. This tells me that today, we might have let Mr. Raiti make pessimism socially acceptable. Tomorrow, we won't. Instead, we will fight scurrility and slander. The largest problem, however, is that this was true long before the latest scandal broke. So let Mr. Raiti call me unbridled. I call him simple-minded. Common sense and scientific evidence agree: If everyone does his own, small part, together we can provide a positive, confident, and assertive vision of humanity's future and our role in it. One of Mr. Raiti's legatees once said, "We should all bear the brunt of Mr. Raiti's actions." Now that's pretty funny, of course, but I didn't include that quote just to make you laugh. I included it to convince you that Mr. Raiti operates on an international scale to lead a misguided jihad against those who oppose him. It's only fitting, therefore, that we, too, work on an international scale, but to make a genuine contribution to human society.

I can hardly believe how in this day and age, paltry slumlords are allowed to force women to live by restrictive standards not applicable to men. Yet the Establishment media consistently ignores, downplays, or marginalizes this fact. Our real enemy is the self-aggrandizing system that made Mr. Raiti as brown-nosing as he is. Which brings me to my next criticism of Mr. Raiti. I'm not saying this to be power-hungry, but rather to explain that his lapdogs must be worn out from the acrobatics they have to perform to keep Mr. Raiti from turning on them, too. But the problems with Mr. Raiti's arguments don't end there. Did he get dropped on his head when he was young, or did Mr. Raiti take massive doses of drugs to believe that we have no reason to be fearful about the criminally violent trends in our society today and over the past ten to fifteen years? Whatever the answer, revanchism is dangerous. His audacious version of it is doubly so.

Once again, I can no longer get very excited about any revelation of his hypocrisy or crookedness. It's what I've come to expect by now. There are some nasty euphuists who are gloomy. There are also some who are eccentric. Which category does Mr. Raiti fall into? If the question overwhelms you, I suggest you check "both".

Incidentally, he can fool some of the people all of the time. He can fool all of the people some of the time. But Mr. Raiti can't fool all of the people all of the time. His reason is not true reason. It does not seek the truth, but only batty answers, inarticulate resolutions to conflicts. If I seem a bit grungy, it's only because I'm trying to communicate with Mr. Raiti on his own level. He is like a broken record, using the same tired cliches about family and education and safer streets, yet implying that the majority of clueless boors are heroes, if not saints, is no different from implying that his practices are a breath of fresh air amid our modern culture's toxic cloud of chaos. Both statements are ludicrous.

It's easy enough to hate Mr. Raiti any day of the week on general principles. But now I'll tell you about some very specific things that Mr. Raiti is up to, things that ought to make a real Mr. Raiti-hater out of you. First off, I do not propose a supernatural solution to the problems we're having with him. Instead, I propose a practical, realistic, down-to-earth approach that requires only that I straighten out Mr. Raiti's thinking. What is often overlooked, however, is that he can get away with lies (e.g., that I'm too repressive to lend support to the thesis that there is no reason to go to great lengths to conceal his true aims and mislead the public and there is every reason not to), because the average person cannot imagine anyone lying so brazenly. Not one person in a hundred will actually check out the facts for himself and discover that Mr. Raiti is lying. I could be wrong about any or all of this, but at the moment, the above fits what I know of history, people, and current conditions. If anyone sees anything wrong or has some new facts or theories on this, I'd love to hear about them.

FARK to Slashdot transmission time... (4, Funny)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934231)

Three days [fark.com] .

That, of course, is for the initial Slashdot article, not when they repeat it again three hours from now. ;-)

And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids!

The classics (5, Insightful)

kolors (670269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934235)

I remember, as a child of the late 80s, every saturday morning watching Ghost Busters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, reruns of Transformers, Thundercats, even the old tapes of He-Man. It seems rather depressing that kids these days are not exposed to such entertaining shows. Although, when you look at the popular shows, maybe kids these days just don't have any taste. Who would rather watch Pokemon and Hey Arnold than Transformers or Voltron? I truly believe that my saturday morning cartoon experience shaped me in many ways, one of which being my love for artistic anime. I wonder how the shows nowadays that kids watch will shape them?

Re:The classics (5, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934286)

This is so true, the old cartoons were about powerful protagonist against some evil force. Today, cartoons are about wimpy characters who learn how to get along with everyone. It's all about political correctness, there are no more heroes. It's mostly about making social statements now. You can't have guns or fighting childrens cartoons anymore.

Oh well.

Re:The classics (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934344)

Uh...hel-LO? The "classics" are Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, etc. Transformers, Thundercats and He-man were mere advertisements for $5.99 toys availible at K-mart. You just remember the time as golden because at the time you had the critical faculties of an 8-year-old.

isn't what it used to be (4, Insightful)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934236)

[...pre article reading rant...]
Maybe it was just the time I grew up in, but the good shows aren't on anymore.

(And by the good shows I mean Rocco's Modern Life, Garfield and Friends, and other such shows that were a satire of current popular and political views [hey, maybe I was an overly smart nerd as a young'un too].)

Nowadays, the stuff on TV just isn't attractive. Not on Saturday mornings, afternoons, or even nighttime (except for toonami midnight run, which is pretty old stuff anyway). It seems as though there is less and less of a reason to watch TV at all anymore. The only things recently that I've even remembered the show times for were 24 (the drama that takes place one hour per episode) and Trigun (toonami).

Maybe it's just me, but TV doesn't hold my attention enough for me to keep watching it.

[...reading atricle...]
Ok it says the internet is a major factor in the decline of TV viewing. They have me on that point (damn you slashdot). Also, I forgot to take into account the whole "job" thing with the working or sleeping through the mornings.

[...last attempt at being right the first time around...]
Meh, I still think if they put something on that captivated me enough I would make time to watch it.

Re:isn't what it used to be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934252)

maybe I was an overly smart nerd as a young'un too

No. You weren't. Aren't now, either.

Crap Today (2, Interesting)

borgasm (547139) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934238)

I know I'll sound old for even reminicing about this, but Saturday Morning Cartoons used to be great.

Now they are crap.

Gummi Bears. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Garfield. Pee Wee's Playhouse. Fraggle Rock....etc

Have you checked what's on TV on Saturday mornings now? - All I usually see are some Anime-esque shows, maybe a cartoon here or there, but nothing like the way it was back in the 80s and early 90s.

Anybody remember those computer-animated shows that were way ahead of their time? Must have taken months to render.

I have been scouring Kazaa, DC, etc for cartoons and shows, just so I have a record of them. They were so cool!

And yes, I am guilty of sitting down every now and then and watching some Fraggle Rock. Gotta love those Doozers - they are my favorite engineers.

Saturday Mornings (2, Insightful)

methangel (191461) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934240)

I remember Saturday mornings .... I used to JUMP out of bed, grab the Cap N' Crunch and plop down and watch Saturday morning toons until I was ready for a nap.

These days, you're lucky if I get out of bed, much less JUMP out of bed. Breakfast no longer happens either. Eh, I guess I grew up.

Re:Saturday Mornings (1)

sTavvy (669239) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934266)

Cap N' Crunch aye?
and when you were finished i'll bet you did some Phone Phreaking!

Re:Saturday Mornings (-1, Troll)

MrP- (45616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934346)

In Soviet Russia, The Cap N' Crunch grabs you!

(No, seriously, he's a pedophile.)

Too little, too late (1)

fishbert42 (588754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934243)

I wish they got rid of Saturday morning cartoons back when I was a little tyke. I could never wake up in time to watch any of the ones I wanted to. Believe me, I tried... but it just wasn't happening. Saturday afternoons or evenings would've been much better. =)

The real reason (5, Interesting)

Mojo Geek (28926) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934245)

The article lists "poor animation" as one of six reasons that kids are watching less cartoons, but in my opinion it's more basic than that. They suck. Several years ago the producers started concentrating more on marketing toys than entertaining the kids and when less kids watched (and bought toys) they just increased the marketing until they left out the fun. Several years ago I tried to watch some cartoons with my kids. Except for the classics like Road Runner and Johnny Quest they suck.

Re:The real reason (1)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934310)

Johnny Quest was the BEST. I still watch it ocassionally. It's great - it was made in the 60's, so it's full of all sorts of inappropriate sexual innuendos and racist aspects that make it fun to watch even as an adult. Today's cartoons just don't have that aspect - they're mildly entertaining to the target age group, but contain nothing that's worth watching for the parents. I remember when parents used to sit down with their kids and watch cartoons like Johnny Quest, Ghostbusters, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nowadays the cartoons are so pathetic the parents just plunk the kids down in front of the TV and do something else. I blame it on PCC - Politically Correct Crap.

Re:The real reason (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934347)

Several years ago? What the hell do you think G.I. Joe and Transformers were, if not an advertising campaign for toys? Johnny Quest and Roadrunner don't suck for the reason that they existed before the 1980s.

Cartoon Channels (0, Redundant)

Cheesemaker (36551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934247)

Why get up one day a week for a morning of cartoons when you can get them on multiple channels all the time?

Finally I've started a revolution! (1)

Ikeya (7401) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934251)

Okay, maybe it wasn't me, but when I was young, I thought it was more fun staying up all way until MIDNIGHT and then sleep in until 10:30 or 11:00, by which point, i'd missed the cartoons. The saturday morning cartoons were way to overrated in my opinion compared to sleep. Hmmmm... sleep... maybe that's why I'm 6'3". :)
Another bonus is that since I slept so much when I was younger, I can get 4hrs. a night in college now to make up for my overages when I was young...yeah...that's why I don't get any sleep now... really!

ikeya

Mirrored here (site is already slow) (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934254)

The Disappearance of Saturday Morning

Saturday morning no longer means kids in front of TV sets across the country, glued to the latest in hip cartoons. Why? Gerard Raiti investigates the death of an era.

April 30, 2003
By Gerard Raiti

In a time not so long ago, Saturday mornings were indicative of one and only one pastime for children -- watching cartoons. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC dominated the Saturday morning airwaves by inundating children with cartoons. Cartoons on these networks used to earn ratings of more than 20 million viewers. Today, network Saturday morning cartoons only exist on ABC Kids, FOX Kids and Kids' WB!, the latter two networks either did not exist or did not air cartoons two decades ago. Current successful cartoons on FOX Kids or Kids' WB! can garner a mere two million viewers. That statistic does not even take into consideration that the population of children in the U.S. has increased by approximately ten percent over the last 20 years. Due to this precipice in viewers, network cartoons are left struggling to make money while advertisers remain befuddled without a mainstream channel to promote new toys and products to children. Why have children stopped tuning in on Saturday mornings to network cartoons and what are the ramifications of this change?

Six key factors have led to children watching less Saturday morning cartoons: more recreational sports, the introduction of cable and satellite TV, the Internet and video games, a poorer quality of animation, and a greater emphasis on family time. These factors are rather self-explanatory with the exception of the latter: the divorce rate of Americans now stands at 49 percent, and time on the weekends has become more precious for children as many commute between parents' houses. For parents who only have limited access to their children due to either divorce or career advancement, plopping them down in front of the television for five hours on a Saturday morning is no longer a viable option. Among most parents, divorced or not, there is a new emphasis on "quality" time. Consequently, taking one's children to the theater, mall, museum, event, zoo or beach on the weekend is deemed more appropriate to being a "good" parent, than letting kids sit and watch cartoons. To this effect, American society has changed substantially enough over the last two decades to the point where Saturday morning cartoons are less important to our culture.

The Biggest Change of All
Today, cartoons are no longer on the major three networks that dominated the preceding decades. Although ABC technically still airs Saturday morning cartoons, its relationship with Disney distinguishes it from ABC's past programming during the '70s and '80s. When NBC and CBS began reducing their children's programming on Saturdays in 1988-1990, FOX jumped aboard the bandwagon and laid the cornerstone for its FOX Kids Network. NBC chose to delve into live-action teen entertainment, hallmarked by Saved by the Bell. Presently, NBC is in partnership with Discovery Kids; a Saturday edition of Today either precedes or follows Discovery Kids. CBS initially chose to replace its cartoons with news from local affiliates and now airs a national morning show, which is either preceded or followed by children's content from Nick Jr. Disney acquired ABC, so their relationship has stayed relatively constant over the decades and still continues to air its One Saturday Morning, recently renamed ABC Kids. Linda Simensky, vice president of original programming at Cartoon Network, feels that, "Children's television was never the strength of broadcasters to begin with. There were some good shows in there, but kids' TV was the department where executives at the network would start their nephews out in. [Kids' TV] was never the primary goal of a network." Children's entertainment on Saturday mornings is currently such a liability that local affiliates in markets such as Baltimore choose to air local news in lieu of Discovery Kids, Nick Jr., and ABC Kids.

Cable and satellite TV have replaced these dated network juggernauts as the home of cartoons. The Disney Channel, Viacom-owned Nickelodeon, and Turner-owned, now AOL Time Warner's Cartoon Network form the new triumvirate of cartoon supremacy. Oddly enough though, the ratings for these three cable channels hardly exceed one million viewers per station on Saturday mornings -- a far cry from the zenith of Saturday morning ratings in the '80s. Why are these channels less successful than their network counterparts were years ago since cable TV is now in the majority of American households?

The success of Nickelodeon and the other cablers during the week has led to their own shortcomings on Saturday mornings. That is to say, Nickelodeon and the others are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; there is no draw card for children to watch at any specific time or on any specific day. It is always there! A child who never knew the phenomenon of Saturday morning cartoons sees no reason to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings rather than on Wednesday nights or Sunday afternoons. Nevertheless, according to some studies, when a child sees the color orange, the first word the child associates with that color is "Nickelodeon." Today's children are being raised as brand loyal to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network's signature checkerboard. These brand loyalties form as early as two years of age.i Needless to say, this brand loyalty demonstrates that despite Nickelodeon's not earning comparable ratings to broadcast networks in the '80s on Saturday mornings, Nickelodeon and the others are doing something right.

Why Broadcast Networks Aired Cartoons in the '80s
Before cable TV, allocating time for children's programming on broadcast networks was at a premium. In the '70s and '80s, there were essentially five networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS. Consequently, these five networks had to cater to the tastes of all people. As a rule of thumb, networks aired children's programming in times when adults did not want to watch TV. For this reason, cartoons were syndicated during weekday afternoons in the hours after children arrived from school and before adults arrived from work. Cartoons also appeared on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Sunday morning cartoons were always less successful than Saturday morning ones because they were in syndication on local channels rather than on broadcast networks, and they conflicted with many Americans' church schedule. The most notable '80s Sunday morning cartoon block was The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbara, featuring shows like Fantastic Max! and Don Coyote. In the end, Saturday mornings provided the longest number of consecutive hours on which to air cartoons and proved to be the most successful. This precept held true until the growth of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the other cable TV children's programmers.

FOX Kids Paved the Road for Nickelodeon's Success
According to Lee Gaither, vice president of Saturday morning programs at NBC, "If you go back and look at the growth of Nickelodeon, it owes much to FOX. Most FOX affiliates did not have local news, so FOX Kids was able to go to a six-day-a-week schedule. For the first time, you had a set of kids who had Saturday morning fare six days a week. FOX started to feed an appetite...but it was only two hours a day."

Before the FOX Kids weekday lineup in 1991, weekday cartoons existed in the realm of syndication. The difficulty with syndicating any show is that local affiliates determine a show's timeslot. There is no continuity across the country and no way to promote the proceeding show. "FOX Kids' weekday lineup created a single promotional machine," adds Gaither. "FOX Kids came on at the same time across the country and promoted to the next day [and Saturday]."

Problems for cartoons on broadcast networks stemmed from what began as "promoting to the next show" on FOX. Promoting to the next show transformed into a churning desire in children to see more programming. As Gaither explains, "Kids would watch Power Rangers, then they would flip all over the dial trying to find more content just for them. Nickelodeon benefited because they had Double Dare and other live-action shows. They had a branding voice: 'This is yours. It doesn't belong to your parents.' Consequently, kids found cable in a huge, huge way. Today, 'Saturday morning cartoons' is a phrase that emotionally means nothing to anyone under the age of twenty-five."

Brian O'Neal, former manager and vice president of children's programming at CBS, concurs with NBC's Gaither: "The competition from Cartoon Network and Nick changed the programming paradigm for the broadcast networks. It eroded our audience base. Kids discovered that they did not have to settle for programming one day a week. There were shows for them seven days a week." O'Neal also elaborated how even the most successful children's programming could never compete with programming for adults: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, at the height of its success, was never even comparable to the average primetime show. One hour of primetime generated the same profit as the entire Saturday morning lineup. As a network, where are you going to put more of your resources to drive your ratings? You're not even going to allocate [children's programming] in your budget." Since cable TV can program to specific verticals every hour every day, there is no longer any financial reason to keep cartoons and children's programming on broadcast networks.

It's the Children that Changed - Not the Cartoons
"As cable TV started to rise, the 'tween psychology became real," comments Gaither. "Kids over the age of eight started splitting off into very different groups. Some boys were into animation and others were not. Girls have always been sketchy over the age of six with animation. Live-action became more popular. You are always better off as a network if you have a mixture of both live-action and cartoons. I know Discovery Kids' plan: they wanted a mixture of animation, reality series and live-action to reflect the breadth and complexity of kids today. It's hard to find a kid who likes just animation anymore. Kids have evolved. You don't have many boys watching cartoons when they're thirteen. That's not happening anymore. They are evolving emotionally faster. Lizzie McGuire is a live-action Ally McBeal for kids on The Disney Channel and it's a huge hit with girls, and boys oddly enough."

Primetime family programming is also an endangered species due to the same proliferation of cable TV. Successful family shows like Full House and Family Matters no longer have a place on broadcast networks because of channels like Nickelodeon and ABC Family. The absence of primetime family programming also hinders Saturday morning cartoons on broadcast networks because there is no way to promote programming on Friday night for Saturday morning. Right now, only ABC's Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday evenings promotes programming on Saturday mornings, and as O'Neal points out, "There is no way you can expect a child to remember to watch a show all the way from Sunday night until Saturday morning. No child will remember that."

The Fiscal Future of Saturday Morning Cartoons
The final problem with Saturday morning cartoons is their incipient decrease in quality over the last decade, attributable in part to a decrease in advertisement revenue. While individuals at FOX Kids and Walt Disney TV Animation do not agree that there has been a decrease in quality, O'Neal confirms that there is no question that production costs have increased while revenue from advertisements has decreased. This relationship has placed animation studios in a catch 22. Everyone in the industry will insist that good stories denote high quality shows, yet can shows hire experienced, quality writers when low budgets are such a commodity?

There is a price for the proliferation of television genres. As the number of cable channels continues to increase, the average number of viewers per channel will decrease. What this means for the viewing audience is that networks cannot expect advertisers to pay the same proportional rates they paid decades ago when there were, at most, five channels. "The animation business has always been driven by ancillary, meaning toys and games," says Gaither. Transformers, He-Man, My Little Pony and G. I. Joe are prime examples of this. Gaither adds: "Frankly, prior to the '90s, when there were no FCC rules, it was very easy to launch an animated product based on a toy and you could very clearly see where the revenue stream would lie. After the FCC rules, you could no longer do that so directly. Unless you were vertically integrated like Warner Bros. Studios, which in putting a show like Animaniacs on FOX Kids then Kids' WB!, then merchandising it through your studio and on videos around the world, there's no way to stop that." According to Cartoon Network's Simensky, if a show does not have the potential to be successful in the toy and game industries, the likelihood of a network picking it up is much slimmer.

The greatest benefit to Saturday morning cartoons was their ability to create one venue for advertisers where they could reach 20 million viewers. If a toy company wanted to promote a novel product in the '80s, advertising on Saturday mornings was logical. On the other hand, an advantage to the proliferation of children's programming on cable TV is that advertisers can more directly target their products to their core audience. Since children exist in such smaller niches, an advertiser can better pinpoint a germane time to advertise, thus reducing the cost for the advertiser.

The other sizeable change in the last two decades is the increase in children's buying power and larger family assets due to dual family incomes.ii Children under the age of twelve are responsible for $500 billion in purchases per year.iii As professors at Middle Tennessee State University noted in a conglomeration of studies, the annual amount children spend has been increasing by 20% each year for at least the last decade.iv Ancillary becomes that much more important because kids are being allowed to spend more of their parents' money. The toys and games associated with a children's program can be more important than the program itself.

Now the future of television is TiVo and other DVRs (digital video recorders). TiVo will cause the next great generational shift in the way children consume programming. Where cable TV facilitated viewers in watching a certain genre of programming anytime of day, DVRs will bring viewers one step closer to television on demand -- watching a specific show at any given time. "Once TiVo takes off, it will force networks to come up with a new way of getting advertisers," observes Simensky. Since viewers will then have the ability to skip watching commercials, how will networks function without ad dollars as the primary source of revenue? O'Neal realizes that, "There will be a change. The beauty of the medium is that it evolves. The business models evolve. As the advertisers and the broadcasters and the techno-wizards who come up with these devices get together, they will discover a way for everyone to make their money. There will be some kind of sponsorship associated with shows. For example, at the bottom of the TV screen, it might say, 'Sony,' with a banner running across outlining new Sony products." Television may return to having specific products sponsor a show: for example, in a decade one may watch Kellogg's Cornflakes Proudly Presents The Simpsons. The bottom line is that the way 30 year-olds remember Saturday morning cartoons, the current generation of children may remember Nickelodeon once DVRs and digital television arrive in the mainstream.

The final question remains: will cartoons ever return to Saturday mornings to the same degree that they existed during the '70s and '80s? The answer is no. The reason for this is the same reason why people no longer watch silent movies or black and white TVs or primetime sitcoms where married couples sleep in separate beds: once things evolve, they seldom return to their simpler forms. Saturday morning cartoons were a phenomenon that now resides in the history books. It is an anomaly in the history of children's broadcasting, the likes of which will never be seen again. For anyone who remembers the paramount of Saturday morning cartoons, they can keep those memories of childhood dear in their hearts along with other great relics from the '80s including parachute pants, Pogo balls and saying "Have a nice day!" because Saturday morning cartoons are gone for good on broadcast networks.

A.C. Slater and the gang (2)

villain170 (664238) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934255)

Oh how I miss Screech and the gang!

The college years starring that oaf Bob Golic weren't the same *sigh*

But what about the ACME corporation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934256)

What will they do with the the huge warehouse bulging with all sorts of explosive devices?

We'll never know if the coyote caught the roadrunner!

And most importantly, kids won't know that if you walk off a cliff, you magically levitate until you look down :)

lost specialness (2, Insightful)

Helmholtz (2715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934257)

My only gripe is now that things like cartoon network is available 24-7, the specialness of saturday morning cartoons is gone. Sure, kids don't sit glued to the television saturday morning, instead they sit glued to it 24-7.

I don't think cartoons are a bad thing, and I cherished my Saturday morning cartoon watching time. It taught me the value of patience, and the value of privledge. If I was bad during the week, then guess what, my cherished time of cartoon watching would be revoked.

Unlike today, I don't think parents tended to use the television as some kind of electronic babysitter. The television on the whole just wasn't entertaining to children most of the time, so instead of a crutch it was used as a reward tool. In this way, I think the Saturday morning cartoon era was much more valuable to the youth that experienced it than today's pacifier approach.

Don't want to deal with the kids? Turn on Cartoon Network. Yuck.

The end of an era (4, Insightful)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934259)

I wish I had something witty to say, or perhaps insightful, but I don't ...

Anyway, this really does seem like the end of an era to me. Admittedly I was a Saturday morning cartoon addict. I liked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Inspector Gadget, and all those other great cartoons of those days. What happened? This article attempts to explain what, but I just don't buy it. I don't think that there has been a lack of quality television programming these days. I just think that kids are getting involved in something more immersive - for better or worse - that is taking them away from cartoons and thus drying up the market.

What am I talking about? Videogames! In my youth the SNES was the coolest videogame system anyone I knew had. It was also very expensive. I remember how we all congregated at the house of the one kid in my neighborhood who owned it to play Street Fighter. But that wasn't Saturday morning - that was weekdays, after school.

Nowadays, however, videogame systems are cheap and prevalent. Heck, my SIX YEAR OLD nephew has a PlayStation and a GameBoy Advance. I would estimate he plays games at least two hours a day. That's time he probably would've spent watching TV anyway. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? All I know is, kids these days are getting exposed to videogames very early on in life.

I was babysitting my cousin recently. We were playing Gauntlet: Dark Legacy together on my PS2. I thought he would suck. I was wrong. He wasn't amazingly good, but he's better than my father. This, from a kid who can't really even read! The kids these days, they're just intuitively "getting" videogames. My dad sucks at action games. He's very good at strategy games though. And this new generation, for better or worse, is highly trained in electronics.

I suppose the electronizing of our nation's youth is a good thing. That's the way the future's headed. I just feel sad, though, that the closest thing they'll experience to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are the cheap knock-off games for GameBoy whose sole good quality is the license they obtained. The cartoons, even though non-interactive, were at least better.

Any thoughts?

fond memories... (4, Funny)

Suicide (45320) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934265)

I'll always have fond memories of Saturday morning cartoons, right up until SOul Train came on, telling me it was time to go play video games.

Course, these days, I don't think I'veseen a Saturday morning in a few years, unles you count the time between Friday at midnight and when I crawl into bed.

From the saturday morning routine to Anime. (1)

marbike (35297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934267)

I used to watch anything I could as long as it was animated. GI-Joe, He Man, Garfield, Thundercats... It was all my favourite escape on those early Saturday mornings. Many a morning were wasted on the boob tube. Afternoons were spent outside whenever possible, but the mornings were holy. Up early to see the latest adventures in cartoon land.

These days I find myself facinated with Anime. I have a moderate collection with a vast range of genres. I read the various magazines dedicated to the topic, and I have a very good relationship with my local Suncoast. I still love animation, but now I can see more serious stories than the latest Cobra plot to foil the intrepid GI-Joe heros. I also enjoy the work of Ralph Bakshi and his rotoscope visions of plots humourous and serious.

Let me guess why... (1)

arvindn (542080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934270)

Too many kids reading slashdot? (at least from reading the postings here that's what it looks like...)

Re:Let me guess why... (1)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934314)

I don't think kids reading slashdot on a Saturday morning will become popular anytime soon.

Someone buy this person a clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934273)

From the article:

"Lizzie McGuire is a live-action Ally McBeal for kids on The Disney Channel and it?s a huge hit with girls, and boys oddly enough."

"Oddly enough"?!?!? Hello? Have you SEEN that Hilary Duff chick? The show she's on is aimed at so-called "tweens," so of course a boy in that demographic, who is leaving his "girls are icky" phase and noticing that it sorta feels good when he's washing his twig and giggleberries, is going to watch!

Mark my words, after the Olsen twins turn 18, pages like this one [chasebrown.com] are going to be replaced by similar ones for Hilary.

Alright!!! (2, Funny)

thumbtack (445103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934277)

Now I don't have to fight the kid for the remote so I can watch the Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Hour. (It is still on isn't it? I haven't won one of the battles since 1993)

what cartoons? (1)

gobblez (659715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934279)

there are no more cartoons worth watching on saturday mornings, just a few good ones, thats why people don't watch! and they end so much sooner than they did back in the day, they show the news most of the morning!

Growing up with Bugs (1)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934281)

I'm a bit older - I remember watching an hour of Bugs Bunny, plus a number of other classics. Give me the Pink Panther over Garfield any day!

Was this time wasted? Probably. But it's not like I had a lot of options. When I was older and in scouts I would often be hiking on Saturdays, but at that age I was stuck in lower-middle-class suburban hell. Small back yard, no neighborhood park, parents caught up in their own crap. Maybe the Beav could grab his mitt and head out to a pickup baseball game, but that was the mythical 1950s.

(And let's be real - how many people got interested in engineering or physics because of the Road Runner & Coyote shorts?!)

Sleep, blessed sleep (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934291)

"As a former Saturday morning TV addict, this doesn't seem like a bad thing to me."

You're not a parent, are you? :)

Seriously. I never used the TV as a babysitter but the Glass Teat did have it's use on Saturday morning. After putting in an 80 hour, five day week an extra few hours to sleep on that one critical day was, well, critical. The Saturday morning cartoons were something for my little sweetie to do instead of prying my eyelids up and asking me to entertain her at six in the morning. And I didn't have to worry about what she might be watching because I *knew* what was on, on every channel ( we didn't have quite so many of them in those days).

In times when I wasn't working quite so hard, or at all, we'd watch Danger Mouse together every afternoon, then go out and play, and read books after dinner and most Saturday mornings would find us in the car going somewhere neat.

But in those times when I was working that hard Saturday morning cartoons were a gift from God and the only thing that kept me alive, and sane. Probably kept her alive too. :)

KFG

Parents killed Sat. Morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934298)

I am 17. While I was never a fan of GI Joe or Transformers, I did watch Garfield, Battlecats, Ren and Stimpy, Rocko - remember Rocko? ;) - The Real Ghostbusters, X-Men, The Tick, and legions of others.

These cartoons were interesting. They were entertaining. They were fun, though some may have been a bit mindless or a tad offensive. Try to get a show like Rocko or R/S on TV today, and some self-righteous parents group will cry foul.

What killed Saturday Morning? Parents. I'm glad I had my fun before the era of "Save the Children" began in full force.

When Saturday mornings disappear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934300)

It's usually because you drank too much Friday night.

ever SEEN the new Saturday morning "cartoons"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934303)

either ultra slick computer generated crap such as Cubix, or shitty 20 years old Transformers in "new series". All nothing more than 22 minutes long advertisments aimed at kids.
Maybe kids ARE getting smarter and are refusing all this utter bullshit. Good for the kids then i say!

cartoons are still playing saturday morning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934308)

I don't seem to understand. Cartoons are still being played on Saturday morning. WB 7:30am to 12pm. They play new episodes on that day.

Am I missing the point? Is it they don't play old cartoons on Saturday? Good, they shouldn't.

Late 80s / Early 90s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934316)

At the top of my head I can remember Saturday mornings watching: Garfield and Friends, Looney Tunes, TMNT, Mario Bros., Inspector Gadget (not sure if it was on in the mornings), and probably more that I can't remember now. I also used to watch Transformers (which I own on DVD now), and a bunch of other Nickelodean programs that have vanished. Salute your shorts, are you afraid of the dark, hey dude, etc.... Anyways, at that age I would have been playing NES games. Now, kids at that same age are playing UT2k3 online. They grow up too fast to enjoy kiddie cartoons. Probably kids nowadays know more profane words than I do lol.

Did you read the article??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934321)

"As a former Saturday morning TV addict, this doesn't seem like a bad thing to me."

For crying out loud, and just to sound really pissy, did you read the bleepin article? The reasons WHY they are not watching TV is not all good. Divorce, schedules, parents that don't see their kids much during the week, the only time to pick up clothes or groceries, etc. is hardly a good thing.

Yes, TV generally sucks. Cartoons generally suck. Spending more time with the old man is a good thing. But exchanging Saturday mornings for divorced parents is not necessarily a good thing (and not necessarily bad either, considering that not all divorces are bad, but making a generalized statement is crappy on anyone's end).

Well... (2, Interesting)

Drakin (415182) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934326)

I gave up hope on the saturday morning cartoon on the channels that they focused on... even when I was younger.

Myself, I like watching YTV [ytv.com] on saturday mornings (it's a Canadian kids channel, for those who didn't know). The line up includes Transformers Armada, Transformers Beast Machines, He-man, Justice League, Jackie Chan Adventures and X-Men: Evolution. (a few others that I don't tend to watch much as well).

It's probably the most time I spend in front of a TV all week that little block.

But why would most kids want to spend saturday mornings watching cartoons? When I was younger, cartoons only happened in the early mornings, before school (forbidden to watch them by my parents at that time, or I'd miss the bus), a couple shows after school (normally the disney ones of the year) and saturday mornings.

Now, with 24/7 cartoon (or others with kid focused programming) networks, they can get their fix anytime, and plenty of households have multiple TV's, so parents and kids can each watch what they want. So there's nothing really special about saturday morning cartoons, at least to the average kid who watches cartoons (unless they realise that Saturday is when the new episodes come out... but there's always reruns, and multiple airings..)

Not surprising (2, Interesting)

Paddyish (612430) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934334)

I used to be a Saturday morning TV addict...but a number of things contributed toward stopping that habit:

1.) Bad cartoons. I loved Bugs Bunny, but I couldn't stand most of the new crap that the networks kept throwing at me. With the exception of Captain Planet. :oD
2.) Short runs. Those new cartoons usually had runs of one season or less (Remember 'Hypernauts'? Didn't think so). Not much room to get into it, and took no time for it to fade away. Its pretty hard to get interested in anything that way.
3.) The computer, the internet. Completely took over my mornings and days. I replaced one addiction with two more...and now I spend my Saturday mornings compiling custom kernels.

Whups, maybe I've said too much!

If you are nostalgic for Saturnday Morning Cartoon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5934337)

Check out the "Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits" It's a "Various Artist" type album with covers of old cartoon themes by the likes of Helmet, Juliana Hatfield, Butthole Surfers, Ramones, Toadies and lots more. As strange as it might sound, it quickly became one of my favorite albums. You can to a lookup for the album on the All Music Guide website.

Saturday Morning (5, Insightful)

G27 Radio (78394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5934341)

Saturday morning used to rock when I was a kid. Now they suck. Cartoons are too PC these days. I miss the violence (Road Runner) and cigarette smoking (Bugs Bunny.) Not for the sake of those things alone, just the fact that they could make the shows the way they wanted without being scared to offend someone.
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