Here we go once again, stepping into the Wayback machine to take a look at kids TV of Saturday mornings past. Last time we looked at ABC in the Fall of 1979; now let's take a look at the competition at the same time. Here is CBS's Saturday morning lineup for the Fall of 1979!
First up at 8am ET is the Mighty Mouse/Heckle and Jeckle Show. This was not the first nor the last time Mighty Mouse would adorn CBS's Saturday morning lineup. The first time was in the mid-60s with his original cartoons made by TerryToons years earlier. This time around, CBS presented new cartoons made by the famous Filmation studios, which along with Hanna-Barbera was responsible for most animation featured on Saturday mornings. Here is a brief clip of Mighty Mouse; I couldn't find the new Heckle and Jeckle cartoons anywhere.
Well, that looks like it sucked.
Next up at 9am ET is an alltime Saturday morning classic: The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show. Although Warner Brothers cartoons were packaged in a thousand ways all over television during this era, this, to me and my generation, was the supreme showcase. It aired for a whopping 90 minutes! I couldn't find the intro with the classic theme song, but I do have the theme with a still of the intro here.
Here is a cartoon likely to be seen on this show, and probably my favorite Warner Bros. cartoon ever, "Rabbit Seasoning."
Also part of this hour, as the title states, was the Roadrunner, who also had his own theme song:
Here is the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, Genius, in "Hook, Line, and Stinker."
At 10:30am is the All-New Popeye Hour, a show that had a surprisingly long run for CBS. As the title states, these were newly produced cartoons and not airings of the classic theatrical ones. Like some other cartoons at the time, these had little life lessons sprinkled throughout the hour. Here is the show intro and sample lesson.
Speaking of lessons, now is a good time for some interstititial programming, and if it's CBS, it must mean In The News. These were 2-minute segments presenting recent news stories to younger viewers in a clear, capsulized way. They were written and narrated by CBS newsman Christopher Glenn, who passed away in 2006. Several other Internet bloggers have described the segment as a drag on the schedule, but I loved them! Here is one example (which is really from December 1976/January 1977, but please allow me some slack).
At 11:30am is CBS Saturday morning stalwart Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.
Wow, it's 12 noon and were not finished yet. I lvoed when networks had expanded lineups like this. Way to go, CBS!
At noon is the live action series Jason of Star Command, which I vaguely remember seeing but I can't tell you anything about the premise. Here is the intro. I couldn't find full episodes online, but the series is available on DVD.
At 12:30pm is Tarzan and the Super Seven. This hourlong program by Filmation was only one of several ways these individual components were packaged on the network. The seven in question were Tarzan himself;
Batman (with Robin, Batgirl, and yes, Batmite!);
Watch The New Adventures of Batman (1977) - Intro & credits in Animation View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
and the five members of the Freedom Force.
The voices for Batman and Robin were none other than Adam West and Burt Ward. Perfect! Funny, I vividly remember Tarzan and the Freedom Force, but I never saw this version of Batman until a couple of years later in syndicated reruns.
Lastly at 1:30pm, CBS presented 30 Minutes, a news program aimed at young adults (translates as "teenagers") loosely patterned after 60 Minutes. I never knew it existed until I saw this comic book ad.
All in all, not a bad lineup at all. Mighty Mouse is definitely the weak link here, but otherwise an entirely enjoyable, watchable morning.
See you soon!