…but for a time, today’s series of interstitials was!
Last week, I kicked off Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday for the new year with something a little bit different – the programming that aired during the commercial breaks in the time of the “Television Code” era, which was until 1983, and even slightly after. These segments were informative for adults, educational for kids, and were a minor, but important time in broadcast history.
Last Friday, I talked a bit about one of the broadcasting companies that produced interstitials for their owned networks, in an attempt to promote reading. Unfortunately, that interstitial was short-lived, and the company that produced the segments failed a few years later, of its own doing.
Today’s featured series of interstitials fared better, lasting longer in its original run, and even hanging on until the end of the broadcasting company’s time on the air and for a few years beyond that time.
For a history on the broadcasting company, Field Communications – and the short-lived short on reading – check out last week’s Flashback Friday on Hooray for Reading, a pre-Reading Rainbow type interstitial from 1979.
The biggest bonus is the super-1970s intro, which puts Reading Rainbow‘s butterfly in the sky to shame!
As for today’s interstitial, this one liked its title misspelled, but despite that, still gave some good, child-friendly information.
May I proudly present…
…but if you hate bad spelling, it is actually pronounced “snippets.”
Snipets was produced by Kaiser Broadcasting (a San Francisco/Oakland, California-based broadcasting company that was active from 1954 until 1977), and succeeded by Field Communications, beginning in 1972. The earliest segments used the Hot Butter song “Popcorn” as a theme, but was dropped for the simple title card and proclamation of “SNIPETS!”
And because I leave no stone unturned, and I really like this song’s catchiness…
Snipets segments ran between thirty seconds (early installments) and one minute (later installments), and featured craft and cooking projects, doing homework first, getting along with others, including others in sports and games, positive body image, a three-part series on the Metric system, good dietary habits, good health habits, the consequences of bad dietary habits, safety, taking turns, historical figures, and professions (school principal, fireman).
100 shorts were produced between 1972 and 1978, with all Snipets segments ending with the same title card and a dicslaimer of the broadcast company that produced them, and aired until Field Communication’s dissolution in 1983.
In the post-Field Communications era of Snipets, the shorts aired until approximately 1986, with the Kaiser Broadcasting and Field Communications disclaimer cut off, and a disclaimer from the local network in its place under the network’s title card.
All uploads in this playlist are via The Museum of Classic Chicago Television, which has an incredible collection of uploads from Chicago-area networks in the 1970s and 1980s. If you like nostalgia (especially local nostalgia), this channel is a treasure trove of interesting finds, full of very 1970s clothes. The craft projects remind me of the At Your Fingertips series of shorts RiffTrax specializes in, and the claymation has the whole Davey and Goliath vibe. And then there’s the one with the green guy basically melting away while protesting the negative consequences of unhealthy eating – it is so creepy!
Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up this series of interstitials from the latter half of the interstitial era, shifting the focus away from child-friendly education to stuff that benefits their parents and grandparents.
And they’re hosted by a then-star on the network these interstitial aired on, so they have something in common with One to Grow On.
Without Bateman siblings.
The only person disappointed by that is me.
Have a great Throwback Thursday!