Magazine article Risk Management

Saturday Morning Nostalgia

Magazine article Risk Management

Saturday Morning Nostalgia

Article excerpt

For the kid in all of us, the morning of October 4, 2014, will live in infamy. While our adult selves drank coffee and lounged around doing whatever else adults do, our younger selves were mourning the death of a beloved tradition. This was the first Saturday morning in 50 years that no American broadcast television network was airing a block of animated programming. The era of the Saturday morning cartoon had officially come to an end.

For many kids growing up between the 1960s and the 1990s or so, Saturday morning cartoons were the best thing about the weekend. There was nothing like getting up early, opening a box of sugary cereal, and checking in on the exploits of Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes crew, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Josie and the Pussycats, Scooby-Doo, Fat Albert, the Superfriends, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Smurfs, the Muppet Babies, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and countless other characters and shows, many of which only existed as marketing vehicles for toy lines. Every week, I rushed through my chores so I could watch for as long as possible--or at least until my mom told us to go outside. It's a cliched story, certainly, but only because it was so universal for generations of kids.

The demise of the Saturday morning cartoon has actually been a decades-long process. Of the major networks, NBC got out of the game first when it dropped cartoons for news and live-action teen sitcoms in 1991. Over the next decade, CBS and ABC would follow suit, leaving Saturday morning cartoons to Fox, the WB and final holdout the CW, whose cancellation of the animated block "The Vortexx" in September brought an end to this broadcast television tradition.

One of the reasons for the shift was that, in the 1990s, the FCC began enforcing the Children's Television Act, requiring broadcast networks to provide at least three hours of educational programming every week. …

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