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!


I’ve said that one of the many skills Andy Heyward possessed was his disarming ability to sometimes remain silent and listen, and that he knew much could be learned from listening. As I also said, from the moment the conference room door opened and he told me each exec represented a different Care Bear until now, Andy has been mostly silent.

Bowled over by the execs’ “smiling faces and warm welcomes” I’d forgotten this is not ‘show smiles’ and ‘show warm welcomes’; this is show business. The execs were Midwestern people all right, but they were Midwestern businesspeople. Midwest or no Midwest, one doesn’t rise to become an executive at a subsidiary of toy and greeting cards goliath American Greetings unless one carries a well-honed saber.

With their Care Bears story editor completely relaxed and at ease, it was time for them to hoist their true colors and pull their sabers. I looked at Andy seated in a nearby chair. He was looking at me. Like a lightning bolt, it struck me that he wasn’t “remaining silent and listening” so he could observe the Those Characters From Cleveland’s execs. He remained silent and listened so he could observe me…and gauge how I’d navigate my first real meeting of the minds with toy execs.

It was time for Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Friend Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear, Love-a-lot Bear, Tenderheart Bear, Wish Bear, Champ Bear, Share Bear and Secret Bear to shine, and part of their shine came from the reflection of Those Characters From Cleveland execs’ well-sharpened sabers as they slowly pulled them from their scabbards.

I believe it was Sumner Redstone, the late chairman of both Viacom and CBS, that once said, “The Midwest is a flyover zone between New York and L.A.” What Mr. Redstone, or whoever it was that said it, didn’t realize is Midwesterners like it that way. “Keep those jets up at thirty thousand feet!”

Well, I’m a Midwesterner, born and bred, but after seven years in Los Angeles, I’d nearly forgotten how much Midwesterners love the Midwest. Walking into Those Characters From Cleveland’s conference room brought it all back for me. Here were genuinely smiling faces, warm welcomes and then ten minutes of execs asking about my

writing and novels, showing they’d done their homework about this young man from L.A. who was actually from the Midwest – a point I made in short order and which was well-received.

Throughout, Andy was mostly silent. I was coming to realize one of the many skills the man who would end up being one of my four great mentors possessed was his disarming ability to sometimes remain silent and just listen. There is, he knew -- and, over time, I’d come to find out -- much that can be gleaned from listening.

Just before Those Characters From Cleveland’s execs moved into the business at hand, several said how much they’d liked the Care Bears scripts so far, and particularly the ones I’d written. I was starting to feel exhilarated. It was pleasantly surreal. I was floating on air, up in the clouds near Care-a-lot where my Care Bears friends dwelled.

And then the rug was pulled out from under me and they got down to business…

In the United Airlines terminal I see Andy walking toward me. He smiles, at ease. As we head toward the exit he asks if I had a good flight. I say I did, but neglect to mention I managed to get upgraded to first class. No sense pushing a good thing.

A man in a black suit and tie by the exit door, is holding a sign that reads “HEYWARD”.

Outside, we get into a black Lincoln Town Car – Andy really likes black Lincoln Town Cars. As we pull into traffic, I consider asking Andy if he has any advice for the meeting but I know that would be a mistake. He expects me to know what to do by now. The upside is that this time he doesn’t say, “Just try to sound intelligent.”

We pull up to Those Characters From Cleveland’s unimposing headquarters building, go inside and check in with the receptionist. An attractive woman in her twenties – I’ve learned people working at entry level jobs in the entertainment business are always attractive women in their twenties -- leads us to the back offices.

She opens a door to a large conference room where fourteen executives are seated around a long table. In unison, they all turn to look at us.

In a low voice, I ask Andy, “Who are they?”

In an equally low voice, Andy answers, “Each of them represents a different Care Bear.”

My eyes on the executives, my voice dropping even lower, I tell Andy, “We’re in trouble now…”

I’m not sure, but out of the corner of my eye I think I see him smile.

Untitled design (4).gif


bottom of page