The 1980s was the beginning of the end for Filmation Studios ... sort of. For, while their Saturday morning fortunes began to fade and eventually disappear, their successes turned to the burgeoning syndication market. It was there, starting in the early 1980s, that the studio introduced us to a sword-wielding warrior who became an animated legend.
Unfortunately, the studio's success in syndication would be a small, but powerful, blip for the two-decade old company. By the end of the 1980s the studio would fade into memory as the company was broken up and its talent moved onto bigger and better things.
If the 1960s was a decade of birth for Filmation, the 1970s was a time where it skipped childhood and moved straight into the role of responsible adult. With somewhere in the area of 30 programs airing during that decade, the team of Lou Scheimer, Hal Sutherland and Norm Prescott became big players on Saturday mornings. Not only that, but the trio helped usher in a number of genres that would become staples for both their own productions and those of the other studios as well.
If that weren't enough, the 1970s saw Filmation dabble into something that had come and gone on the Saturday morning schedule since the 1960s: live-action series. Combining comedy, drama and special effects, the studio produced an number of shows that provided a lot less cheese than the live-action series of, say, Sid & Marty Kroftt.
Last time on Saturday Morning we took a look at the ABC schedule for the 1972-73 season. This time around, we are looking at the lineups for CBS and NBC.
As mentioned in the previous post, the way that the Saturday morning schedule shaped-up during 1972 was due, in part, to the way that then Saturday Morning programmer for ABC, Michael Eisner, decided to infuse it with a bit of primetime philosophy. The result for the other two networks was a schedule that featured more movie-like and variety-based cartoons as well as animated fare that emulated the primetime hits of that day. In addition, some primetime talent was brought onto Saturday mornings to help jumpstart the educational fare that had slogged along during the last two years. By combining primetime personality with animated programming the networks introduce a new genre of program into the mix.
I always love to see artists create their own versions of classic characters. It's like watching a musician cover someone else's song. Anyway, Saxton Moore recently posed a challenge on his blog where he asked artists to draw their own versions of their favorite characters from Fat Albert, and you can see the results here. This illustration of Dumb Donald is hands down my very favorite. Actually, all of the drawings and paintings are really well-done, but if you want to see something really cool, check out this painting of Homer Simpson done for an issue of Esquire by artist Roberto Parada back in 1999. It's fascinatingly disturbing.
[via Boing Boing]
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