Saturday morning preview specials

Saturday morning preview specials were aired on television annually to present previews of each network's fall lineup of Saturday-morning cartoon children's programming. Like for their new prime time counterpart shows, television networks in the United States and Canada would film a preview special for the fall season. These would often air as part of the regular network schedule, or be made available to their affiliates for airing at any time, especially to fill timeslots which contained programming canceled months before.


The Saturday morning previews were generally aired on the network in prime-time, usually the Friday night before the new schedule began. Specials were staggered between differing time slots and days in order to allow each network's show to stand out.

The preview specials are usually hosted by stars of one or more of the network's popular series and feature an array of special guests, with the continuity between each program preview being fictionalized with a small plot or theme to keep viewers interested. The previews were for new and returning series, with each preview featuring the show's opening credits and a scene from that program. They also unveiled a network's new imaging for Saturday morning programming.


Hanna-Barbera Productions created a half-hour syndicated film called "Here Comes a Star" (1964) with Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera playing themselves promoting its newest series, The Magical Gorilla Show. The program, hosted by You Bet Your Life announcer George Fenneman, offered an inside look at the animation studio and a peek at the upcoming feature, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear. The first network preview special was The World of Secret Squirrel and Atom Ant (1965), a 60-minute special airing on NBC in primetime to celebrate Hanna-Barbera's first animated series made for Saturday morning television.


CBS, which had only irregularly carried preview specials, aired its last in 1985. The other two major networks continued near-annually. NBC's last was in 1991, as by 1992, the network had abandoned cartoons in favor of its teen sitcom block TNBC. ABC continued an annual Saturday preview special as part of its TGIF block through the 1990s, finally ending the practice in 1999, TGIF's last year in its original form.

4Kids Entertainment aired preview specials sporadically for its two blocks, FoxBox and The CW4Kids. Neither Fox Kids nor Kids' WB continued the practice as an annual tradition, though both had aired one-off preview specials in the 1990s.

Because the preview specials incorporated clips from a variety of sources with cross-platform licensing, it was legally impossible to sell them in syndication packages or release them on home video or streaming services.[1]

Year-by-year guideEdit


  • 1964 - Here Comes a Star (hosted by George Fenneman) promoting The Magical Gorilla Show


  • 1969 - Super Saturday Cartoon Preview (hosted by the cast of the Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Jonathan Frid from Dark Shadows)
  • 1971 - The Brady Bunch Visits ABC (hosted by The Brady Kids from The Brady Bunch)
  • 1972 - The Brady Bunch Meet ABC's Saturday Superstars (hosted by The Brady Kids from The Brady Bunch)
  • 1973 - Sneak Peek (hosted by Avery Schreiber and Jack Burns)
  • 1974 - Funshine Saturday (hosted by Lee Majors from The Six Million Dollar Man)
  • 1975 - Funshine Saturday (hosted by Jim Nabors and Ruth Buzzi from The Lost Saucer)
  • 1976 - Sneak Peek (hosted by Jimmy Osmond)
  • 1977 - All-Star Saturday (hosted by Kaptain Kool and the Kongs)
  • 1978 - All-Star Saturday (hosted by Jimmy McNichol and Kristy McNichol)[1]
  • 1979 - Plastic Man and ABC Saturday Morning Sneak Peek (hosted by Michael Young) - Due to a cartoonists' strike delaying show premieres, this special aired over two weeks before the plugged season debuted, and a second preview special, The Plastic Man Preview Hour, aired on Saturday of the following week.[1]
  • 1982 - Pac Preview Party (hosted by Dick Clark)[1]
  • 1983 - Preview Special (hosted by Dick Clark)[1]
  • 1984 - Saturday Morning Preview Park (hosted by "Weird Al" Yankovic)
  • 1985 - Saturday Sneak Peek & Fun Fit Test (hosted by Tony Danza)
  • 1988 - (hosted by cast of Mr. Belvedere)
  • 1989 - Perfectly Strange Saturday Morning Preview (hosted by cast of Perfect Strangers)
  • 1990 - ABC Saturday Morning Preview (hosted by Roseanne Barr and cast of Family Matters)
  • 1991 - (hosted by cast of Family Matters)
  • 1992 - ABC Sneak Peek with Step by Step (hosted by cast of Step by Step)
  • 1993 - ABC Saturday Morning Preview Special (hosted by cast of Hangin' with Mr. Cooper)
  • 1994 - Whole New Level of Fun (hosted by cast of Boy Meets World)
  • 1995 - Saturday Morning Jam Preview Special (hosted by Gary Owens, Marquise Wilson, Raven-Symoné and Zachery Ty Bryan)
  • 1996 - Saturday Morning Preview Party (hosted by Melissa Joan Hart)
  • 1997 - One Saturday Morning (hosted by Charlie, played by Jessica Prunell)
  • 1998 - One Saturday Morning on Friday Night (hosted by Meme, played by Valarie Rae Miller and Salem of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
  • 1999 - One Saturday Morning on Friday Night (hosted by Meme, played by Valarie Rae Miller)




The WBEdit

The CWEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Mangels, Andy (August 2020). "Saturday Morning Preview Specials Part Two: 1978-1983". RetroFan. United States: TwoMorrows Publishing (10): 31–42.
  2. ^ Scheimer, Lou (2012). Creating The Filmation Generation. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-60549-044-1.
  3. ^ "It's a Saturday Supercade Fun Fun Fun!".
  4. ^ Rock 'n' Wrestling Saturday Spectacular at IMDb
  5. ^ "Saturday Morning Video Fare To Be Previewed". The Rock Hill Herald. 1 September 1973.
  6. ^ The Bay City Rollers Meet the Saturday Superstars at IMDb
  7. ^ Back to Next Saturday at IMDb
  8. ^ Alvin Goes Back to School at IMDb
  9. ^ Alf Loves a Mystery at IMDb
  10. ^ "PJB Digital Artistry".
  11. ^[dead link]
  12. ^ "'What's Inside the FOX BOX?' Find Out in the Half-hour Special Sunday, Sept. 1, On FOX". Archived from the original on 2019-04-27.
  13. ^ The Fight for the Fox Box at IMDb

External linksEdit