Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Fantasy Schedule: CBS

Saturday morning cartoons has been a dead institution for years.  However broadcast stations are required by the FCC to air three hours of educational/instructional programming every week.  Currently ABC and CBS both meet this law by purchasing programs from Litton Entertainment and NBC has a block of programming from the PBS Kids digital channel.  Even though Saturday morning children's programming is essentially a formality I think that it is one of television's grandest traditions and the three big networks can have blocks that are both educational and entertaining, made up of nostalgic programs that can play to older and younger audiences.

My CBS lineup would be a combination of different types of shows from various networks and decades.

9:00 (central time) Between the Lions
 A popular PBS series from the early to mid-2000s that focused on literacy.  The puppeteering is of extremely high quality and characters are all fun.  There are funny gags for kids, but incredibly well written jokes for adults.  A great example of blurring the lines of entertainment and education.  Would be fun to see again.

9:30 (central time) Clifford the Big Red Dog
Another very popular PBS kids show.  The show finished production in 2003, but still continues airing in some markets.  Clifford is a likable character that many have fond memories of and this show is a fun adaptation of his popular books.  It is definitely targeted at a young audience, but there is a genuineness and sense of fun that makes it play to older children too.

10:00 (central time) Berenstain Bears
CBS aired this show back in 1985.  Since then the videos have been shown in many schools.  It follows the format of the book series by Stan and Jan Berenstain, of creating fun, relatable stories that actually teach something.  The animation is great, stories are fun and the series has aged well.  Like Clifford, these are characters that people love and associate with education and positive family entertainment.

10:30 (central time) Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
This is one of the best educational cartoons of all time.  There is a lot of nostalgia towards Fat Albert, but he has not aired for a large audience since the eighties.  Cosby is even discussing relaunching the series.  Would be a fun thing to rerun on Saturday mornings, especially since it used to air on CBS.

11:00 (central time) Hey Arnold
This actually aired on CBS for a short while in 2002 when their lineup was programmed by Nickelodeon, but its run was cut short when the lineup changed exclusively to Nick Jr. programs.  I imagine that this qualifies as E/I because it features relatable kids being helpful and learning lessons.  The nineties Nickelodeon shows have a huge fan base that would tune in to see some reruns from their childhood.

11:30 (central time) Wild Thornberrys
Another old Nicktoon that aired for a short while on CBS.  This one is probably E/I because of its positive child lead and ecological message.  This is a fun cartoon that balances comedy with some adventure.  Not airing anywhere consistently right now, but has a huge fan base who would turn on Saturday mornings to see it.

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