Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Year, Saturday morning fans! It’s 2020! And as we get further into the future,
it’s a good time to take a look into the past. 70 years into the past, to be
exact, for the very first Saturday morning television schedule.
right—while Saturday mornings wouldn’t evolve into the form most of us
recognize until the end of the 1960s, they actually began in the 50s. Networks
began programming for children on both weekdays and weekends, incorporating a
variety of live-action programs featuring animals, acrobats, puppets and more.
In light of this, Saturday Mornings Forever will be doing a year-long
celebration of Saturday mornings. Every two months, we’ll be covering each
decade as we see where it all began, where it ended up, and maybe even where it’s
going to go.
When 1950 rolled around, television
was still in its infancy. Despite having been in existence for a quarter
century, the technology needed to bring some semblance of the system we’re
familiar with today hadn’t yet caught up to the concept. Add a depression and a
war, and TV’s overall development was hindered quite a bit.
1950 TV by Zenith.
the war was over, TV began finding its way into the home. The technology for
coast-to-coast broadcasting still wasn’t in place yet, so for anything
resembling a national broadcast required the participation of affiliated local
stations and physically sending a recording of the broadcast to them to air at
a later date. Despite being the last network to enter the TV game, ABC was the first to eschew local programming
for a national schedule on Saturday morning. It would be followed that winter
by CBS, then NBC
and, to a lesser extent, DuMont by
the following fall.
1959 TV ad.
The 50s are
also notorious for the lack of an archival mentality. Because of the expense of
the material used to record a program, studios opted to reuse them frequently
resulting in the wholesale destruction of anything previously recorded on them.
Nobody ever considered the historical significance of what they were doing, or
that anyone would ever want to see a broadcast again after seeing it once
already. The concept of the rerun slowly came into fashion towards the end of
the decade, thanks in large part to I Love
Lucy, and the practice of erasure diminished more and more. Whatever did
manage to survive was nothing short of miraculous. For many shows, the only
evidence it even existed could be limited to merely blurbs in magazines and
newspapers about them.