The Colorful Downfall of Saturday Morning Cartoons

Tom Blank of Weird History explains the colorful downfall of Saturday Morning Cartoons, noting the early history of animation, how color animation became popular, and its explosive entry into the children’s market between the 1960s and the 1980s.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, cartoons dominated kids’ early Saturday TV schedules. Most people probably can’t recall when this long-running, popular tradition stopped because cartoons gradually phased out of their lives as they aged. …Profitability, changing viewing habits, and even legislation played a part in the eventual extinction of blocks of animated programming from weekend airwaves.

Also adding to the extinction was around the clock cartoons on Nickelodeon, the upsurge of VOD (Video on Demand) services, FCC regulation, and the introduction of Netflix in 1998 and Hulu in 2007.

With these services, network programming became even less influential as kids could now watch whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. Adults also started to move away from traditional TV as they turned to streaming.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.