ABC Weekend Special is a Saturday-morning anthology program that ran on ABC from 1977 to 1997. The films were adapted from children's books and produced by various studios, including Hanna-Barbera. Its most famous presenter was Cap'n O.G. Readmore, a puppet cat voiced by Frank Welker that sometimes appeared in animated form in the specials themselves. It is considered to be a show that transitions out of the traditional Saturday morning lineup, and serves as a lead-in to American Bandstand, which was designed for teens.
This series 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 after 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 toward younger viewers were subsequently repackaged and rerun instead as ABC Weekend Specials.
The series' first presenter was Michael Young, from 1979 to 1981.
In 1981, ventriloquist Willie Tyler and his puppet, Lester (who would later appear on the Pac-Preview Party) took over as the new hosts of the series. They appeared in an opening segment introducing that week's episode, as well as an ending segment wrapping up the show and often recommending the book on which that week's episode had been based.
In 1984, the puppet character Cap'n O.G. Readmore took over as host of the series, along with Jon "Bowzer" Bauman and other co-hosts during his six-year run. The character also starred in five animated episodes of the show, as well appearing in animated Saturday-morning PSAs encouraging children to "read more".
The films were produced by various studios; the following are Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears productions:
|1||The Puppy Who Wanted A Boy||May 6, 1978||Ruby-Spears|
|2||Weep No More, My Lady||February 10, 1979||Ruby-Spears|
|3||The Horse That Played Center Field (Part 1)||February 24, 1979||Ruby-Spears|
|4||The Horse That Played Center Field (Part 2)||March 3, 1979||Ruby-Spears|
|5||The Puppy's Great Adventure||May 12, 1979||Ruby-Spears|
|6||The Incredible Detectives||November 17, 1979||Ruby-Spears|
|7||The Puppy's Amazing Rescue||January 26, 1980||Ruby-Spears|
|8||The Trouble with Miss Switch (Part 1)||February 16, 1980||Ruby-Spears|
|9||The Trouble with Miss Switch (Part 2)||February 23, 1980||Ruby-Spears|
|10||Scruffy (Part 1)||October 4, 1980||Ruby-Spears|
|11||Scruffy (Part 2)||October 11, 1980||Ruby-Spears|
|12||Scruffy (Part 3)||October 18, 1980||Ruby-Spears|
|13||The Puppy Saves the Circus||September 12, 1981||Ruby-Spears|
|14||Bunnicula, the Vampire Rabbit||January 9, 1982||Ruby-Spears|
|15||Miss Switch to the Rescue (Part 1)||January 16, 1982||Ruby-Spears|
|16||Miss Switch to the Rescue (Part 2)||January 23, 1982||Ruby-Spears|
|17||The Secret World of Og (Part 1)||April 30, 1983||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|18||The Secret World of Og (Part 2)||May 7, 1983||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|19||The Secret World of Og (Part 3)||May 14, 1983||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|20||The Amazing Bunjee Venture (Part 1)||March 24, 1984||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|21||The Amazing Bunjee Venture (Part 2)||March 31, 1984||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|22||Bad Cat||April 14, 1984||Ruby-Spears|
|23||The Return of the Bunjee (Part 1)||April 06, 1985||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|24||The Return of the Bunjee (Part 2)||April 13, 1985||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|25||The Velveteen Rabbit||April 20, 1985||Hanna-Barbera Australia|
|26||Monster in My Pocket: The Big Scream||October 31, 1992||Hanna-Barbera|
|27||The Magic Flute (Part 1)||April 30, 1994||Ruby-Spears|
|28||The Magic Flute (Part 2)||May 7, 1994||Ruby-Spears|
|29||Jirimpimbira: An African Folk Tale||February 25, 1995||Ruby-Spears|
- This series, along with American Bandstand, did not air on a weekly basis due to ABC Sports coverage, mainly college football, and Olympics coverage in certain years.
- ABC Weekend Specials at the Internet Movie Database