CBS' notion of presenting an animated "Garbage Pail Kids" TV show on Saturday morning has been junked, probably permanently, the network announced Tuesday. CBS spokeswoman Janet Storm said the kids' show, based on the bizarre trading cards, has been removed from the network's fall schedule.
Vociferous opposition to the proposed show--made known to the network and to Topps Chewing Gum Inc. (the manufacturer of the trading cards) through parents' action groups and letter-writing campaigns--plagued the series from the start. Storm said the show had been "harshly prejudged" by parents who had seen or heard of the "Garbage Pail Kids Movie," which opened Aug. 21 and quickly disappeared from movie theaters.
"The movie (released by Atlantic Releasing Co.) had nothing to do with the show," Storm said Tuesday. "I don't know whether the film had anything to do with our decision. That decision was completely internal."
Coincidentally, arriving Tuesday at The Times simultaneously with the CBS announcement was a protest letter from the National Federation of Decency in Tupelo, Miss., relating the fact that RJR Nabisco, McDonald's restaurants and Binney & Smith (the makers of Crayola crayons) had informed the group they did not plan to advertise on the "Garbage Pail Kids" TV show.
But Storm asserted that sponsor pressure (or non-participation) had nothing to do with the decision. "(CBS' division of) Entertainment isn't in the habit of backing off of controversy. But the show, which we began and developed, just wasn't working out as we had hoped."
Storm said the absence of "The Garbage Pail Kids" on the fall schedule--it was set to follow "Pee-wee (Herman)'s Playhouse" at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays--will be filled by schedule-juggling and by lengthening "Jim Henson's Muppet Babies" by 30 minutes; the program will now run from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturdays.