What Happened to Saturday Morning Cartoons?

Television animated series began with Crusader Rabbit in 1950, followed shortly by The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a creation of Crusader Rabbit’s producer Jay Ward.

Animated series would reach immense popularity with the prime-time show The Flintstones in 1960, proving there was an audience for animation on TV.

The Flintstones was the longest-running prime-time cartoon until it was overtaken by The Simpsons.

As the 1960s wore on, the perception of animation was that it was a children’s medium, prompting networks to move animated series from prime-time to Saturday mornings.

A major touchstone event in cartoon history was in 1966, when all three major networks aired animation blocks on Saturday mornings.

Nothing lasts forever, as they say, and after years of running on fumes the ritual drew its dying breath in 2014, when The CW canceled The Vortexx.

So what happened?

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