Bill Thompson (television host)

List of local children's television series (United States)

The following is a list of local children's television shows.

Local children's television series were locally produced television shows intended for the child audience with unique hosts and programming. This type of programming began in the late 1940s and continued into the 1970s. Tim Hollis documented about 1,400 local children's shows in a 2002 book called Hi There, Boys and Girls!

The programs typically aired in the weekday mornings before school, or afternoons after school, as well as on weekends (to a lesser degree). There were several different formats. Almost all shows had a colorful host, who assumed a persona such as a cowboy/cowgirl, captain, princess, clown, sheriff, magician, or "uncle", whose role was to not only to be the "DJ" for syndicated material (typically cartoons, although westerns were more popular earlier on), but also entertain the kids, often with a live studio audience of kids, during breaks. Early program fare included cartoon favorites such as Crusader Rabbit, Popeye, Bugs Bunny, Rocky and Bullwinkle,Mighty Mouse,Porky Pig,Deputy Dawg, The Funny Company, Clutch Cargo as well as movie shorts such as Our Gang/The Little Rascals and The Three Stooges. Some included educational segments like the portraits of wildlife in Nature's Window. The popular hosts usually became local "celebrities" in the eyes of children and their parents, and were known to make public appearances at amusement parks and benefit fund raisers. Befitting the small staffs many stations had in the early days of television, some hosts did double-duty as announcer or handled administrative functions, like Program Director. Some even hosted adult fare such the daily movie with such titles as Million Dollar Movie or were weatherman on the newscast. Although most of the shows were unique to a given market, there were a few franchised shows, most notably, Romper Room and Bozo the Clown, which became extremely popular nationwide.

The eventual decline of the local children's television series market was attributable to a variety of causes, including parental concern over the effect of violence depicted in shows on their children and sponsor "brainwashing" of children via commercials. Also lucrative syndicated programming such as The Mike Douglas Show, Merv Griffin Show and Donahue plus re-runs of old network series began to fill available airtime. By the late 1970s, local children's programming had all but disappeared from the airwaves, although a few continued well into the 1990s. And for many they are a fond memory to this day, an indeliable part of their childhood.

Television Broadcast Markets

Alabama

Anniston

Birmingham

Dothan

Florence

Huntsville

Mobile

Montgomery

Alaska

Anchorage

Fairbanks

Arizona

Phoenix

Tucson

Yuma

Arkansas

El Dorado/Monroe

Fort Smith

Little Rock

California

Bakersfield

Fresno

  • KAIL: Leebo The Clown (Leland Harris)
  • KFSN: Fun Time (Al Radtka)

Glendale

Los Angeles

Oakland

Sacramento

San Diego

San Francisco

San Jose

Colorado

Denver

Connecticut

Hartford

New Haven

Delaware

see Pennsylvania, Maryland, and District of Columbia markets

District of Columbia

Washington

Florida

Fort Myers

Jacksonville

  • WFGA: Popeye & Pals with Skipper Ed, weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings

Miami

St. Petersburg

West Palm Beach

  • WJNO (now WPTV): The Sheriff (Bob Green)
  • The Man From GHOST (Global Headquarters for the Organization to Sustain Terror), Ch. 5; a Chiller Theater-type show with a live host, but using humorous drop-ins during the films. A precursor to Mystery Science Theatre 3000. For example, in a scene where the Mad Scientist is writing in his journal, the show would superimpose a kids' book, such as The Little Engine That Could.

Georgia

Atlanta

Augusta

  • WJBF: Trooper Terry, weekdays 5-5:30pm later years 4:30-5pm featured Terry Sams, the weatherman. 1960s-70's.
  • WATU: Bozo the Clown, weekdays 4:30-5:30pm 1970

Columbus

Macon

Savannah

  • WTOC-TV: Romper Room (30 mins.)weekday 9-9:30AM
  • WTOC-TV: Happy Dan (30 mins.) weekdays 4-4:30PM. Originally Happy Dan & The Little Rascals later Happy Dan & Popeye. Happy Dan was Dwight Bruce who co-hosted Kaleidoscope with Gwen Ferguson weekdays after Romper Room. Happy Dan was later replaced with "Skipper Jack & Popeye".
  • WJCL: Bozo the Clown (60 mins.) weekdays 4:30-5:30PM program was later replaced by Col. Frank - he had a chicken puppet & co-hosted by perhaps his wife, featured birthdays

Thomasville

Hawaii

Honolulu

KHVH (Now KITV) (Ch 4):

KGMB (Ch 9):

Idaho

Illinois

Chicago

Peoria

Quad Cities

see Quad Cities, Iowa market

Indiana

Evansville

Fort Wayne

Indianapolis

South Bend

Terre Haute

Iowa

Cedar Rapids/Waterloo

Davenport

Des Moines/Ames

Mason City/Fort Dodge

Quad Cities

Sioux City

Kansas

Wichita

Kentucky

Bowling Green

Louisville

Paducah

Louisiana

Baton Rouge

Monroe

New Orleans

Maine

Bangor

Maryland

Baltimore

Massachusetts

Boston

Springfield

Worcester

Michigan

Detroit

Detroit Area

Grand Rapids

Kalamazoo

  • WKZO-TV: Channel 3 Clubhouse. (Beanie Brown, Uncle Fred, others.)

Minnesota

Duluth

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Rochester

Missouri

Joplin

Kansas City

St. Louis

Springfield

Montana

Billings

Butte

Nebraska

Lincoln

KOLN/KGIN: Cartoon Corral

Scottsbluff

KSTF: The Wilmer Worm Show (June Beaman)

Nevada

Las Vegas

New Hampshire

Manchester

New Jersey

see New York and Pennsylvania markets

New Mexico

New York

Albany/Schenectady

Binghamton

Buffalo

Elmira/Ithaca

New York

Rochester

Syracuse/Auburn

Utica/Rome

Watertown

North Carolina

Asheville

Charlotte

Greenville/New Bern

Raleigh/Durham

Winston-Salem/Greensboro

North Dakota

Bismarck

Fargo

Ohio

Akron

Canton

Cincinnati

Cleveland

Columbus

Dayton

Lima

Toledo

Youngstown

Zanesville

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

Tulsa

Oregon

Eugene

Medford

Portland

Pennsylvania

Erie

Harrisburg/Lancaster

Johnstown/Altoona

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Rhode Island

Providence

South Carolina

Charleston

Columbia

Florence/Myrtle Beach

Greenville/Spartanburg

South Dakota

Rapid City

Sioux Falls

Tennessee

Chattanooga

Jackson

Knoxville

Memphis

Nashville

Tri-Cities

Antioch

Texas

Abilene

Amarillo

Austin

The Uncle Jay Show (Jay Hodgson)

Beaumont/Port Arthur

Corpus Christi

Dallas/Fort Worth

El Paso

Houston/Galveston

Lubbock

Odessa/Midland

Rio Grande Valley

San Angelo

San Antonio

Tyler/Longview

Waco/Temple

Wichita Falls

Utah

Salt Lake City

Vermont

Burlington

Virginia

Harrisonburg

Norfolk/Portsmouth

Richmond

Roanoke/Lynchburg

Washington, D.C.

see District of Columbia

Washington

Bellingham

KVOS Frisky Frolics (1970s-1980s)

Everett

Seattle/Tacoma

Spokane

Yakima

West Virginia

Beckley/Bluefield

Charleston/Huntington

Morgantown/Clarksburg

Parkersburg

Wheeling

Wisconsin

Eau Claire

Green Bay

La Crosse

Madison

Milwaukee

Wausau

Wyoming

Casper

Cheyenne

Guam

References

See also

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