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    Disneyland

    Disneyland

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    ABC (ended 1990)
    Walt Disney, one of Hollywood's most ambitious producers, was first approached to do television in 1950, when The Coca-Cola Company offered him a one-hour special. The one hour special, "One Hour in Wonderland," aired December 25, 1950 on NBC and garnered 90% of the television viewing audience. A second special, "The Walt Disney Christmas Special," aired December 25, 1951 on CBS. When Walt had drawn up plans for a theme park, known as Disneyland, he found a hard time obtaining funding; critics, including Walt's brother Roy, thought that it was unfeasible and that it would be a fiasco. At the same time, the ABC television network offered him a deal for a television anthology series. Walt wouldn't agree to it unless they put up partial financing for Disneyland (a term that had kept CBS and NBC from signing with him). ABC agreed, and also paid him $50,000 per program, an exorbitant sum for the time. The show, titled Disneyland, premiered on October 27, 1954 and was an immediate success. Historically, the show is significant for two reasons. First, with thirty-four seasons, it is the longest-running prime time network series in history (not counting news programs; if one were to count news programs, 60 Minutes would take that title). Second, it was the first original television production by a major Hollywood studio. Other studios resented television for fear that it would keep people from going out to the movies. Thus, they refused to produce television programs, and they refused to let networks or stations use any of their more recent or better-known material. Walt Disney was the first Hollywood producer to do so. Disneyland was a mixture of cartoons, live-action adventures, documentaries, and nature stories. Some of these were made expressly for television, but others were former theatrical releases. Many of the early programs were designed to promote upcoming theatrical releases. One particular early success of the Disneyland series was the Davy Crockett trilogy. This was a phenomenal success in every aspect; the merchandising bonanza that followed sold $300 million worth of Crockett memorabilia. Thus, ABC wanted more adventure stories along the lines of Davy Crockett. Disney provided them, but none were nearly as successful. Along the way, in 1958, it was retitled Walt Disney Presents. Eventually the show became more reliant on original material, though pre-existing material was used at times. In 1961, his contract with ABC expired. He moved his show to NBC where he could broadcast it in color (ABC would not have the capability for color broacasting until 1962). It was rechristened Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, with an original theme song by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (who went on to write the song scores to such well-known Disney films as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and Bedknobs and Broomsticks). It premiered on NBC on Sunday, September 24, 1961. On NBC, he was able to re-air many of the ABC shows in color, as they had been filmed that way as insurance for possible future airings once color broadcasting, or "colorcasting," took hold. In September of 1966, doctors told Walt Disney, a lifetime chain-smoker, that he had lung cancer. Though the cancerous lung was removed, doctors told him that the cancer had been detected too late, and he died on Thursday, December 15, 1966. Knowing full well that no one could replace him as a host, Walt Disney Productions dropped the hosted introduction segments after the season's end. Luckily, Walt had filmed that all of that season's host segments before it was too late. The show changed its name to The Wonderful World of Disney on September 14, 1969, and dropped the Sherman Brothers theme song in favor of various alternating medleys of well-known songs from Disney movies and parks. The trusted Disney name continued to insure high ratings for the next few years. As popular tastes changed dramatically during the late 1960s and early 1970s, the public seemed to have largely begun to turn away from anything Disney (except theme parks and merchandise), seeing the name as symptomatic of a square, uptight, and unhip mindset that young people were coming to reject. The studio itself suffered from the lack of hit movies and accusations of incompetent management at the time. The ratings of the anthology series, however, remained reasonably stable, enough so that NBC renewed Disney's contract through 1978. In the fall of 1975, the show began a ratings decline when it was moved back to 7 PM from 7:30 PM. Disney's ratings fell from the Top 30 and continued to fall every year afterwards. The following year went face to with CBS's 60 Minutes. Though it had begun in 1968 and was scheduled on Tuesday, the CBS newsmagazine had been scheduled on Sunday evenings since the 1971-1972 season, and had been held back until after football season due to the risk of pre-emptions; it was this year that the show finally began its season in the fall. The show was easily able to beat ABC's Sunday night offerings but trailed the CBS newsmagazine by a wide margin. As the number of original installments decreased every year, so, too, did the ratings. In 1979, NBC (which, as a network, was also in the midst of a very public, humiliating decline) threatened Disney with cancellation unless the ratings improved. That fall, Walt Disney Productions rechristened the anthology series Disney's Wonderful World and commissioned a new, original theme song by John Debney and John Klawitter, new opening and closing credits, and a new announcer, Gary Owens (longtime announcer Dick Wesson committed suicide in January of that year). In a flashback to the original themed format, many episodes initially were divided into one of four categories: "Fantasy Night," "Adventure Night," "Comedy Night," and "Animation Night." Beneath the "happy new face" sung of in the new theme song, however, was more of the same: too little original material, airings of theatrical movies, and far too many reruns. In spite of this, the face-lift helped the ratings, so the show was renewed for the 1980-1981 season. But the next season saw only 10 installments that had not been aired on the anthology series before, and pre-emptions were far more frequent. Ratings for the show's 27th season did not improve, and in on December 30, 1980 NBC announced that it would not be renewing the series for next season. All was not lost that year, as the show was then immediately picked up by CBS. It was moved from its longtime Sunday night slot to Saturday night at 8 PM, as the network would not displace its highly-rated pride and joy 60 Minutes. Retitled Walt Disney, the show promised to present more original programming than it had in its final years on NBC. On September 26, 1981, after a huge advertising campaign by the network, the series premiered on CBS. Ratings improved against mediocre competition, and the show was renewed for another season (its 29th on network television). A few of these shows were pilots for series that were never picked up. The second CBS year saw an increase in the number of reruns (as opposed to last year's increase in new episodes), and the ratings dropped. Disney did, however, produce several midseason replacement series for CBS, but all of them failed. On Monday, April 18, 1983, Walt Disney Productions and Westinghouse Broadcasting launched The Disney Channel, a cable network created to showcase the large library of Disney cartoons, movies, and TV shows (the anthology series was rerun under the name Walt Disney Presents). Thus, in the eyes of CBS, the anthology series had outlived its purpose and was canceled. There were occasional network and syndicated specials, but all of Disney's television resources were concentrated on the cable service. When Michael Eisner became CEO of Walt Disney Productions in September of 1984, one of the first things he and his new regime did was express an interest in reviving Disney's presence on network TV. He had some success, as the Emmy-winning, Touchstone-produced sitcom The Golden Girls and the Saturday morning cartoon (a medium with which Walt Disney himself had refused to get involved due to fears of compromised quality) Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears both premiered on NBC on Saturday, September 14, 1985 and lasted several years. However, these particular shows were the exception, not the rule; a number of series that the new regime eventually launched failed (Wildside and The Ellen Burstyn Show, for instance). Also, of course, did the company plan to revive the anthology series. Now known as The Disney Sunday Movie, it made its much-hyped return to network television on February 2, 1986 after a hiatus of 2 years, 4 months, and eight days, replacing the dismally-rated Ripley's Believe it or Not. Just as Walt Disney had hosted the original until his death, Michael Eisner appeared in an introductory segment at the beginning of each episode. Nostalgia and ratings were high initially, but both eventually wore off. The show premiered at a two-hour length, but in the fall of 1987, once again being soundly beaten in the ratings regularly by 60 Minutes in its first hour, and by Murder, She Wrote in its second, it was shortened to one hour for its third and final season on ABC. NBC, which had not been able to launch a hit show in Disney's old time slot in the seven years since the show was axed by that network, picked up the show, which was renamed The Magical World of Disney. At first, a rotating "wheel" format was used, utilizing three different genres; every fourth week would be a special. This lasted until a few months into the following season. Eisner continued to host the show, but ratings on NBC were no better than they had been on ABC, and it limped through a two-year run here before the network pulled the plug for good. After 36 years (save for the September 1983-January 1986 hiatus), one of television's last remaining institutions from its golden age came to an unceremonious end. In 1995, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to buy out the ABC television network, which went through in January of 1996. In the fall of 1997, a family-oriented movie time slot was set aside on ABC and christened The Wonderful World of Disney. Ratings to date have been middling. Though the show is not currently repeated anywhere (The Disney Channel dropped it and all vintage Disney programming in September of 2002), episodes are slowly being released on DVD in the United States, and its legacy of quality television entertainment for all members of the family lives on in the hearts and minds of many. Here is a chronology of titles used for the series: Disneyland: October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958
    Walt Disney Presents: September 12, 1958-September 17, 1961
    Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: September 24, 1961-September 7, 1969
    The Wonderful World of Disney: September 14, 1969-September 2, 1979
    Disney's Wonderful World: September 9, 1979-September 13, 1981
    Walt Disney: September 26, 1981-September 24, 1983
    The Disney Sunday Movie: February 2, 1986-September 11, 1988
    The Magical World of Disney: October 9, 1988-September 9, 1990 The final name was used as an umbrella title for Disney movie airings on cable's The Disney Channel from September 23, 1990 to August 25, 1996. ABC Broadcast History (1954-1961):
    October 27, 1954-September 3, 1958: Wednesday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 12, 1958-September 25, 1959: Friday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 2, 1959-September 23, 1960: Friday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 25, 1960-September 17, 1961: Sunday, 6:30 PM-7:30 PM NBC Broadcast History (1961-1981):
    September 24, 1961-August 31, 1975: Sunday, 7:30 PM-8:30 PM
    September 14, 1975-September 11, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    September 18, 1977-October 23, 1977: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    October 30, 1977-September 13, 1981: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM CBS Broadcast History (1981-1983):
    September 26, 1981-January 1, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    January 4, 1983-February 15, 1983: Tuesday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    July 9, 1983-September 24, 1983: Saturday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    (two irregularly scheduled airings on May 3, 1983 and May 21, 1983) ABC Broadcast History (1986-1988):
    February 2, 1986-September 6, 1987: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    September 13, 1987-September 11, 1988: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM NBC Broadcast History (1988-1990):
    October 9, 1988-July 2, 1989: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    July 9, 1989-July 23, 1989: Sunday, 8:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 6, 1989-February 25, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    March 4, 1990-April 15, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    April 22, 1990-May 6, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    May 27, 1990-July 22, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM
    August 5, 1990-September 9, 1990: Sunday, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM
    First Telecast: October 27, 1954
    Last Telecast: September 9, 1990 Episodes: 751 (180 black and white episodes, 571 color episodes [as far as the format in which they were first broadcast]) (NOTE: many of these were originally theatrical releases, and a small number were specials aired at other times, but for purposes of their first airing on the anthology series they are counted as episodes)moreless
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    Less Than Perfect

    Less Than Perfect

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    ABC (ended 2006)
    Sara Rue stars as Claudia Casey, an enthusiastic assistant who loves her job working for GNB Network news anchor Will Butler, played by Eric Roberts. After two years, Claudia has become more adept at fending off her condescending co-workers, Kipp (Zachary Levi) and Lydia (Andrea Parker), who have been determined to get rid of her to further their own ambitions. Now, while continuing to spar with these snobs, she's being pestered in new ways: Lydia is obsessed with her upcoming wedding to on-air pundit Jeb (Patrick Warburton, new series regular), sharing all the details with everyone at the office -- especially Claudia -- and Kipp needs Claudia's counsel as he struggles with his new job as Jeb's assistant. Fortunately Claudia still has the support of three friends at GNB: the brash and blunt Ramona (Sherri Shepherd), the loyal but idiosyncratic Owen (Andy Dick), and her blowhard next-door neighbor, Carl (Will Sasso), who's also the cafeteria manager.moreless
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    The Weekenders

    The Weekenders

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    ABC (ended 2004)
    The Weekenders is a original Disney Channel show which focuses on a group of hardcore friends named Tino, Lor, Carver and Tish who spend their weekends trying to have as much fun as possible. While sometimes their weekends are far from what they plan, they usually manage to work together with the help of some advice from Tino's mother, and things usually work out in the end. Their weekends often consist of visiting various Pizza Parlors and ultimately to have the perfect weekend, though their weekends seldomly go as planned. The central setting of the cartoon is that it takes place only on the weekends, though in some cases it does show certain days of the week in order to show the cause of the episode or the end result thereof. It also has various quirks, like Tino's gray screen and the end-of-episode catchphrase, "Later days!". The Gang Tini Tonitini - Tino is the plan maker of the group even though his plans often turn into disasters while frequently adding to his list of phobias. Regardless, he greets every challenge with a sarcastic tone and is always reliable to help out his friends. He often asks his mother for help during dinner, though he usually would rather spend more time asking his mother for help than actually eating the bizarre dishes she cooks up. Lor McQuarrie - Lor is the tomboy of the group, which is likely credited to the fact that she has fourteen brothers. She is good at most sports and especially basketball, though her grades suffer due to her personality. She is a reliable friend in times of need and she does her best to help out when she can. She is usually eager to do most things, though when it comes to studying or speaking with her crush Thomson Oberman, she loses her nerve. Tish Katsufrakis - Tish is the brains and artist of the gang. She is a very nitpicky perfectionist and can get a little crazy at times in which she feels stressed. Many times her art can affect the gangs weekend but overall she is willing to use her abilities to help her friends and her family, though her complex nature often causes interesting circumstances despite her best efforts. Carver Decartes - Carver tries his best to be cool even though he isn't considered cool by the cool crowd. He is obsessed with his shoes and often times lead the gang to some bizarre ordeals. He tries not to feel bad about doing the wrong thing but usually his conscience catches up with him and comes back to help his friends when they need him. The Weekenders still comes on Toon Disney at various times and still is shown on The Disney Channel.moreless
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    The Greatest American Hero

    The Greatest American Hero

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    ABC (ended 1983)
    This show was first aired in 1981, and was both a comedy and a drama. A special "power suit" that only works on him is given to the teacher by the aliens, and he is paired up with the gumshoe FBI agent who keeps them both busy with his scenarios. The suit of "unearthly powers" gives the power of strength, flight, invisibilty, flames, telekenesis, vision of events without being there, protection from bullets and firemoreless
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    Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23

    Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23

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    ABC (ended 2013)
    A young woman named June Colburn moves to New York City for her dream job. Her work goes under and June ends up with a troublemaker for a roommate named Chloe. She now works at a coffee shop and is friends with Chloe's best friend who happens to be James Van Der Beek from Dawson's Creek.moreless
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    The Wonder Years

    The Wonder Years

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    ABC (ended 1993)
    "The Wonder Years" was a hit comedy series starring Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold the main character, a boy facing rites of passage on his way to adulthood. Kevin lives with his brother Wayne (Jason Hervey), his sister Karen (Olivia d'Abo), his father Jack (Dan Lauria), and his mother Norma (Alley Mills). Kevin grows up with his on-and-off girlfriend, Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar), and his best friend, Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano).

    The show had a successful 6 year run.

    Theme Song: "With a Little Help From My Friends" by John Lennon & Paul McCartney -- performed by Joe Cocker

    ABC Broadcasty History: January 1988 - April 1988 --- Tuesdays 8:30 October 1988 - February 1989 --- Wednesdays 9:00 February 1989 - August 1990 --- Tuesdays 8:30 August 1990 - August 1991 --- Wednesdays 8:00 August 1991 - February 1992 --- Wednesdays 8:30 March 1992 - September 1993 --- Wednesdays 8:00moreless
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    My Three Sons

    My Three Sons

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    ABC (ended 1972)
    "MY THREE SONS" is the story of a Mid-West Aeronautical Engineer who watches his family grow up. This seemingly innocuous and simple, but effective sitcom, was a huge hit and a cornerstone of television's 'family programming' era in the 1960s. Second next to "The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet" as television's longest running family sitcom, "My Three Sons" was created by former "Leave It To Beaver" alumnus George Tibbles (1913-87). Executive Producer Don Fedderson (1913-94) campaigned the series as a probable vehicle for movie veteran Fred MacMurray (1908-91), who was reluctant to star in it at all. He spoke to Robert Young, of "Father Knows Best" fame and his suspicions were confirmed. He'd be working seven days a week and would barely see his real life family. Finally he gave in after the Producers guaranteed that they could have enough scripts available ahead of time to warrant filming the show within a set sixty five day period. He agreed to this, and so for example, all the scenes set in the kitchen of many different episodes were all shot together in one day, all out of sequence, which were then later edited into each episode in order. Co-star William Frawley (1887-1966), used to years of filming "I Love Lucy" in sequence before a captive studio audience and performed like a play, never got used to this schizophrenic method of filming. And thus this technique was dubbed 'The MacMurray Method' and was also used by Brian Keith on the "Family Affair" series, coincidentally also a Don Fedderson Production. Of course, the "MacMurray Method" isn't particularly novel in its creation (it is, after all, how most feature films are shot, and a method probably most comfortable and familiar to the film actor MacMurray), but its introduction to TV production methods was certainly innovative at the time.

    HISTORICAL OVERVIEW: When the series began in 1960, the boys were aged 18 (Mike), 14 (Robbie) and 8 (Chip). They were played by Tim Considine, Don Grady and Stanley Livingston, respectively. At the beginning of the series, storylines centred on the family's adventures in suburbia, and was perhaps the hybrid of what was to become the era of the Dom-Com (Domestic Sitcom). Steve Douglas also spent a good deal of time fending off attractive women who wanted to marry him and take over that loveable ready made family. The 'woman' in their lives was Bub O'Casey, Steve's maternal father in law, who did all the cooking, cleaning and chores. Other regulars in the early years were Peter Brooks as Robbie's best friend Hank Ferguson, and Ricky Allen as Sudsy Pfeiffer, Chip's best friend. The first of the show's format changes began at the start of the 1963-64 season. Meredith MacRae (1944-2000) was introduced as Sally Morrison, the girlfriend to eldest son Mike. They would become engaged and eventually marry. Meanwhile, Chip's new pal Ernie Thompson (co-star Stanley Livingston's real-life brother, Barry) was introduced and he would ultimately become a permanent part of the Douglas household. During the 1964-65 season, Frawley left the show for health reasons and Bub was written out of the show and replaced with his cantankerous younger brother Charley, a retired sailor played by William Demarest (1892-1983), whose crusty disposition masked a soft heart. At the start of the 1965-66 season, when the show moved from ABC to CBS, Mike and Sally got married in the very first Color episode, and moved back East so that Mike could accept a job teaching psychology on the college level. (Actor Tim Considine had at 24, outgrown the role and wanted out of the series to pursue a Directing career, which ultimately never eventuated). To re-establish the 'three sons', Steve subsequently adopted orphan child Ernie, who was not permitted to accompany his foster parents in their move to the orient. Things went along much the same for the next two seasons, although now the sons were Robbie, Chip and Ernie. Mike would never be referred to again after a few episodes.
    In a dramatic production move, the series, which for the first seven seasons was filmed mainly on Stage 11 at Desilu Studios in Hollywood, had to up anchor and begin filming at the former Republic Studios site, now rechristened the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California. This necessitated moves behind and in front of the cameras. Lucille Ball, who by 1962 had bought out her ex-husband Desi Arnaz to take total control of Desilu, was, in February, 1967 talked into a deal by chief executive Charles Bludhorn of the giant Gulf and Western conglomerate, into selling Desilu. As G&W now owned Paramount Studios, Desilu was absorbed into this operation. To facilitate the placement of schedules for various TV series that lensed their shows at Desilu, all were forced to find other burgeoning accommodations. "My Three Sons" complimented the move to the CBS Studio Center (the Columbia Broadcasting System now owning the show) by introducing a new storyline at the start of the 1967-68 season, where Steve Douglas transfers to California, and the family moves to North Hollywood. (Thus, a new house, and new studio facilities). Although the adjustment was not too pleasant many of the Douglas's new acquaintances were not too friendly at first, there were good sides to the move. Robbie fell in love with college student Kathleen Miller (Tina Cole), and their romance blossomed into marriage. At the beginning of the following season 1968-69, the newly weds discovered that Katie was pregnant, and during the season she gave birth to triplets; three sons of course. Season 1969-70 brought new love to father Steve Douglas in the form of Barbara Harper (Beverly Garland), Ernie's English teacher. They were eventually married and Barbara's five year old daughter Dodie (Dawn Lyn), whom Steve subsequently adopted, also joined the family.

    Even original youngest son Chip (who was by now 18) got into the act, eloping with fellow college student Pauline ('Polly') Williams (Ronne Troup) in the 1970-71 season. Adopted brother Ernie was the only one of the sons not to get married on the show. As if the sprawling family had not gotten big enough already, the start of the final season (1971-72) saw a four part related episode that was sort of a continuation of a storyline that began in the 1963-64 season. Steve's Scottish nobleman cousin Fergus McBain Douglas (enacted by Fred MacMurray; voiced by Alan Caillou) came to the United States in search of a wife to take back to Scotland. In its later years, as the of the Douglas family grew on "My Three Sons" and separated into individual households, episodes could very rarely include the entire group. More and more often, they dealt with the specific problems of a large cast of regulars, with different members taking the spotlight from episode to episode. These multi-story elements were the brainchild of the show's creator and head writer for its twelve seasons, George Tibbles, who penned a massive 95 scripts of the series during this period. 16 of these were as a co-writer, in addition to him overseeing the work of the contributing staff writers during his tenure as Story Editor/Supervisor.

    "My Three Sons" never changed much in only in structure, its format changes having been discussed with the writing staff which increased the show's longevity with natural progressions for each character. For its time and of its type, the show was extremely well written and the writing of the series doesn't get enough credit to this day. As the series only filmed several months out of the year, the same Director was usually employed, which gave the show the behind the scenes continuity it probably needed. When the show was finally cancelled it had been running for twelve years and in reruns has run many, many more. By today's standards it appears wholesome, tame and perhaps slightly dated, but it's a slice of life that all of us can appreciate and learn from. One thing is certain. For all of its detractors, the series remains a favourite all over the world. The show's huge catalogue of 380 half hour episodes is a lasting legacy for Fred MacMurray and his TV family that will never be forgotten. While never a top ten hit during its original run, thanks to syndication the show remains extremely popular and continues to win new fans, young and old for its effective way of depicting an all-male family that did all-male things, even in its simplicity and its naiveté. The original Black and White episodes, considered by most fans as the show's best, were held back from syndication until the 1980s and enjoyed a new lease of life on Cable Television until the late 90s. The Color episodes are in constant syndication and are the only ones being distributed across the U.S. as of this writing (Jan. 2002). As long as TV stations are in need of quality programming the series will hopefully be played regularly to a whole new generation of audience.

    WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Fred MacMurray (b. August 30, 1908 in Kankakee, Illinois) died on November 5, 1991 aged 83, of pneumonia as a result of contracting chronic lymphocytic leukemia. MacMurray's off-screen role in the series was purely financial. A deal with Executive Producer Don Fedderson named MacMurray a silent partner, in effect giving him a 50% ownership stake in the series. In his 70s after he had all but retired from the business as one of Hollywood's wealthiest citizens, thanks to shrewd property investment deals among other business ventures, Fred suffered for a while with throat cancer. Sadly missed by all of us. The plaque in his mausoleum crypt at Holy Cross cemetery in Culver City, California says "Forever in the hearts of your family" (indeed!) which was arranged by his second wife, actress June Haver, to whom he was married for 37 years until his death. (June passed away aged 79 in 2005 and is now interred with him). He is survived by four children; two were adopted during his first marriage to the late actress Lillian LaMont, (Robert and Susan), and then in 1956 he and June adopted twin baby girls Katie and Laurie. Known as a devoted husband and father, no one ever talks of Fred as ever being a great actor, but when you think of it he never really gave a bad performance, and for the sheer number of movies and television shows he made, that's a pretty good epitaph for anybody in show business.

    William Frawley (b. February 26, 1887 in Burlington, Iowa) died on March 3, 1966 a week after his 79th Birthday from a massive coronary, while strolling down Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a movie. His constant companion, a male nurse, carried him into the nearby Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel but he was pronounced dead on arrival at Hollywood Receiving Hospital. His funeral was held at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Los Angeles and he is buried in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. Tracing his show business roots back to vaudeville, he was also a prolific character actor who appeared in more than 150 feature films from as early as 1916 and usually but not always was featured in comedic roles. Bill is best remembered for his long running role on "I Love Lucy" (1951-57) as the irascible Fred Mertz. Perhaps appropriately, his last performance was a cameo on an episode of "The Lucy Show" which aired in late 1965.

    William Demarest (b. February 27, 1892 in St. Paul, Minnesota) died on December 27, 1983 aged 91, from a heart attack, after a long battle with prostate cancer. One of the true stalwarts of the entertainment industry, he is one of the few performers who can lay claim to being there from the very beginning; he appeared uncredited alongside Al Jolson in Warner Bros. first ever talking motion picture, "The Jazz Singer" in 1927. He was a welcome face in many vintage movies where he usually played in support of the leads, and was instantly recognizable to audiences even if people didn't know his name. His career started when he was a headliner in vaudeville in the days before World War I and his last appearance was in a 1978 telemovie which capped off a remarkable 73-year career in show business. He was retired and living in Palm Springs, California at the time of his death, and he is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

    Meredith MacRae (b. May 30, 1944 in Houston, Texas) died on July 14, 2000 aged 56, of complications from surgery for brain cancer. The daughter of the late actor Gordon MacRae, Meredith had her own talk show in the 1980s called "Mid-Morning L.A." and she won an Emmy for her work on the show in 1986. Married three times, her only child Allison was born in 1975 during her second marriage (1969-87) to actor Greg Mullavey. She became a successful producer and garnered many awards during her long career. She did a series of acclaimed lectures to major companies and organizations, taught a in film and TV production at Chapman University, and recorded over a dozen best-selling books on tape. Former L.A. mayor Tom Bradley called her one of that city's most outstanding businesswomen. As per her wishes and because her hobbies had included water skiing and scuba diving she was cremated and her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
    Beverly Garland
    (b. October 17, 1926 in Santa Cruz, California) died on December 5, 2008 aged 82 after a short illness. Beverly was the widow of land developer Fillmore Crank to whom she was married for 39 years until his death in 1999. She ran with the help of three of four of her grown children, the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn, located in North Hollywood which is a few blocks from Universal Studios. Until her death she was still occasionally active in show business, and was bestowed the honor of of being inducted into the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and celebrated the beginning of her "second" fifty years in show business in 2001. In recent years she had a recurring role on the series "Seventh Heaven". Garland's hotel is also the Los Angeles site of the famed annual celebrity autograph & collector's conventions.

    Don Grady
    (b. June 8, 1944 in San Diego, California) died on June 27, 2012 aged 68 after a long battle with cancer. Don began his career in show business and started where so many others have, at Disney. Don was one of the original Mousketeers, before landing his long-running role on "My Three Sons". During the series he was able to parlay his interest in music into a second career and left the show to become a reputable composer of film and television, although it took him almost ten years to finally make a living from it. His most recent credits include music for theme park attractions at Universal Studios as well as productions on the Lifetime and Discovery Channels. Married for the second time to Ginny, he is the father of two children, Joey and Tessa. Born Don Agrati, he is the son of a former talent agent and was the older brother of the late actress Lani O'Grady (1954-2001) who played Mary Bradford on the TV series "Eight Is Enough" (1977-81). In a recent TV Guide interview, Don said he still got mail from people who remembered the show and are thankful for its family values. He also said he grew extremely proud of the show over the years. Be sure to stop by www.dongrady.com - now his tribute site, to check out all about Don's musical career. 2008 also marked Don's 50th Anniversary in show business!

    Tim Considine (b. December 31, 1940 in Los Angeles, California): Tim, is now a well known sports photographer and writer involved in auto racing, which takes him all over the country. His most recent book, "American Grand Prix Racing: A Century of Drivers & Cars" - is an award winning definitive account of U.S. drivers in Grand Prix events, and was published in 1997. Divorced from actress Charlotte Stewart, he is now re-married to Willett Hunt and has a 29 year old son named Chris. Now basically retired from acting, Tim isn't afraid to go back to his roots however; he appeared in the reunion movie "The New Adventures Of Spin and Marty" in 2000 reprising the role of the original Spin Evans, the character he portrayed on the old Walt Disney series of shorts from 1955-58, which began as "The Adventures of Spin and Marty", a segment of "The Mickey Mouse Club". Recently as 2003 Tim also appeared as a supporting actor in the family TV movie, "The Monster Makers".

    Stanley Livingston (b. November 24, 1950 in Los Angeles, California): Stan is now the founder and Chief Executive Officer of "Kids In Show Biz, Inc". He has written feature films and directed commercials. Through his production company Premier Entertainment Group, he produced a feature film called "Checkers" in 2000 and the following year directed all 20 Episodes of a new children's TV Series for PBS. He was married to a dancer named Sandra at age 18 and the union which lasted six years, produced a daughter named Samantha, born in 1970. In recent years he has created stained glass artwork for celebrity clients including Tom Hanks and Lorenzo Lamas. He often sold his items through e-bay, but these days is all about showing actors and parents of actors the pitfalls of the industry and what to do to combat that. Check out his informative website at www.theactorsjourney.com

    Barry Livingston (b. December 17, 1953 in Los Angeles, California): Barry has had the most active post-series career. Married to Karen, with two children named Hailey and Spencer, Barry continued acting with roles in a host of made for TV movies of the week. This was followed by summer acting workshops and off-Broadway productions in New York. In the 90s, had a semi-recurring role on "Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman". Like his older brother Stanley, Barry has dabbled in directing and writing, but he's mainly a character actor. His most recent credits include guest star appearances on the popular television shows "Ally McBeal", "The West Wing", "Will and Grace", "Boston Public" and "Roswell". In 2011, he released his autobiography, aptly titled 'The Importance of Being Ernie'.
    Tina Cole
    (b. August 4, 1943 in Hollywood, California): Tina, the daughter of Yvonne King and the late Buddy Cole (of "The King Family" singers fame) is divorced from her second husband, Fillmore Crank Jr., stepson of her "My Three Sons" co-star Beverly Garland. In the last decade, she has worked with a "looping group" doing voice-over work for national television series and movies. With a teenaged son and a six month old baby boy (from her first marriage to producer Volney Howard III) Tina moved to Sacramento in 1982, and she has been the resident director of the Junior League of that city's Children's Theater for some years. By 1985 two daughters completed her family. Although divorced in 1995, her life still centers around her four children. Now remarried, a mom and a mother-in-law, apart from a recent local morning television talk show in 1999, her latest theatrical credits include the musical "I Do, I Do" and a starring role in the play "Six Women with Brain Death" in 2001. Tina also taught acting at a prominent local drama school for a few years but is now retired. Still stunningly beautiful, it's hard to believe that Tina is now in her late 60s!

    Dawn Lyn (b. January 11, 1963 in Hollywood, California): Dawn found it difficult to make the transition from child star to young adult. While she managed to appear in a few guest star roles during her teens like "Barnaby Jones", "The Streets of San Francisco" and "Wonder Woman", in effect, her career was stymied by her small stature and youthful appearance. The younger sister of former pop idol Leif Garrett, Dawn left the entertainment industry to pursue other interests. She married an architect named Michael Whitby in 1990, but it ended in divorce after nine years. Today, Dawn is happy and living her life out of the spotlight. She has a great time being involved with the local community theater and civic/volunteer activities, is still in contact with her co-stars and loves them like family. Dawn remarried in 2006 to John Reese, and as a result of her husband's career, she relocated in September 2007 to Germany to be with him. They lived there for nearly five years and have now returned to California as of late 2012. Like her co-stars, she was deeply saddened to hear that her TV mother Beverly Garland (with whom she had always kept in touch) passed away at the end of 2008. Ronne Troup (b. June 10, 1945): Ronne, who is now in her late 60s has kept a low profile with guest appearances but still occasionally acts and does commercials. The daughter of the late Bobby Troup and stepdaughter of the late Julie London, she had a recurring role on the night-time soap "Knots Landing" in the 80s and has appeared recently on programs like "The Practice", "E.R." and "The West Wing". Ronne is the younger sister of Cynnie, who was a script editor on their father's series "Emergency" in the early 70s. She has been maried twice and has been very happy in her own life, and is blessed to have two daughters, Bridget and Jamie Lawrence, and a wonderful husband, Bob Bayles. In spite of a career in acting, she has always enjoyed writing, since her days at UCLA when she imagined being a writer. I believe that in recent years, apart from the odd guest appearance on shows like "Coldcase" she has been teaching elementary school in the Los Angeles area.

    The Todd Triplets (Joseph, Michael & Daniel) (b. August 5, 1967): After being contacted by the boys' mother Lynn and their stepfather David, I can let you know (at the time of this writing) that Joe, his wife and two kids are living in Colorado Springs. Joe has now retired from active service. He was an 'E7' in the medical unit. Mike is also in the army, and is based in Washington. He too is an 'E7' and will retire in two years. He is now divorced and has two daughters in Hawaii where he spent four years on active duty before going to Washington. Danny is married and lives in Houston. He spent five years in the Army and settled in Houston where he is the owner of a company that installs yard water and lighting systems. The boys have spent many years overseas and all speak several languages. According to their Mom, they are happy and haven't done any TV work since they were 16 years old.

    First Telecast: September 29, 1960 on ABC. Last Telecast: August 24, 1972 on CBS. Number of Episodes: 380 (x half-hours). (184 Black and White, 196 Color). A Don Fedderson Production, Distributed Worldwide by CBS Television Distribution International Ltd. Original Broadcast History: ABC Sept. 1960-Sept.1963 Thurs. 9:00-9:30pm Sept. 1963-Sept.1965 Thurs. 8:30-9:00pm CBS Sept. 1965-Aug. 1967 Thurs. 8:30-9:00pm Sept. 1967-Sept.1971 Sat. 8:30-9:00pm Sept. 1971-Dec. 1971 Mon. 10:00-10:30pm Jan. 1972-Aug. 1972 Thurs. 8:30-9:00pmmoreless
  • 48
    The Real McCoys

    The Real McCoys

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    ABC (ended 1963)
    The McCoy family moves from the mountains of West Virginia to California's San Fernando Valley. The leader of the clan is Grampa--a cranky old geezer with a distinctive voice and gait--but underneath it all, he has a heart of gold. Living with him are his grandson, Luke, and Luke's bride, Kate. Due to the death of Luke's parents, these three adults are raising Luke's teenage sister, Hassie, and his younger brother, Little Luke.moreless
  • 49
    George Lopez

    George Lopez

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    ABC (ended 2007)
    "George Lopez," the hit family comedy starring popular standup comedian George Lopez, is on ABC. The series is from Bruce Helford, Deborah Oppenheimer and Robert Borden – all from ABC's long-running hit comedy series, "The Drew Carey Show" – and actress/producer Sandra Bullock ("Miss Congeniality," "Speed").

    George Lopez is a guy who has made lemonade from lemons at every turn. Since he became plant manager at an L.A. airplane parts factory, he has handled a complicated and tumultuous job, a strong but challenging marriage, two rebellious children and a mother who can't keep track of her own lies about his childhood -- all with his sense of humor intact.

    His affable compadre, Ernie (Valente Rodriguez, "Erin Brokovich"), still ribs George about his high-powered management position at the plant, but always lends a hand when George needs him. Ernie, who still lives with his mother and father, has learned some fathering skills of his own after foster-parenting a troubled twelve-year-old boy.

    Though their marriage has had some close calls, George and his devoted wife, Angie (Constance Marie), still chose to renew their vows recently. Angie deals with his questionable decisions and freewheeling approach to parenthood and his mother's insensitive wisecracks with the patience of a saint -- and some guidance from her father, Vic (Emiliano Díez) -- but her drive to build a still unprofitable wedding-planning business has nearly driven their family to the poor house.

    George's biggest test, both at work and home, is dealing with his tough and acerbic but loving mother, Benny (Belita Moreno, "Perfect Strangers"), while sifting through her vast assortment of lies about his family and childhood. After rediscovering and losing his father to kidney disease and learning of a long lost sister, George constantly wonders what, or who, is around the next corner.

    After running away from home, being expelled from school and falling in love with a handsome jock, sixteen year-old Carmen's (Masiela Lusha) free-spirited, teenage rebellion has left her parents at a total loss about what to do next. Always the practical joker, thirteen-year-old Max clearly maintains the sense of humor he inherited from his father, but continues to struggle with dyslexia and constantly tests his parents' limits by being drawn toward the wrong crowd.

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  • 50
    The Drew Carey Show

    The Drew Carey Show

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    ABC (ended 2004)
    This long-running sitcom stars comedian Drew Carey as a sort of blue-collar everyman. The show chronicles Drew's working life, the ups and downs of his romances and his strong relationship with his long-time friends Lewis, Oswald and Kate. Episodes: 233 Color Episodes ABC Broadcast History: September 1995 - May 1996: Wednesday 8:30 May 1996 - September 1996: Tuesday 8:30 August 1996 - November 1996: Wednesday 9:30 December 1996 - May 2002: Wednesday 9:00 September 2002 - October 2002: Monday 8:00 November 2002 - November 2002: Friday 9:00 December 2002 - January 2003: Friday 9:30 June 2003 - July 2003: Wednesday 9:00/9:30 August 2003 - September 2003: Wednesday 9:30 June 2004 - September 2004: Wednesday 9:00/9:30 (Simulcast in HDTV on ABC beginning with the 2001-2002 season)moreless
  • 51
    Coach

    Coach

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    ABC (ended 1997)
    Coach airs on the USA network; reruns also air in syndication. Check Local Listings Nielsen Ratings: (Top 30 or Better) #18 in the 1989- 1990 Season
    #18 in the 1990- 1991 Season
    #10 in the 1991- 1992 Season
    #6 in the 1992- 1993 Season
    #6 in the 1993- 1994 Season
    #15 in the 1995- 1996 Season
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  • 52
    Recess

    Recess

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    ABC (ended 2001)
    Recess is Disney's popular animated series that takes place at Third Street School and tells of the exciting lives of six friends: T.J. Detweiler, the fearless leader; Vince LaSalle, the sports jock; Mikey Blumburg, the poet; Gretchen P. Grundler, Third Street's resident genius; Ashley Spinelli, the toughest girl in school; and Gus P. Griswold, the new kid. Their enemies include Mrs. Finster, a mean teacher who sucks the fun out of everything, the Ashleys, Lawson, Randall C. Weems, and Kirst the Worst.moreless
  • 53
    Love, American Style

    Love, American Style

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    ABC (ended 1974)
    Love, American Style entertained viewers with stories about common people finding love in all walks of life. In this anthology series, each hour-long broadcast consisted of a group of vignettes, aired sequentially and separately and each with an introductory title card. Normally there were three or four vignettes to a show, although occasionally there were as few as one or as many as five. Short blackout skits would be shown in between segments whenever time allowed. The skits featured a recurring cast of players which included James Hampton, best known as Hannibal Dobbs from F Troop, and veteran character actor Stuart Margolin, brother of executive producer Arnold Margolin. The syndication rerun package consisted of 30-minute broadcasts that were edited from the original hour-long broadcasts, except for those which aired in the first half of season 2, which ran in a 30-minute time slot. The show never ranked above #25 in the Nielsen Ratings. Time slots that Love, American Style originally aired in: September 29, 1969 to January 12, 1970: Mondays, 10:00 to 11:00. January 23, 1970 to September 18, 1970: Fridays, 10:00 to 11:00. September 25, 1970 to January 15, 1971: Fridays, 9:30 to 10:00. January 22, 1971 to January 11, 1974: Fridays 10:00 to 11:00. In 1970, the show received a Golden Globe nomination for Best TV Show in a Musical or Comedy. It also won two Emmys for Charles Fox's musical compositions and was nominated for two more. The theme song was originally sung by the pop group, the Cowsills, but later replaced by an uptempo version, credited to the "Love American Style Singers." There was a short-lived revival in 1986 called The New Love, American Style, which aired on ABC's daytime schedule. One of the segments, "Love and the Happy Days," spawned a successful spin-off series, Happy Days.moreless
  • 54
    Gidget

    Gidget

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    ABC (ended 1966)
    Gidget was based on the 1959 movie of the same name. While the original had Sandra Dee as Gidget, this series had Sally Field in the title role. The sitcom was first seen in September of 1965 and centered around Francine Lawrence. Francine was her real first name but everyone called her Gidget. She lived with her father, Professor Russ Lawrence, who was a widower in Southern California. Stories revolved around Gidget and her life as a teenager growing up on the Pacific coast. Recurring characters included, Anne Cooper, Gidget's sister, who tended to take the role of mother and was often overprotective of Gidget. John was Anne's psychology student of a husband who often read much to much into situations. Larue was Gidget's best friend while Jeff was Gidget's boyfriend who was talked about more than he was seen since he was away at college. ABC pulled the plug on the series in the spring of 1966 due to the fact that the series hadn't found an audience. This was an unfortunate event, because that summer, ABC aired reruns, and finally an audience was found. However, it was too late, the series had already been canceled. Reruns boosted the series' popularity in the 80's which resulted in a new series, The New Gidget. This series introduced a young Sally Field to the television audience and led the way for her next TV role as Sister Bertrille on another ABC sitcom, The Flying Nun. Theme Song: "Gidget" Written by: Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller Sung by: Johnny Tillotson Broadcast History September 15, 1965-January 1966----Wednesdays----8:30 p.m. January-September 7, 1966----Thursdays----8:00 p.m. Ratings never hit the top 25moreless
  • 55
    Scooby and Scrappy-Doo

    Scooby and Scrappy-Doo

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    ABC (ended 1985)
    Scooby and Scrappy-Doo premiered on September 22, 1979. This cartoon introduced another character to the cast: Scooby's nephew Scrappy-Doo, whose main purpose was to splat ghosts while the gang tries to run away from them. In November 1980, this show was known as The Richie Rich/Scooby Doo Hour, which only featured Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy in three 7-minute short segments, and was shared with Richie Rich, the adventures of Richie Rich and his dog Dollar and his robotic maid. These shows shared an hour for two seasons. In 1982, Scooby and Scrappy Doo shared an hour with a cartoon about Pete the Puppy and his friends and also had three short segments, the third being a Yabba-Doo cartoon, one of Scooby-Doo's cousins who lived in the Wild West. This show was known as The Scooby-Doo/Puppy Hour. The show was revamped as The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy Doo Show in September 1983, and brought Daphne back to join Shaggy and the dogs in solving mysteries. This cartoon consisted of two segments, and was often combined with repeats from previous seasons. In 1984, the show underwent another name change and was called The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, which brought back the original gang. Oh and in 1990 new episodes were aired!moreless
  • 56
    The Jetsons

    The Jetsons

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    ABC (ended 1987)
    With the success of The Flintstones, the modern Stone Age family, Hanna-Barbera decided to make a similar family cartoon, but set in their vision of the Space Age in the 21st century. This new series that debuted September 23, 1962 became The Jetsons. Set mainly in sky-high Orbit City, the show featured the family of George Jetson, Jane, his wife, their daughter Judy, and son Elroy living the average life in the future with flying space cars, instant transport tubes, and various robots and gadgets than can get their work done for them in a matter of seconds.

    George brought in the family income by working at Spacely Space Sprockets, run by his stocky, ill-tempered boss Cosmo Spacely, who's usually quick to fire George for any reason he could find. But somehow, he always managed to get his job back and continue supporting his family. He works as an indexer and is teamed with his helpful computer R.U.D.I. Other than the threats of firing by Spacely, George would also have to worry about any schemes carried out by Mr. Spacely's top business rival W.C. Cogswell, owner and president of Cogswell Cogs. If there's a dispute between the two businessmen, it's almost certain George would wind up in the middle of it. Most times, though, things always worked out in the end.

    Jane is the housewife who tends to the home, but loves to shop for the latest fashions and various items that can be a help to the family, like new gadgets that can help them in new ways. She's assisted by the family's robot maid Rosey (which can also be spelled Rosie). She's one of the older-fashioned models compared to most of the advanced robot maids of the future, but the Jetsons love her and regard her as a member of the family.

    Judy is the Jetsons' teenage daughter who attends Orbit High School and goes for the latest teen fashions, trends, and music, and seems to have a different boyfriend in most episodes. If she's lucky, she can even wind up dating a celebrity, like her favorite rock star Jet Screamer, much to her father's chagrin.

    Elroy is the Jetsons' genius son who attends Little Dipper Elementary School and is a straight-A student. He's a part-time inventor and can make new creations in hope to make a better future, and if fortunate, a little money on the side. But most times, he likes to be an average boy by playing various sports, and with his faithful companion, the family's dog Astro, who at times is overly affectionate, and can annoy George at times. But like Rosey, he's regarded as a member of the family.

    The Jetsons reside at the Skypad Apartments, which are properly cared for by superintendant Henry Orbit, who like Elroy is a mechanical genius. At times, he can invent gadgets that can help him with his maintenance work. His greatest accomplishment is his robot assistant Mac, who can get his work at the Skypad Apartments done in half the time. But he does have feelings for Rosey as the two are occasionally seen as a couple, but are mainly friends.

    Other recurring characters in this series include Mr. Spacely's family, particularly his wife Stella (sometimes called Petunia, likely her nickname), one of few people who can actually put a scare in him if he rubs her the wrong way. And they have a young son close to Elroy's age named Arthur. Common characters at Spacely Sprockets are Uniblab, an underling robot who at times is a stool pigeon for Mr. Spacely to George's dismay, as well as Spacely's secretary Miss Galaxy. Cogswell also had a few subordinates of his own. Among them were his assistant Harlan and his scientist Moonstone.

    The Jetsons ran for only one season on ABC, but the series was more successful in syndication. This led to a revival in 1985 with new episodes with more advanced animation that was richer in color and made the series even more futuristic than the 1960's version of the 21st century. New characters were introduced as well, including a new alien gremlin pet for the Jetsons, named Orbitty, who has springlike legs and suction cup feet, enabling him to hang upside down. He could also tinker with machines and change color in accordance to emotion. Another new animal for the revival was a robot dog for Cogwell named Sentro, who served as a guard dog and a spy often used against Mr. Spacely in efforts to beat him to the punch on his latest projects.

    These episodes aired in syndication, which generated the same level of success as the originals when they went in that direction. This led to 10 more episodes to finalize the series in 1987, as well as two TV movies, the music-themed Rockin' with Judy Jetson, which was preceded by the epic crossover The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, which brought the Space Age and the Stone Age together as Hanna-Barbera's most famous families had a grand adventure spanning two eras. The Jetsons had its true finale when Jetsons: The Movie hit the theaters in 1990, as this would be among the last voice work for actors George O'Hanlon (George Jetson) and Mel Blanc (Mr. Spacely) for they both had died just prior to the movie's release.

    Overall, The Jetsons may not have had the supreme popularity of The Flintstones, but it did have a wide appeal for families of any generation and certainly had a place in the heart for those who would turn on and watch the series.

    The Jetsons, like many Hanna-Barbera series, can be seen on Boomerang from Cartoon Network. Check your local listings. And the majority of the series can be seen on DVD, so it would be a good means to build your cartoon collection.moreless
  • 57
    Mork & Mindy

    Mork & Mindy

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    ABC (ended 1982)
    Mork & Mindy was a sitcom that ran on ABC from 1978 until 1982. The series starred a relative newcomer Robin Williams as Mork, an alien who came to Earth in a large egg-shaped space ship from the planet Ork, and Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnell, the human woman who he lives with. The series was a originally a spin-off of Happy Days where Mork first appeared in the season 5 episode, "My Favorite Orkan". In that episode he threatened to kidnap Richie Cunningham and take him to the planet Ork, however his plan is foiled by Fonzie. In the spin-off series Mindy discovers Mork after he lands near Boulder Colorado. When she finds out he is an alien she vows to keep his identity a secret and allows Mork to move into the attic. Afterwards, many hilarious situations arise. Story-lines centered on Mork's attempts to understand American culture and human interaction. At the end of each episode Mork reported to his boss back on Ork (Orson) and said what he had learned on earth in that episode.moreless
  • 58
    Alias Smith and Jones

    Alias Smith and Jones

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    ABC (ended 1973)
    Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, two successful and popular outlaw cousins in the old West, decide it´s time to go straight. The problem is that the governor just can´t give them amnesty right away, they have to prove that they deserve it. And in the meantime they will still be wanted. Hunting them is everybody, from sheriffs to bounty hunters, to posses and ordinary people. Hannibal Heyes/Joshua Smith is the thinker, the poker player and the optimist, while Kid Curry/Thaddeus Jones is the quick-drawing worrier who sometimes is a bit slow. Together they are Smith and Jones... Other regular characters include "Big Mac" McCreedy, a wealthy ranch owner, who´s feuding with his next door neighbour, senor Armendariz. Harry Briscoe is an agent with Bannerman detective agency, who´s perhaps not the brightest man around. Clementine Hale is a woman with an enormous zest for life. She owns the only picture of Heyes and the Kid and often uses it to get them to get her out of trouble. This show contained both humour and drama, as well as gunplay, poker games, and chases. It is said to be in part inspired by the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), but it owes equally to TV series Maverick. (Peter Duel's appearance in most of the first season's episodes, with the black hat and his hair combed back, looks very similar to James Garner as Maverick.) On New Year's Eve, 1971, Peter Duel died from a gunshot wound to the head. The death was officially ruled suicide. Duel was fighting an alcohol addiction (he had been convicted of DWI), had been drinking that night, and was depressed over his legal problems and the state of his career, feeling that Alias Smith and Jones was hardly his best work. The runaway success of Alias Smith abd Jones led to a grueling schedule for the actors, as cast and crew worked overtime to produce more episodes to keep up with public demand, and this may also have played a part. The role of Hannibal Heyes was filled within only a few hours by Roger Davis, who had originally done the voice-overs in the opening credits, but the show´s popularity sank steadily - as did the interest for Western shows in general, and the series was canceled in January 1973.moreless
  • 59
    Jem

    Jem

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    ABC (ended 1988)
    Showtime, Synergy. Those famous words were spoken by Jem throughout her three year run from 1985-1988. Jem was a beloved 80s rock cartoon that capitalized on the popularity of MTV that perfectly captured the decade's music, fashion and lingo. To this day, Jem is still considered a Truly Outrageous animated series that celebrates the power of love, friendship, ambition and rock 'n roll.

    Jerrica Benton's father left her a very special gift after he died. That gift was Synergy, a holographic computer system that can create realistic holograms of virtually anything. Using special star-shaped earrings, Synergy transforms Jerrica into the glamorous pop singer, Jem. Along with Kimber, Aja and Shana whom are called the Holograms, they have many adventures that take them to places in the US, France, China and Italy.

    Not far behind are their competition, the Misfits, a group led by Pizzazz with her friends Roxy and Stormer. Eventually both groups add a new member to their bands. Raya becomes the new drummer while Shana goes to guitar, and Jetta becomes the new saxophonist for the Misfits. With their additions, both Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits have many new adventures in Mexico, England, Shangri-La and across the U.S.

    The Stingers, a new trio, come to the States and begin to shake things up between Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits. Riot, Rapture and Minx begin to cause problems, all on their own. All three groups have a unique music showcased in the musical videos that appear in every episode.

    Jem originally premiered in 1985 in short segment cartoon inserts between two boys cartoons called Super Saturday/Sunday. Jem ran for three seasons from fall 1985 to spring 1988 with 65 total episodes. The show was then re-aired on the USA Network into early 1990.

    Cast of Characters Jerrica Benton is the owner and CEO of Starlight Music Company and The Starlight Foundation, which is a home to take care of foster girls. Both of these were inherited from her father, Emmet Benton, after he passed away. She grew up around musicians and technicians and is an independent business woman. Jem, Jerrica's singing persona, is the lead singer of the band Jem and the Holograms. Touching her star-shaped earrings and saying Showtime, Synergy or Show's over, Synergy, the Jem holographic image is created or disappears. Only The Holograms know that Jem and Jerrica are the same person. As Jem, Jerrica can let her hair down and let loose. Kimber Benton is Jerrica's younger sister. She is co-owner of Starlight Music Company and The Starlight Foundation. She plays keyboards and is the main songwriter/lyricist for the group. She is often impulsive, falling for the cute or dangerous guys. Aja Leith was the first foster girl to be adopted by Jacqui and Emmett Benton. She plays lead guitar in the Holograms. She is Jerrica's best friend. She is smart and very athletic. She is a jack-of-all trades on knowing how to do anything. Shana Elmsford was the second foster girl adopted by the Benton's. She played the drums until she left to work for a famous designer. She came back after The Talent Search and switched to her guitar. She designs the clothes for the Holograms and Starlight Girls. She has also had her fashions shown in Venice, Italy. Raya Carmen Alonso is the newest member of the Holograms. When Shana left the group, Raya won the Talent Search to be the new drummer. Coming from a Mexican background, Raya's the only girl among three brothers. Her father owns and operates a greenhouse. Synergy is a holographic computer built by Emmett Benton. She is contacted through Jerrica's earrings which project holographic images, sound and light. Synergy is kept at Starlight Mansion. She has all of the Holograms' music stored on file as well as Jacqui Benton's. Rio Pacheco is the road manager/engineer of Jem and the Holograms and Jerrica's boyfriend. He is also interested in Jem but has no clue that she and Jerrica are the same person. He doesn't like liars and deception. Countess Danielle Du Voisin is a very wealthy, renowned fashion designer that lives in Venice. She helps finance some of the Holograms' projects. She knows about fashions from all over the world. She is good friends with Howard Sands. Howard Sands is one of the top movie producers in the world. He helped produce the movie Starbright. Anthony Julian is a music director who is involved with Shana. He also directed the movie Starbright. Danse is a choreographer and naturally gifted dancer that works at a charity house called Haven House. Her real name is Giselle Dvorak. Her mother was a famous prima ballerina in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. She is good friends with Video. Video is an aspiring filmmaker. Her real name is Vivian Montgomery. She is a companion to the Holograms and shoots most of their music videos. Lin-Z Pierce is a Music TV Show Host. She travels to many places and stays on top of the music world. She is good friends with Anthony Julian and Video. The Misfits Pizzazz is the lead singer and plays guitar. Her real name is Phyllis Gabor but she gets easily angered when she is called by it. Her father is very rich and has given her everything that she's ever asked for. She's a spoiled, selfish, rich girl that wants money and fame. She craves her father's attention. She later has an obsession with Riot of the Stingers when they come to town. She uses Roxy and Stormer to her advantage. Roxy plays guitar. Her real name is Roxanne Pelligrini and is originally from Philadelphia, the town where she dropped out of high school. She is a very street wise and tough as nails. She takes credit for things that she did not create and goes to any length to get her way, even if it meant lying, cheating and stealing to do it. Stormer plays keyboard and sometimes guitar. She is the main song writer of the Misfits. Her real name is Mary Phillips. She has a brother, Craig, who dates Aja. Stormer is more sympathetic to causes that the other Misfits oppose. Jetta is the newest member that plays saxophone. Her real name is Sheila Burns and comes from England. She was playing with the Tinkerbellies when the Misfits decided to add her as a new member. With Pizzazz's father's influence and money, she was able to attain her green card. Eric Raymond used to work for Emmett Benton. He inherited half of Starlight Music when Emmet died but lost it when Jem and the Holograms won it back in the Battle of the Bands. He became owner of Misfits Music which later became Stingers Sound. He is a crook in the music business that manipulates, blackmails and embezzles his way through to get what he wants. He also knows the right kind of lawyers to bail him out of any situation. Clash is the Misfits biggest fan. She is constantly trying to join the Misfits but doesn't get her chance. Her real name is Constance Montgomery and she is cousin to Video Montgomery. She tries to make Jem and the Holograms as well as Video's life miserable. The Stingers Riot is the lead singer and has a romantic interest in Jem. His real name is Rory Llewellen, who was once in the army and went AWOL when he joined a rock band, Nivana, in Germany. He has a rocky relationship with his father. He is a master charmer. Rapture plays lead guitar. Her real name is Phoebe Ashe. She is a mischief maker and con-artist who gets anyone to believe what she has to say. Minx is the keyboardist of the group. Her real name is Ingrid Keith and she has a romantic interest in Rio. She is an electronics genius. Toy Line In 1985, Hasbro debuted the Jem doll line starting with 12" dolls such as Jem/Jerrica, Aja, Kimber, Shana, Rio, Pizzazz, Stormer and Roxy. All of the 1st issue dolls came with a flap that their character was on. Each doll came with their own musical instrument and Jem a microphone and Rio a brief case. Each doll, except Jem, had cassette tapes with songs on one side and the instrumental song on the other side. In 1986, the doll line came out with a 2nd generation of the Holograms and the Misfits, though Holograms came in different outfits. Added to the line up were Danse, Video, Raya, Synergy, Glitter 'N Gold Jem/Jerrica, Glitter 'N Gold Rio, Rock 'N Curl Jem, Flash 'N Sizzle Jem/Jerrica, Jetta and Clash. The 2nd and 3rd edition dolls came without a flap on them.
    In 1987, the last of the line came out with only 3 of the Starlight girls: Ashley, Krissie and Banee. It was rumored that a Stingers doll line was suppose to come out also but nothing came of it. Along with a fashionable clothing line, play sets, vehicles, stages, coloring books, reading books, posters, games, lunch boxes, clothes, watches and make-up were also made available.

    VHS and DVD Release
    Family Home Entertainment or f.h.e. released Jem on VHS tapes in 1986 starting with the Full Length Animated Feature Movie Truly Outrageous. There are a lot scenes that either added or expanded on from the original movie showing. Last Resorts, The Music Awards, Hot Time In Hawaii, The Princess and the Singer, Jem Jam, Culture Clash, Glitter 'N Gold and the Talent Search were all released in the 1987 year. Rhino Entertainment picked up a couple of the episodes in 1999 and 2000. They first came out with Passport to Rock Volume 1 featuring The World Hunger Shindig and Adventure In China and Fashion Fiasco Volume 2 with In Stitches and Culture Clash. Harmony Entertainment also came out with a Girls Rule! Volume 1 Featuring Jem and the Holograms with The Beginning and Disaster. Also on the DVD were Lady LovelyLocks with Lake of Reflections and Menace of Mirror Lake and finally with Rainbow Brite's episodes Mom and A Horse of a Different Color Girls Rule! Volume 2 Featuring Popples. Jem starts it off with Kimber's Rebellion, Frame Up and Battle of the Bands then She-Ra: Princess of Power episodes The Anxious Apprentice and A Talent for Trouble and finally with Popples episodes Popples Panic, College Of Popple Knowledge and Treasure of Popple Beach Rhino finally released Jem on DVD March 2004 in a four DVD set including 26 episodes of the first and second seasons. This set includes interviews with Jem speaking voice, Samantha Newark and Jem creator and writer, Christy Marx. Season three, part one was released in Sept. 2004 with 19 episodes that includes an interviews with Jem's singing voice Britta Philips, and commentary by Christy Marx and Writer Roger Slifer.moreless
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    Beetlejuice

    Beetlejuice

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    ABC (ended 1991)
    Based on the Tim Burton film Beetlejuice, this series borrowed several characters and concepts from the movie but took great liberties with them (as was necessary to create a program suitable for children). Beetlejuice is a ghost from "The Neitherworld," the land of the dead - he's a trickster and a swindler, but underneath it all he has a big heart. His best friend Lydia is a very kind-hearted twelve-year-old living girl into goth. Together they made the perfect pair: her even-tempered and levelheaded, and him manic and hot under the collar. The show was produced by Nelvana. The groundbreaking CGI shorts featured in many of the episodes were produced by the Calibre animation team. The series won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.moreless
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