ABC Saturday Morning Advertisement, Circa 1969

The Fall 1969 ABC Saturday morning “Super Saturday” line-up kicked off on September 6th at 8AM with quite a few new programs. All of the returning shows were just repeats of episodes originally produced for past seasons. The New Adventures of Casper the Friendly Ghost (aka The New Casper Cartoon Show) was in its last season on ABC and aired only repeats from the 1963-1964 season as well as film shorts. Here’s the full schedule:

  8:00AM – The New Adventures of Casper the Friendly Ghost
  8:30AM – The Smokey Bear Show (New)
  9:00AM – The Cattanooga Cats (New)
10:00AM – Hot Wheels (New)
10:30AM – The Hardy Boys (New)
11:00AM – Sky Hawks (New)
11:30AM – The Adventures of Gulliver
12:00PM – Fantastic Voyage
12:30PM – American Bandstand

A two-page advertisement for Super Saturday on ABC line-up from Gold Key’s Walt Disney Mickey Mouse #123 included all of the above with the exception of American Bandstand which, to be fair, did not fit well with the rest of the animated fare. The issue had a cover date of November 1969 but likely came out in August. Click on the image for a larger version:

Scan of a color advertisement for ABC's Fall 1969 Saturday morning line-up
Advertisement for the Fall 1969 ABC Saturday Morning Line-up
Copyright © Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1969

And here’s an advertisement for ABC’s Super Saturday Club, which cost just fifty cents. The membership kit included an official membership card, a newsletter, coupons, a button, decals and stick-ons, a poster, a stamp album and more. Click on the image for a larger version:

Scan of a color advertisement for ABC's Super Saturday Club
Advertisement for ABC’s Super Saturday Club
Copyright © Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1969

Was anyone reading this a member of the ABC Super Saturday Club? Do you still have your official membership card?

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23 Replies to “ABC Saturday Morning Advertisement, Circa 1969”

  1. Comic books were [and some still are, these days] usually published about three months before the “street date” featured on the cover; therefore, if one was dated “November”, it was published and distributed that August…just in time for, say, a TV network to promote their Saturday morning schedule in a two-page “spread” ad (note ABC’s ad specifically points out the debut date for their new schedule is “September 6″th: how could they “sell” a September premiere if the comic book had actually been issued that November?).

    In any case, this ad was the direct result of Fred Silverman’s wildly successful promotion, in major comic books, of CBS’ Saturday “superhero” schedule in the fall of ’66 [see the above exhibit]. As a savy programmer for the network {and the fact that he THOUGHT like a kid, knowing exactly what THEY wanted to see}, he knew kids read comic books- and what better platform to promote his Saturday morning schedules? Soon, ABC took a look at what their rival was up to, and began buying space in comic books to promote THEIR Saturday schedules as well…

    Sure, I remember this ad. I watched “CATTANOOGA CATS”…but that was about it; the rest of my Saturday morning viewing was CBS’ schedule (including “DASTARDLY & MUTTLEY IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES”, “THE PERILS OF PENELOPE PITSTOP”, “SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?”, “THE ARCHIE COMEDY HOUR” {introducing “Sabrina, the Teen-Age Witch”}, etc. Like I said, Fred Silverman KNEW what kids wanted to see!). Repeats of “Motormouse and Autocat” (along with “It’s the Wolf!”) were “spun-off” from “CATTANOOGA” into their own half-hour series the following season.

    “HOT WHEELS”, produced by the same animation team that brought you the syndicated “ROGER RAMJET” several years earlier, got into trouble with the Federal Communications Commision because they correctly observed that it was primarily a half-hour “commercial” for the show’s primary sponsor, Mattel Toys. They’d already struck down repeats of “LINUS THE LIONHEARTED” from ABC’s schedule the previous season because that series’ characters were featured on Post cereal boxes [through sponsor/owner General Foods], and that was in violation of the FCC’s recent ruling that “a cartoon character and/or live-action host cannot directly pitch and/or appear in commercials tied into the sponsor’s product(s)”. So, the minute-long “HOT WHEELS” opening title and some of the sequences featuring the cars were officially “logged” as “commercials”, and Mattel [and the network] sustained it for two seasons (the second season consisted of repeats) before ending it in 1971.

    “AMERICAN BANDSTAND” really wasn’t a part of the Saturday morning line-up, yes, but teens stuck around to see it…Dick Clark held court at 12:30pm(et)- sometimes at 1- through the summer of 1987. By THEN, ABC decided to to scuttle it because younger executives finally realized it didn’t “fit in” with the rest of the schedule…

  2. …A side note about the Cattanooga Cats part of that comic book ad: the ad was based on an early concept sketch of what the Cats were first intended to look like. Hence “Country” looking more like his original inspiration source, a Cream-era Eric Clapton. “Kitty Jo” was also originally intended to look more like Grace Slick, and there was even a ‘5th member”, Cheesie, who was supposed to a mouse who was their manager. The show ended up getting whittled down and “refined” in a really short period of time so as to get it on the air as quickly as possible; it was H-B’s attempt to milk the same goldmine it had struck paydirt the previous season with The Banana Splits, using the same formula but dumping any and all things live-action. Unlike the Splits, the Cats only did about half as well in the ratings, which was enough to give it a “second season” during the Sunday Morning Community Access Ghetto hours the next season, and give Autocat and Motormouse a rerun/spinoff series.

    …The ironic bit about the FCC’s attack on Hot Wheels is that the ratings on the cartoon weren’t as blockbuster as ABC or H-B had expected, and even Mattel later admitted that they couldn’t really see any increase in already skyrocketed sales on the cars being due to the “30-minute commercials”. It should also be noted that despite the bitchings by that worthless skank Peggy Charren and her pathetic ilk at ACT, a couple of do-gooder watchdog groups did praise the show for adding short segments that acted as PSAs for safe driving habits – even if the target audience was anywhere from 8 to 10 years away from getting their learner’s permits!

  3. Hanna-Barbera didn’t produce “HOT WHEELS”, ‘OM’- Kenneth C.T. Snyder {“Ken Snyder Properties”} did, with animation by Pantomime Pictures [as I’ve said, they also got together to produce “ROGER RAMJET” for syndication in the 1965-’66 season]. I’ve seen a spring/summer 1971 network repeat on YouTube (via 16mm black and white film), and there wasn’t ONE ad for Mattel or “Hot Wheels” during the entire program {Mars Candy, Stuckey’s, Nabisco, General Mills’ Kenner Toys division and Shasta Cola were the participating sponsors}; they’d already given up on the show.

  4. …My recollection of H-B having *something* to do with it comes from a con panel featuring Alex Toth, where he discussed the design behind the show a bit. I haven’t seen the damn cartoon in 40 years myself, so I’m going from recollections of it being a H-B production and not a Snyder venture.

    …Another side note detailing how little Mattel really had insofar as input goes is that, save for the “Jack Rabbit Special”, *none* of the car designs from the toy line were featured in the show, even as a cameo. In fact, the JRS came about because someone at Mattel decided that *some* sort of tie-in was needed, even though the show didn’t even have the same logo as the toy line, and that one tie-in didn’t happen until after Uncle Charlie decided to bow and kowtow to the parents groups who were doing all the bitching. The irony is that despite the show’s lackluster ratings, the JRS was the best selling car of the line for that year, and wasn’t even officially part of the line, having been produced and released as a “one-off”.

  5. Sorry, OM. I got the habit of adding “quotation marks” by replying to people’s “handles” on YouTube. There MIGHT have been a preliminary deal with Hanna-Barbera to produce “HOT WHEELS” (with Alex Toth as preliminary designer), but either they had their hands full with producing too many new Saturday morning series that season- “DASTARDLY AND MUTTLEY IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES”, “THE PERILS OF PENELOPE PITSTOP”, “SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU?” and “THE CATTANOOGA CATS”- or it was decided “HOT WHEELS” needed a cheaper production outfit (and Ken Snyder was among the more “inexpensive”- he also produced “SKY HAWKS” for ABC’s 1969-’70 Saturday morning schedule as well).

    By the way, the artwork for the ABC ad was drawn by Jack Rickard, one of MAD magazine’s key artists at the time [I recognized his style the minute I saw it, especially the girls’ faces in “THE HARDY BOYS” and “SKY HAWKS” renditions].

  6. …Ah, if not an official confirmation, at least a second opinion. I’ve suspected Rickard was the artist for that ad, but never came across anything to confirm it officially.

    …As for Snyder doing Hot Wheels, could this have been a case where H-B farmed out the work? Again, I need to see an ep of this again, along with the closing credits, just to settle the matter once and for all.

  7. You can see the episode I saw on YouTube, credits and all, OM {“Hot Wheels cartoon Show, Part 1/2/3 of 4”}. Nowhere are Hanna-Barbera’s names to be seen- it was a Snyder production. And (I know YOU know this, but other posters might not), keep in mind that Rickard did freelance work, as some of MAD’s other artists did, while being monthly contributors…

  8. …No, I’m pretty certain it’s Rickard’s work. Clarke was similar, but from what I can discern it appears to be Rickard’s.

  9. If Alex Toth did the character designs for Hot Wheels, it was a freelance project that he worked on outside of HB. He did not have an exclusivity deal with HB, so he could have worked anywhere.

  10. Ok, I have been searching for this for years now….and I’ve been on youtube forever trying to find it…but i want to see the actual TV advertisement for this season! All I can remember is “Super saturday on ABC…Smokey the Bear is on TV…!” I want to hear the song!!! Please help me find it!!

  11. Educational commercials in beteween cartoons, Pronunciation of vowels and phonics. . . Really obscure. . . What was the name of that and can I find it on youtube

    1. Are you thinking of ABC’s SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK? That started in Jan. 1973 and continued with new segments produced into the 1990s. It had different segments called “Multiplication Rock” (times tables for different numbers, and another song about “Zero, Our Hero”), “Grammar Rock” (songs about each of the 8 parts of speech, though the song for prepositions was created much later around 1993, and other 1993 song about subjects & predicates), “History Rock” (about history & historical events), “Science Rock” (about various scientific subjects), and finally segments about computers that were tried in the 1980s. If SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK is what you want, I’m sure you can find lots of parts of it on YouTube, at least to the extent that ABC & the show’s producers (which came from an advertising background) allow.

  12. I recall a similar cartoon ad promoting NBC’s Saturday morning lineup from 1972-73, and I think I have the ad in an old comic digest that I have (or had) somewhere. I remember that year having the most favorites for me from NBC. My favorite of that group was THE BARKLEYS (a family of dogs where the dad is a bus driver – echo of Ralph Kramden, but he acted like Archie Bunker, at least as much as a Saturday morning cartoon could allow). I’ve purchased a DVD set of both THE BARKLEYS and THE HOUNDCATS (also from 1972-73 on NBC). Both of these were DePatle/Freleng (DFE) Productions (best known for the Pink Panther in all his variations). I also liked ROMAN HOLIDAYS (a HB production set during the time of the Roman Empire) and UNDERDOG (in his 9th & last season of NBC reruns) that year. Mark Arnold, in his book about DFE, had a B&W print of this ad and pointed out that the ad’s version of THE BARKLEYS was very “off-model” (looked very little like the actual cartoon characters).

  13. I moved from Illinois to Missouri when school started in ’69, but I remember seeing Saturday morning before I moved a promo commercial for cartoon lineup featuring Hot Wheels. I can’t find a video clip, but as best as my memory serves, the lyrics were:
    Hot Wheels are running wild, race cars are coming into style, running through a world of joy, leading into the Hardy Boys- Anybody remember that?
    62 in Missouri

    1. I remember!

      I found this page while looking for the same clip. And I have the same song l stuck in my head! I believe that it started with “Ja-ba-da, ja-ba-da, say ja-ba-da! Cattanooga Cats are in the groove”. Then something like, “they’re going to make you smile, going to make you groove”.

  14. I Didn’t Like The Kenner Bird And The Big G General Mills,They Scared Me For More Than 50 Years Since December 11,1967.

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