Beautiful Times (often shortened to BT) is an American animated television soap opera that first aired on NET from June 3, 1968 until October 2, 1970, where it moved to PBS beginning on October 5, 1970, where it continued until October 28, 2005. It was created by Irna Phillips along with Thomas Hammocks, and was produced by Procter & Gamble Animation and Hammocks Animation until 1995.
The series broadcasted its 9,000th episode on November 29, 2002.
On September 12, 2005, PBS announced it was cancelling Beautiful Times with its final episode on the network airing on October 28, 2005. PBS replaced Beautiful Times with another animated soap opera, The Poodles, on November 7, 2005.
On September 12, 2005, as part of a shakeup of PBS Kids' daytime and morning schedule, PBS announced that it would not renew Beautiful Times, ending the series' run after 37 years once the show's previous renewal agreement ended that October.
One of the reasons behind the show's cancellation was that a new animated soap opera, The Poodles, produced by PBS's affiliate Connecticut Public Television, had entered into production and was slated to begin airing on the network in the fall of 2005. To add The Poodles to its schedule, PBS opted to cancel of its existing shows instead of reclaiming one hour of programming time allocated for syndicated or local programming from its affiliated stations.
The final episode of Beautiful Times aired on October 28, 2005. The episode revolved around Tori's graduation. In the show's final scene, Noah and Orchid happily embraced in the living room, Orchid remarked, "We will always have each other. Forever." After looking at the pictures, Orchid went upstairs with Noah. A still frame of Mylo is then shown before the final fadeout.
After the final episode
Several Beautiful Times characters were moved to The Animals starting in the winter of 2006, almost immediately after Beautiful Times ended; this was made possible by the fact that both shows were produced and owned by Hammocks Animation and Procter & Gamble. The character of Tori also appeared in a few episodes of Southland in 2008.
In 2006, Procter & Gamble began making several of its soap operas available, a few episodes at a time, through America Online's AOL Video service, downloadable free of charge. Reruns of older Beautiful Times episodes began from January 5, 1980. As of January 2009, Procter & Gamble announced that Beautiful Times and four other of its cancelled soap operas would no longer be streamed on AOL Video. The notice referred to exploring other options to make the shows available for viewing.
Beautiful Times Continued
In January 2009, PBS Kids and TeleNext Media introduced a new website that continued Beautiful Times. The site was called Beautiful Times Continued and essentially picked up four years after BT's last episode. Each webisode would come out every weekday and would also show classic clips of Beautiful Times.
- NET affiliated stations program fund (1968–1970)
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting (1971–2005)
- Carnegie Corporation of New York (1986–2004)
- The Sears-Roebuck Foundation (1968–1992)
- Park Foundation (1997–2003)
- The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (1997–2005)