Blame it on Captain Kangaroo. That’s the CBS version.
That means I spoke too soon, which often happens. I shouldn’t have called them the CBS News idiots. It’s more like the wimpy CBS News Idiots. Sorry for the confusion.
A fixture in the 60s and 70s, Captain Kangaroo was canceled so that CBS could invent the CBS Morning News to take on NBC’s Today and ABC’s GMA, losing to these more established shows for decades even after hiring Bryant Gumbo…sorry, Gumbel, away from Today and other genius moves like that – Gumbo who got his start on channel 4 in L.A.
Enter the Dark Ages 90s, after CBS dressed and killed the Kangaroo, the powerful children’s lobby went into attack mode, the network wimps caved in and allowed how those 3 hours a week of children’s programming was a super important priority, blah and a blah blah blah, generally on Saturday mornings.
That would have worked well in the 70s, when L.A.’s CBS station had Dusty’s Treehouse and the local ABC station had Soupy Sales – yeah right (“my wife can’t cook but she sure makes my banana cream” – children love those jokes) – and NBC had Mr. Roggin’s Neighborhood, based on PBS’ Mr. Rogers. In time, all of these shows were cancelled, replaced by, well, whatever replaced them, generally not kid-friendly stuff.
In the new environment with must-carry chldren’s stuff, all the cartoons are generally programmed on early Saturday mornings. When there’s only one Saturday college football game on CBS in L.A. , there’s enuff time to squeeze 3 hours into the time span starting at 6:30 a.m. when the children’s day begins by federal edict. But with two games, meaning football starts at 9, 3 hours of children’s sausage can’t be wrapped into 2 1/2 hours of available time.
But can’t this genuine commitment to children’s needs be pushed ahead to Sat. p.m., when dad’s polished off his first six pak and mom’s out spending his money, viewers want to know. No. L.A.’s Sports Central with the unctuous Jim Hill occupies that slot, and he’s untouchable, tho do you know anyone who really watches it or would really miss it? So all that means, programming for the kiddies gets put on between Face the Nation and the NFL pregame show, because no one wants to lose an hour of pregame.
Thus Sunday Morning viewers are left to scramble to the TV Times, put out weekly by the L.A. Times…oh, that’s gone the way of Captain Kangaroo too, thanks to Sam Zell, new owner of the Times…then the local edition of the TV Guide will surely carry the listing…oh, that’s gone the way of Soupy Sales, who’s now in a wheelchair, currently TV Guide is a celebrity driven glossy with zero attention given to local shows.
Sorry to say, if you don’t have the Internet, you lose.