I've noticed some articles on net stating the death of Saturday Morning Cartoons with the CW airing its last animation block. I'm going to copy an article from the Washington Post outlining the obit
I'll be back with my thoughts
Saturday morning cartoons are no more
After these messages, Saturday morning cartoons will not be right back. At least not the way some of you remember them.
“The Smurfs,” “Scooby Doo,” “The Jetsons,” “Ghostbusters,” “Animaniacs,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and other cartoons of Gen X childhoods aren’t gone, but their dedicated time slot is. So what? kids these days might say. But the nostalgic among us remember a time when cartoons weren’t a la carte — and Saturday mornings were sacred.
This past Saturday, the CW became the last broadcast television network to cut Saturday morning cartoons. The CW is replacing its Saturday cartoon programming, called “The Vortexx,” with “One Magnificent Morning,” a five-hour bloc of non-animated TV geared towards teens and their families.
In 1992, NBC was the first broadcast network to swap Saturday morning cartoons for teen comedies such as “Saved by the Bell” and a weekend edition of the “Today” show. Soon, CBS and ABC followed suit. In 2008, Fox finally replaced Saturday morning cartoons with infomercials.
In the 1970s and 1980s, a Saturday morning cartoon viewership could grab more than 20 million viewers. In 2003, some top performers got a mere 2 million, according to Animation World Network.
What happened? Cable, technology and the FCC.
Broadcast channels faced competition from kid-focused cable and satellite channels such as Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network in the 90s. They offered kids cartoons throughout the week, making the weekend less of a draw. VHS followed by DVD and DVR gave people the option to watch whenever they wanted. Nowadays, you don’t even have to sit in front of a TV to watch cartoons thanks to streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix.
The 90s also saw a shift in the type of TV geared towards kids — thanks to a Federal Communications Commission rule requiring broadcast (but not cable) networks to offer at least three hours of educational programming a week between 7 a.m and 10 p.m. The rule also limited kid-centered advertising during children’s TV programs, which made cartoons less profitable for networks.
Cultural factors may have also contributed to the decline of Saturday morning cartoons. Gerard Raiti, writing for Animation Network News, said the rising divorce rate put more emphasis on spending “quality time” with kids — doing things other than watching TV.
So is it the end of an era?
“It’s sad, though, that an entire generation of kids is missing out on lazy Saturdays filled with excellent cartoons,” wrotes Jessica Rawden of Cinema Blend. “Replacing them with cheaper, educational content was bound to happen, but a little magic has been lost in the process.”
But not everyone thinks the magic is lost.
“Saturday morning cartoons have never been better,” wrote the Los Angeles Register’s TV critic Michael Hewitt. “Cartoons for kids are at their peak. They’re far superior visually to the cheap productions of the past, and generally have much smarter scripts. They’re also finely tuned for a narrow age group, so little ones can enjoy ‘Pocoyo,’ preschoolers can swing swords along with ‘Jake and the Neverland Pirates,’ elementary schoolers can howl to ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ and the older set can feed their subversive needs with ‘Adventure Time.’”
These days, there’s also animated fare for adults, a genre that has grown popular as Saturday morning cartoons have declined. The last generations to enjoy Saturday morning cartoons aged into “South Park” and “Beavis and Butt-Head” in the 90s, followed by “Family Guy.” Then there’s Adult Swim: a non-prime time slot, albeit on a cable network, dedicated to a bawdier, nighttime version of Saturday morning cartoons for adults-only.
For the nostalgic, Slash Film has a roundup of the 20 best Saturday morning cartoons of all time.
Part of me knew something like this was going to happen as natural part of evolution because since the debut of channels like Cartoon Network (Boomerang by extension), Nickelodeon, internet streaming and DVD it was only a matter of time.
What accelerated the process was the GODDAMNED FCC! Because of their "mandatory 3-hour educational block" rule. Where it was easier for the networks to do away with their cartoon blocks and go with more teen oriented programming. Because my fondest memories of being a kid was going to my Television and tune in to shows like Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs, Superman the Animated Series (and by extension Batman the Animated series when it moved from FOX on weekdays to the WB Saturday mornings.) X-Men the animated series, Garfield and Friends, the Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, TMNT, Muppet Babies and to a certain extent Captain N the Gamemaster, Super Mario Bros 3, the various Hanna-Barbera shows that were on in the 80s and other shows that escape my memory. I still have old issues of Marvel Comics where there would be two page spreads outlining the Saturday Morning lineups from NBC, CBS and ABC.
Well, even though Saturday morning cartoons are dead; for me they live on in my memories and on DVD.
Oh, but hold on kids, here's what CW will be running in place of their animation block. Fun and excitement to be had by all! From Toonzone.net:
EXPEDITION WILD: Follow wildlife expert Casey Anderson on a series of breathtakingly wild American adventures.
- DOG WHISPERER – FAMILY EDITION: Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan helps dogs—and their families—overcome behavioral problems.
- ROCK IN THE PARK: Jack Steward explores every National Park in America.
- THE BRADY BARR SHOW: Join the adventures of Brady Barr as he gets up close to some of the world’s wildest and most dangerous creatures.
- DR. POL: Join Dr. Pol as he gives viewers a unique look into the care and treatment of farm animals.
- AMERICA’S FLAVORS: Expert Chefs travel the country, pitting variations of the American dishes against each other.
- TASTE OF HOME: An upbeat cooking experience where audience members give dishes a special homemade twist.
- RELUCTANTLY HEALTHY: Comedy actress Judy Greer shares special tips and advice on how to stay healthy while on-the go.
- SWAG: Release your inner fashionista with the help of celebrity super stylist Mandi Lane.
- SOCIAL MEDIA MANIA: A new series that focuses on the biggest social media moments of each week.
Yeah... thank the killjoys of America for this crap!