Gummi Bears - a little clearification
Nathan, Nathan, Nathan---
Now don't get me wrong, I really like the Gummi Bears as well, but no, they really weren't responsible for the emergence of kids afternoon programming in the late 1980s.
Along with the Wuzzles, another Disney-produced show, Gummi Bears was originally a Saturday morning network show. Both debuted in September of 1985, Wuzzles on CBS, Gummi Bears on NBC.
Gummi Bears was succesful in that venue. It ran for four seasons on NBC and two more on ABC.
Disney entered late afternoon programming in 1987 with Ducktales. Chip and Dales's Rescue Rangers arrived in 1989. In 1990, the Disney Afternoon was created as a two hour block of programs. Talespin was added, and reruns of Gummi Bears were used to fill out the final half hour. Goof Troop replaced it the following year. Gummi Bears only spent that one year in the afternoon block.
Gummi Bears was an important move for Disney. Its success lead the way for the company to produce more childrens televsion shows which in turn laid the groundwork for the Toon Disney channel.
However, the emergence of kids afternoon programming is largely remembered for the Disney Afternoon ultimately doing battle with Spielberg produced shows like Tiny Toons Adventures and Animaniacs.