Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
After 40 years of national broadcasts, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will be removed from PBS' weekday program service this fall. The current situation is that PBS beams the show to member stations as part of its children's programming block Monday through Friday. Most (63%) stations air it. Starting in the fall, PBS stations won't receive the show daily but rather one episode per week will be sent. This summer, PBS stations that still want to play the the show during the week will have an opportunity to receive a season's worth of episodes to stockpile. But receiving and scheduling those episodes requires effort. [more inside]
A Requiem for Mr. Rogers got me thinking about the TV shows that spoke to me as a child. Captain Kangaroo was there and Mr. Dressup was always great. But for me, no one surpassed The Friendly Giant and "Look up. Look way up!" still makes me feel warm and safe. I did not have PBS available as a child but my sons did and for them Mr. Rogers was a favorite as was TVO's Today's Special with Jeff Hyslop's manikin who came to life each night. Who spoke to you via TV as a child? Parents, who is speaking to your children on TV these days?
Mr. Rogers Dead. Fred Rogers of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" died of stomach cancer at age 74. To be honest, his was never my personal favorite PBS kid's show growing up (I preferred off-brand shows like "Zoom" and "3-2-1 Contact"). But my appreciation for him when I was an adult was pretty high. Anyway, it's a sad day in the neighborhood.