Networks Juggle Saturday Morning TV Lineups

From United Press International

Watching kidvid on Saturday mornings next season, remember--you heard it someplace else first.

The three networks have revealed their new series for next year, which are animations of everything from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" on CBS to Roseanne Barr's childhood on ABC, with a strong rock beat from NBC.

In the process, nine shows have been dropped from the Saturday morning schedule. NBC will no longer broadcast "Alf," "Smurfs," "The Karate Kid" and "Kissyfur." CBS has eliminated "The California Raisins," "Dungeons and Dragons" and "The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy," while ABC parts with "Gummy Bears," "Weekend Specials" and "Animal Crackups."

The market involved is not chopped marshmallows. Brandon Tartikoff, president of NBC Entertainment, said in emceeing his network's presentation to advertisers that the 36 million children who spend Saturday morning in front of the tube also have about $7 billion in allowances, gifts and odd-job pay--and influence their parents' purchases of $70 billion worth of goods.

The new NBC shows are:

"Rick Moranis in Gravedale High." Half-hour series features the voice and animated image of Moranis as a dedicated teacher who becomes headmaster of a high school for monsters.

"Kid 'n' Play." The half-hour animated comedy was inspired by the rap duo from the hit movie "House Party."

"The Boys Next Door" (working title). In this live-action half hour, five teen-age boys pirate the airwaves to broadcast their own music and sketch comedy show from the basement of their California home.

"Saturday Videos" (working title). Celebrity guest hosts will present the music videos aimed for a younger audience.

"Inside Stuff: The Entertainment Magazine of the NBA." The half-hour show will feature the best plays and players in the National Basketball Assn., with a strong behind-the-scenes and off-court focus.

The new ABC shows:

"The Wizard of Oz." The Wicked Witch has been magically reincarnated so that Dorothy, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow can overcome her.

"The New Kids on the Block." The hot musical group stars in a half-hour series in which each episode opens with live-action music before switching to animated adventure.

"Little Rosey." Roseanne Barr stars in the animated story of her life at 10.

The CBS newcomers:

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Each hourlong show will present two new adventures of the heroes on the half shell.

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures." The stars of the hit kids' movie, Alex Winter (Bill) and Keanu Reeves (Ted) will recreate their roles as the voices of the time-traveling teen-agers in this animated series.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World