Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday Morning Fantasy Schedules: NBC

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.

For NBC I would purchase a block of programming from Time-Warner.  They have several shows that are entertaining that meet E/I requirements that feature familiar characters and would make for a more fun Saturday morning than can be found right now.  None of these shows are airing regularly on television anymore, so that would make this block stand out.

9:00 (central time) Baby Looney Tunes
Is it as good as the original Looney Tunes shorts?  Of course not.  Is it surprisingly entertaining in its own inoffensive, cute way?  Yeah.  A fun little show with good animation and familiar faces.  Good show to start off a lineup.

9:30 (central time) Flintstones Kids
Better than most "kid" versions of adult cartoon characters.  Flintstones Kids are just fun and do a pretty decent job at getting across a basic lesson.  Also has an incredibly catchy theme song and a fun Captain Caveman and son segment.

10:00 (central time) Krypto the Superdog
Stories of Superman's dog, Krypto.  With as dark and intense as superhero stories can tend to be this is a nice diversion.  Adult fans often forget that we got into superheroes in the first place, because they can be fun and colorful.  This show also has plenty of guest appearances from Ace the Bat-Hound.

10:30 (central time) Captain Planet
Yes, this is a terrible cartoon.  And no, it should not qualify as educational.  It is extremely heavy handed and is almost offensive at times.  But this campy series is iconic and many are nostalgic for it.  Worth watching for how terrible it is.

11:00 (central time) The Smurfs
The Smurfs reaired for a while on The DiC Kid's Network.  Guess they meet E/I requirements.  This was one of the most popular cartoons that NBC ever aired.  While the movies have not had much critical acclaim, this series is very well regarded and was a phenomenon back in the eighties.  There are enough episodes that this would make for a fun hour.

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