Saturday Morning Fever

Timothy Burke, Author, Burke, Author, Kevin Burke, Author St. Martin's Griffin $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-16996-1
The lowdown on Scooby-Doo, Hong Kong Phooey and other beloved kids' shows can be found here. Combining standard research with interviews, insight and anecdotes, the brothers Burke (one a college professor, the other a journalist now working in the film industry) deliver a well-rounded yet irreverent analysis of the cultural phenomenon known as Saturday morning television. Their fast-moving history of so-called ""kidvid,"" from its emergence in the 1960s to its expansion into cable programming today, includes scholarship, data from psychological studies and quotes from producers and authorities such as Peggy Charren, former president of the now-disbanded watchdog organization Action for Children's Television. But most illuminating--and fun--is the brothers' commentary, which entertains while convincingly debunking the received notion that Saturday morning television viewing has always been bad for kids. Insisting that watching TV never hurt anyone, the authors discuss Saturday morning ads and then wax nostalgic about their favorite sugar cereals and childhood toys. Sidebars such as ""Cartoon Animals We'd Like to See"" (""Woogums the naked mole rat"") and ""The missing G.I. Joes"" will likely strike a chord with readers of a certain age. For those who've always wondered who would win if Space Ghost and Birdman fought a duel to the death, this book will prove indispensable. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
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