Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Literary Toons: CBS Storybreak (1985)

ABC's Weekend Special had been on the air for 8 years when CBS finally decided they wanted a show like that.

CBS Storybreak, however, lacked the staying power of Weekend Special, as it lasted a grand total of 8 years over two runs (1985-8, 1993-8). Like Weekend Special, Storybreak aired at lunch time, but some CBS affiliates were reluctant to carry the show at first, believing they would be better served continuing to collect ad revenues for themselves for airing syndicated programming.

Bob Keeshan, given an opportunity to do something other than Captain Kangaroo, served as host for the first run, which would mark the end of his 30+ year association with CBS. When the series returned in 1993, actor Malcolm Jamal-Warner (The Cosby Show) replaced Keeshan, and taped new intros and bumpers.

Hanna-Barbera's Australian studio produced the animation, as sister company Ruby-Spears was a primary supplier for ABC's Weekend Special. Notice how NBC stayed out of the fray?

Anyway, I never did see Storybreak, so there won't be a rating. We'll serve up an adaptation of Sandy Clifford's The Roquefort Gang, featuring the familiar voices of Len Weinrib, Maurice LaMarche, and John Stephenson, among others.

2 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I see you're not nutty about CBS Storybreak as well. Me neither. It definately wanted the new rival to ABC's offering but couldn't quite hit it for me. Especially when it was reran in the 90's and the show was "Open Captioned", meaning the captions that would've been used by the hearing impared thorugh closed captioning was already superimposed on the screen during the broadcast, which made it redundant! I suppose I was more spoiled on the Weekend Specials' penchant for going over a half-hour on some stories so there were often 2-parter episodes to watch (meaning you had to wait another 7 days to find out).

Like Weekend Special, Storybreak aired at lunch time, but some CBS affiliates were reluctant to carry the show at first, believing they would be better served continuing to collect ad revenues for themselves for airing syndicated programming.

Like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I'm serious, it seemed like every CBS affilate had an excuse to dump out of a cartoon for that show! I recall a CBS station dumping out of Bakshi's Mighty Mouse for that.

Bob Keeshan, given an opportunity to do something other than Captain Kangaroo, served as host for the first run, which would mark the end of his 30+ year association with CBS.

And it was probably a consolation since they didn't give Keeshan one more year to air his Captain Kangaroo program before cancelling it in '84. It would've been a better swansong to end it on it's 30th year on the network but CBS didn't plan it that well.

Hanna-Barbera's Australian studio produced the animation, as sister company Ruby-Spears was a primary supplier for ABC's Weekend Special.

Funny when I thoght the Aussie studio did decent Weekend Special installments like the 3-parter Secret World of Og. I actually waited those Saturdays to see what happened next!

Notice how NBC stayed out of the fray?

Probably for a good reason.

hobbyfan said...

One YouTube poster incorrectly ID'd Secret World of Og as a Storybreak episode, but as you and I know, it was a Weekend Special 3-parter. I may bring that up some time.