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Could Saturday Mornings return now that the threshold for ratings success is lower?

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aegisrawks

Well-Known Member
See. I know they are deader than dead, and please believe me when I say I dont lose any sleep over that... But now that,,,,

-There is a lower threshold for success in ratings
-There is a push to null the EI Law for Kids Television along with other restrictions
-There is absolutely no way there can be new Kids Cable channels. They get buried and get utterly bad ratings.
-The Saturday Morning slots are death slots sure... but now that there is so little competition in the area they could work.

I know this looks more and more like random grasping at straws but I think its still worth discussing.
 

Tacomaster

Member
Even with the E/I law, Saturday mornings could make a comeback. I believe, however, that E/I digital subchannels are an untapped market. Since many companies own both cable kids channels and broadcast networks, they could make their kids channels broadcast subchannels(Universal Kids for NBC, Cartoon Network for CW, DIsney for ABC). If only people would care...
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I don't know about that. Ratings weren't even a huge factor as to why traditional Saturday morning blocks aren't around anymore. They just weren't profitable enough to keep around and being extremely outdated didn't help matters either. Some small digital channels could gain more attention by having their own Saturday morning block, but I don't think it would be enough to bring those kind of blocks back completely. As much nostalgic fondness as people have for Saturday morning blocks, I don't think that they would be particularly popular in today's TV market.
 

wonderfly

Is this the future?!?
Staff member
Administrator
I thought Saturday Morning cartoons had already returned, if you count "KidsCLick".

But to answer you question: A return of a Saturday Morning programming block on an existing channel? Probably not. What channel would carry it? CBS, ABC, and NBC aren't going to drop their news programs on Saturday mornings. FOX is now being bought by Disney. The CW is co-owned by CBS and Warner Bros. I don't see either of those making an attempted comeback.

Cartoon Network/Boomerang/Nickelodeon/Disney/Disney XD are not going to be the platform for such a return (though I'd like Boomerang to try it, with a retro Saturday Morning block).

No, I think the only path for return is the internet (which is kinda what KidsClick is doing, or so I thought...the problem there is - that's not a great lineup of cartoons).

If Netflix (or Amazon, or whoever) was willing to set aside a separate website that would broadcast a 3 to 6 hour block of episodes, every single Saturday morning (complete with a programming block host, like TOM from Toonami, or the old Kids WB bumper skits in-between episodes).

Can you imagine a 4 hour block like this:

8:00 AM: Voltron
8:30 AM: Trollhunters
9:00 AM: Hilda
9:30 AM: The Hollow
10:00 AM: Stretch Armstrong and the Freedom Fighters
10:30 AM: The Dragon Prince
11:00 AM: She-Ra And the Princesses of Power
11:30 AM: Harvey Street Kids

Now that's a Programming Block! And if they use this as a promo for people to sign up for Netflix ("come watch these episodes anytime!") that would be a way to make it work...
 

Takao

Fight the darkness all around
Even with the E/I law, Saturday mornings could make a comeback. I believe, however, that E/I digital subchannels are an untapped market. Since many companies own both cable kids channels and broadcast networks, they could make their kids channels broadcast subchannels(Universal Kids for NBC, Cartoon Network for CW, DIsney for ABC). If only people would care...
That would damage the subscription revenue they get from the cable companies. You're far more likely to see a player without a cable kids presence launch a sub-channel than Disney, Warner, Viacom or Comcast. The problem is finding a library of shows to support it with.
 

TnAdct1

Ravioli, Ravioli
Another problem with bringing back Saturday morning cartoons: can a Saturday morning line-up even be affordable in a time where most non-cable stations would prefer to keep most daytime programming cheap?
 

LinusFan303

A Fan of Linus Van Pelt.
It would be nice, but I don't think it would done. The stations already trying to get rid of the E/I rules because they feel that's in the way. They prefer more local news , extra sports , infomercials and etc. to having to children's TV. Sinclair even trying it is a surprise. Disney would prefer that people watch their cable channels or when that comes out go to their streaming service than try and program ABC's morning. Comcast seems focused on that 24/7 Universal kids. FOX and CBS don't seem to have a large interest in that all. CW even gave up on 2 hours for their E/i (my CW station replaced it with local news) . I think they feel that time has come and gone.
 

AnotherRandomGuy

The cat came back, he just couldn't stay away
Let's just call this spade a spade. Saturday mornings are dead, maybe there's a chance if Netflix decides to make a livestream service on their site like what Shudder does, but I doubt it.
 

TZ750

New Member
It would be nice, but I don't think it would done. The stations already trying to get rid of the E/I rules because they feel that's in the way. They prefer more local news , extra sports , infomercials and etc. to having to children's TV. Sinclair even trying it is a surprise. Disney would prefer that people watch their cable channels or when that comes out go to their streaming service than try and program ABC's morning. Comcast seems focused on that 24/7 Universal kids. FOX and CBS don't seem to have a large interest in that all. CW even gave up on 2 hours for their E/i (my CW station replaced it with local news) . I think they feel that time has come and gone.
I call bull on that. Local news (as well as the national mainstream news) have declined in recent years to the point that local news casts are nothing more than news anchors goofing off on camera and talking about things that have nothing do with the news, pointless stories on things that aren't even newsworthy , abuse of the "breaking news" banner (with CNN and ABC being the biggest offender) and the fact that people no longer trust the mainstream news media and rather get accurate news from alternate media. Infomercials are nothing more failed attempt by the stations to make money with no effort and the end result is stations being repeatedly being dropped by cable and satellite providers because cable and satellite providers will not carry a stations if most of its line up is infomericals, look what happened to FOX's Weekend Marketplace, that thing crashed in burned big time which forced many of the stations to air either E/I programming , Kidsclick or reruns of sitcoms such as seinfield. Plus the fact that hardly anyone buys any of the infomericals products and such products end up in places such as Rite Aid, Dollar Tree , Dollar General, thrift stores, etc where they sit and sit to collect dust.

As far as streaming services are concerned , first of all Disney's current streaming service is basically a rebrand of their existing service same thing with CBS's All Access which is basically a rebrand of its original streaming service. And frankly all this hype of streaming is simply just that , hype. Netflix is the only streaming service that has a sigifigant amount of animated and childrens programing. Everyone else such as Disney and Comcast-Universal just using the streaming services as a dumping ground for shows that they got from mergers and buyouts and it appears the hype train is fading away starting with the demise of the KidsWB online newtork and the WB online network in 2013 and 2015, the demise of Amazons Anime Strike in 2017 (Anime Strike - Wikipedia), Butch Hartman's Oaxis streaming service being nothing but a scam and thus that thing never went anywhere and even Sinclairs streaming service is met with disappointment.

So I believe the return of Saturday Morning Cartoons is possible.
 
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Until the E/I rule is dead, so are Saturday morning cartoons. No network will be able to make a cartoon that is profitable and kids will actually watch with that rule in place. It's frankly a ridiculous rule to begin with, that should be true for public broadcasting stations only. To hold the E/I standard on commercial television is ridiculous. As long as that stupid rule exists, broadcast network kids cartoons will not.

Do you know what pisses me off most about that rule? It was supposedly put into place so that networks would air more educational programming. Instead, it simply made it financially unfeasible to air any cartoons at all. I hope Congress is happy. I must ask, who did that law actually help?
 

hobbyfan

Well-Known Member
Kids have it ingrained that school is 5 days a week. 6 if they go to Sunday School at their local church. On Saturdays, they want to be entertained. The emergence of the internet over the last 20-odd years had, for all intents & purps, negated the E/I rule, resulting in decreasing ratings for the broadcast networks.

As those networks became more dependent on their cable cousins, SatAM programming entered a downward spiral. For example, once Disney took control of ABC, their SatAM lineup was just a receptacle for repeats of Disney Channel programs that non-cable viewers hadn't yet seen, but since most of the target demos had seen those shows, it defeated the intended purpose.
 

Zorak Masaki

Well-Known Member
At best, maybe one of the digital subchannels specializing in classic tv (ie, MeTV, Antenna Tv, Decades, Laff, etc) could do a "retro" block (Retro TV did just this in the early 2010s with Filmation shows, with Dick Tracy shorts in between, but they stopped doing that eventually), but even then, they'd be VERY limited in what they could get the rights to.
 

hobbyfan

Well-Known Member
Me-TV tried it, too, for a while, but the block ran from 5-7 am (ET) just 3 or so years ago. They'd picked up He-Man, among others, and also had some Krofft shows.
 

Rabbitearsblog

Well-Known Member
It could be possible, but I think that the main reason why Saturday morning blocks were taken down was because you have cartoons airing during the weekdays now and most kids aren't going to get up at 8 in the morning to watch cartoons. Even if they did bring back Saturday morning blocks, they would have to compete with the blocks that air in the afternoons or the weekdays and the networks would probably make more money airing the cartoons or kids shows in the afternoons since most kids would be up at that time.
 

MegasMilo379

Charmed.
At best, maybe one of the digital subchannels specializing in classic tv could do a "retro" block (Retro TV did just this in the early 2010s with Filmation shows, with Dick Tracy shorts in between, but they stopped doing that eventually), but even then, they'd be VERY limited in what they could get the rights to.
RetroTV are still doing a retro SatAM block at the moment -- albeit one that replaced the Filmation library with two obscure toons from DePatie-Freling Enterprises, a way more obscure one from Canada, the Max Fleisher Superman shorts, a show that's also on Qubo and two other shows I really don't care about (most of them public domain). So yeah you're right about them being very limited about what goes on their block.

Other than that, I don't see Saturday Morning Cartoon blocks happening in this day and age. -- Although I'd be really happy if one does come about someday in the future. I mean we already have KidsClick (and RetroTV) to fill the void.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I still don't quite understand wanting Saturday Morning blocks back in a way. I can understand being nostalgic for them or for certain blocks, but the concept just seem so outdated to really work in this market. Why wait a whole week to watch a certain series when I can just watch it legally online or watch a bunch of different shows on kids channels? It's like wanting Blockbuster to come back despite how people can rent and buy movies without leaving their homes now.

I remember panicking whenever I missed a new Pokemon episode since I wouldn't be able to watch it until about a week later, assuming Kids' WB weren't doing a event week for the series. Now I can watch new episodes whenever I want On Demand. I would have been thrilled to have something like On Demand back then just so I wouldn't be stressed out over missing one episode.
 

TZ750

New Member
I still don't quite understand wanting Saturday Morning blocks back in a way. I can understand being nostalgic for them or for certain blocks, but the concept just seem so outdated to really work in this market. Why wait a whole week to watch a certain series when I can just watch it legally online or watch a bunch of different shows on kids channels? It's like wanting Blockbuster to come back despite how people can rent and buy movies without leaving their homes now.

I remember panicking whenever I missed a new Pokemon episode since I wouldn't be able to watch it until about a week later, assuming Kids' WB weren't doing a event week for the series. Now I can watch new episodes whenever I want On Demand. I would have been thrilled to have something like On Demand back then just so I wouldn't be stressed out over missing one episode.
Except the whole idea of " Why wait a whole week to watch a certain series when I can just watch it legally online or watch a bunch of different shows on kids channels" argument has turned out to be nothing but hype and wishful thinking with youtube facing numerous problems with videos being hastily taken down and the adpocalypse, the demise of other video sharing websites such as blip.tv and vid.me, the demise of steaming services such as KidsWB online network, WB online network, Amazons Anime strike in 2013, 2015 and 2017, Butch Hartman's steaming service being nothing but a scam that never went anywhere, KidsClicks streaming service being met with disappointment, CBS, Comcasts-Universal and Disney streaming services being nothing but rebrands and dumping grounds for shows they got through mergers and buyouts , Cartoon Network & Nickelodeon being on the decline, the demise of the Hub Network in 2015, not to mention people these days are ether to busy to even watch anything On Demand or don't have the money to pay On Demand.
 

Light Lucario

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Except the whole idea of " Why wait a whole week to watch a certain series when I can just watch it legally online or watch a bunch of different shows on kids channels" argument has turned out to be nothing but hype and wishful thinking with youtube facing numerous problems with videos being hastily taken down and the adpocalypse, the demise of other video sharing websites such as blip.tv and vid.me, the demise of steaming services such as KidsWB online network, WB online network, Amazons Anime strike in 2013, 2015 and 2017, Butch Hartman's steaming service being nothing but a scam that never went anywhere, KidsClicks streaming service being met with disappointment, CBS, Comcasts-Universal and Disney streaming services being nothing but rebrands and dumping grounds for shows they got through mergers and buyouts , Cartoon Network & Nickelodeon being on the decline, the demise of the Hub Network in 2015, not to mention people these days are ether to busy to even watch anything On Demand or don't have the money to pay On Demand.
On the issue of streaming sites, I was thinking more about sites like Hulu and Netflix. They may not have everything available, but people can binge watch on those sites pretty easily. There have been failed streaming services or ones that didn't go anywhere, but that doesn't mean that the method isn't working. It's just hard for a streaming service to really stand out nowadays, especially when there is the issue of having too many options to choose from.

Now there are people who are too busy to watch stuff On Demand/legal streaming services or can't afford to do so. That is rough, but in those cases, they have much bigger concerns than being able to watch Saturday morning cartoons. That's why some people have moved to just paying for digital streaming services. Paying for Hulu or Netflix is cheaper than a cable bill, so that can help some people. Even if they can't get Comcast, Netflix or Hulu, basic cable still offers kid programming every day. Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon being on decline doesn't mean that they're going to disappear. People still watch the live schedules and there are more than two other channels devoted to kids show as well. There still isn't really an advantage to having a traditional Saturday morning block in this day and age when there are still more ways for kids to watch shows everyday. Even without legal streaming and On Demand features, kids can still watch cartoons more than just on Saturday mornings.
 

Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
Can you imagine a 4 hour block like this:
There are many countries where Netflix cartoons are aired on TV, however, the cartoons always premiere on Netflix first, and then it often takes a few years to premiere on TV.

EDIT: For instance, our Netflix premiered Voltron Legendary Defender in June 2016 and Trollhunters in December 2016. Both shows premiered here on TV on April 16th, 2018. More or less the same happened in the UK, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe etc.

The other 6 cartoons on your list have yet to premiere on TV in Europe. They're too new.
 
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