Thursday, September 3, 2015

Looney TV: The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show (1986)

ABC reacquired Bugs Bunny in 1985, as his 2nd run at CBS had come to an end. However, that season, his show was billed as The Bugs Bunny-Looney Tunes Hour. Tweety and Speedy Gonzales were MIA, and in Speedy's case, 4 years removed from his NBC run, it might be where the PC Police decided to banish him to cable. No one's really sure why Tweety was left out, as Sylvester appeared in shorts with Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Hippety Hopper, and Sylvester, Jr., which had kept him busy.

The next year, with network tentpoles from Hanna-Barbera (Super Friends & Scooby-Doo) having been dropped, Tweety was finally brought aboard, hence the title change to The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show, which would remain in effect, in either half-hour or hour-long increments, for the next 14 years. As was the case at CBS during two runs (1968-71, 1975-85), the anthology package had a fluid format in terms of time. Time Warner's acquisition of WB in the late 90's, around the same time Disney bought ABC, would lead to the end of the series, and the end of Bugs' broadcast TV run after an astonishing 40 seasons, 2 in primetime, once the contract ran out in 2000.

In 1988, the familiar theme, "This Is It", was reinstated, having not been used since the end of the CBS run. This open comes from 1992.

Cartoon Network would try an expanded block under the Bugs & Daffy and Looney Tunes labels early in the aughts, but now, scheduling depends on programmers' preferences.

Rating: A.


SaturdayMorningFan said...

The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Hour (later Show) was my introduction to the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, and it remains my favorite way to watch them. The Vaudville style presentation just suited the cartoons beautifully, and I loved it even though I was completely unfamiliar with Vaudville at the time. That show was the main reason I was glued to the TV set every Saturday morning of my childhood. All of the other Saturday AM shows ranged from poor to pretty good, but The Bugs Bunny-Roadrunner Show was what I was there for. The biggest mistake WB ever made was making them exclusive to CN and withholding them from the networks. That killed their popularity and it doesn't look like they will ever recover. I remember looking for WB cartoon VHS tapes at a yard sale about 11 years ago, and asking the 10-year-old child watching the booth if he had any Bugs Bunny tapes. He ran over to his dad and asked "Who's Bugs Bunny?" I was shocked and saddened, I hadn't realized until that moment just what WB had really done to their (former) cartoon stars that had been consistently popular for over 60 years!

hobbyfan said...

OMG! Oh, that's so sad to read. You'd think a timeless set of icons like Bugs, Daffy, Porky, et al, would be enduring enough that today's kids would know them, but CN has them so bamboozled with all the dreck that passes for comedy aimed at them (i.e. Teen Titans Go, Uncle Grandpa), they don't know what real comedy in cartoons is.