ABC Weekend Special is a weekly 30-minute American television anthology series for children that aired Saturday mornings on ABC from 1977 to 1997 which featured a wide variety of stories that were both live-action and animated. Similar to both ABC Afterschool Special and The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, the ABC Weekend Special differed in that it was primarily aimed at younger viewers following ABC's Saturday-morning cartoon lineup, whereas the ABC Afterschool Special was known for its somewhat more serious, and often dramatic, storylines dealing with issues concerning a slightly older teen and pre-teen audience.
With the debut of the ABC Weekend Special, some of the early ABC Afterschool Specials that had been targeted towards younger viewers were subsequently repackaged and re-run instead as ABC Weekend Specials.
|ABC Weekend Specials|
Main title card
|Genre||Saturday morning anthology|
|Starring||Cap'n O. G. Readmore|
|Theme music composer||Tommy Leonetti (1977–90)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||17|
|No. of episodes||132|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Original release||September 10, 1977 –|
August 30, 1997
1979–1981: Michael Young served as host of the series for two seasons.
1981–1984: Willie Tyler and his dummy Lester took over as the new hosts of the series, appearing in an opening segment introducing that week's episode as well as an ending segment wrapping up the show and often recommending the book that that week's episode had been based on.
1984–1989: The puppet character Cap'n O. G. Readmore took over as host of the series, along with Jon "Bowzer" Bauman. The character also starred in five animated episodes of the show, as well appearing in animated Saturday morning PSAs encouraging children to "read more".
During the series' tenure on Saturday Mornings, ABC Weekend Specials had three main opening title sequence packages, all of which included storybook/literary elements and characters in varying forms.
January 29, 1977–August 1990
|The Pop-Up Book
The original opening, designed and animated by Rick Reinert Studios, consisted of a stack of books on a library desk accompanied by a rhythmic disco theme tune in the background. A larger book in the middle of the display (with the show's title printed on the cover) magically opens, with the ABC logo printed on the first page. Various figures from literature and intertitles pop up from out of the book. The intertitles read Children's Novels for Television and Short Story Specials respectively. The series title "blossoms" into view at the end of the intro.
This was the longest running umbrella sequence in the show's broadcast history.
September 1990–September 1994
|Reading is Magic
With a new decade comes a new visual sequence and theme song. For this package, Weekend Specials combined computer animation with live action elements, as neighborhood kids discover the wonders of reading with a turn of a page and a little bit of magic. When the enchanted books are open, the readers become part of the story...from cowboys to undersea explorers to cave kids. One of the books (with the series title printed on the cover) magically grows and flips open, with Cap'n O. G. Readmore ushering the readers for fun and adventure.
This opener was animated by San Diego-based American Film Technologies, with key animation by comic book artist Terrie Smith.
September 1994–August 30, 1997
|Adventures in Reading
During the mid-1990s, the graphics package was again updated. This CGI opener takes place back at the library, where we pan through a row of books. The camera stops at a book with the ABC Circle signature printed on the side. The logo then magically pops out and grows arms and legs and leaps to a book on a nearby desk. It opens the book and dives into an array of worlds and universes inhabited by letters! The Circle figure fights off combatants at a medieval castle, swings a vine in the jungle and flies through the solar system in its spacecraft. The Circle figure ends its journey on the front cover of a book with the show's title beside it.
The closing sequence varied over the years. In the 1970s and 1980s, a short version of the theme played as a bookmark floats into view, gently landing in the closing Pop-Up Book. An intertitle fades in: Recommended by the National Education Association. The latter title was used until c. 1983.
Listed by original airdate; however, many of the episodes were put into heavy rotation, continuing to air in reruns for years after their original airdate.
|1||Valentine's Second Chance||1977.Jan.29||ABC Circle Films||A safecracker (Ken Berry) receives a second chance at freedom when he risks arrest to open a time-locked safe to save the life of a young boy named Joe Willie (Sean Marshall).|
|2||The Haunted Trailer||1977.Mar.26||Sharon (Lauren Tewes) and Mickey (Monie Ellis) are teenage sisters who discover that their motor home is haunted by four pesky male ghosts and join forces in their efforts to rid their home of the unwanted guests.|
|3||My Dear Uncle Sherlock||1977.Apr.16||A 12-year-old amateur sleuth (Robbie Rist) teams with his detective uncle (Royal Dano) to find the culprit who robbed a wealthy old recluse.|
|4||Homer and the Wacky Doughnut Machine||1977.Apr.30||Homer, a mechanically-inclined young boy (Michael LeClair), invents an automatic doughnut making machine to help save his uncle's (David Doyle) faltering coffee shop.|
|5||The Winged Colt||1977.Sep.10||ABC Circle Films||(Part 1) Uncle Coot, a former movie stuntman and ranch owner (Slim Pickens) and his nephew Charles (Ike Eisenmann) become the owners of a colt born with wings.|
|6||1977.Sep.17||(Part 2) Uncle Coot refuses to believe the colt can fly, but Charles is convinced that it will.|
|7||1977.Sep.24||(Part 3) When the winged colt disappears again, Charles goes in pursuit and runs into an old hermit (Keenan Wynn) who claims he has seen Comet fly.|
|8||The Ransom of Red Chief||1977.Oct.22||Two inept con men (Jack Elam and Strother Martin) kidnap a financier's son – a mischievous boy who calls himself Red Chief (Patrick Petersen) – and request a large ransom for his return, but the boy turns the tables on his captors.|
|9||Portrait of Grandpa Doc||1977.Nov.05||Phoenix Films||A young artist (Bruce Davison) prepares a tribute to his loving grandfather (Melvyn Douglas), a man who encouraged him to pursue his dreams.|
|10||Trouble River||1977.Nov.12||Martin Tahse Productions||(Part 1) A young boy (Michael LeClair) and his grandmother (Nora Denney) ride a makeshift raft down a dangerous river to escape from a group of renegades.|
|12||Tales of the Nunundaga||1977.Nov.26||20th Century Fox||(Part 1)|
|14||The Escape of a One-Ton Pet||1978.Jan.07||Tomorrow Entertainment||(Part 1)|
|17||Soup and Me||1978.Feb.04||ABC Circle Films||The misadventures of two friends, Soup (Christian Berrigan) and Rob (Shane Sinutko) during one October day: skinny dipping in a chilly pond, dressing up as girls to avoid a bully and destroying a Halloween party with an out-of-control baby carriage carrying a giant pumpkin.|
|18||The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy||1978.May.06||Ruby-Spears||Petey the puppy (voiced by Todd Turquand) goes through a series of harrowing adventures as he sets out to the city to adopt a boy of his own.|
|19||The Seven Wishes of Joanna Peabody||1978.Sep.09||Learning Corporation of America||Joanna Peabody (Star-Shemah) is granted seven wishes by Aunt Thelma, a wise fairy godmother (Butterfly McQueen) who appears on Joanna's TV screen. Joanna squanders a few wishes before she learns the value of sharing.|
|20||The Contest Kid and the Big Prize||1978.Sep.16||ABC Circle Films||Harvey Small, a 12-year-old boy (Patrick Petersen) enters a contest and wins first prize: the services of a butler named Hawkins (John Williams) for one month.|
|21||If I'm Lost, How Come I Found You?||1978.Sep.30||(Part 1)|
|23||The $1,000 Bill||1978.Oct.28||An insecure insurance salesman (Donny Most) asserts his independence by telling off his boss and quitting his job when he finds a large sum of cash and later discovers he possesses counterfeit 1,000 dollar bills.|
|24||Little Lulu||1978.Nov.04||Little Lulu (Lauri Hendler), the mischievous little girl with big goals, and her girlfriends crusade for women's rights when the boys object to the fact that their summer camp, Whackadoo, has become co-ed.|
|25||Soup for President||1978.Nov.18||Soup (Christian Berrigan) runs for school president against Janice Riker (Mary Margaret Patts), the toughest kid in school.|
|26||Weep No More, My Lady||1979.Feb.10||Ruby-Spears||Skeeter (voiced by Jeremy Lawrence), a young Mississippi boy, adopts a courageous dog named My Lady and together they challenge the dangers of a scary swamp when they are both held prisoner by a vengeful man.|
|27||The Horse That Played Centerfield||1979.Feb.24||(Part 1) The N.Y. Goats baseball team have not won a game yet, but manager Casey Balloo (voiced by John Erwin) has a brainstorm – he sends in Oscar, a horse who is very good at catching oranges – to catch flys in center field and figures that the team's playing will improve. Oscar manages to lead the Goats to victory.|
|28||1979.Mar.03||(Part 2) With Oscar as a permanent team member, the Goats make it to the World Series. When the Goats win the first three games, Oscar is suddenly "horsenapped" and everyone sets out on a wild hunt to rescue him before the Series is lost.|
|29||The Baby with Four Fathers||1979.Mar.31||D'Angelo/Bullock/Allen Productions||In 1946 New York City, four 11-year-old boys (Al Billera, Patrick Piccininni, Albert Ferrara, Eric Gurry) encounter problems when they find an abandoned baby girl and decide to "adopt" her.|
|30||The Puppy's Great Adventure||1979.May.12||Ruby-Spears||Petey (voiced by Bryan Scott) is determined to prove he is an individual when his new owner is adopted by parents who do not like dogs.|
|31||The Big Hex of Little Lulu||1979.Sep.15||ABC Circle Films||Little Lulu (Lauri Hendler) uses a fortune teller, pickle-flavored ice cream and her active imagination in a scheme to convince her friend Tubby (Kevin King Cooper) to donate money for uniforms for the neighborhood hockey team.|
|32||The Contest Kid Strikes Again||1979.Sep.22||Harvey the contest kid (Patrick Petersen) wins a flock of chickens and uses them to help his friend Hawkins (Alan Napier) out of a financial predicament.|
|33||The Girl with ESP||1979.Oct.20||Laura Hoffman (Rachel Longaker), a seemingly average young girl, suddenly finds her world turned upside down when she discovers she can envision events a few minutes into the future.|
|34||The Ghost of Thomas Kempe||1979.Nov.03||(Part 1) The ghost of a 17th-century sorcerer gets 12-year-old James Harrison (Shane Sinutko) into trouble when the boy refuses to become his apprentice.|
|35||1979.Nov.10||(Part 2) Irish handyman Bert Ellison (Garrett O'Connor) volunteers to help James lure the ghost of Thomas Kempe back to its resting place.|
|36||The Incredible Detectives||1979.Nov.17||Ruby-Spears||A trio of pets – Reggie, a bulldog (voiced by Laurie Main); Madame Cheng, a Siamese cat (voiced by Marlene Aragon); and Hennessy, a crow (voiced by Frank Welker) – join forces to rescue their kidnapped master.|
|37||The Revenge of Red Chief||1979.Dec.15||ABC Circle Films||Two drifters (Jack Elam and Noah Beery Jr.) again face Red Chief (Patrick Petersen), the boy who enjoys being kidnapped, who becomes a part of their scheme to sell a fake rain-making machine to a drought-stricken town.|
|38||The Puppy's Amazing Rescue||1980.Jan.26||Ruby-Spears||Petey (voiced by Bryan Scott) and Dolly (voiced by Nancy McKeon) have to outwit poachers, a hungry bear and a hawk to rescue their humans from an avalanche while celebrating Tommy's birthday at his parents' mountain cabin.|
|39||The Gold Bug||1980.Feb.02||Highgate Pictures||A young boy (Anthony Michael Hall) joins an ex-slave (Geoffrey Holder) and a treasure hunter (Roberts Blossom) in a wild search for Captain Kidd's buried gold.|
|41||The Trouble with Miss Switch||1980.Feb.16||Ruby-Spears||(Part 1) Rupert Brown (voiced by Eric Taslitz) and Amelia Daley (voiced by Nancy McKeon) are classmates who discover that their teacher, Miss Switch (voiced by Janet Waldo), is a witch with a magical talking cat named Bathsheba (voiced by June Foray).|
|42||1980.Feb.23||(Part 2) Miss Switch and Bathsheba fly to Witch Mountain with Rupert and Amelia in their plan to stop the wicked witch Saturna (voiced by June Foray), who has condemned Miss Switch and taken control of the Witches' Council.|
|43||Scruffy||1980.Oct.04||Ruby-Spears||(Part 1) Scruffy (voiced by Nancy McKeon) is a lovable puppy struggling to survive in an unfamiliar world where she loses loved ones, battles fiendish foes and learns the value of loyal friends.|
|44||1980.Oct.11||(Part 2) Scruffy – frightened and freezing – returns alone to the big city and finds an affectionate new master, a ragged but regal Shakespearean street performer named Tibbles (voiced by Hans Conried).|
|45||1980.Oct.18||(Part 3) Scruffy meets a tough bulldog named Butch (voiced by Michael Bell) who takes her to join his family of strays who have set up a canine commune in an abandoned station wagon.|
|46||Arthur the Kid||1981.Jan.03||ABC Circle Films||Three bumbling outlaws (Marvin Kaplan, Graham Jarvis, Charles Hyman) who advertise in the Medicine Bow Gazette for a "boss" have their careers redirected when a spunky 10-year-old named Arthur (Dennis Dimster) applies for the job.|
|47||Zack and the Magic Factory||1981.Jan.10||(Part 1) Zack and Jenny (Jim Gatherum and Olivia Barash) are two young people who combine their talents to operate a magic shop.|
|48||1981.Jan.17||(Part 2) Zack uses a little magic to save his aunt's (Jane Withers) magic-making factory from the wrecking ball.|
|49||Mayday! Mayday!||1981.Jan.24||(Part 1) Lou Parker (Don Fenwick) and his family are forced to make a crash landing in the High Sierras. With both parents trapped in the plane's wreckage, young Allison (Heather McAdam) and Mark (Brad Savage) set out alone to find help.|
|50||1981.Jan.31||(Part 2) The prospects of rescue become increasingly dim as Allison and Mark struggle to elude a pack of wild dogs and encounter a rattlesnake ready to strike.|
|51||The Puppy Saves the Circus||1981.Sep.12||Ruby-Spears||Petey (voiced by Sparky Marcus), after suffering a memory loss, finds fame as a performer, which saves the fortunes of a struggling family circus.|
|52||The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County||1981.Sep.19||ABC Circle Films||A modern adaptation of the short story by Mark Twain about a young scoundrel (Billy Jacoby) who plots to win a frog-jumping contest at all costs.|
|53||Bunnicula, the Vampire Rabbit||1982.Jan.09||Ruby-Spears||After a family adopts an abandoned baby rabbit, Bunnicula, mysterious happenings lead the family cat Chester (voiced by Howard Morris) and dog Harold (voiced by Jack Carter) to suspect their new peer is a vampire.|
|54||Miss Switch to the Rescue||1982.Jan.16||(Part 1) When Amelia (voiced by Nancy McKeon) is kidnapped by Mordo the warlock (voiced by Hans Conried), Miss Switch (voiced by Janet Waldo) returns to help Rupert (voiced by Eric Taslitz) rescue his friend.|
|55||1982.Jan.23||(Part 2) Saturna the wicked witch (voiced by June Foray) is the real power behind this diabolical plot. Amelia begins to fade away and vanishes – a disappearance Miss Switch knows will be permanent, unless Amelia is rescued by nightfall.|
|56||The Joke's on Mr. Little||1982.Feb.06||ABC Circle Films||An unusual school teacher (Richard Sanders) uses a little creativity to out-trick an inventive pair of pranksters (K.C. Martel and Georg Olden).|
|57||The Haunted Mansion Mystery||1983.Jan.08||Scholastic Productions||(Part 1) Angel Wilson (Tristine Skyler) and her neighbor Billy (Christian Slater) embark on a quest to investigate the mystery surrounding an old mansion haunted by an old miser.|
|59||The Red Room Riddle||1983.Feb.05||Hightide||Two youngsters (Billy Jacoby and Nicholas Gilbert) are trapped in an eerie haunted mansion by a ghost (Christian Hoff) who tells them that to escape, they must solve the riddle of the red room.|
|60||Horatio Alger Updated: Frank and Fearless||1983.Feb.12||ABC Circle Films||(Part 1)|
|62||All the Money in the World||1983.Mar.19||A 13-year-old boy (Nyles Harris) gets three wishes from a leprechaun (Dick Beals), and wishes for all the money in the world. He then learns about the real-life ramifications of such a wish.|
|63||The Secret World of Og||1983.Apr.30||Hanna-Barbera||(Part 1) Five young siblings – Penny, Pamela, Peter, Patsy and Pollywog (voiced by Marissa Mendenhall, Noelle North, Josh Rodine, Brittany Wilson and Julie McWhirter) – journey to the underground magical and mysterious world of Og, which is inhabited by small green people.|
|64||1983.May.07||(Part 2) The children and their pets continue their journey through Og. Penny and Pollywog are jailed by Og's little green town sheriff (voiced by Hamilton Camp).|
|65||1983.May.14||(Part 3) The children attempt to escape in a straw boat from an angry mob of Og people.|
|66||Cougar!||1984.Jan.07||ABC Circle Films||(Part 1) A young boy, Albie (Matthew Vipond) and his sister Sarah (Kim Hauser), stranded on an island, are confronted by a hungry cougar and a pair of kidnappers.|
|67||1984.Jan.14||(Part 2) Albie and Sarah see their hopes for rescue dim when they are approached by two evildoers (Angus MacInnes and Wayne Best).|
|68||1984.Jan.21||(Part 3) Albie and Sarah triumph over their kidnappers, the elements of the wild and a raging river.|
|69||The Dog Days of Arthur Cane||1984.Feb.18||Martin Tahse Productions||(Part 1) A full moon and an amulet are responsible for the transformation of selfish teenager Arthur Cane (Ross Harris) into a shaggy dog.|
|70||1984.Feb.25||(Part 2) Arthur, who has been transformed into a dog, gets a new outlook when he befriends a blind guitarist (John Scott Clough).|
|71||A Different Twist||1984.Mar.10||Scholastic Productions||When movie star Phil Grey (Peter Gallagher) does a production of Oliver with boys only, 12-year-old Christi (Allison Smith) disguises herself as a boy to get into the show.|
|72||The Amazing Bunjee Venture||1984.Mar.24||Hanna-Barbera||(Part 1) Karen (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) and Andy (voiced by Robbie Lee) are accidentally transported back to the year 100,000,000 B.C. in their father's time machine. Trapped in the Age of Dinosaurs, the kids confront surly cavemen and are also rescued from a pterosaur by a lovable, orange-haired creature with an inflatable trunk named Bunjee (voiced by Frank Welker).|
|73||1984.Mar.31||(Part 2) Karen and Andy return to the modern world with Bunjee, who is hardly ready for civilization and soon a couple of Bunjee eggs hatch into pure prehistoric pandemonium.|
|74||Bad Cat||1984.Apr.14||Ruby-Spears||Bad Cat (voiced by Bart Braverman) is a lively cat who sets out to prove that a feline does not need to be tough to have class.|
|75||Henry Hamilton, Graduate Ghost||1984.Dec.08||Brookfield Productions||(Part 1) Henry Hamilton (Steve Nevil) is a ghost who has graduated from Spiritual Specter University and gets his first haunting assignment.|
|76||1984.Dec.15||(Part 2) Henry Hamilton teaches members of a modern-day family to believe in themselves and in their dreams.|
|77||The Bollo Caper||1985.Feb.02||Rick Reinert Productions||Bollo (voiced by Michael Bell), a leopard brought to New York to be made into a fur coat, manages to escape to Washington to try to get Congress to declare him an endangered species.|
|78||The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf||1985.Feb.23||Scholastic Productions||(Part 1) Walt Cribbens (Knowl Johnson) is a teenager who transforms into a wolf-boy form for two minutes at a time and has no idea why he is a werewolf; he decides to seek answers with the help of his best friend Cindy (Julia Reardon).|
|79||1985.Mar.02||(Part 2) Walt and Cindy's quest is complicated by a series of local robberies that throw suspicion on Walt.|
|80||The Return of the Bunjee||1985.Apr.06||Hanna-Barbera||(Part 1) Bunjee (voiced by Frank Welker), Karen (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) and Andy (voiced by Robbie Lee) must use the time machine once again and set out on an adventure to find a mother for the Bunjee babies.|
|81||1985.Apr.13||(Part 2) Bunjee, Karen and Andy are transported back to medieval times where they must go through the obstacle of facing off against a malevolent sorceress and a three-headed dragon; eventually, they find a mother who also becomes Bunjee's mate named Bunjana and the kids return home to modern times.|
|82||The Velveteen Rabbit||1985.Apr.20||Robert (voiced by Josh Rodine) is convinced that his toy rabbit is real. When he contracts scarlet fever, the rabbit is considered the cause of the illness and ordered to be burned. He is saved from "death" by a fairy, who turns him into a real rabbit.|
|83||The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn||1985.Sep.07||ABC Circle Films||Constance "Con" Sawyer (Drew Barrymore) and "Huckle" Mary Finn (Brandy Ward) are featured in a female version of Mark Twain's classic tales of youthful innocence and adventure.|
|85||Jeeter Mason and the Magic Headset||1985.Oct.05||Highgate Pictures||Jeeter Mason (Kim Hauser) is a 10-year-old girl who possesses a magic moon rock (voiced by Nancy Walker) that speaks to her through a radio headset and allows her to use its powers to do anything.|
|86||Cap'n O. G. Readmore's Jack and the Beanstalk||1985.Oct.12||ABC Entertainment||Cap'n O. G. Readmore (voiced by Neil Ross) and his friends – Kitty Literature, Ol' Tome Cat, Wordsy, Lickety Page and Dog-Eared – are holding their Friday Night Book Club meeting in an alley next to the public library. When members of the Book Club start to poke fun at some of the characters from their favorite fairy tales, the bookshelves part and Cap'n O. G. is confiscated by those same characters. Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) challenges Cap'n O. G. to take his place in the story.|
|87||Pippi Longstocking||1985.Nov.02||ABC Circle Films||(Part 1)|
|89||Columbus Circle||1985.Nov.23||Highgate Pictures||Five children, members of the Columbus Circle Club, attempt to play a practical joke on a new, snobbish neighbor (Ron Parady).|
|90||The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin||1985.Nov.30||DIC Entertainment||(Part 1) Teddy Ruxpin (voiced by Phil Baron), leaves his home on the island of Rillonia with his best friend Grubby (voiced by Will Ryan) to follow an ancient map which leads him to find a collection of crystals on the mainland of Grundo.|
|91||1985.Dec.07||(Part 2) Teddy and Grubby get caught up in an adventure involving a prince, a princess and all kinds of villains as they search for a treasure.|
|92||Cap'n O. G. Readmore Meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde||1986.Sep.13||ABC Entertainment||Cap'n O. G. Readmore (voiced by Neil Ross) and his friends are holding their Friday Night Book Club meeting on a rainy, eerie night. They select the story of [Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde]] and when the book is opened, Lickety Page is kidnapped into the story and Cap'n O. G. follows to rescue him.|
|93||The Day the Kids Took Over||1986.Sep.20||Highgate Pictures||(Part 1) Mayor Van Winkle (Lou Jacobi) awakens following a fall and discovers that children have taken over society.|
|94||1986.Sep.27||(Part 2) Mayor Van Winkle, who is now in a society where kids act like adults, learns an important lesson about the rights of children.|
|95||Liberty and the Littles||1986.Oct.18||DIC Entertainment||(Part 1) Tom and Lucy Little (voiced by David Wagner and Bettina Bush) get involved in a dangerous adventure when they crash-land on Liberty Island.|
|96||1986.Oct.25||(Part 2) Tom and Lucy discover that their French ancestors, Les Petite Littles, are being persecuted by an evil general on Liberty Island.|
|97||1986.Nov.01||(Part 3) Pere Egalitaire (voiced by Jim Morgan) may be Tom and Lucy's only hope in convincing the French Littles that they are not demons.|
|98||The Mouse and the Motorcycle||1986.Nov.08||Churchill Films||(Part 1) Keith Gridley (Philip Walker) is a lonely young boy who meets Ralph, a tiny, talkative mouse (voiced by Evan Richards) with a fondness for Keith's toy motorcycle. Ralph and Keith become best friends and the daring little mouse has the time of his life riding his motorcycle.|
|99||1986.Nov.15||(Part 2) Keith comes down with a bad fever and, even though his mouse family warns him of dangers like owls, cats and traps, a brave little Ralph sets out on his motorcycle to find the medicine that will save his human friend.|
|100||Santabear's First Christmas||1986.Nov.22||Rabbit Ears Productions||Santa Claus appoints a young bear as his helper in delivering toys to the animals in the forest and he becomes known as Santabear. [Narrated by Kelly McGillis]|
|101||Cap'n O. G. Readmore Meets Red Riding Hood||1988.Apr.02||ABC Entertainment||Cap'n O.G. Readmore (voiced by Neil Ross) and his friends are holding their Friday Night Book Club meeting. Cap'n O. G. makes the mistake of underestimating the value of a good villain and ends up meeting Little Red Riding Hood as the new Big Bad Wolf.|
|102||Here Come the Littles||1988.Apr.23||DIC Entertainment||(Part 1) Henry Bigg (voiced by Jimmy Keegan) goes to live with his greedy and heartless Uncle Augustus (voiced by Hal Smith) while his parents are lost in Africa; living in the crevices of the house are Tom and Lucy Little (voiced by Donavan Freberg and Bettina Bush) who soon discover that Augustus enslaves Henry and is planning on replacing his nephew's house with a shopping mall.|
|103||1988.Apr.30||(Part 2) Augustus sees Grandpa and Dinky Little (voiced by Alvy Moore and Robert David Hall) and, mistaking them for toys, he locks them in a desk drawer; inside the drawer, Dinky and Grandpa discover that Augustus forged the documents in order to become Henry's legal guardian, as well as to steal and redevelop the Biggs' property.|
|104||1988.May.07||(Part 3) After a series of adventures, Henry and the Littles find evidence of Augustus' plot to steal Henry's home; Augustus is arrested, the house is saved and Henry prepares to meet his rediscovered parents at the airport.|
|105||Cap'n O. G. Readmore's Puss in Boots||1988.Sep.10||ABC Entertainment||Cap'n O. G. Readmore (voiced by Neil Ross) who regales his library friends – Kitty Literature, Ol' Tome Cat, Wordsy and Lickety Page – with the humorous and witty tale of his great-great-great-great-grandfather, the legendary Puss in Boots.|
|106||Runaway Ralph||1988.Oct.29||Churchill Films||(Part 1) Ralph the Mouse (voiced by John Matthews) is grounded by his Uncle Lester for not sharing his toy motorcycle. Ralph decides to run away from home on his motorbike and comes to a summer camp for children, where he befriends a lonely young boy named Garfield (Fred Savage).|
|107||1988.Nov.05||(Part 2) Garfield is accused of stealing another camper's watch and Ralph, determined to clear his friend's name, speeds off on his motorcycle and confronts the real watch-snatcher: a mean – and hungry – tom cat!|
|108||P. J. Funnybunny||1989.Feb.04||Animation Cottage||A floppy-eared, irrepressible young rabbit named P. J. Funnybunny (voiced by Danny Cooksey) and his animal buddies seek to become celebrities by making contact with creatures from outer space.|
|109||The Monster Bed||1989.Sep.09||Marvel Productions||A young boy (voiced by Brandon Crane) is mysteriously transported to a spot under a monster's bed.|
|110||Ralph S. Mouse||1991.Feb.16||Churchill Films||(Part 1)|
|112||Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great||1991.Mar.23||Tashmoo Productions||Sheila Tubman (Leah Foster) is a 10-year-old girl who attempts to overcome her two greatest fears – dogs and swimming – when her mother (Sherryl Simms-Foster) enrolls her in a summer camp.|
|113||McGee and Me!: The Big Lie||1992.Jan.25||Focus on the Family||An 11-year-old boy named Nick Martin (Joseph Dammann) and his family move into his grandmother's house. In an effort to make friends, Nick tells lies about an old man's house, which leads to bullies wrecking the house and Nick is forced to clean it up as punishment. His father helps him learn an important lesson about lying, elders, fear, speaking up and bullying.|
|114||Cap'n O. G. Readmore Meets Chicken Little||1992.Apr.18||ABC Entertainment||Cap'n O. G. Readmore (voiced by Neil Ross) reads the story of Chicken Little to his fellow feline friends at their Friday Night Book Club where they gather.|
Note: This is the last of the five ABC Weekend Specials to feature Cap'n O. G. Readmore.
|115||The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten||1992.May.02||The Kingdom Chums – Essie, Christopher, Marvelous Mose, Little Miriam and Little David (voiced by Debby Boone, Tony Orlando, Billy Preston, Marilyn McCoo and Frankie Valli) – teach young children the meaning of the original Top Ten: the Ten Commandments!|
|116||McGee and Me!: Take Me Out of the Ball Game||1992.Sep.12||Focus on the Family||Nick Martin (Joseph Dammann) is on a baseball team, the Braves, coached by his father. It is important to them to win the game against their biggest rival, the Dodgers. And they think it is in the bag this year because of Thurman Miller, the team's biggest and best player.|
|117||Monster in My Pocket: The Big Scream||1992.Oct.31||Hanna-Barbera||A batch of monsters are shrunken to pocket size by a freak accident. Carrie Raven (voiced by Dina Sherman), a horror author's daughter, finds the good monsters and together they battle the puny bad monsters, who have learned to grow temporarily when they hear a movie monster actress's scream.|
|118||Stanley and the Dinosaurs||1992.Nov.07||Churchill Films||Stanley (voiced by Corey Burton) is a boy who dreams of times long past. While on a field trip at the museum, Stanley's mind travels to an alternative Stone Age, where dinosaurs and cavemen roam.|
|119||Choose Your Own Adventure: The Case of the Silk King||1992.Dec.12||Two young Americans (Soleil Moon Frye and Chad Allen) find adventures while searching for their missing uncle (Charles Haid) in Bangkok, Thailand.|
|121||The Parsley Garden||1993.Mar.27||White Sneakers||During the Depression, a 10-year-old Armenian boy (Christopher Miranda) struggles with his sense of self and the extreme prejudice against immigrants in his community.|
|122||The Legend of Lochnagar||1993.Apr.24||BBC Scotland||A Scotsman leaves civilization to begin a new life in Lochnagar, a mysterious land in the Scottish mountains that is inhabited by a race of little people that plant the flowers for the country. [Written and narrated by Prince Charles].|
|123||Commander Toad in Space||1993.May.08||Churchill Films||Jack (Corey Miller) is the human navigator of the S.S. Stella, a space ship of the Algeian High Command that is run by frog and turtle-like creatures – Commander Toad (voiced by James Murray) and his assistants: Doc (voiced by Bruce Lanoil), Lieutenant Lily (voiced by Mary McDonald-Lewis) and the Admiral (voiced by Mark Hamill).|
|124||P. J.'s Unfunnybunny Christmas||1993.Dec.11||Animation Cottage||P. J. Funnybunny (voiced by Troy Davidson) sets out to help sales at his father's toy store, ensuring that he will receive the Superblaster video game that he wants for Christmas. With the help of his animal buddies, he masquerades as Santa Claus to encourage townsfolk to spend money at his father's toy store.|
|125||The Magic Flute||1994.Apr.30||Ruby-Spears||(Part 1) Based on the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a young prince (voiced by Mark Hamill) is given a magical flute by the Queen of the Night (voiced by Samantha Eggar) to help him rescue her kidnapped daughter and return her to the Queen.|
|126||1994.May.07||(Part 2) The prince is captured by King Sarastro (voiced by Michael York) and both the prince and the young princess discover the truth of her past, and that the treachery of the Queen of the Night has serious consequences for the entire kingdom.|
|127||The Secret Garden||1994.Nov.05||Mike Young Productions||A mischievous orphan (voiced by Anndi McAfee) and her sickly cousin find joy and magic in a neglected garden on a British estate.|
|128||Jirimpimbira: An African Folk Tale||1995.Feb.25||Ruby-Spears||A brave boy named Temba (voiced by Jamil Walker Smith) ventures to find food and water for his drought-stricken village. But when he is given a set of magical bones, he uses them to gain riches for himself instead of sharing with his friends.|
|129||P. J. Funnybunny: A Very Cool Easter||1996.Mar.30||Animation Cottage||P. J. Funnybunny (voiced by Jason Barnhill) attempts to plan an Easter parade and an Easter egg hunt, despite some unseasonably cold weather.|
|130||The Magic Pearl||1996.Aug.04||ABC Entertainment||(Part 1)|
Occasionally, during the Weekend Specials timeslot, ABC aired a series of specials under the title ABC Saturday Morning Specials. Two ABC's Wide World of Sports for Kids specials were also produced in 1994.
|1||The Great Alaska Dog Sled Race||1993.Mar.06|
|2||Rhythm and Jam: Rhythm & Rap||1993.Sep.18||Greengrass Productions|
|3||Rhythm and Jam: Melody & Harmony||1993.Sep.25|
|4||Kids on Ice: A Skating Adventure!||1994.Feb.12||ABC Sports||A behind-the-scenes look at the United States Figure Skating Championships. [Hosted by Maria Sansone and Kristi Yamaguchi].|
|6||Money Made Easy: The ABC Kids' Guide to Dollars and Sense||1994.Apr.02||Paley/Price Productions||A two-part special featuring a kids-eye view of banking which includes a look at an ATM's innards. [Hosted by Christopher Castile].|
|5||A Day at the Races||1994.Jun.11|
|8||Crash the Curiousaurus||1995.Jan.14||Kane Productions||A dinosaur (Bruce Connolly) and two kids (Michael Shulman and Lauren Brooke Hunter) explore the American Museum of Natural History.|
|10||Wild Things: An Earth Day Special||1995.Apr.22||Kane Productions||A special which explores the wonders of the animal kingdom and how people can help proect it. [Hosted by Jodie Sweetin, Jonathan Jackson, Marquise Wilson].|
|11||The Secret of Lizard Woman||1995.Nov.12||Greengrass Productions||A teenage boy (Bradley Joseph) searching for his uncle on a reservation discovers his own Native American heritage.|
|12||Back to School with Schoolhouse Rock||1996.Sep.14||McCaffrey & McCall|
The American Broadcasting Company coined the term after school special in 1972 with a series of made-for-television movies, usually dealing with controversial or socially relevant issues, that were generally broadcast in the late afternoon and meant to be viewed by school-age children, particularly teenagers. The specials were generally broadcast four to six times during the school year, pre-empting local programming that would usually follow the network schedule in the late afternoon hours.
CBS distributed its own productions as the CBS Afternoon Playhouse (later known as CBS Schoolbreak Special). It also had a program called Famous Classic Tales, which aired Australian cartoons that were adapted from literature books (similar to Family Classic Tales). NBC had afterschool programs under the umbrella title Special Treat. ABC had the ABC Afterschool Special; similar programs included The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie and the ABC Weekend Special.Bunnicula
Bunnicula is a children's book series written by Deborah and James Howe, featuring a vampire rabbit named Bunnicula who sucks the juice out of vegetables. Alternatively, Bunnicula is the main title of the first book in the series, published by Atheneum Books in April 1979. Deborah Howe died in 1978, months before the book first saw print. The series consists of seven books, with the latest published in 2006.The story is centered on the Monroe family and their pets and is told from the perspective of their dog Harold. The Monroes find a bunny at the theater where they were watching a Dracula film. Because of this, they name him Bunnicula. Their cat Chester, however, is convinced Bunnicula is a vampire and attempts to get Harold (the dog) to help save the Monroes from the perceived menace.
A 1982 animated TV special (from Ruby-Spears) by the same name was created based on the first book and aired on the ABC Weekend Special. The animated special deviated heavily from the novels and actively depicted Bunnicula using vampiric powers, which did not occur in the novels.
The full title of the first book is Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery. The second and third books of the series are Howliday Inn and The Celery Stalks at Midnight. Nighty-Nightmare followed in 1987, followed by Return to Howliday Inn in 1993. In 1999, Bunnicula Strikes Again! was published. Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow was published in 2006, and appears to be the final book in the Bunnicula series.
Following the end of the Bunnicula series, James Howe began a spin-off series called Tales from the House of Bunnicula, which are "written" by Howie, the dachshund puppy introduced into the series in Howliday Inn. There is also a series called Bunnicula and Friends: Ready To Read. They are a series of six picture books about adventures of the characters from the stories. They are aimed for beginning readers.
An animated series that is a loose adaptation of Bunnicula began airing on Cartoon Network and on Boomerang on February 6, 2016.James Carter Cathcart
James Carter Cathcart, often credited as Carter Cathcart or Jimmy Zoppi, is an American voice actor, voice director, pianist and vocalist. He has been playing with bands since high school, including The Laughing Dogs who released two albums on Columbia in 1979-80 and has been the vocalist of the Carter Cathcart Band since 1981. Cathcart also co-wrote the song "Remember Me" with Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley that ended up on Frehley's 1989 solo album Trouble Walkin'.
Zoppi's first voiceover part was O.G. Readmore on the ABC Weekend Special. After that, he recorded voice overs for Kit Kat candy bars, Good Humor, Coors Light, and others. Jimmy Zoppi later auditioned in voice acting and has since become known for a prolific amount of anime dub voice work for Central Park Media, Media Blasters, DuArt Film and Video, TAJ Productions, NYAV Post and once had multiple roles in many shows from 4Kids Entertainment. He currently voices James and Meowth in Pokémon.List of Ruby-Spears productions
This is a list of Ruby-Spears productions, including television series in animation and live-action.McGee and Me!
The Adventures of McGee and Me! is an American Christian television series created by Ken C. Johnson and Bill Myers. The series premiered on June 4, 1989, spanning twelve episodes until its conclusion on June 11, 1995. Each half-hour-long episode centers on Nicholas, his cartoon friend, McGee, and the moral lessons they learn as Nick grows up after moving to a new town. McGee and Me! deals with issues such as honesty ("The Big Lie"), bullying ("Skate Expectations"), and faith in God ("Twister and Shout").Michael Young (actor)
Michael Meredith Young (born March 8, 1952) is an American actor and television host.
An Emmy Award winner (recognized for ABC's Kids Are People Too!, ESPN, Young Talent Time and CBS' Miss Teen USA) he was also part of the launch teams at CNBC, and The Disney Channel. Young began his career at QUBE, the world's first interactive TV network, created by Warner Communications, where his show won cable TV's first ACE award for entertainment series. Young would later host the Florida Lottery game show Flamingo Fortune alongside Lisa Stahl.Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great is a children's novel by Judy Blume, first published in 1972. It's the second book in the Fudge Series.Ralph S. Mouse
Ralph S. Mouse is a children's novel by Beverly Cleary. It features Ralph, a mouse with the ability to speak, but only with certain people, who tend to be loners. It was first published in 1982, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.
The title character is also featured in the two earlier novels of Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle series. A filmed version was broadcast in the ABC Weekend Special series in 1991.Runaway Ralph
Runaway Ralph is the second in a children's novel trilogy written by Beverly Cleary, first published in 1970.The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf
The Adventures of a Two-Minute Werewolf, also called The Adventures of a 2-Minute Werewolf is a 1985 television film produced by ABC television as part of its ABC Weekend Special series. It is based on the young adult novel of the same name by Gene DeWeese.The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" is an 1865 short story by Mark Twain. It was his first great success as a writer and brought him national attention. The story has also been published as "Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog" (its original title) and "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". In it, the narrator retells a story he heard from a bartender, Simon Wheeler, at the Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, about the gambler Jim Smiley. The narrator describes him: "If he even seen a straddle bug start to go anywheres, he would bet you how long it would take him to get to wherever he going to, and if you took him up, he would foller that straddle bug to Mexico but what he would find out where he was bound for and how long he was on the road."
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches is also the title story of an 1867 collection of short stories by Mark Twain. It was Twain's first book and collected 27 stories that were previously published in magazines and newspapers.The Ghost of Thomas Kempe
The Ghost of Thomas Kempe is a low fantasy novel for children by Penelope Lively, first published by Heinemann in 1973 with illustrations by Anthony Maitland. Set in present-day Oxfordshire, it features a boy and his modern family who are new in their English village, and seem beset by a poltergeist. Soon the boy makes acquaintance with the eponymous Thomas Kempe, ghost of a 17th-century resident sorcerer who intends to stay.
Lively won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject.The Gold Bug (Card short story)
"The Gold Bug" is a science fiction story by American writer Orson Scott Card, set in his Ender's Game universe. It tells the story of how Sel Menach steps aside as leader of a colony world to let Ender Wiggin take over as governor. It appears in Card's Webzine InterGalactic Medicine Show, and was incorporated into Card's novel Ender in Exile.The Mouse and the Motorcycle
The Mouse and the Motorcycle is a children's novel written by Beverly Cleary and published in 1965.The Puppy's Further Adventures
The Puppy's Further Adventures (originally titled The Puppy's New Adventures) is a 30-minute Saturday morning animated series produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises (in association with Hanna-Barbera for its first season only) and broadcast on ABC from September 25, 1982 to November 10, 1984. It is based on characters created by Jane Thayer about Petey, a young dog who attached himself to a lonely orphan boy named Tommy.The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett first published in book form in 1911 following the publication in 1910 of a serial version in a US magazine. Set in England, it is one of Burnett's most popular novels and is considered a classic of English children's literature. Several stage and film adaptations have been made.
The American edition was published by Stokes with illustrations by Maria Louise Kirk (signed as M. L. Kirk) and the British edition by Heinemann with illustrations by Charles Heath Robinson.The Secret World of Og (film)
The Secret World of Og is a 1983 animated film produced by Hanna-Barbera's Australian subsidiary (Hanna-Barbera Australia Pty. Ltd.) and based on the 1961 children's novel of the same name by Pierre Berton. It originally aired in three parts on ABC Weekend Special series on April 30, May 7 and 14, 1983.The Velveteen Rabbit
The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) is a British children's book written by Margery Williams (also known as Margery Williams Bianco) and illustrated by William Nicholson. It chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit's desire to become real through the love of his owner. The book was first published in 1922 and has been republished many times since.
The Velveteen Rabbit was Williams's first children's book. It has been awarded the IRA/CBC Children's Choice award. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."Willie Tyler
Willie Tyler (born September 8, 1940) is an American ventriloquist, comedian and actor. Most of the time, he is credited as Willie Tyler and Lester or Willie Tyler & Lester. He has appeared in many television commercials, sitcoms, and movies. He got his first big break in 1972 on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.
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