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02.15.

Josie & The Pussycats

Josie&The

Josie and the Pussycats (formatted as Josie and the Pussy Cats in the opening titles) is an American animated television series, based upon the Archie Comics comic book series of the same name created by Dan DeCarlo.

Produced for Saturday morning television by Hanna-Barbera Productions, sixteen episodes of Josie and the Pussycats aired on CBS during the 1970-71 television season, and were rerun during the 1971-72 season. In 1972, the show was re-conceptualized as Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, sixteen episodes of which aired on CBS during the 1972-73 season and were rerun the following season.

CBS reran the original episodes, replacing the Outer Space shows in January 1974. Beginning in September 1974, ABC aired reruns of the original series for that entire year. To make it a third network,Josie and the Pussycats was then rerun on NBC Saturday mornings during the 1975-76 television season. This brought its national Saturday morning TV run on three networks to six years.

Josie and the Pussycats featured an all-girl pop music band that toured the world with their entourage, getting mixed up in strange adventures, spy capers, and mysteries. On the small-screen, the group consisted of level-headed lead singer and guitarist Josie McCoy, intelligent tambourinist Valerie Brown, and air-headed blonde drummer Melody Valentine. Other characters included their cowardly manager Alexander Cabot III, his conniving sister Alexandra, her cat Sebastian, and muscular roadie Alan M.Mayberry

The show, more similar to Hanna-Barbera’s successful Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! than the original Josie comic book, is famous for its music, the girls’ leopard print leotards (replete with “long tails and ears for hats,” as the theme song states), and for featuring Valerie as the first regularly appearing female black character in a Saturday morning cartoon show.

Each episode featured a Josie and the Pussycats song played over a chase scene, which, in a similar fashion to The Monkees, featured the group running after and from a selection of haplessly villainous characters

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01.28.

Sinbad Jr. & His Magic Belt

SinbadJr

Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt, is a series of 5-minute adventures, which originally aired between 1965-1966, produced by Hanna-Barbera studios for American International Television division of American International Pictures, and were shown during a half-hour cartoon.

Sinbad Jr. (voiced by Tim Matheson) is the son of Sinbad, the famous sea explorer. He becomes superhuman getting his power from his magic belt. His first mate is the funny and loyal assistant Salty the Parrot (voiced by Mel Blanc). Matheson and Blanc were the voices used in the Hanna-Barbera versions.

Sinbad Jr., the Sailor was originally titled The Adventures of Sinbad, Jr. and produced for American International Television by Sam Singer, who had produced 1957’s The Adventures of Pow Wow the Indian Boy, a very limited animated cartoon for CBS-TV’s Captain Kangaroo series, and Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse. In an effort to improve the quality of the animation, production of the 1965 syndicated cartoons was taken over by Hanna-Barbera. Thus it became one of the few cartoons to be produced by two different studios.

It was renamed Sinbad Jr., the Sailor out of deference to the 1962 Toei Studios feature length cartoon, Adventures of Sinbad.

The rights to the series are now owned by AIP successor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – the very studio where the Hanna-Barbera team got its start.

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12.05.

Drak Pack

Drak Pack is an animated television series. It aired in the United States on CBS Saturday Morning between September 6, 1980 and September 12, 1982. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera’s Australian subsidiary, listed in the credits as “Hanna-Barbera Pty. Ltd”. A total of 16 episodes were made. Click here to watch the intro »

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11.07.

The Saturday Morning Lineup

The one show that you may not remember is The Young Astronauts. The reason? This animated series about a family in space was withdrawn following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster on January 28. A Star Comics comic book series from Marvel Comics was planned to tie into the cartoon, but was also withdrawn following the disaster.

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10.31.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 American prime time animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.

A Halloween special, it was the third Peanuts special (and second holiday-themed special, following A Charlie Brown Christmas) to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. Its initial broadcast took place on October 27, 1966, on CBS, preempting My Three Sons. CBS re-aired the special annually through 2000, with ABC picking up the rights beginning in 2001, where it now airs annually at Halloween, followed by You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown, as if to emphasize the proximity between Halloween and Election Day; furthermore, the latter includes mention of the “Great Pumpkin” as well. Click here to read more and watch a clip »

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