top of page
Untitled design (4).gif


  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
Work animation  (1).gif
Untitled design (4).gif
New blog posts will be uploaded at 5:00 PM CST
Every Tuesday & Thursday!
A writer's life during the golden age of television

I’m Jack Olesker, creator, writer, producer and director of more than twelve hundred episodes of television, eighteen motion pictures and seven published novels. I've written and created many animated series during The Golden Age of Television Animation including Care Bears, M.A.S.K., Heroes on Hot Wheels, The New Adventures of He-man, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater, Popples, my co-creation of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and many more.

It’s been my joy to have entertained countless millions of viewers who were young fans and stayed fans as they grew up and introduced their own children to many of my series continuing to air worldwide.

And now, through my A Writer’s Life…During the Golden Age of Television Animation blog, I’m going to take all of you on an amazing journey back to those shining years of animated television series. It’s a real-life journey that has everything – history, action, adventure, cliffhangers, comedy and drama, suspense, devastating disappointments and tremendous triumphs.

We who labor – and labored -- in the animation industry are forever indebted to you for being fans. So my A Writer’s Life…During the Golden Age of Television Animation blog is a labor of love dedicated to you. It’s my way of saying “Thank-you.” I promise it will be a fascinating journey.

Let’s go on it together!


As I walked along Ventura Boulevard that evening, I thought how it never occurred to me that once I was on staff I would not only be paid to story edit other writers’ script for a series, but I’d be encouraged to write episodes myself.

That wasn’t how the industry usually worked. Years later, when Robby London came on as VP, Creative Affairs, he bristled at staff writers being paid to write episodes. He said while he was at Filmation, writing scripts pro bono was expected.

It made sense that if you were a paid staff writer, scriptwriting was a part of the job. Even if you wrote scripts while you were home, off the clock, to be paid a script fee on top of one’s salary, I felt, would be like double dipping.

Jean and Andy disagreed. Their policy was that if you wrote a script while on staff as a story editor you would be paid for it. Not only that, you would be well paid for it. Writing scripts while you were physically in the studio, rather than after work, at home, was a gray area. But while it wasn’t overtly condoned, as long as you were current on your work, everyone looked the other way if you were writing a script while in the office.

Still, I decided to keep the small rules. So I started working on my Care Bears treatments when I got home that night.

I was tired, but I was feeling good. I would never, ever tell anyone in the industry I was tired. Everyone’s tired, all the time. We all work hard, all the time. To say one was tired would be stating the obvious. Worse, it could show weakness.

On the other hand, I thought it would be fine to say I was feeling good. I had a lot to feel good about. I was on staff. I had a great salary. I’d gotten a promotion within a blink of an eye. I’d proved my initial worth as a player in the game. And I’d been elevated from a cubicle to an office. Who wouldn’t feel good?

So as Lori, carrying a manilla envelope, intercepted me heading for the doors and asked, “How are you doing?”, I answered, “Feeling good, Lori.” When I added, “I’m heading to the library to do some research”, she brought me to a stop by saying, “No you’re not.”

One thing I’d learned about the entertainment business was it’s fluid, ever-changing and, like quicksilver, impossible to catch. If you were smart, you didn’t even try. You just adapted and went with the flow.

When I asked, “Where am I going?”, Lori allowed a smile.

She said, “Home.” She handed me the manilla envelope. “Jean approved two of your Care Bears springboards. Start writing the treatments.”

I answered, “You got it” and opened the front door. But before I could walk outside she said, “You get twelve hundred and fifty dollars for each script.”

My knees went weak.

I’d learned early in life that when you’re in a crisis you have to act decisively. With Care Bears being two weeks behind schedule, I had to act… and decisively.

I spent the rest of my first day as story editor placing calls to writers. If their line was busy, as it often was in those before-voicemail days, I’d call again in ten of fifteen minutes, and again and again until I reached them.

Sometimes I’d get an answering machine, which I intensely disliked. I’d far prefer the phone keep ringing if no one was available and try again later. It was a lot better than leaving a message and being at the mercy of someone to call back.

When I’d get a writer on the phone I told them I was the new story editor for Care Bears and there’d be a writers’ meeting in the DIC conference room at noon tomorrow. Most said they’d be there. Two or three said they weren’t sure they could make it. One said he had an appointment at noon. I told him to break it. I told the others who “weren’t sure they could make it” that I was sure if they didn’t attend the meeting they wouldn’t be working on Care Bears…or any other series DIC had in the works.

As the day neared its end, I was confident I’d have a fine turnout for my first writers’ meeting. I packed up, planning to head to the library.

Funny how things don’t always work out like you want…

Untitled design (4).gif


bottom of page