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ABC Weekend Special

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Country of origin
United States

No. of seasons

Final episode date
30 August 1997

Peabody Award


Original language(s)

First episode date
10 September 1977

Number of seasons

ABC Weekend Special ABC Weekend Specials Cast Images Behind The Voice Actors

Saturday morning anthology

Theme music composer
Tommy Leonetti (1977–90)

American Broadcasting Company

Mark Hamill, Kellie Martin, Jane Krakowski

ABC Afterschool Special, CBS Schoolbreak Special, The Littles, The Smurfs, Pee‑wee's Playhouse

Abc weekend special intro 1980 s

The ABC Weekend Special is a weekly 30-minute anthology TV series for children that aired Saturday mornings on ABC from 1977 to 1997. It featured a wide variety of stories that were both live-action and animated. Similar to both the ABC Afterschool Special and The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie that had started five years previous, the ABC Weekend Special differed in that it was primarily aimed at younger viewers following ABC's Saturday Morning cartoon lineup, whereas the ABC Afterschool Special was known for its somewhat more serious, and often dramatic storylines dealing with issues concerning a slightly older teen and pre-teen audience. With the debut of the ABC Weekend Special, some of the early ABC Afterschool Specials that had been targeted towards younger viewers were subsequently repackaged and re-run instead as ABC Weekend Specials.


ABC Weekend Special ABC Weekend Special 1981 The Puppy Saves the Circus Flickr

The presenters/hosts for the ABC Weekend Special throughout the years

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Beginning in 1979, the series was hosted by Michael Young, who served as host of the show for two seasons.

ABC Weekend Special ABC Weekend Special Wikipedia

In 1981, ventriloquist Willie Tyler and his puppet Lester took over as the new hosts of the series, appearing in an opening segment introducing that week's episode as well as an ending segment wrapping up the show and often recommending the book that that week's episode had been based on.

ABC Weekend Special TV Intro ABC Weekend Specials YouTube

In 1984, the puppet character Cap'n O. G. Readmore took over as host of the series, along with Jon "Bowzer" Bauman. The character also starred in five animated episodes of the show, as well appearing in animated Saturday morning PSAs encouraging children to "read more".

Title sequence

During the series' tenure on Saturday Mornings, ABC Weekend Specials had three main opening title sequence packages, all of which included storybook/literary elements and characters in varying forms.

List of episodes

Listed by original airdate, however many of the episodes were put into heavy rotation, continuing to air in reruns for years after their original airdate.

Season 1 (1977–1978)

14 episodes:

Season 2 (1978–1979)

11 episodes:

Season 3 (1979–1980)

12 episodes:

Season 4 (1980–1981)

8 episodes:

Season 5 (1981–1982)

6 episodes:

Season 6 (1983)

9 episodes:

Season 7 (1984)

9 episodes:

Season 8 (1984–1985)

8 episodes:

Season 9 (1985)

9 episodes:

Season 10 (1986)

9 episodes:

Season 11 (1988)

  1. Cap'n O.G. Readmore Meets Little Red Riding Hood — 1988.Apr.02
  2. Here Come the Littles (Part 1) — 1988.Apr.23
  3. Here Come the Littles (Part 2) — 1988.Apr.30
  4. Here Come the Littles (Part 3) — 1988.May.07

Season 12 (1988–1989)

  1. Cap'n O.G. Readmore Meets Puss 'N Boots — 1988.Sep.10
  2. Runaway Ralph, Part 1 — 1988.Oct.29
  3. Runaway Ralph, Part 2 — 1988.Nov.05
  4. P.J. Funnybunny — 1989.Feb.04
  5. The Monster Bed — 1989.Sep.09

Season 13 (1991)

  1. Ralph S. Mouse, Part 1 — 1991.Feb.16
  2. Ralph S. Mouse, Part 2 — 1991.Feb.23
  3. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great — 1991.Mar.23

Season 14 (1992)

  1. McGee and Me!: The Big Lie — 1992.Jan.25
  2. Cap'n O.G. Readmore Meets Chicken Little — 1992.Apr.18
  3. The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten — 1992.May.02

Season 15 (1992–1993)

  1. McGee and Me!: Take Me Out of the Ballgame — 1992.Sep.12
  2. Monster in My Pocket: The Big Scream — 1992.Oct.31
  3. Stanley & the Dinosaurs — 1992.Nov.07
  4. Choose Your Own Adventure: The Case of the Silk King, Part 1 — 1992.Dec.12
  5. Choose Your Own Adventure: The Case of the Silk King, Part 2 — 1992.Dec.19
  6. The Parsley Garden — 1993.Mar.27
  7. The Legend of Lochnagar — 1993.Apr.24
  8. Commander Toad in Space — 1993.May.08

Season 16 (1993–1994)

  1. P.J.'s Unfunnybunny Christmas — 1993.Dec.11
  2. The Magic Flute, Part 1 — 1994.Apr.30
  3. The Magic Flute, Part 2 — 1994.May.07

Season 17 (1994–1996)

  1. The Secret Garden (movie) — 5 November 1994 (ran 69 minutes)
  2. Jirimpimbira: An African Folk Tale — 25 February 1995
  3. P.J. Funnybunny: A Very Cool Easter — 30 March 1996
  4. The Magic Pearl, Part 1 — 4 August 1996
  5. The Magic Pearl, Part 2 — 11 August 1996
  6. The Magic Pearl, Part 3 — 18 August 1996

Other specials

Occasionally, during the Weekend Specials timeslot, ABC aired a series of specials under the title ABC Saturday Morning Specials. Two ABC's Wide World of Sports for Kids specials were also produced in 1994.

List of other specials

  1. The Great Alaska Dog Sled Race — 1993.Mar.06
  2. Rhythm and Jam: Rhythm & Rap — 1993.Sep.18
  3. Rhythm and Jam: Melody & Harmony — 1993.Sep.25
  4. Kids on Ice: A Skating Adventure! — 1994.Feb.12
  5. A Day at the Races — 1994.Jun.11
  6. Money Made Easy: The ABC Kids' Guide to Dollars and Sense, Part 1 — 1994.Apr.02
  7. Money Made Easy: The ABC Kids' Guide to Dollars and Sense, Part 2 — 1994.Apr.09
  8. Crash the Curiousaurus, Part 1 — 1995.Jan.14
  9. Crash the Curiousaurus, Part 2 — 1995.Jan.21
  10. Wild Things: An Earth Day Special — 1995.Apr.22
  11. The Secret of Lizard Woman — 1995.Nov.12
  12. Back to School With Schoolhouse Rock — 1996.Sep.14


ABC Weekend Special Wikipedia

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