Hanna-Barbera Wiki
Hanna-Barbera Wiki

ABC Weekend Special 1993.jpg

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".

Hanna-Barbera episodes

The films were produced by various studios; the following are Hanna-Barbera and Ruby-Spears productions:

No. Title Airdate Production Company
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.
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