10 Most Game-Changing Developments in the TV Industry

Saturday Cartoons
"The Flintstones" aired in prime time, a rare exception to the typical Saturday-morning cartoon slot. ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

It's not just the kids of today who love TV. As early as 1951, television had 27 hours of children's programming [source: Museum of Broadcast Communications]. Just like radio, action-adventure series such as "Lassie" and "Sky King" were popular. Puppets, too, were all the rage with "The Howdy Doody Show" and "Kukla, Fran and Ollie." Early kids' shows were typically one-half hour episodes shown in late afternoon and evening slots. By the mid-1950s, Saturday mornings had become "kid time."

However, during the '60s, most other children's programming died when animated series appeared. It was about dollars; animation was far cheaper to produce than live action. Cartoons were created using an assembly line format. Characters were brought to semi-life with limited and simple body movements. With few exceptions, Saturday morning became the "go-to" television time for kids. "The Flintstones," an animated series about civilized cavemen and their families, debuted on Friday nights in 1960. But yabba-dabba-do-not mistake this for a children's show. This primetime cartoon was intended for families.