Where I’m Coming From – Part 4

To wrap up this segment – I’ll cover the rest of the networks that air, or used to air, cartoons and live action kids shows here in Canada.

TVO – Mostly for preschoolers, although they do air some shows for older kids. Most famous for their long running children’s series Polka Dot Door, and its spin-off Polka Dot Shorts. Other notable kids shows included Téléfrançais, Join In!, Today’s Special, and airing the popular British series Art Attack. Cartoon wise it’s most notable for airing the oldest anime I’ve ever viewed thus far, Fables Of The Green Forest. They still air a lot of animated programs today.

Global – Used to air such great cartoons on weekdays and Saturday mornings, but sadly no longer do. I remember as a kid waiting to go to school, and I’d flip on the television and usually watch something on Global or Fox (mostly Global would copy what Fox aired sometimes). There isn’t much online resource when compiling its history of aired animated shows (as with CTV), but they did air some great ones like Care Bears, Beetlejuice, My Pet Monster, Dennis The Menace, and The Smoggies. They aired Inspector Gadget for years until it was finally taken off their network sometime in 2006 (I believe, it could have been earlier). They also aired Babar, Dog City, Ovide And The Gang, Ewoks, and the classic Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show. Does anyone but me remember the live-action show Kideo (a.k.a. Kids Can Kock And Roll)? These days Global mostly airs news and fishing programs where they used to air their cartoons.

CBC – Most famous for airing the cult 80’s toon The Raccoons, and airing kids favorites such as Under The Umbrella Tree, Fred Penner’s Place, Mr. Dressup, and Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Elephant Show. They still air a lot of animated programs today.

CBC French – I’ve only discovered in recent years what great cartoons they air on Saturday and Sunday mornings. They may be in French (either dubbed or originally produced), but you get a good taste of what shows are popular in Europe, and get to view many programs that have never been dubbed in English, like Titeuf for example. For most cartoons I view on this network, I can still somewhat make out what’s going on in an episode without actually understanding the language.

ABC – Used to air a great set of cartoons on Saturday mornings, like Sonic The Hedgehog, Reboot, Bump In The Night, and was the home of Disney’s One Saturday Morning – something I watched all the time. Its crown jewel of kid’s shows was the long running Schoolhouse Rock series. These days its ABC Kids Saturday morning lineup is mostly comprised of (horribly lame) live-action Disney Channel shows.

CTV (CKCO) – Again, used to air a great lineup of shows, but no longer do (mostly CTV would copy what ABC aired sometimes). It had great kids shows like Camp Cariboo (someone must remember that show), Wonder Why? (I know there was some spin-off from this show, or perhaps this was the spin-off from another show, I can’t remember now), Owl TV (which still airs on the network Saturday mornings at 6am), and also aired the cult classic Canadian series You Can’t Do That On Television. For the longest time it always aired The Flintstones everyday at noon. In recent years, like Global, its Saturday morning lineup is full of boring news programs. There really is no point in getting up early to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings anymore – because there aren’t any left.

CTV (CFTO/BBS)Reading from Wikipedia I’m even confused of what section of CTV this is and or was, although I’m sure CFTO-TV was Toronto’s first private television station, and eventually became an affiliate with CTV. It used to air the Canadian edition of Romper Room (I was on that show), but I never really paid any attention to it until 1994 when it became part of the Baton Broadcast System, which at the time was a subsystem within the CTV network. Are you still lost? Because I am, moreover the fact I saw a BBS bumper on Youtube and it said CKCO-TV. So whatever, I guess someone else can make sense of this mess of stations and substations (weren’t the 80’s and 90’s a mess like that?). Anyway, the station was called BBS, and on Saturday mornings it aired some shows CKCO did, as well as its own special block of Disney’s newest animated shows at the time called BBS Master Control; something I swear no one remembers but me, and I’d give anything to see clips from this block which was hosted by former YTV PJ, Jenn Beech. The network eventually dissolved into CTV in late 1997, and the block aired until 1999 with new host Melyssa Ade until CTV began airing Disney’s One Saturday Morning as a simulcast (seen at the same time) from ABC.

CBS – Used to air great programs on Saturday mornings like Garfield & Friends, Beakman’s World and CBS Storybreak, along with Muppet Babies, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Weird Al Show, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and The Twisted Tales Of Felix The Cat. From 2002-2004 they aired various Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. programs, and then turned it over to all Nick Jr. from 2004-2006. They still have a Saturday morning block today – but it pails in comparison to what they used to offer.

NBC – Used to air great programs (see a trend here?) on Saturday mornings as well such as The Smurfs, Alvin & The Chipmunks, Super Mario Bros Super Show, and many others. They still have a Saturday morning block today, although the programming is a hit and miss. The hits are both imported from Canada – Jacob Two-Two and Jane And The Dragon.

Fox – Used to air cartoons on weekday mornings (anyone remember U’s Place…was that the name? The host was a guy along with a talking television), as well as a great Saturday morning lineup with Animaniacs, The Tick, Bobby’s World, Eek! The Cat, and the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, along with various other imports like the French series Space Goofs. It was a good outlet for Warner Brothers’ animated properties during the early to mid 90’s. From 1999-2001 Fox incorporated more anime into its Saturday morning lineup, eventually making the whole block nothing but anime by 2002 and airing nothing but terrible English dubbed and heavily edited properties from 4Kids Entertainment. This sadly still continues today.

PBS – Has a wealth of great and long running kid’s shows and cartoons. Who didn’t watch Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Shining Time Station or Lamb Chop’s Play-Along? You also watched Barney & Friends too, just shut up and admit it. I also remember watching Ghostwriter and Bill Nye The Science Guy as well. For animation, their claims to fame are the Magic School Bus series and long running series Arthur, which is still in production since its debut in 1996. The network still airs many of its children’s shows today.

TLC – Yes, I’ll even give this network a mention, as they have been running a Saturday morning kids block of programming since the 80’s (but not very well known). Its shows are mostly borrowed from other networks, but it’s the only place where you could see the 80’s stop motion British series Postman Pat. It was only recently I discovered they aired Hey Arnold!, which stands out as one of the few US produced shows that used to air in the block as most of the other shows were Canadian or from other parts of the world. It also aired the Spanish series The World Of David The Gnome, as well as the live-action kids show Pappyland. It appears however, that this network has followed suit as well, and no longer has animation on Saturday mornings.

More information about these networks can be found on Wikipedia. Take a look at some older Saturday morning schedules from networks here and here. I also discovered the same Youtube user I mentioned in the previous post has another account full of old shows and various other content from Canadian television. If there is one trend that is painfully obvious after compiling this post – it’s that major networks these days don’t air cartoons as much as they used too (moreover on Saturday mornings), and only stations that specialize in that field (like Teletoon, YTV, etc) still air animation actively today. Who knew that come the turn of the new millennium, we would lose so many trusted sources for viewing animation in Canada.


April said...

So funny I found your page. I was just looking for clips of Kideo. I remember them very very well. My mother works for a Parenting organization and they would put on a Kideo concert every single year. Wow, that brings back memories. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED LOVED LOVED BBS Master Control.. I would love to see it on youtube as well.