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).note
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 human hostess Meme and Jelly Roll the Elephant (voice of Brad Garrett) 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"; Disney themselves claimed it was for "better brand identity", which also makes sense.) Like The Disney Afternoon before it, One Saturday Morning also garnered its own soundtrack album of musical highlights from the shows.
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 at the box office, but did well with critics. Of the main 3 from this block, only Pepper Ann did NOT get a theatrical movie.
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. Unfortunately, many of the One Saturday Morning series haven't received full DVD or even digital releases. 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 for the memories of this block.
Shows that ran on One Saturday Morning (and One Too):
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series (thirteen episodes would premiere on ABC, while the rest would be syndicated)
- Disney's Doug (which had already been running for a season before that)
- Pepper Ann
- Recess (the only show made expressly for the block to appear throughout the entirety of OSM's run)
- Jungle Cubs
- The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show (because their contract didn't expire yet, though, at the time, it was already on its last legs, as Looney Tunes cartoons were getting more exposure on The WB and on Cartoon Network, especially on Cartoon Network, where 90% of the cartoons shown were uncut and uncensored)
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh reruns (only to fill up their "edutainment" requirement; the only other show to last the length of OSM)
- Schoolhouse Rock (again, to fill out their "edutainment" requirement, though, after awhile, those got phased out)
- Science Court (not owned by Disney), retooled the following season as Squigglevision
- Hercules: The Animated Series
- House of Mouse (and its predecessor, Mickey Mouse Works)
- Sabrina: The Animated Series (created by DiC with some production by Buena Vista)
- The Weekenders
- Teacher's Pet
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
- Lloyd in Space
- The Legend of Tarzan (One Too mainly, with reruns during the last 2 months of OSM)
- Mary Kate and Ashley in Action! (created by DiC)
- Teamo Supremo
- Lizzie McGuire (reruns only)
- Even Stevens (reruns only)
- Digimon Frontier (One Too only)
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 50's educational shorts and comic books, a kid named Billy knows how things work, yet "Mr. Werks" (voiced by Disney regular Corey Burton) 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 II: Simba's Pride.
Tropes present include:
- The Announcer: For the entire run of the block, voiceovers were done over the end credits by the late ABC staff announcer Sid Doherty (carrying over from the previous, pre-Disney era Saturday Morning schedule); upon the switch to ABC Kids, generic pre-recorded voiceovers took his place, and Doherty himself retired from ABC in 2008 (possibly the last of the pre-Disney ABC staff announcers to do so).
- 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.
- 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. Same for Brand Spanking New Doug!.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The earworm-y 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.