Saturday Morning Cartoons Are Officially Dead

I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. It was my favorite thing in the world when I was a little kid. As I've grown and have had kids of my own, I've witnessed the demise of Saturday morning cartoons. I think it's sad that my kids have never really had that experience of anticipation for Saturday morning. When I was a kid, I spent my whole week looking forward to Saturday morning! I'd wake up early and sit down in front of the TV with one of several sugary cereals from that era and watch my shows. Those were some of the best shows ever made. The fact that my kids can now watch their favorite shows any time they wan't takes that experience away from them.

Now Saturday morning cartoons are officially dead. They were killed off over the weekend when The CW’s Vortexx programming block, which included shows such as Cubix, Sonic X, Dragon Ball Z and Kai, Digimon Fusion and Yu-Gi-Oh!, aired for the last time. Next week The CW will replace the those shows with a live-action TV block called “One Magnificent Morning” that will be filled with educational shows for kids.

I'm all for educational programs that kids won't watch, but I am sad that something I grew up enjoying no longer exists. I've included a recap from Wikipedia that takes us through the details of the slow death of Saturday Morning Cartoons over the past 18 years:

As of 2014, there are currently no more animated productions on network TV. A 1996 Federal Communications Commission mandate, issued in the wake of the Children’s Television Act, requires stations to program a minimum of three hours of children’s educational/informational (“E/I”) programming per week. To help their affiliates comply with the regulations, broadcast networks began to reorganize their efforts to adhere to the mandates, so their affiliates would not bear the burden of scheduling the shows themselves on their own time thus eliminating the risk of having network product preempted by the mandates. This almost always meant that the educational programming was placed during the Saturday morning cartoon block.
NBC abandoned its Saturday morning cartoon lineup in 1992, replacing it with a Saturday morning edition of Today and adding an all live-action teen-oriented block, TNBC, which featured Saved by the Bell, California Dreams and other teen comedies. Even though the educational content was minimal to non-existent, NBC labeled all the live-action shows with an E/I rating and the legal fiction of a blanket educational summary boilerplate provided to stations to place in their quarterly educational effort reports for the FCC. CBS followed NBC’s example in the late 1990s by producing CBS News Saturday Morning for the first two hours of its lineup and an all live-action block of children’s programming. The experiment lasted a few months, and CBS brought back its animated CBS Storybreak series. In 2004, ABC was the last of the broadcast networks to add a Saturday morning edition of its morning news program (in their case, Good Morning America Weekend) in the first hour of its lineup, mainly due to affiliate criticism of the lack of network coverage for the February 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster which occurred on a Saturday morning, forcing them to take coverage from other video wire services. Prior to that, and particularly in the early 1990s, it was not uncommon for affiliates to preempt part or all of ABC’s cartoon lineup with local programming.

Below you'll find a list of all the Saturday morning cartoons that graced our televisions in the 1980s (thanks to InThe80′s.com). Look through them and let us know what some of your favorites were.

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