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.
January 30, 2017
MASAYA NAKAMURA DEAD AT 91
January 28, 2017
THE PROUD FAMILY
The Proud Family was created by Bruce W. Smith and followed the titular family on their daily (and sometimes bizarre) adventures. Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt) was the main protagonist and eldest daughter of the family which consisted of her immature snack-inventing father Oscar (Tommy Davidson), level-headed veterinarian mother Trudy (Paula Jai Parker), toddler twin siblings BeBe and CeCe (both Tara Strong), and snarky grandmother Suga Mama (Jo Marie Payton). The series boasted an impressive list of guest-stars including Al Roker as a wish-granting version of himself; Samuel L. Jackson as homeless construction worker Joseph and Vivica A. Fox as his wife, Margaret; Ashanti as a department store manager; and Lou Rawls as himself. Solange Knowles, along with her big sister’s group Destiny’s Child, recorded the series’ theme.
|Meet the family: Trudy, Oscar, Puff, Suga Mama, CeCe, Penny and BeBe.|
The Proud Family was originally intended for Nickelodeon until it was picked up by Disney Channel. It was the first animated Disney Channel Original Series and the first on the channel to not be produced exclusively by Disney’s television animation department. It ran for 3 seasons, ending with a TV film as the same day as its series finale. During its run, it crossed-over with fellow Disney program Lilo & Stitch and was spun-off into a web series called The Proud Family Shorties that starred BeBe, CeCe and their dog, Puff (also Strong). In 2002, the series entered syndication and was rerun as part of ABC’s Disney’s One Saturday Morning programming block from May until September. Further reruns aired on BET, Toon Disney, The Family Channel, Centric and TVJ. In 2020, Disney ordered production of a revival series called The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. It debuted on the streaming service Disney+. Most of the original cast returned except for Strong, who was replaced by Aiden Dodson as BeBe, Bresha Webb as CeCe and Carlos Alazraqui as Puff, respectively.
SABRINA: THE ANIMATED SERIES
|DVD cover featuring Salem, Quigly, best friend Chloe, Hilda, Sabrina, Zelda, Harvey and rival Gem.|
|The Sabrina comic.|
January 26, 2017
MIKE CONNORS DEAD AT 91
January 21, 2017
|Marshall, Simon and Dash X.|
(ABC, September 23, 1962-March 17, 1963
Syndication, September 16, 1985-November 12, 1987)
After successfully visiting the Stone Age, Hanna-Barbera set their sights on the future with The Jetsons. George Jetson (George O’Hanlon) lived with his family--wife Jane (Penny Singleton), teenaged daughter Judy (Janet Waldo), son Elroy (Daws Butler), and dog Astro (Don Messick)--in an apartment in Orbit City on earth. He worked an hour a day for two days a week as a literal button pusher at Spacely Sprockets, owned by the grumpy miser Cosmo Spacely (Mel Blanc). Like most sitcom fathers, George was often beset upon by his family’s antics, his boss’ overlording, or his own schemes backfiring. It was heavily influenced by the Space Age sensibilities of the time: cars resembled flying saucers, sidewalks moved on their own, food came from a machine with the push of a particular button, bathrooms bathed a person automatically, robots were everywhere, etc. But, despite all that, the residents of the world suffered the weariness of the daily grind familiar to those in the present.
|Astro, Judy, George, Elroy and Jane getting their photo taken by Rosie.|
The Jetsons debuted on September 23, 1962 on ABC, becoming the first program that the network would broadcast in color. Unfortunately, it was up against Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color and Dennis the Menace and performed poorly as a result, leaving it cancelled at the end of its sole season. However, ABC continued to air it through 1964 on its Saturday morning schedule, after which it moved to CBS and then NBC for the next two decades. Hanna-Barbera pondered the possibility of a spin-off featuring an older Judy, but that was rejected by CBS and ultimately retooled into the series Partridge Family 2200 A.D. A resurgence in the show’s popularity led to Hanna-Barbera producing an additional 41 new episodes in 1984 to create a syndication package with the original 24. While essentially the same show, elements were updated with the times such as putting a greater focus on technology that gave the Jetson’s robotic maid Rosie (Jean Vander Pyl) more prominence and George a work partner in the form of sentient computer, R.U.D.I. (Messick). The family got a new pet: a spring-legged alien named Orbity (Frank Welker). Plots expanded from standard sitcom fare to feature more science-fiction elements. The theme, while similar, was also updated to include some modern synthesized instrumentation.
During the revival’s production, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to produce a film based on the show. Written by Dennis Marks, the film sees the Jetsons relocated to an asteroid colony to oversee Spacely’s new plant that keeps being sabotaged. One of the challenges faced by the production was the advanced age and poor health of many of the cast members. 71-year-old Butler died of a heart attack before recording a single line, leading to the casting of Patric Zimmerman as Elroy. 76-year-old O’Hanlon and 81-year-old Blanc both died after they completed their recordings, with Jeff Bergman stepping in to fill in for both of them for any additional dialogue. While Waldo did record her lines for Judy, singer Tiffany was stunt-cast to replace her and sing a few songs in the hopes that she would prove a box-office draw. Unfortunately, Jetsons: The Movie was critically panned when it was released in 1990 and ultimately only earned $20.3 million. It wouldn’t be until 2017 that another film, the direct-to-video The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!, would be produced.