The End Of An Era: Goodbye, Saturday Morning Cartoons

More like Saturday MOURNING, amirite?

"Tom and Jerry." "Scooby-Doo." "The Smurfs." "Charlie Brown." "G.I.Joe." "Ghostbusters." "DuckTales." "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Whether you watched these shows fresh or in syndication, they're synonymous with bed head, pajamas and endless bowls of cereal.

We're talking Saturday morning cartoons – and as of last weekend, the era of languidness animated from 8:00am to noon has come to an end.

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 the CW aired the last remaining Saturday morning cartoon block – effectively ending a continuous animated reign that spanned over 50 years. The competition from other networks airing live-action shows, along with failing viewership, were just too much for the network – they replaced the block with a series of educational shows aimed at teenagers.

So what did Saturday morning cartoons in? It's been a slow decline – starting in the 1990s. As the Washington Post reports, NBC was the first network to make the switch from cartoons to teen comedies ("Saved by the Bell," anyone?) on Saturday morning. It didn't take long for ABC and CBS to follow.

Additionally, viewership fell sharply between the 1980s – when the sacred lazy Saturday tradition pulled in up to 20 million viewers – and the 2000s, when hit shows were lucky to nab 2 million. Throw in the rise of cable television, along with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and the impending end of an era was ushered.

We're smarting right in the nostalgia over this one – it's inconceivable that generations of kids will now wake on weekends without our beloved tradition of yore. But who knows – maybe an enterprising individual out there will see fit to start a new custom? The Saturday morning slate has been wiped clean – we're readying ourselves!

Which Saturday morning cartoon was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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