Saturday morning cartoon

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Saturday morning cartoons were a type of animated cartoon, characterized by short duration, simple plotline, an appeal to a younger audience, and relatively unsophisticated production values - the typical Hanna-Barbera or Looney Tunes show. Such cartoons were often scheduled for the Saturday morning timeslot when the target audience of children would be watching, hence the name. Funny animal characters were often a staple of the genre, appealing to early furry fans in their youth. Fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog TV series that aired on ABC from 1993 to 1995 shorten the term to SatAM to differentiate it from other cartoons featuring the famous character that aired during the same time period, most notably Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which aired on weekday afternoons.

Saturday morning cartoons first appeared in the mid60s when networks realized that they could concentrate kids' viewing on that one morning to appeal to advertisers. Studios such as Filmation Associates and Hanna-Barbera Productions, were quick to provide early furry hits such as Huckleberry Hound, Tom and Jerry and Yogi Bear, to name a brief few. By the late 60's and mid-70's, other furry favorite cartoons had sprung up such as Josie and the Pussycats, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Gummi Bears, Muppet Babies, Scooby-Doo, ALF: The Animated Series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Looney Tunes, and Tom and Jerry, to name but a brief few.

However, by the late 80s, Saturday morning cartoons began to lose popularity due to various factors, such as the rise of first run syndication animated programs, which usually had a greater artistic freedom, looser standards not mandated by a network and higher production values. Also contributing was the rapidly growing popularity of anime around this time, causing less interest in American-made cartoons. Cable television networks, such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, began providing entertainment throughout the week, making Saturday mornings just another morning.

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