One Saturday Morning

Monday morn, wake up time,
Get to work and stand in line
What would make you feel real fine?
One Saturday Morning!

The other cartoon block of the 1990s to be created by Disney.

The year is 1997, The Disney Afternoon was running its last leg and dropped the branding, and Disney had bought out ABC two years prior and revised their Saturday morning line-up (notably dropping Sonic Sat AM and Reboot in the process). Peter Hastings, a former writer of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, had just fled to them from Warner Bros. out of his frustration with the Executive Meddling happening to the latter cartoon, so he was put in charge of coming up with a new Saturday morning block for ABC. The idea he came up with (as seen in the block's intro sequence) was that the weekdays are represented as buildings, and the building for Saturday is a special one, where it is like "five hours of summer once a week", according to the theme song (ironically, most of the cartoons created for the block would tend to take place at school due to an FCC regulation calling for more educational programming for children and most TV writers thinking this means, "Let's make animated kids-in-school sitcoms"). It was called Disney's One Saturday Morning (the "one" being the building's address number). This also marked the first time ABC's kids programing had an overall theme since the 1970s (with the "Funshine Saturday" brand); otherwise, the block mainly had the famous claymation bumpers used from 1988 to 1993, when they were replaced with bumpers themed after one of the series airing (the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons had Bump in the Night, while the 1995-96 season had What-a-Mess); the 1996-97 season, which served as the transitional period, had bumpers with the toy soldiers from Toy Story and also marked the arrival of several Disney-sourced programs, including Doug (see below) and The Mighty Ducks.

One Saturday Morning was the name of not only the block, but also a two-hour live action hosting show whose hosts, and format, were tweaked from season to season; the name came from the address the giant building where the hosting segments originated, a giant mechanical "1" with vaguely Steampunk-ish elements. Early on, virtual sets were used to portray the interior of the building; soon, most of the action was moved onto the Televator, wherein Meme and Jelly Roll could ascend or descend to different levels depending on the segment or program. This was where episodes of three of the block's most prominently featured shows (newcomers Recess and Pepper Ann, and Disney's Retooled version of Doug) were presented. It was also home to many interstitial segments shown between the programs, listed below. The hosts and interstitials disappeared from the block in late 2000.

In spite of being filled with more E/I content than any of the other Saturday morning blocks (and pointing it out by having some guy say "Illuminating Television" over each show's intro sequence), One Saturday Morning was a very popular block, managing to stay on ABC for five years; this was thanks to the clever writing and strong characterization of the series it aired. In its third season, a companion block was added in the form of Disney's One Too, which ran on UPN as a replacement for their own "Kids" block (in spite of being a corporate sibling to a competitor, though the time may have been given to Disney due to UPN's President at the time, Dean Valentine, having formerly been a Disney executive) on both weekday afternoons and Sunday mornings. (The weekday block was originally going to be called Whomptastic, but they probably changed it to the more fitting name probably because it would not make sense to name a block after the Recess-made Unusual Euphemism for "suck".) Like The Disney Afternoon before it, One Saturday Morning also garnered its own soundtrack album of musical highlights from the shows (but confusingly, it was only released on cassette, and unlike its predecessor, it has never been made available on iTunes; copies of this cassette are extremely rare).

Three of its shows became feature films: Doug's 1st Movie (originally intended for a Direct-to-Video release), which, while doing well in the box office, bombed with critics; Recess: School's Out, which was by far the most successful movie of the three; and Teacher's Pet (the only show from 2000-2003 to get a movie), which bombed in the box office and did well with critics.

One Saturday Morning aired its final broadcast on September 7, 2002, after which it was replaced by ABC Kids, which started off pretty strong, but quickly degenerated into nothing but Disney Channel sitcom reruns which aired with a very odd "film" effect over them (and were laughable in actual E/I content) and Power Rangers (which itself degraded to butchered versions of the nearly-twenty-year-old Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers); which were many times pre-empted by some station groups with actual educational shows. That eventually got the axe in Fall 2011 when Disney decided to move its kids' shows exclusively to its then-numerous cable networks, and was replaced with a block of E/I programs called Litton's Weekend Adventure, run by Litton Entertainment instead of Disney. Most of the Litton shows are of the animal show variety, or have a No Budget feel, though thankfully the infamous "Litton look" of their earlier cheaper efforts is gone; Litton also began to control CBS's Saturday morning block at the start of the 2013-14 season, and in the Fall 2014 season, they took over The CW's block (ironically under the name One Magnificent Morning). One Too, meanwhile, lasted until the end of the 2002-03 season, but due to the name change for the Saturday block, the One Too brand was dropped and the block was unbranded (though Disney's website called it Disney's Animation Weekdays); the season also saw the English dub of Digimon Frontier air on the block due to the elimination of Fox Kids, as well as on ABC Family; this iteration didn't get good ratings and the series wouldn't have new eps until 2007's Data Squad.

Meanwhile, most of the shows featured on the block went into syndicated reruns on the Disney Channel and Toon Disney, until the latter channel having since been replaced with Disney XD. Sabrina: The Animated Series was also rerun on DiC/Cookie Jar's CBS Saturday morning blocks from 2007 until early 2011. 101 Dalmatians: The Series was reran on Disney Channel, but at 4:00 AM (as part of Disney Junior (for whatever reason, as it's not a preschool show at all) for a short time in early 2011). Recess was rerun on Disney XD for a short time in October 2011. It's not the same anymore.

Apparently, Disney has not removed its site from their servers yet, and it hasn't been updated since 2003. Check it out here
Shows that ran on One Saturday Morning (and One Too):

Interstitial segments from the block's first three seasons included:
  • Mrs Mungers Class - Conversations between the titular teacher and her students are presented as Flash-animated yearbook photos.
    • Centerville - A semi-spinoff that replaced Mrs. Munger's Class after its cancellation. It uses the same art style as Munger, but takes place around the titular Centerville instead of a class yearbook and the characters speak in tune to a drum beat.
  • What's the Diff? - Two slightly identical stills from one of the shows featured on the block are presented, and viewers have to count the differences between the two pictures.
  • How Things Werk- Presented as a parody of those 50's educational shorts, a kid named Billy knows how things work, yet "Mr. Werks" then shows up with a nonsensical explanation (ie: elevators are operated not by cables, but by giant invisible retirees).
  • Tube Dwellers - The continuing adventures of two guys named Bob working in your TV.
  • Manny the Uncanny - Starring Paul Rugg exploring things.
  • (Genie's) Great Minds Think for Themselves - The Genie from Aladdin presents facts about inventors and other notable historical figures. Notably, Robin Williams voices the character once again.
  • How Much Stuff Could an Elephant Crush? - Exactly What It Says on the Tin, featuring Jelly Roll.
  • Find Out Why - Hosted by Timon and Pumbaa, these segments involved Pumbaa asking Timon a question, starting as "Timon, ever wonder why/how/what___?" (Usually, "Why do we sneeze?" "How is thunder caused?"), with Timon answering something outlandish to the question. Pumbaa then explains about the said subject. A few of these were released on the special edition DVD of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride.

Tropes present include:

  • Artifact Title: To an extent. "One Saturday Morning" was not only based on fact, but it was also the address of the building where the hosting interstitials took place. In September 2000, those segments were dropped and the block didn't have any hosting at all.
  • Channel Hop: Because The Weekenders, Teacher's Pet, Lloyd in Space, and Teamo Supremo were renewed before the switch to ABC Kids, new episodes of the shows would end up being aired on Toon Disney.
  • Conspicuous CG: The intro, and even over fifteen years later, it is awesome!
  • Expy / Follow the Leader: Centerville for Mrs. Munger's Class.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you looked at the "Illuminating Television" bug when Winnie The Pooh was on, the hand that pulled the lightbulb chain was Pooh's, rather than the normal human hand.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The earwormy theme song borrows a tune from an Appalachian folk-song called "That's What You Do With Baby", which suggests unkind things to do "with Baby" if Baby doesn't settle down.
  • Irony: The theme song states the block is "Five hours of summer once a week". Almost all of the shows are about school.
    • This got worse during the actual summer months. No they did not change the theme.
  • Novelization: No, seriously. At least three chapter books were published containing adaptations of episodes of Recess, Pepper Ann, and Doug, as well as some of the interstitials.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in Tube Dwellers; both of the characters are named Bob. And then there was King Bob from Recess....
  • Retool: In September 2000. The short segments and hosting interstitials were dropped, a different and shorter version of the theme tune replaced the original (also replacing the visuals; this time having characters from The Weekenders (who were replaced with the characters from Teamo Supremo in 2002), Recess, and Teacher's Pet interacting with live-action kids in a live-action field (characters from Lloyd in Space were added in 2001)), and the "one" in the logo changed design.
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: All their shows prior to 2000, when most of the shows from 2000-2002 ended with thirty-nine episodes or less. Almost averted with Recess, as ABC wanted to order more episodes after the initial sixty-five, but Disney declined.
  • Theme Naming: "One Saturday Morning" is the name of the fictional address, and based on fact.
  • Totally Radical: Somewhat.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Recess was their number-one show, to the point where they would always advertise it more than the other shows...even after it ended production.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: A kinda-sorta version: during the block's early years, when Bugs Bunny and Tweety was on, the bumpers would not refer to the block's name, and the graphics would show the logo minus the "Disney" script logo mounted to the flag perched atop the logo; obviously this was to prevent legal issues. A similar thing was done during One Too; when Sabrina: TAS aired, the bumpers would lack the Disney logo.