So I woke up earlier than usual this Saturday and I really didn’t feel like getting on the computer. So with nostalgia coming into my mind, I decided to see what was on the television. Against my better judgment, I wanted to see if there was anything on television this Saturday morning— not counting channels which show cartoons twenty four-seven like Nicktoons or.. Cartoon Network. To my surprise, as far as basic broadcast channels are concerned, only the CW is showing cartoons on Saturday mornings.
Growing up over the years, especially during the 2000’s I have noticed a decline within the airings of the Saturday Morning cartoons and the channels which aired them. But really this has been going on earlier than that, since 1996 since the FCC demanded that animation programming have educational content. Since then, channels started to stop airing animation programming on their Saturday morning block.
I think it’s safe to say that the Saturday morning cartoon is dead. I hate to say it, and it pains me to say it but that definitely seems to be something of the case here and there. Kids generation who were born in the late 90s, early 2000s and even in the 2010s really don’t have the Saturday Morning cartoon. It’s actually depressing because if I ever have children.. they won’t really grow up with the shows I grew up on, or the characters even.
For us 80s and 90s kids.. I can say that we were lucky. We managed to grow up with Transformers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, My Little Pony (not Friendship is Magic), She-Ra: Princess of Power, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Life with Louie, Bobby’s World— etc, etc. We remember fondly of these characters, waking up and seeing what today’s episode is going to be. They had profoundly impacted our childhood. Truly, for us growing up in the 80s and 90s.. We had it good and we took it for granted. Sure, we can buy the DVDs and Blu-rays of our favorite series, but nothing really compared to the magic and memories of seeing these shows on Saturday morning.
But with the FCC’s Educational and Informal mandate, the rising popularity of video games, adult oriented animation (The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad) and the loss of American animation companies.. There doesn’t seem to be a place for Saturday Morning cartoons anymore. It’s either educational and informal programming, or paid advertising infomercials filling the Saturday Morning block.
That’s something which I noticed heavily while I was flicking through the channels as the basic broadcasting stations were hosting either Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild, College Football, College Basketball, Paid Advertising and more Infomercials. And channels like Cartoon Network and Nicktoons really don’t emphasize on Saturday Morning cartoons.. The same could be said for most cable stations.
Truly, both 80s and 90s kids were lucky. While our beloved cartoons have long since gone off the air, we fondly remember the memories which they have provided us. Never the less, it’s such a damn shame that today’s generation of kids really don’t have something to look forward to seeing on Saturday Mornings. Especially for families who don’t have premium cable or satellite.
I say.. Bring back the Saturday Morning Cartoon. No kids are really going to want to watch Paid Advertising or College Sports.