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September 13

September 13, 1997 – The Animated Series 101 Dalmatians: The Series Premieres on ABC

“I’m seeing lots of spots, plenty of polka dots. Get those puppies!”

On September 13, 1997, animated series 101 Dalmatians: The Series premiered on ABC as part of the One Saturday Morning programming block. Based on the 1961 animated feature film One Hundred and One Dalmatians and the original book The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, the series features the pups living on the “Dalmatian Plantation,” specifically looking at three pups: Lucky, Rolly, and Cadpig. The series lasted for two seasons with a total of 65 episodes. It featured Pam Segall and Debi Mae West as Lucky; Kath Soucie as Anita, Rolly, and Cadpig; Jeff Bennett as Roger; Tara Charendoff as Spot; April Winchell as Cruella De Vil; David Lander as Horace; Michael McKean as Jasper; Charlotte Rae as Nanny; Kevin Schon as Pongo; and Pam Dawber as Perdita.


May 16

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May 16, 2003 – The Animated Series Teacher’s Pet Wins Daytime Emmy Award

“He’s so over just being Rover.”

On May 16, 2003, the 30th Daytime Emmy Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. At this ceremony, the animated television series Teacher’s Pet, which was part of ABC’s One Saturday Morning programming block, ended up winning an award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program, its second and final win in this category. The show won against Static Shock, Madeline: My Fair Madeline, Ozzy & Drix, and Rolie Polie Olie.

February 3

February 3, 2001 – The Animated Series Lloyd in Space Premieres on ABC’s One Saturday Morning


“Yes! Today, Lloyd P. Nebulon turns 13-years-old!”

On February 3, 2001, the animated series Lloyd in Space premiered on ABC’s One Saturday Morning programming block. The series ran for 39 episodes, finishing its run on ABC when the programming block was pulled. The series received positive reviews from critics and viewers overall. It was created by Joe Ansolabehere and Paul Germain, was starred Courtland Mead as Lloyd, Justin Shenkarow as Eddie, Bill Fagerbakke as Kurt, Brian George as Station, April Winchell as Nora, Pam Hayden as Douglas, and Nicolette Little as Francine .

The first episode, “The Big 1-3,” begins with a big parade for Lloyd (reminiscent of the end of Star Wars), as he is turning 13. Revealing this is just a dream, Lloyd wakes up and stares out the window of his space station, excited by the prospect of “becoming a man.” Station gives Lloyd a gift of a toy spaceship, and Lloyd tries to hide his disappointment. His mother brings him his favorite cereal, but Lloyd dismisses it for something more “grown-up.” Lloyd continually voices his disappointment as being treated like a kid, even to his best friend Eddie, who is more excited about Lloyd’s party, until Lloyd talks about a more “grown-up” party where the food served is fruit and cheese. In class, Lloyd gets in trouble for asking to be treated like a man; his teacher then decides he needs to write a paper on what it means to be a man, due the next day, and will be given detention the rest of the year if he can’t write it. After school, Lloyd sulks outside the space station, as he has no idea what it means to be a man. Station thinks that Lloyd needs to learn what it’s like to be a man, and takes him to a poker game. The game only upsets Lloyd, but then gets a call from his grandfather, who advises Lloyd to go fishing instead. While Lloyd manages to hook a fish, he also manages to accidentally throw the fish into the Power Plant Satellite, accidentally blowing it up.

After blowing up the power plant, Lloyd is picked up by a squad car

After blowing up the power plant, Lloyd is picked up by a squad car

Lloyd is arrested, but talks to Officer Horton about his assignment. Lloyd is discouraged, thinking that being 13 doesn’t mean anything, but Officer Horton tells a story about learning how to drive. Officer Horton agrees to let Lloyd try driving the patrol car, and gives him advice on acting like a man. Unfortunately, Lloyd activates the hyperspeed rockets on the car, and crashes it into the station. His mother is furious at Lloyd’s antics, and grounds him for a month before sending him to his room. In his room, Lloyd tries to start his paper, but he can’t even start. While in his room, he gets an emergency call from Francine’s preschool: Francine is upset about something, and her telekinetic powers have gone berserk. To get to the preschool, Lloyd uses what he’s learned to get to the school, including bluffing and acting like he’s in control. Once he gets there, Lloyd sees Francine’s doll stuck in a tree, and while Francine is unable to get it down, Lloyd uses his new fishing skills to bring the doll down. In the end, Lloyd learns what it is to be a man: doing the right thing and putting people’s needs before his own; he is then able to write his paper.

December 26

December 26, 1998 – The Christmas Episode of Recess Titled “Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave” Airs


“It’s the Tooth Fairy incident all over again.”

On December 26, 1998, the Christmas episode of the animated series Recess titled “Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave” aired on ABC’s One Saturday Morning. The episode was directed by Susie Dietter, and written by Mark Drop, Holly Huckins, and Phil Walsh.

The episode begins on December 11th, where the kids are sweating in an above-average heat wave that has hit the area. The janitor Hank believes that there will be a blizzard approaching causing a white Christmas, but the gang doesn’t believe him. The kids then reminisce about Christmas when they were little, but realize that Mikey is the only kid in the gang that still believes in Santa Claus. Mikey then runs off to the Christmas Pageant tryouts, where he wants to just soak up the Christmas atmosphere. The auditions are interrupted by Principal Prickly, who is accompanied by a man from Hollywood looking to find the perfect school auditorium for a “global satellite non-denominational extravaganza.” Prickly almost loses the man, when he decides to use Mikey to sing, as he has a great voice. Mikey is then picked to play Santa, and decides to invite Santa to the show. Randall overhears the discussion, and announces quite cruelly to Mikey that Santa doesn’t exist. Mikey is furious, especially when he finds that his own friends don’t believe in Santa, and sets out to prove that Santa is real.

Later, Mikey rejoins his friends with a large stack of books as evidence that Santa exists. It gets worse when Mikey believes that there’s a global conspiracy to say that Santa isn’t real. Mikey then heads to the mall to meet Santa, but the “Santa” loses his temper and yells at the kids. They then head to the Christmas parade, and Mikey runs into the middle of the road, stopping the parade to ask Santa for proof. Unfortunately, the hat and beard fall off, revealing the mayor in disguise. Mikey then heads to the radio station after hearing Santa on the radio, only to find an actor pretending to be Santa. Heartbroken, Mikey heads home, realizing there’s no Santa, and decides not to be in the pageant. Late that night, Mikey wanders around town, dejected, when a man greets him from a porch of a nearby nursing home. The man convinces him that Santa exists, as long as he has faith. Back at the school, the pageant begins, and Randall is standing in for Mikey, although Randall passes out from stage fright. Just in the nick of time, Mikey appears to sing, and it starts to snow outside. The kids all rush outside afterwards to play in the snow, and Mikey sees the old man again, who congratulates him for a job well done. When Mikey asks how the old man knew about the show, the man says that Mikey had invited him, and hands him Mikey’s letter to Santa, which is now whole after being ripped up earlier. The kids are shocked when they realize that they really did just meet Santa, who flies away into the night.

September 13

September 13, 1997 – The Animated Series Pepper Ann Premieres on Disney’s One Saturday Morning


“Pepper Ann, Pepper Ann, much too cool for seventh grade, no one’s cooler than Pepper Ann!”

On September 13, 1997, the animated series Pepper Ann premiered on Disney’s One Saturday Morning cartoon programming block on ABC. The show was based on a comic strip for YM magazine designed by the show’s creator, Sue Rose. The series lasted for five seasons, with 65 episodes in total. It starred Kathleen Wilhoite as Pepper Ann, Clea Lewis as Nicky, Danny Cooksey as Milo, April Winchell as Lydia, and Pam Segall as Moose.

The first episode, “Ziterella,” begins at Hazelnut Middle School, where Pepper Ann is struggling to close her overstuffed locker. Nicky and Milo ask if Pepper Ann is ready for the yearbook photo, as every year, Pepper Ann takes a horrible photo. She has no worries this year, as she’s perfected her look for the year. Unfortunately, she realizes that she’s got a zit right in the middle of her forehead, ruining her chances of a good photo. Nicky and Milo tell her that it’s not noticeable, but Pepper Ann continues to let her imagination run away with her, imagining a worst case scenario where she can only get a low wage job in the future. She asks her mom Lydia to buy her the pimple cream, but Lydia doesn’t seem to notice. Lydia asks her to go to Abe’s Mall to buy the cream and some film, but Pepper Ann refuses to go to what she calls the “Abys-mall,” as only geeks and old people shop there. In the end, she decides to go there, although she seems to run into everyone from school on the way there.

Having no other choice, Pepper Ann sneaks into Abe's Mall wearing a disguise

Having no other choice, Pepper Ann sneaks into Abe’s Mall wearing a disguise

Pepper Ann finally makes her way to Abe’s Mall, and sneaks inside wearing a disguise. Unfortunately, the pimple cream refuses to be rung up, and she dives across the cash register thanks to her embarrassment. What she doesn’t realize, however, is that the photographer is taking the last picture of the day of Pinkeye Pete, a student constantly struggling with conjunctivitis. She arrives home to find her friends have been kidnapped by her mother for a photo shoot. The next day, Pepper Ann’s pimple has disappeared, but the photographer has to cancel thanks to a severe case of pinkeye. In class, Pepper Ann’s secret about going to Abe’s Mall is out, as their teacher announces that she saw her there. When she gets home, she finds that Abe’s Mall is on television being promoted by her favorite band as the “coolest shopping place in the colonies,” and there’s a shot of Pepper Ann shopping there. The next day at school, she’s touted by the other students as “fashion forward,” and gets the attention of popular eighth-grader Craig Bean. Unfortunately, her good mood is soon ruined when she finds out who is taking the yearbook photos: her mother.

February 26

February 26, 2000 – The Animated Series The Weekenders Premieres on One Saturday Morning


“The weekend comes, I’m down with that!”

On February 26, 2000, the animated series The Weekenders premiered on Disney’s One Saturday Morning programming block on ABC. The series, set in the fictional town of Bahia Bay, California, is about four friends and their weekend adventures. The show became highly popular, at one point taking the top ranking in viewing in its timeslot, knocking Kids’ WB’s Pokemon from its 54 week run at the top. The series lasted for four seasons, with 39 episodes total. It was created by Doug Langdale, and starred Jason Marsden as Tino, Grey DeLisle as Lor, Phil LaMarr as Carver, and Kath Soucie as Tish.

November 5

November 5, 2001 – The Final Episode of the Animated Series Recess Airs

500px-Recess “You know what, guys? Here we are talking about how much we need T.J., when the fact is, I think right now, T.J. needs us.”

On November 5, 2001, the 65th and final episode of the animated series Recess aired in syndication. Although a popular series, at the time, Disney had a 65-episode rule with its animated series, effectively canceling the series. It was one of the longest running shows on Disney Saturday morning programming block. The final episode was comprised of two segments: Mundy, Mundy and Lost Leader. It starred Andy Lawrence as T.J., Ricky D’Shon Collins as Vince, Pamela Segall as Spinelli, Jason Davis as Mikey, Ashely Johnson as Gretchen, Courtland Mead as Gus, April Winchell as Miss Finster, and Dabney Coleman as Principal Prickly.


Mundy, Mundy begins with T.J. commenting that the bully Mundy and his cronies are charging kids to play in an area of the playground known as the “Cheese Box.” As Vince kicks the ball in kickball, it ends up nearly hitting a kindergartener, until Mundy catches the ball and saves her. His friends tell him to move before the word spreads that he did something nice. T.J. and his friends, however, see the whole thing, and word spreads like wildfire. Suddenly, everyone thinks he’s a hero and a saint, and they follow him around the playground. His friends threaten T.J. and his gang unless they ruin Mundy’s reputation once again. Gus then pretends to have been gravely injured by, in the hopes that everyone will turn their backs on the former bully. Unfortunately, the plan backfires, and the kids continue to follow Mundy around. Wherever Mundy goes, although he tries to bully other people, he’s seen as a great guy. T.J. has to go to Plan B, and they ask Mundy’s friends for all of the horrible things that Mundy has done through his life. The gang then prints a newspaper detailing all of his misdeeds, but it only turns the playground against T.J. and his friends, rather than against Mundy. T.J. then gets an idea for Mundy to be seen doing a misdeed, and Mundy is given a bat to destroy the Cheese Box. Mundy chickens out at the last minute, unable to destroy the Cheese Box after all. Mundy is now a reformed individual, and he thanks T.J. for his help.


In Lost Leader, T.J. is the leader of a mission to retrieve the gang’s lucky bat, being held hostage by the Ashleys. Although seemingly well executed, the plan falls apart, as is the Ashleys’ clubhouse. The whole gang is given a week’s detention. T.J. is dejected, as he believes his plans keep falling apart, and he decides to give up planning for good. After his declaration, Lawson challenges T.J. and the gang to a baseball game, but T.J. still refuses to come up with a plan, still wallowing in his failures. The gang attempts to come up with plans individually and compare, but the gang can’t even agree on how to run a meeting. Gretchen’s plan is to come up with robot versions of the Ashleys, Gus suggests they use his dad and his army contacts, Mikey wants to throw the Ashleys a picnic, Spinelli isn’t sure her plan is legal, and Vince refuses to share his plan. The gang realizes that T.J. needs them more than they need him, and decide to work to make T.J. less angry at himself. The group pretends to come up with a plan that won’t involve him. T.J. confronts Gretchen, angered that they called him out as a bad leader, and takes over the plan completely. Once T.J. takes over again, the gang is able to retrieve the lucky bat, and admit to T.J. that their horrible plan was a ruse to get him back in the game again. The gang wins the game against Lawson, and the episode ends with T.J. coming up with another plan.

February 16

February 16, 2001 – The Animated Film Recess: School’s Out is Released in Theaters


“Let me go! Let me go! I’m warning you – I’m a black belt in origami!”

On February 16, 2001, the animated feature film Recess: School’s Out was released to theaters. The film was based on the hit animated series from ABC’s One Saturday Morning, created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere. The film was a box office success domestically, and received mixed reviews from critics. The screenplay was written by Jonathan Greenberg, based on a story by Germain, Ansolabehere, and Greenberg, and was directed by Chuck Sheetz. The film stars Andrew Lawrence as T.J. Detweiller, Rickey D’Shon Collins as Vince, Jason Davis as Mikey, Ashley Johnson as Gretchen, Courtland Mead as Gus, Pamela Segall as Spinelli, Dabney Coleman as Principal Prickly, James Woods as Dr. Benedict, April Winchell as Miss Finster, with a  special cameo by Robert Goulet as Mikey’s singing voice.

The film begins in a desert, where a top secret military base is located. The base is attacked, and the main villain enters, although his face is not revealed. His gives out the orders to establish their base at a place no one would ever suspect: Third Street School. Meanwhile, at the school, the students are enjoying recess on the last day of school. The school snitch, Randall, runs to teacher Miss Finster with all of the infractions he has spotted, but she dismisses him as she plans to sell all the ice cream from the school back to the district. However, T.J. Detweiller and his gang manage to give the ice cream back to the kids. As Miss Finster tries to collect the ice cream from the children, the voice of Principal Prickly is heard over the loudspeakers, conducting the children to eat all of the ice cream and ignore their teacher, which the kids happily do. What they don’t realize is that T.J. is speaking through a voice changer, although he does get caught by the real Principal.

Principal Prickly takes T.J. into his office as punishment for his prank, but T.J. knows there's nothing Prickly can do

Principal Prickly takes T.J. into his office as punishment for his prank, but T.J. knows there’s nothing Prickly can do

Prickly takes T.J. back to his office, asking him point blank why T.J. torments him, with examples of convincing the FBI that Prickly was a Chinese agent and getting him arrested, and forging his signature and ordering a motorboat for the school. Although Pricky is determined to punish T.J., T.J. is rather calm, as he claims that since there are only 42 seconds of school left before summer vacation, there’s nothing Prickly can do. Everyone celebrates once the bell rings, running around in the hallways and causing general havoc. As T.J. and his friends head home, T.J. expresses joy in his upcoming plans, only to find that his friends will be heading to different places: Vince is going to baseball camp, Spinelli is heading to wrestling training camp, Gus is off to military camp, Gretchen is attending space camp, and Mikey is off to daily vocal lessons. T.J. is depressed on hearing this, and sadly watches all of his friends leave.

As T.J. rides past the school to a forced play date with Randall, he spies a strange green light emanating from the gym. As he stops to look, he is chased off by a large man in a suit. When he asks his parents about it, they dismiss his concerns as just loneliness. T.J. then begins a stakeout to find out what’s really going on. He then sneaks in for a closer look as the green light goes off again and spies a green tractor beam being used to lift a safe. He runs to his parents, but they think he’s just hit his head into the sliding door again, and the police don’t believe him either. He spies Principal Prickly across the street and runs to tell him, although Prickly refuses to believe him, but begrudgingly follows T.J. back to the school. As Prickly puts his key in the door, he is zapped by strange green lightning and disappears, leaving nothing but melted golf shoes. T.J. realizes that he needs to get his friends back, and blackmails his sister into giving him a ride to each kid’s respective camp.

Having been collected from summer camp, the kids begin surveillance on their school

Having been collected from summer camp, the kids begin surveillance on their school

Back in town, the kids spy on the school, observing what’s going on and stealing a crate full of paper. After seeing the paper inside, which consists of test scores and weather reports, the kids accuse T.J. of tricking them to leave their camps to cure his loneliness. T.J. insists he’s telling the truth and reminds them that he saw Prickly disappear, only to have Gus point out that Prickly’s right in front of the school, getting in his car and driving away. They believe him, however, when they see a strange satellite dish emerging from the school roof and shooting a strange green laser into the sky. T.J. then suggests they have a stakeout from T.J.’s treehouse, and helps them return to camp fir the day, but bring them back to the treehouse at night (thanks to another round of blackmailing his sister). As they sit in the treehouse, the kids recall all of their old summers together, and miss the strange events occurring in the school.

The next morning, T.J. sneaks back to spy on the school and finds Prickly’s golf outfit in the trash. He discovers that the strange man that scared him away from the building before has been disguising himself as Prickly. When he brings this back to his friends, they find a note in the pocket reading “Help Me!” The gang then decides to go into the school to save their principal. After they head out, Randall pops out of a nearby garbage can, having heard their entire conversation, and he goes to rat them out to Miss Finster. She follows him, determined to stop T.J. from breaking into the school. Once inside, the gang hides in their old classroom and hear Prickly’s voice coming through the vent. They crawl through the ventilation system and observe an evil scheme taking place, with the villain, Dr. Phillium Benedict, demanding that the operation stay at Third Street rather than moving to another location, as his scientists suggest he does. The children spy in horror that the tractor beam is used to move the moon. Unfortunately for Benedict, the beam stops working, and the scientists must resume their work under his temper. The vent holding the gang breaks, revealing the kids to the scientists, and they quickly make a break for it. The rest of the gang escapes, but T.J. is caught and pulled back inside.

Benedict confronts Prickly and T.J., with Prickly telling T.J. that the two used to work together

Benedict confronts Prickly and T.J., with Prickly telling T.J. that the two used to work together

T.J. is locked in the same place as Prickly, and tries to reassure the principal that his friends will save them – although the gang shows up at the police station, with the officers once again laughing at the tale. Benedict soon enters the room and introduces himself again, with Prickly and Benedict revealing that they’ve known each other for years, with Benedict blaming Prickly for ruining his life. Prickly explains to T.J. later that they’d gone to teacher school together, and they were best friends. Benedict was named the Principal of Third Street School, and explains his plan to get rid of recess. Prickly goes to the Superintendent to hopefully get Benedict to change his mind. The Superintendent arrives, informing the teachers that recess will not be cancelled, but adds a surprise: he replaces Benedict as Principal with Prickly. His girlfriend, Muriel Finster, also dumps him, as she can’t be with someone who doesn’t love recess. Prickly then finishes with the fact that he never saw Benedict again, although Benedict went into politics and became the Secretary of Education, only to get fired for trying to ban recess again.

The kids go back to the crate they’d stolen to try and find something to help them get T.J. out of the school. Gretchen discovers that Benedict has written down the time for the lunar perigee – the time the moon is closest to the earth – when he plans to pull the moon into another orbit, but they are unsure as to why. T.J. breaks into Prickly’s office again and finds his confiscated walkie talkie, and reveals that Benedict’s plan is to get rid of summer vacation. Prickly and T.J. are captured again, and Benedict tells him of his plan to rid of summer vacation by using the moon to create a new ice age. The gang has T.J.’s sister to drive them to their summer camps to get reinforcements. Gus takes charge of the situation, leading in T.J.’s absence, and the kids come up with a plan before the lunar perigee takes place, while T.J. and Prickly work together to stop the plan from the inside. While Gretchen is able to shut off the power, the scientists have an emergency back-up generator and use it to resume the plan. Just as the tractor beam is about to be engaged, Miss Finster bursts through a window in the ceiling, much to Benedict’s surprise, and brings an army of teachers with her.

Having helped save their school, the kids run off to enjoy the rest of their summer

Having helped save their school, the kids run off to enjoy the rest of their summer

The tractor beam is still let loose, but T.J. and Vince stop the beam with a baseball aimed at the photon channeller, destroying the device. The kids celebrate their victory, and Benedict is arrested. T.J.’s friends decide not to go back to their summer camps and spend the rest of their summer together. T.J. first goes back inside and thanks Prickly for helping him out, but Prickly thanks T.J. for reminding him why he became a teacher in the first place, and tells T.J. to go have fun while he still can.