Fall Preview Flashback: Amazing Stories From 1985

Amazing Stories

Amazing Stories is one of those rare shows that I can remember both me and my Dad both liking.  And let me tell, you, that was not an everyday thing.  We never really had much common ground where TV was concerned in those days.  Now, after I grew up, we had a lot in common, but back in ’85, this was it.

We’d watch this every Sunday night in the basement of the house I grew up in, and I can remember a lot of the time we’d have a nice cozy fire going in the fireplace.  It’s memories like that that inspires this whole blog, so I’m happy to share this look at the show via the TV Guide Fall Preview issue from that year.

TNT A Whole New Network Ad From 1988

TNT

Oh man, I can remember when TNT fist launched back in 1988.  I don’t why, but I was overly-excited about it coming to cable TV.  At that point in time, I had no interest in old movies like Gone With the Wind, so it must have been the allure of the cartoons along with The Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock that had me amped up.

I know that once it launched, I was tuned into it every weekday evening.  They showed a block of Looney Tunes cartoons from 6pm to 7pm I think, and then followed that with Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Show.  I can’t remember which one of those were at 7, and which one was at 7:30.  I just remember that two-hour block being my go-to every day.

Can any of you fill in that detail for me as to which one was on at which time?  And how many of you remember when TNT launched, and what memories of it do you have?

Friday Five: New Year’s Eve Countdown’s

In this week’s Top 5, I’m bringing you five of the best New Year’s Eve Countdown shows from throughout the ’80s and ’90s.  I remember sitting up late all by myself in my bedroom watching these as they happened.  Somehow, I felt like I was a part of something even if I was all alone.  So if this year’s selection of countdown shows doesn’t do it for you, just pull up one of these old gems and watching it instead!

1990 Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve

MTV Big Bang ’89 New Year’s Party

Read more

Saturday Morning Cartoons of 1985

Saturday mornings in 2019 are a far cry from the Saturday mornings of 1985.  Hell, it’s been that way since the late 1990’s when the networks started phasing out their cartoon lineups in favor of other programming on Saturdays.  I’m not sure what caused the change unless it was the fact that cable television was a staple in most homes by that time.  But one thing I do know, Saturday mornings in the ’80s and early ’90s were the bomb for kids.  All three of the big networks stuffed their Saturday morning lineups with some of the best cartoons ever produced, and we ate them up!

We all had our favorites, and we all had the ones we weren’t fond of.   Channel hopping was commonplace for us kids on Saturday mornings as our favorites were usually spread across all three networks.  And back then, that took a little effort.  I had to keep getting up to change the channel between shows because I don’t remember having a television with a remote control until the late ’80s.  Not that it really mattered though because it was worth the effort to get to the cartoon I really wanted to watch.

Let’s take a look at the Saturday morning cartoon lineups from 1985 and talk about what our favorite offerings were!

1985 NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons

NBC unleashed a pretty swank lineup in 1985 with a lot of cartoons that are still enjoyed to this day.  It may not have been evident at the time, but The Smurfs would go on to become a powerhouse for the next 34 years, and will probably continue to be one for still a long time to come.  Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears debuted in 1985 and was one of the slickest looking shows on any of the networks.  Alvin and the Chipmunks went on to be another powerhouse in the pop culture world, and Mr. T was near his zenith, so his Mister T cartoon was flying high at this point as well.  It’s Punky Brewster was piggy-backing off the success of the live action prime time show on NBC, and The Snorks was a Smurfs clone that went on to moderate success of its own.  Kidd Video and One to Grow On were minor hits in their own right, and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends helped to capture the young comic books fans to round out the block.

Watch this short commercial where NBC is pimping some of their shows for the coming Saturday Morning:  1985 NBC Saturday Morning Cartoons Promo.  Commercials like that used to get me pumped up for the coming Saturday morning.

1985 CBS Saturday Morning Lineup

CBS countered with a decent lineup of their own.  They were banking on the mega-popularity of the World Wrestling Federation and Hulk Hogan in 1985 and made Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling the cornerstone of their 1985 lineup.  Much like NBC and the Smurfs, CBS had a powerhouse in their midst with Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies cartoon, and the Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show featured iconic characters that had been bankable for years.  The Berenstain Bears were well known to kids everywhere since most kids had read, or at least heard, a lot of their stories from the popular books, so this looked like it could have been a big hit for them.  Dungeons and Dragons was on the tongue of most kids in this time frame due to the popularity/taboo of the game.  The Wuzzles, CBS Story Break, and The Young Astronauts rounded out the lineup.

Read more