TV ABC Afterschool Special (ABC 1972-1997) Published 2 years ago on May 11, 2017 The ABC Afterschool Special was like everything else that’s good for you. Some kids eat their vegetables with a smile, others eat them in tiny bites with huge swallows of water in between. Ditto with Afterschool Specials. For some, they were heaven-sent, offering an understanding shoulder, a kind word, a little empathy for the confused kid in all of us. For others, they were, well, kind of hokey. It was all a matter of taste. In the beginning (1972), there was a cartoon: Hanna-Barbera’s “Last of the Curlews.” And the kids saw the cartoon, and the cartoon was good. Not just “good” in the “we liked it” sense, but also in the “hey, there’s a lesson in this for you” sense. In this case, the lesson was on ecology (a race of birds slowly going extinct), and a cartoon parable was simply the pleasantest method of delivery. And thus, the Afterschool Special was born. Over a span of decades, the Afterschool Special would cover nearly every type of lesson conceivable, from the science of the human body (Timer’s starring role in “The Incredible, Indelible, Magical, Physical Mystery Trip”) to history (illustrating the Nazis’ rise to power through a teacher’s object lesson in “The Wave”) to literature (Hanna-Barbera’s animated “Cyrano”) to politics (“Winning and Losing,” a documentary covering the 1974 Senate race in South Dakota) to the ever-popular social issue. It was in this latter area—the social drama—that produced the Afterschool Specials that most of us remember. Sometimes, the titles let you know up-front what you were in for: “The Boy Who Drank Too Much,” “Please Don’t Hit Me Mom,” “Me & Dad’s New Wife,” “Just a Regular Kid: An AIDS Story,” “My Dad Can’t Be Crazy… Can He?,” and the ever-popular “Stoned,” starring Scott Baio. These were the Afterschool Specials that everybody talked about (and/or made fun of) at school the next day. Some specials even made it into the school curriculum, popped into the VCR any time an overworked teacher either liked the message or needed a break. At the start of the 1990’s, the Afterschool Special started to get Oprah-ized, as the megapopular daytime host moderated specials like “Shades of a Single Protein” (focusing on racial issues) and “I Hate the Way I Look” (self-explanatory). With or without Oprah, the ABC Afterschool Special continued its attempts to expand the social consciousness of young TV viewers until the late 90’s, when it went the way of the Curlews. production details USA / ABC / Broadcast 4 October 1972 – 1997 ABCChildren's TVHanna-BarberaTV Advertisement advertisement and this just in TV15 hours ago Cutting It (BBC-1 2002-2005, Amanda Holden, Sarah Parish) Comedy drama series. Allie runs a successful hairdressing salon but her problems begin when a rival salon opens across the... TV15 hours ago Culloden (BBC-1 1964, George McBean, Olivier Espitalier-Noel) Highly innovative documentary drama telling the story of the last battle to be fought on British soil in 1746 at... TV15 hours ago C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia (BBC-2 2006, Anton Rodgers, Diane Venora) Biographical drama. The story of author CS Lewis’s life from childhood to old age as his views on religion alter... TV15 hours ago Crow Road, The (BBC-2 1996, Joe McFadden, Peter Capaldi) Drama serial. Prentice McHoan returns to his Scottish home and gets caught up in the dark secrets that everyone around... TV15 hours ago New Tricks (BBC 2003-2015 with James Bolam, Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman) Crime drama series New Tricks took the Cold Case took it’s natural extreme by bringing out of retirement a group... search EPISODES Episodes23 hours ago She’s Gotta Have It Season 2 Premieres Fri 24 May on Netflix A seriously sexy comedy and rousing celebration of female empowerment, She’s Gotta Have It Season 2 offers a timely and... Episodes23 hours ago Vida Season 2 Premieres Fri 24 May on Starz Episode 7: The bar prepares to host a fundraiser for Eddy’s hospital expenses while Emma and Lyn learn the truth... Episodes23 hours ago WHAT / IF Series Premiere Fri 24 May 2019 on Netflix Neo-noir social thriller WHAT/IF explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. The first... advertisement MOVIES Movies2 months ago Shazam! | 2019 | Zachary Levi, Asher Angel A boy is given the ability to become an adult superhero in times of need with a single magic word.... Movies2 months ago Dumbo | 2019 | Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans... Movies2 months ago The Man Who Killed Don Quixote | 2018 | Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce Toby, a cynical advertising director finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoe-maker who believes himself... mytvtonight mytvtonight devoted to all things film and tv.