The block regularly aired on Saturday mornings, though certain programs within the lineup aired on Sundays in some parts of the country due to station preferences for non-educational programming or scheduling issues with regional or network sports broadcasts.
In the years immediately prior to The Walt Disney Company's purchase of ABC corporate parent Capital Cities/ABC Inc. in 1995, the network's children's program block at the time, ABC Saturday Morning, aired such Disney-produced series as The Mighty Ducks, DuckTales and Gargoyles; it was one of two networks at the time that prominently carried Disney programming on Saturday mornings, as CBS also carried Disney cartoons (CBS's were mostly television spin-offs of Disney Renaissance films, whereas ABC's were mostly other Disney properties). After Disney formally took over ABC's operations in 1996, Disney head Michael Eisner sought to create a Saturday morning block that was different from those carried by its competitors at the time.
In February 1997, Peter Hastings left Warner Bros. Animation and joined Disney, where was tasked with overhauling ABC's Saturday morning lineup. He pitched an idea around the concept that Saturday is different from every other day of the week, and the representation of weekdays as buildings. Hastings also proposed the use of virtual set technology; although he knew a bit about it at the time and the technology used was just starting to be developed, Disney and ABC liked the idea. He hired Prudence Fenton as consultant manager and co-executive producer. Together, they sampled virtual set technology at the 1997 NAB Show and chose technology developed by Accom and ELSET. Rutherford Bench Productions, which had previously worked with Disney on other projects, hired Pacific Ocean Post (now POP Sound) to produce the virtual set. The building was initially a drawing of Grand Central Terminal with a roller coaster added, but evolved into a towering mechanical structure. Even the interior has similarities such as a central high raised room, with two wings on the left and right sides and another on the south side.
On September 13, 1997, Disney's One Saturday Morning premiered as a two-and-a-half-hour sub-block within the ABC Saturday Morning lineup. It was originally scheduled to debut the Saturday prior on September 6, but coverage by all U.S. networks of the funeral of Princess Diana pushed back the premiere up one week to September 13. Disney’s One Saturday Morning featured two parts: three hours of regularly scheduled cartoons and a two-hour flagship show that included feature segments, comedy skits, and the virtual world which Hastings had proposed, along with newer episodes of three animated series: Doug (which had been acquired from Nickelodeon in 1996), Recess and Pepper Ann.
Doug, Recess and Pepper Ann were each nominally given 40-minute time slots. The extended 10 minutes during each show's slot were for One Saturday Morning's interstitial segments and educational features. The live-action wraparound segments were originally hosted by Charlie (portrayed by Jessica Prunell, now an attorney) for the block's first season in 1997, and later by MeMe (Valarie Rae Miller) beginning in September 1998; the segments also featured an elephant named Jelly Roll (voiced by stand up comedian and actor Brad Garrett), who served as a sidekick to the human host. Schoolhouse Rock!, a longtime essential of ABC's Saturday morning block since 1973, also aired as an interstitial segment during The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, the only non-Disney cartoon to carry into the block and one that would air until 2000, when the carriage contract with Warner Bros. was exhausted.
Disney’s One Saturday Morning was initially a massive success, beating Fox Kids during its first season to be the most-watched Saturday morning block on broadcast television. It remained competitive in its second season, beating all of Fox Kids' shows except Power Rangers. The shorts and hosted segments were discontinued in 2000 in a reformatting of the ABC block; by this time, the interstitials within the block were relegated to bumpers and program promotions. In September 2001, live-action series were added to the One Saturday Morning lineup with the addition of the "Zoog Hour," an hour-long sub-block featuring the Disney Channel original series Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens (the sub-block, advertised in promos for Disney’s One Saturday Morning promoting the two programs as "powered by Zoog," was named after Disney Channel's weekend programming block at the time, Zoog Disney).
A spin-off of Disney's One Saturday Morning, Disney's One Too, debuted on UPN on September 6, 1999; produced through a time-lease agreement between Disney and UPN, the block aired each weekday (either in the morning or afternoon, depending on the station's preference) and on Sunday mornings, and featured many of the programs shown on One Saturday Morning (including Recess, Pepper Ann and Sabrina: The Animated Series). Although being discontinued in 2003, it got revived in 2015 on ABC when the network required some children's programming during the weekday and Sunday route, thus airing all One Saturday Morning programs on ABC seven days a week.
In September of 2002, the newly revamped One Saturday Morning block contained a mix of first-run programs exclusive to the block, as well as reruns of several original series from Disney Channel. NBA Inside Stuff also began airing on the block as a result of ABC's acquisition of the broadcast television rights to the NBA from NBC (where the series originally premiered in 1992), beginning with the 2002–03 season's Christmas Day game; Inside Stuff continued to air on Disney's One Saturday Morning until 2004.
In September 2004, One Saturday Morning almost exclusively carried live-action and animated series from Disney Channel as a result of the short-lived Fillmore! (which had been airing in reruns since the summer of 2004) and Recess (which was airing in reruns on the block since it ended in 2001) being dropped from the lineup. With the expanded regulation of federally mandated educational programming guidelines defined by the Federal Communications Commission's Children's Television Act, ABC chose to fulfill the five-hour quota by carrying select episodes of Disney Channel live-action comedies and animated series (anywhere between 9 and 13 episodes from a given season) featuring moral lessons and/or educational anecdotes.
In 2009, Disney XD programs were added to the block in coordination with the channel's launch in February beginning with its first live-action original, Zeke and Luther. Beginning in 2013, ABC began to carry some select Disney Junior programs to be added as part of the One Saturday Morning block. Liv and Maddie and Girl Meets World were the last two live-action Disney Channel shows to be added to the lineup before departing from ABC in September 2017, and that's where One Saturday Morning began to focus more on animation like it did in the past.
|101 Dalmations: The Series||September 13, 1997||September 4, 1999|
|Disney's Doug||September 8, 2001|
|Recess||August 28, 2004|
|Pepper Ann||January 27, 2001|
|Jungle Cubs||September 5, 1998|
|The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh||September 7, 2002|
|Hercules: The Animated Series||September 12, 1998||April 24, 1999|
|Mickey Mouse Works||May 1, 1999||January 6, 2001|
|The Weekenders||February 26, 2000||January 12, 2002|
|Teacher's Pet||September 9, 2000||September 7, 2002|
|Buzz Lightyear of Star Command||October 14, 2000||September 8, 2001|
|House of Mouse||January 13, 2001||August 24, 2002|
|Lloyd in Space||February 3, 2001||September 7, 2002|
|Teamo Supremo||January 19, 2002||September 13, 2003|
|Filmore!||September 14, 2002||February 19, 2005|
|Lizzie McGuire||September 15, 2001||September 10, 2005|
|Even Stevens||September 15, 2001||September 7, 2002|
|February 26, 2005||September 10, 2005|
|The Proud Family||August 31, 2002||September 2, 2006|
|Kim Possible||September 14, 2002||September 2, 2006|
|Lilo & Stitch: The Series||September 20, 2003||September 2, 2006|
|That's So Raven||September 20, 2003||August 27, 2011|
|Phil of the Future||September 25, 2004||September 2, 2006|
|The Buzz on Maggie||September 17, 2005||January 21, 2006|
|The Suite Life of Zack & Cody||September 17, 2005||September 13, 2008|
|The Emperor's New School||January 28, 2006||March 14, 2009|
|The Replacements||September 9, 2006||September 12, 2009|
|Hannah Montana||September 9, 2006||February 19, 2011|
|Sabrina: The Animated Series||September 11, 1999||October 13, 2001|
|Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!||October 20, 2001||August 3, 2002|
|The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show||September 13, 1997||September 2, 2000|
|W.I.T.C.H.||January 15, 2005||March 26, 2005|
|Schoolhouse Rock!||September 13, 1997||September 2, 2000|
|Science Court / Squigglevision||September 13, 1997||September 2, 2000|
|NBA Inside Stuff||September 7, 2002||August 28, 2004|
|Cory In The House||September 22, 2007||December 13, 2008|
|Wizards of Waverly Place||May 17, 2008||June 23, 2012|
|The Suite Life of Deck||September 20, 2008||September 17, 2011|
|Phineas and Ferb||April 1, 2017|
|Sonny With a Chance||March 21, 2009||September 17, 2011|
|Kid Vs. Kat|
|Zeke and Luther||September 19, 2009||June 23, 2012|
|Fish Hooks||September 18, 2010||May 10, 2014|
|Good Luck Charlie|
|Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil||February 2, 2013|
|Shake It Up||February 26, 2011||April 12, 2014|
|Kickin' It||September 24, 2011||September 12, 2015|
|Jessie||April 16, 2016|
|Lab Rats||March 3, 2012||September 10, 2016|
|Austin & Ally||April 16, 2016|
|Sofia The First||September 21, 2013||September 14, 2019|
|Gravity Falls||September 10, 2016|
|Liv and Maddie||September 9, 2017|
|Wander Over Yonder||September 10, 2016|
|Girl Meets World||September 20, 2014||September 9, 2017|
|Bill Nye The Science Guy||November 15, 2014||September 9, 2017|
|Star Vs. The Forces of Evil||September 19, 2015||September 14, 2019|
|Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero||September 9, 2017|
|Milo Murphy's Law||April 8, 2017|
|Tangled: The Series||June 24, 2017||March 28, 2020|
|Vampirina||September 16, 2017|
|DuckTales (2017 TV Series)|
|Big Hero 6: The Series||February 24, 2018|
|Fancy Nancy||September 15, 2018|
|Big City Greens|
|101 Dalmation Street||September 21, 2019|
|The Rocketeer (2019 TV Series)||February 1, 2020|
|Mira: Royal Detective||April 4, 2020|
|The Owl House|